New products developed to protect historic artifacts and museum objects

SmartWater® forensic technology uses an extremely robust form of ‘nanotechnology’ to encrypt data, with water being the application medium. With millions and potentially billions of datasets available, the applications are only limited by the imagination of the End User. Special solutions for use on Antiquities that have been subjected to intense independent technical scrutiny. With millions of individual codes available, no two SmartWater solutions are the same, with each having its own unique forensic code, meaning that marked items can be traced back to where they came from.  It is practically invisible to the naked eye – the visual impact is similar to the B67 varnish used for cataloging purposes – but glows bright yellow under UV ‘black’ light and our scientists only need a speck to recover the embedded data.

Initially, our scientists were concerned that the application of SmartWater to the surface of an artifact or museum object might cause irreversible changes, and consequently set about consulting with experts from the conservation science sector.  In addition, consideration had to be given to the potential erosion of the forensic ‘fingerprint’ in the fierce environmental conditions found at some locations in the World, where historic archaeological sites are found.

As a consequence, special stress tests were created and the outcome has been the creation of a new range of SmartWater, especially created for use on artifacts and museum objects, split into two main categories:

  • Reversible – a unique forensic ‘fingerprint’ is incorporated within the traditional ‘top coat’ B67 varnish and is protected from coming into contact with the surface of the object by the base layer varnish, such as a B72.
  • Robust – following in-depth research and testing, corroborated by independent analysis conducted by Reading University’s Dept. of Archaeology, a range of special forensic solutions have been created and made available for use on a specific list of substrates.
Extract from Oddy Test report, Shawnee State University, 2017

International Accreditations

A quality standard for testing and calibration laboratories, as required by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors.

A standard specifying a framework of policies and procedures that include all legal, physical and technical controls involved in an organization’s information risk management processes.

The world’s most widely recognized Quality Management System (QMS).

A specification for testing robustness. SmartWater’s products are guaranteed to last five years in all weather environments.