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Quantitative study on the sealing material of 600 years ago

Yu, Xiang, Li, Chenghao, Wang, Jun, Gong, Decai
Thermochimica acta 2017
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, atomic absorption spectrometry, calorimetry, ships, thermogravimetry, tung oil, Indian Ocean
Baochuanchang Shipyard was one of the major bases for shipbuilding and maintaining of Zheng He’s fleet who sailed across the Indian Ocean in the early 15th century. Some ancient putty used in sealing wooden ships was found during the archaeological excavation of this site, and the analytical results by Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FT-IR), thermogravimetry−differential scanning calorimetry (TG-DSC), thermogravimetry analysis (TG), and atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) were presented in this paper. Results of FT-IR suggested that the putty was well preserved, and calculation of the quantitative information provided by TG and AAS showed that the ratio of lime and tung oil was 1.4:1, which was lower than the records of ancient wooden ships. This research provides quantitative information of the ancient putty excavated from the Baochuanchang Shipyard, which would be beneficial for the study of shipbuilding technologies of Zheng He’s treasure ships.