Conservation of Non-ferrous Metals

Dates: 27/2/18 - 20/3/18
Days of the week: Tuesday
Total hours: 37.5
Taught hours: 17.5
On-site instruction: 9.5
Off-site instruction: 8

Description

Explore a variety of issues associated with the manufacture and use of bronze, brass, copper, lead and zinc in Scotland’s historic built environment.

Learn about the manufacture, use and conservation of non-ferrous metal products found in traditional Scottish buildings. A range of non-ferrous metals will be examined, although the architectural use of bronze and brass is the main focus of this module. (Copper, lead and zinc and the various non-ferrous alloys are covered in more detail in Module S: Roofing.)

The module begins with a historic overview of non-ferrous metals in Scottish architectural traditions from the medieval period to the 20th century. A look at the traditional manufacture of non-ferrous metals for architectural purposes emphasises the metallurgical processes for producing alloys.

Understanding the fundamental characteristics and physical properties of non-ferrous metals is the starting point for studying their means of conservation. Discover what’s involved in each stage of a repair programme, from how to survey and document a site to the specification, sourcing and fitting of new material – all according to best practice in conservation. There is an emphasis on the importance of planned maintenance to slow down corrosion.

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Entry requirements

Individual modules are open to anyone with an interest in the subject matter. Applicants for the Advanced Professional Diploma should have a relevant degree or professional experience.

Classes, lectures and presentations

  • Use of Non-ferrous Metals in Scotland
  • Metallurgy, Properties and Characteristics
  • Manufacturing Process of Non-ferrous Metals
  • Non-ferrous Metals – Repair and Maintenance
  • In Situ Repairs
  • Health and Safety Issues
  • Site Work and Practice

Potential site visits

  • British Overseas Airways Corporation office, Glasgow
  • Glasgow Cathedral
  • Wanlockead and Leadhills, Dumfriesshire
  • Current or recent projects by Lead Contractors Association members
  • Bronzework in Stirling
  • City Heritage Trust lead/copper roof projects
  • Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme lead/copper roof projects
  • Historic Environment Scotland estate lead/copper roof projects

Content

Historic use of non-ferrous metals and the Scottish industrial dimension

  • Copper – e.g. decorative details, flashings, cladding to domes, turrets
  • Bronze (copper/tin alloy) – e.g. railings, statuary, decorative doors and gates, lighting fixtures, memorial plaques
  • Brass (copper/zinc alloy) – e.g. ironmongery and door/window furniture, lighting fixtures and fittings, memorial plaques
  • Zinc – e.g. flashings, windows casements
  • Lead – e.g. roofing, pipes, decorative details and statuary, terne-plating, cames for leaded lights
  • Chromium – used in stainless steel, plating in 20th century
  • Material properties and characteristics of copper, bronze, brass, zinc, lead – from thermal conductivity and movement to weathering and patina
  • Manufacturing processes of non-ferrous metals – reverse engineering, foundry work, construction techniques and fixings

Repair, conservation and maintenance

  • Repair issues – from mechanical breakdown and damage to corrosion and incompatibility with adjacent materials
  • Project work – from site practice and work sequencing to application of coatings including for artificial patinisation
  • In situ repairs – e.g. cleaning, welding, patching, reinforcement (plating), replacement, brazing, filling, stitching
  • Health and safety issues – e.g. toxicity of cleaning or repair methods, lead poisoning, working at height, hot working on site