Firenze, Italy
Firenze, Italy

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Pietropaolo A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Festa G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Grazzi F.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | Barzagli E.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | And 3 more authors.
EPL | Year: 2011

Here we present a new concept for a time-of-flight neutron scattering instrument allowing for simultaneous application of three different techniques: time-of-flight neutron diffraction, neutron resonance capture analysis and Bragg edge transmission analysis. The instrument can provide average resolution neutron radiography too. The potential of the proposed concept was explored by implementing the necessary equipment on INES (Italian Neutron Experimental Station) at the ISIS spallation neutron source (UK). The results obtained show the effectiveness of the proposed instrument to acquire relevant quantitative information in a non-invasive way on a historical metallurgical sample, namely a Japanese hand guard (tsuba). The aforementioned neutron techniques simultaneously exploited the extended neutron energy range available from 10 meV to 1 keV. This allowed a fully satisfactory characterization of the sample in terms of metal components and their combination in different phases, and forging and assembling methods. © 2011 Europhysics Letters Association.


Grazzi F.,National Research Council Italy | Bartoli L.,National Research Council Italy | Civita F.,Museo Stibbert | Franci R.,Museo Stibbert | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry | Year: 2011

Japanese blades have always been considered very interesting objects, both from the stylistic point of view and their peculiar performances. It is amazing how the test and try process with a semi-empirical approach which lead to the optimization of Japanese blades, an almost ideal tool, is yet to be fully understood. In this work, we present results from a new non invasive approach to the study of these peculiar artefacts. Time of Flight Thermal Neutron Diffraction (TOF-ND) measurements were taken on two instrument INES and ENGIN-X, at the ISIS facility, RAL, UK. Two Japanese blades and eight blade fragments have been successfully characterized in terms of composition of the steel, smelting and smithing processes, and forging techniques. The differences among the production periods and forging traditions have been clearly determined. Further work is needed on standards to fully understand the production technique of a sample by comparison of the object under study with objects of known production methods. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Salvemini F.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | Grazzi F.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | Peetermans S.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Civita F.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry | Year: 2012

Japanese blades are culturally interesting objects both from the stylistic point of view and because of their fantastic performance. In this work, we present new results, using a non-invasive approach, concerning these peculiar artefacts. Five Japanese swords pertaining to Koto (987-1596) and Shinto (1596-1781) periods have been analysed through white beam and energy resolved neutron-imaging techniques. The experiments have been performed at the ICON beam line, operating at the spallation neutron source SINQ, Paul Scherrer Institut in Switzerland. The reconstruction of projection data into neutron tomographic slices or volumes allowed us to identify some peculiar characteristics, related to the forging methods that were used by the different schools and traditions in Japan. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Grazzi F.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | Civita F.,Museo Stibbert | Williams A.,Wallace Collection | Scherillo A.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | And 4 more authors.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2011

The production and refinement of steel has followed very different paths in different parts of the Eurasian continent. In aiming to characterize the similarities and differences between various smelting and smithing methods, we have analysed steel samples from four different areas and historic periods: the Kotō Age in Japan (twelfth-sixteenth century), the Moghul Empire in India (seventeenth-nineteenth century), the Ottoman Turkish Empire (seventeenth century) and the late Middle Ages (fifteenth century) in Italy. The best quality steel was employed for forging arms and armour of high quality, so that we have selected samples from Japan, India, the Middle East and Italy belonging to such a category. Traditional methods, such as metallography, used to characterize different steels in terms of their carbon contents, microconstituents and slag inclusions, entailed an invasive approach. Since many of the selected artefacts are in a very good state of conservation, a different and non-invasive approach was desirable. To this aim, we have used time of flight neutron diffraction on the Italian Neutron Experimental Station diffractometer, located at the pulsed neutron source ISIS in the United Kingdom. By this technique, we were able to quantify the phase distribution of the metal phases, the slag inclusion content, and the oxidation state of the samples, both as average concentration on the whole artefact and in selected gauge volumes. The results of the present investigation offer an interesting picture of the steel metallurgy in different areas of the world. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Salvemini F.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | Salvemini F.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation | Grazzi F.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | Kardjilov N.,Helmholtz Center Berlin | And 3 more authors.
Analytical Methods | Year: 2015

Computed laminography (CL) has been developed as a method to complement computed tomography for three-dimensional imaging of laterally extended specimens. Originally applied for medical purposes, more recently CL has been used as a non-destructive method, not only in the materials science research, but also with rising interest in artwork investigations. Here, we report the implementation of computed laminography with polychromatic and monochromatic neutron radiation carried out on five historical and archaeological metal artefacts pertaining to different periods and technological contexts. The measurements were performed at the CONRAD II neutron imaging facility at the BERII research reactor of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Fedrigo A.,National Research Council Italy | Grazzi F.,National Research Council Italy | Williams A.,Wallace Collection | Scherillo A.,National Research Council Italy | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry | Year: 2013

