DiscoveryMat SplashScreen

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DiscoveryMat SplashScreen



The goal of DiscoveryMat is to make propositions of compositions of metal alloys. The accompanying measuring system being portable and easy to use, the analytical tool developed contributes greatly to the on-site qualitative analysis of metal objects.


Le logiciel DiscoveryMat a pour but d'offrir à son utilisateur des propositions de compositions d'alliages métalliques. L'appareil de mesure associé étant portable et d'utilisation facile, l'outil analytique développé contribue à l'analyse qualitative des objets métalliques sur leur site d'exposition.


El Software DiscoveryMat está diseñado para ofrecer a sus usuarios proposiciones de composiciones de la aleaciones de metálicas. El aparato de medida asociada es portátil y fácil de usar, el instrumento analítico desarrollado contribuye al análisis cualitativo de objetos metálicos en el sitio donde estos estan expuestos.



This software enables the qualitative analysis of metals based on their Ecorr versus time electrochemical plots in three different solutions: mineral water - Henniez, potassium nitrate - KNO3 and sodium sesquicarbonate and their comparison with similar plots of alloys of known composition. The analysis is local since only one drop of solution is used between the metal tested and the measuring system.

Hardware required

The multimeter measures potential differences between the metal tested (unknown composition) and a measuring system constituted of a Ag-AgCl reference electrode (RE) inserted in a junction protection tube (JPT). The automatic collection of data requires the use of a METRIX M3282 multimeter connected to DiscoveryMat software with a serial port. Any other multimeter with high internal impedance can be used for manual collection of data. The quality of the measures depends on the surface preparation of the metal studied. These measures should be performed on a metallic surface. Therefore the metal should be cleaned of any oxide layer.


The interpretation of results being based on the comparison of electrochemical plots of an unknown material to those of materials of known compositions, its efficiency increases with the number of materials in the database. The initiators of the project work in the conservation of technical, scientific and horological objects. Therefore they have mainly worked on copper alloys encountered on these objects and have built a database constituted of around 80 materials with different compositions.


Currently the software is constituted of two tools: the first collects automatically data (potentials) of an unknown alloy, while the second classifies the scanned data and proposes from an existing database the best matching.

Tools validation

The analytical tool has been tested on a collection of historic objects from the International Museum of Horology, La Chaux-de-Fonds, CH. We have checked the portability of the measuring instrument and its almost non invasive character (the polishing of the metal is limited since the metal is only slightly oxidised). The copper alloys materials being specific to this horological domain not yet covered by the existing database, the tool could only give proposals of compositions. In the case where the metal analysed had a composition close to a material of the database, the algorithm of comparison / classification gave a good matching. In the other cases, the elements present in the metal were given as well as approximate compositions. The precise elementary analysis of these materials with X-Ray fluorescence enabled us to insert these new materials in our database to enrich it. Currently the database contains 123 materials with known composition and electrochemical behaviour.

Future development

Since the use of the tool is rather simple, our objective is that other professionals use and develop it further by creating new databases specific to their field of expertise. At HE Arc CR we currently work at expending the tool to aluminium-based alloys. The work carried out on silver-based alloys showed that the base material was not homogeneous enough to get reliable results.

The sharing of data between different users is planned (cloud computing).


DiscoveryMat has been developed within the CLAMTEC project funded by the HES-SO.