Researchers within the Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry at the Polish Academy of Sciences are investigating the structure and properties of historic buildings, artefacts and decorative materials and the mechanisms of their deterioration, so as to find better ways to conserve and protect them.
This Cultural Heritage Research unit investigates phenomena occurring at the material surfaces, such as the interaction with moisture contained in the air, chemical corrosion, and the formation and crystallisation of soluble salts. Another important aspect of the work is the development of techniques and materials to prevent or slow down the damage. A number of buildings and artefacts have already benefited directly from the research.
The Cultural Heritage Research unit recently purchased a CI microbalance kit from CI Precision to extend its capacity for investigating water vapour adsorption by materials such as wood, mortars and paint. Built into a bespoke piece of apparatus, the microbalance kit is a key component in sorption studies, the creation of water vapour adsorption isotherms, and similar types of experiment involving variations in vapour composition, temperature and pressure.
Roman Kozlowski, the Associate Professor heading the Cultural Heritage Research unit, explains the benefit of being able to buy the microbalance kit as a component:
“The apparatus we have built has a computerised control system for controlling the parameters and recording the values from the sensors. What we needed was a reliable microbalance that we could build into the apparatus and not have to worry about interfacing between different control systems.”
Being able to buy a microbalance in kit form can bring significant cost benefits to customers building bespoke apparatus.
Roman Kozlowski describes the microbalance kit purchasing process:
“One of my collaborators was searching the internet for microbalances and found the CI Precision website. The information showed that the microbalance could do what we wanted, so we contacted CI Electronics by email. CI Precision was very helpful, responding quickly to our questions, so we were soon able to place an order.
“After the microbalance was installed and the apparatus was operational, CI Precision even sent somebody to our laboratory to check over the microbalance head to make sure it was functioning correctly. That was approximately one year ago, since then the microbalance has been extremely reliable.“
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