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Subject: Lead corrosion

Lead corrosion

From: W. T. Chase <tchase4921>
Date: Thursday, July 1, 1999
Lead and wood (and also plywood) are bad actors together.  The wood
acids promote the lead corrosion.  I have seen bullet cards
(especially 19-th Century ones) where the bullets show different
amounts of corrosion, ranging from quite metallic all the way to
totally white and furry.  The idea that antimony inhibits corrosion
of the lead may be true; I don't have a good library here in Tokyo
and BCIN is off line at the moment.  I don't remember any published
citations on the lead bullet corrosion problem.

What to do?  Put the lead soldiers in an environment free of acids
evolved from wood products:  Build them mahogany cases (not oak):
Use archival boards as container materials:  Keep the humidity down
as far as possible. Probably removing the corrosion (mechanically)
and then sealing the edges with a paint would help, too.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:6
                  Distributed: Wednesday, July 7, 1999
                        Message Id: cdl-13-6-002
Received on Thursday, 1 July, 1999

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