Articles & Papers

Articles & Papers

A collection of ironwork related articles for conservators and heritage ironworkers.

New articles added as we find them.  If you have any proposals for additions to this page please contact us.

Student ‘Metals’ Essay Prize winner 2023

We awarded Alexandra Dziegiel a prize for this impressive essay on historic iron, its deterioration and conservation.

Metals Essay Prize 2023 (.pdf)

Architectural Ironwork – Coatings & Colour

Patrick Baty delivered this presentation at our seminar on Colour & Finish in London on 15th November 2018

Architectural Ironwork - Coatings & Colour by Patrick Baty (.pdf)

Bath Ironwork

Article in the Bath Magazine about local heritage ironwork:

Lead and You

By Matthew Boultwood and Jo Adkins

Lead and You
Lead_and_You-generalversion-16-Jul-2013.pdf (1.08 MB)

Lead is a very useful and versatile material, in traditional metalwork it is often used for fixings, decorative details and in some coatings.  Lead paints for example give an outstanding and durable finish but its removal is a noxious process


The Use of Colour on Architectural Ironwork

By Patrick Baty

The Use of Colour on Architectural Ironwork
TheUseOfColourOnArchitectualIronwork_by_PatrickBaty.pdf - Version 1 (47.67 KB)

This paper is based on the text of a lecture given by Patrick Baty at "From Foundry and Forge", an International Ironwork Symposium held at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 28th October 1994.


Development of riveting technology through an analysis of Belgian patents (1830-1940)

By Quentin Collette, Ine Wouters, Corentin De Favereau, Arnaud Peters

Development of riveting technology through an analysis of Belgian patents (1830-1940)
Quentin_Collette_SAHC2012_051.pdf (804.15 KB)

The development of riveting technology in iron and steel structures in the 19th and 20th centuries were highly promoted by patents. Although riveting was widely used in buildings and civil engineering structures, little information about the development of this technology – how rivets were manufactured, various installation techniques – is available in literature. This paper discusses a database of patents related to riveting technology that was created to better understand the innovations in riveted connections and their technological evolution. The database includes patents relating to rivets registered in Belgium between 1830 and 1940.


Evolution of historical riveted connections: joining typologies, installation techniques and calculation methods

Q. Collette, I. Wouters & L. Lauriks
Department of Architectural Engineering (ARCH), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

Evolution of historical riveted connections: joining typologies, installation techniques and calculation methods
STREMAH_2011_Rivets_by_Quentin-Collette.pdf (318.12 KB)

Riveting was one of the major joining techniques used for the assembly of iron and steel structures. Being widely used since 1860, today most of the existing riveted structures need maintenance and possibly strengthening.

This research aims to improve the existing knowledge on this type of fasteners in order to stimulate less intrusive interventions during renovation, respecting the historical character of these structures.


Morphogenesis of the Theory and Design Principles of Riveted Connections in Historical Iron and Streel Structures

By Quentin Collette

Morphogenesis of the Theory and Design Principles of Riveted Connections in Historical Iron and Streel Structures
SAHC-2012_050-by-Quentin-Collette.pdf (5.25 MB)

This paper provides insights into the design principles of historical riveted joints by examining the content of the former calculation methods and their evolution over time. By investigating these theoretical foundations, this study reveals possible design errors and clarified the design choices made by engineers of that time.