Radiocarbon is one of the specialties of CIRAM laboratories. Thanks to the analysis of carbon 14 by AMS, we can answer many chronological problems, but also industrial ones. Carbon-14 dating is used to date works of art (wood, ivory, paper, canvas, etc.) and archaeological artifacts. Radiocarbon analysis will be used to characterize industrial bio-based products.

CIRAM also offers thermoluminescence dating (TL/OSL) for your terracotta objects for example. CIRAM laboratories are world leaders in carbon-14 dating and archaeomaterials analysis.




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    Carbon 14 dating can be used to authenticate a work of art, date an archaeological sample and analyse the percentage of biobased material in an industrial product.

    From dating, it is possible to obtain information on the authentication of works of art, but also on the characterisation of an industrial product.

    The principle of carbon 14 dating

    Carbon-14 analysis is based on the radiological activity of carbon-14 (also called radiocarbon).

    This radioactive isotope is present in all living organisms. Every organism will accumulate carbon-14 during its existence. When it dies, the carbon-14 isotope decreases according to the exponential law.

    With a sample analysis, we can date an object or a work of art, but also define the proportion of bio-based products in your industrial production.

    Carbon 14 dating, a technique used in the art world

    In the art world, carbon 14 dating allows works of art to be dated, whatever the organic materials used (wood, ivory, paper, textile, bone, etc.). Our laboratory techniques allow us to authenticate a work of art and to detect any falsification.

    Whether it is a sculpture, a painting or any other work, we analyse all objects using a sample.

    A dating technique for archaeological objects

    The radiocarbon analysis technique can also be used to identify archaeological remains or objects. After a sample has been taken, CIRAM offers results within 10 days. Carbon 14 dating is the first of the analyses we carry out in an archaeological context.

    Analysis of your bio-based products using carbon 14

    Our laboratories also carry out the analysis and certification of your bio-based products. Thanks to radiocarbon and isotopic analysis, it is possible to

    Measure the percentage of natural products compared to synthetic products;
    Identify adulteration;
    Certify a product to obtain ecolabels.
    Carbon-14 is an indicator of the bio-based carbon content of your products. We can analyse your materials at all stages of manufacture: from R&D to finished products, including the qualification of a supplier or a formulation.

    Thermoluminescence dating, a method for heated minerals

    If carbon 14 dating is one of the most used techniques for organic materials, our scientists also offer thermoluminescence dating (TL and OSL) dedicated to heated minerals, such as terracotta, ceramics, porcelain, earthenware.

    Thanks to state-of-the-art equipment, we carry out thermoluminescence tests in the laboratory.

    The thermoluminescence test, a dating technique for heated minerals 

    For thermoluminescence dating, we use a state-of-the-art TL-OSL LexsygSmart instrument to obtain fast, reliable and accurate results.

    It is possible to carry out an age test on objects and works of art made of terracotta or ceramics. Thermoluminescence dating (TL/OSL) is one of the dating techniques used by CIRAM laboratories.