In this work we present an extensive time of flight neutron diffraction (ToF-ND) study on some Japanese armour components. The experiments were carried out at the INES diffractometer at ISIS, the pulsed neutron source in the UK. In particular, we have studied seven Japanese helmets (kabuto) made between the 16th and 17th century. By means of this non-invasive approach we have been able to determine quantitatively the phase composition and the microstructural properties of these artefacts. The samples belong to different periods and different levels of quality. The observed differences were quantified in terms of the accuracy and amount of their working. A quantitative determination of their phases and of the thermo-mechanical treatments has been obtained for all investigated samples, confirming that the use of ToF-ND represents one of the most suitable non-destructive approaches for the characterization of metal archaeological artefacts. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Grazzi F.,National Research Council Italy | Bartoli L.,National Research Council Italy | Barzagli E.,National Research Council Italy | Civita F.,Museo Stibbert | And 3 more authors.
Metallurgia Italiana | Year: 2011

Two Japanese long blades of the Ancient Sword (Koto) age have been analysed through time of flight neutron diffraction. This technique allows the determination of several microstructural properties on different size gauge volumes. The results of the experiment provided a quantitative multiphase characterization of the steel composition of the blades and the determination of peculiar properties of the material, such as the texture, the strain level and the grain size of the crystallites.


Angelini E.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Civita F.,Museo Stibbert | Corbellini S.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Fulginiti D.,Polytechnic University of Turin | And 3 more authors.
Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing | Year: 2016

Conservation of ancient metallic artefact displayed inside museums is a complex problem due to the large number of constraints mainly related to the artefacts fruition by people. The development of a simple procedure for monitoring the artefact conservation state promptly highlighting risky conditions without impacting on the normal museum operations could be of interest in the cultural heritage world. This paper describes the interesting results obtained by using a highly sensitive and innovative methodology for evaluating the safety level of the museum indoor areas, and more specifically of the interior of the showcases, with respect to the metallic artefacts. The methodology is based on the use of an innovative smart sensors network and of copper reference samples. The smart sensors network was employed for the continuous monitoring of temperature and relative humidity close to the artefacts, i.e. inside the display showcases. The reference specimens were Cu coated with a 100 nm Cu nanostructured layer put for 1 year in the exhibition rooms inside and outside the showcases and characterised by means of normal imaging, colorimetric and FESEM techniques at regular intervals. The results of the monitoring activity evidenced the higher reactivity to the environmental aggressivity of the nanocoated copper specimen with respect to bulk artefacts and therefore the possibility to use them as alerts to possible corrosion phenomena that may occur to the real artefacts. A proper temperature and relative humidity monitoring inside the showcases and close to each group of artefacts is a powerful though economic and non-invasive way to highlight most of the possible critical display conditions. © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Uden J.,University of Oxford | Grazzi F.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | Civita F.,Museo Stibbert | Scherillo A.,RAL Building R3 Room UG01 2 | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the Institute of Conservation | Year: 2012

Historical metallurgy is an important aspect of archaeometry, and the study of the process of steel making is of great interest in this field. In order to achieve a high level ofmaterial characterization by traditional analytical methods, a destructive approach is usually necessary. This article reports the first systematic use of a neutron-based, non-destructive method that enables resolution of the complexmicrostructure of a metallic object while retaining full authenticity and artefact integrity. Historical Japanese swords represent some of the best examples of historicalmetalwork and are, therefore, one of themost rewarding classes of artefacts to study in order to elucidate the evolution of metallurgy. With the aim of characterizing the materials and forging methods used, we analysed two Japanese long swords from the Pitt Rivers Museum, using time-of-flight neutron diffraction (ToF-ND). The results showed that ToF-ND is a very promising method of analysis and investigation for ancient metals. © 2012 Icon, The Institute of Conservation.


Salvemini F.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | Grazzi F.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | Peetermans S.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Civita F.,Museo Stibbert | And 4 more authors.
Metallurgia Italiana | Year: 2013

The study of sword-forging techniques, and their time-evolution, represents one of the most interesting topics in the investigation of Japanese blade manufacturing techniques. In this work, we present novel results from a non-invasive approach to the study of five Japanese sword fragments pertaining to Koto (987-1596) and Shinto (1596-1781) times. The studied samples are large sword fragments, broken at approximately 10-20 cm from the tang, made available through the Stibbert Museum in Florence. All of them are signed and the authorship and attribution can be accurately identified. Even though an invasive approach could have been used, given the nature of the present samples, we have deliberately chosen to apply a non-invasive technique, in order to demonstrate the validity of neutron tomography methods. Thanks to their high penetration power, neutrons represent an almost unique probe for non invasive characterization of the bulk microscopic structure of massive metal objects. These techniques have been recently applied to the study of metal objects of archaeological and historical origin, giving detailed information on bulk properties (e.g. phase composition, texture, residual strain distribution) and allowing to obtain information on the manufacturing techniques, through identification of peculiar features related to these processes. On a different length scale, neutron tomography techniques can add useful information on the bulk conservation status and the inner structure (when present) of the artefact. We discuss, here, the results of a neutron imaging experiment, carried out at the ICON beamline operating at the neutron source SINQ (CH), applied the aforementioned sword fragments, using both, white and energy resolved, incident neutron beam. The tomographic reconstruction of the white beam images has permitted to identify some peculiar characteristics (e.g. slag inclusions, cracks, type of temper, alterations extending under the surface) related to the forging methods that were used by the different schools and traditions in Japan. The subsequent experimental investigation, using the energy resolved tomographic method gave us the possibility of increasing the image contrast for a selected phase, taking advantage of the abrupt change of the attenuation coefficients at the so-called Bragg cut-off. We have applied this method to maximize the ferrite contrast and to map the distribution of this phase in the bulk of the measured samples.

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