Intertek was brought in by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London to inspect flaking and cracking in the statue cast of Michelangelo's David - the centrepiece at the V&A's newly refurbished Weston Cast Court.
A team of non-destructive testing experts from Intertek went to inspect the five-metre David after the Museum noticed flaking and cracking appearing on the figure.
The cast dates back to the mid-1850s, and had been moved around over the years. With London heavily bombed during the Second World War, it was feared that these factors may have had an effect on David.
The team were not allowed to touch the surface of the statue, but by using an X-ray unit and digital scanner, the V&A staff were able to view "real-time" images as the radiography was taking place.
The Intertek team discovered that the flakes and cracks did not result from structural damage, and were simply lines in the paint, possibly from the application of different layers over time.
“It was a unique opportunity to examine such a fabulous statue and it was a great privilege to be part of this project.”
Intertek Quality Engineer and project leader
Intertek's NDT laboratory in the UK supports a wide range of industries including rail, general engineering, aerospace, power generation, construction, petrochemical, oil and gas, with its diverse range of non-destructing techniques. These techniques include digital radiography, ultrasonic testing and eddy current testing.