NCS and Chiralabs Ltd have joined forces to improve on the testing methodolgy available for assessing the risk to heritage from products and materials used in buildings, display, conservation and storage. The new test uses 21st century analytical technology and methodology to help you decide whether to use materials that might effect heritage objects or collections over time. Named SMART testing - Spectro-Microscopic Analysis of Relative Tarnishing - the method involves monitoring of the surface chemistry of test coupons exposed to materials using scanning electron microscopy energy dispersive spectroscopy, to determine quantitatively the degree and nature of tarnishing, degradation, corrosion and/or coating at an elemental and microscopic level. Data is compared to reference materials to provide a relative risk factor of damage based on quantifiable, objective chemical measures rather than visual assessment.
If you are a heritage insitution or professional needing to assess whether or not a paint, coating, flooring, building material, box board or conservation product (new or old) might emit internal pollutants that cause deterioration to your archival, museum or art collections, we can carry out the new test and tell you what effect the material had on a proxy material, either a single test using silver (similar to the now traditional Oddy test, pioneered by the British Museum, but more advanced in its analysis) or a more complex test using three samples (silver, copper and iron). Specialist tests can also be applied on request. If you are a product supplier hoping to sell an archival or museum quality material into the heritage sector, we can test your material and give it an evaluative scoring. Results are defined as being High, Medium or Low Risk to heritage and all results will be published on our website. Any decisions made by organisations on the basis of these test results are entirely at their own risk and neither NCS nor its testing partner Chrialabs Ltd will accept any liability for such decisions.
The price for a basic standard silver test is £117.50 (€132.00) plus VAT and a full test with three proxies £235.00 (€265.00) plus VAT, with payment made on application - purchases can be made in either Sterling or Euros. The price includes the testing and a report of the result. If you would like to apply to have a test carried out, please go to the following page and complete and submit the form. We will contact you and arrange for you to send the sample to us and process your payment by invoice. Once the test has been carried out we will send you the report.