Scanning Electron Microscopic Characterization of Iron-Gall Inks from Different Tannin Sources – Applications for Cultural Heritage

Authors: 
Antonio da Costa, Fernanda Correa, Gustavo Sant’Anna, Sheyla de Carvalho, Fernanda dos Santos and Marcia Lutterbach

Scanning electron microscopy was used to study the reactivity of iron-gall inks with varying iron concentrations. Vegetable extracts with hydrolysable tannins produced stable ink, while the presence of crystal aggregates explained the low reactivity of condensed tannins. This novel archaeometric approach has proved useful in chemical corrosion studies of ancient documents.

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