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Subject: Aircraft engine

Aircraft engine

From: George Bailey <george.bailey>
Date: Thursday, December 17, 1998
Pia Olsen <pia.olsen [at] natmus__dk>, on behalf of Birgit Sorensen,

>The National Museum, Dept. of Conservation has been asked to
>conserve an aircraft engine, presumably from a Spitfire that was
>shut down during the second world war. The engine has to be
>removed from the sea bed due to a bridge construction work. We
>have no experience at all with water logged aircraft engines and
>all pieces of advice will be highly appreciated.

Aircraft engines recovered from marine environments present one of
the most difficult challenges in metals conservation, the problem
being that you have a several different metals/alloys in contact
with each other, as well as being polluted with chloride ions.  In
the early 90's the Australian War Memorial (AWM), Australian
National University and Electricite de Fance conducted a joint
research project to develop aqueous treatment methods for this sort
of object. I refer you to the following articles:

    D.L.Hallam, C.D.Adams, G. Bailey, G.A.Heath (1995) "Redefining
    the Electrochemical Treatment of Historical Aluminium Objects".
    Metals 95 Conference proceedings. pp 220 - 221.

    C. Degrigny (1995) "Stabilisation de Moteurs d'Avions Immerges"
    Studies in Conservation 40 (1995) pp 10-18.

To date, the AWM has treated 2 aircraft engines recovered from the
sea, and is about to start treating 2 more. We have also treated an
entire corroded aircraft wreck using aqueous methods. Good luck,

George Bailey
Objects Conservator
Australian War Memorial
Treloar Centre for Conservation
4 Callan St, Mitchell, A.C.T. 2911
61 2 6243 4440
Fax: +61 2 6241 7998

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:52
               Distributed: Wednesday, December 16, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-52-012
Received on Thursday, 17 December, 1998

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