Multi-analytical study of patination methods on steel substrates: a full insight into surface chemistry and morphology
H. Téllez, J. M. Vadillo, J. J. Laserna, R. J. Chater, D. S. McPhail, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2012, 402, 2277 – 2285
Patination of metals has been used for decorative or protective purposes, and several methods aimed to create coloured films on metal surfaces have been developed. This work describes a multi-analytical approach to characterize artificial blue patinas created on mild steel substrates by means of traditional recipes and methods for colouring ancient objects and artefacts. We suggest the combined use of secondary ion mass spectrometry, focused ion beam, X-ray diffraction spectroscopy, white light interferometry and reflectance spectroscopy to characterize blue patinas on steel substrates and to investigate the relationship between the developed colour and the patina layer microstructure and composition. Therefore, the analysis of the oxide films produced by either thermal or chemical colouring methods has been successfully performed, providing information about the film morphology, the surface composition and in-depth elemental distribution within the coloured layers, and the origin of the colour developed on the surface.