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Re: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: Sticky AGFA PEM 469

At 11:50 PM 2008-04-08, Steven Smolian wrote:
The product I heard was finally used was the bean of the jojoba (sounds like a Star Wars character) plant. That should be in the 499 mix.

I had heard that Jojoba Oil was considered as it probably more closely matches sperm whale oil than any other chemical, but I also have not had any confirmation that it actually made it into production.

I have tried jojoba oil (Trader Joe's is perhaps the best place to get it--I bought several bottles while at the AES in SF in 2006) for re-lubrication with no success. The best relubrication results have been with D5, but that is still not excellent. The nice thing about D5 is it ultimately evaporates so it won't destroy tape machines. Most other oils will end up lubricating things you don't want lubricated.

But tests that have looked for lubricants in tapes that have mis-behaved have found the lubricants, so I'm not sure at all we ever really have loss-of-lubricant. Re-lubrication works as it allows the asperities to slip by each other without stick-slip but I see it as a rubber glove for a leaky pen. It's a tool in the arsenal of the restorer when nothing else works, but I fear most of the times when we are using re-lubrication we're doing it as an expedient, not as the correct cure. I think cold playing of 3M175 and Sony PR-150 is a good cure (for now, until the Tg falls below the temp of the refrigerator).

Lubricants as well as binders can oxidize as well as hydrolize. Makes for an interesting analysis.



Steve Smolian

----- Original Message ----- From: "Charles A. Richardson" <charlesarichardson@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 8:06 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: Sticky AGFA PEM 469

Dear David:

Regarding the EPA, Whale oil, etc. In 1970 the EPA was created by Congress. In 1972 the Marine Mammal Protection Act banned hunting of whales and this was supplemented in 1982 when the UN also passed an international whale hunting ban as whales were in danger of extinction. Whale oil is a good mechanical lubricant and is used in oiling precision mechanisms such as watches and clocks, but it was never used as a binder lubricant in tape manufacture. Chemical Engineering has synthesized whale oil so as to reduce the demand for natural whale oil. There may be an after market lubricant based on either natural or synthetic whale oil which some use in attempting to "re-lubricate" a tape that has squealing problems. It is a very limited band aide short term remedy which is not approved by chemists as safe.

In 1976 the Toxic Substances Act banned the use of Polychlorinated Biphenyl chemicals or PCB's. PCBs were used as a liquid coolant in big
AC power transformers used by the electric utility companies. PCBs were used in transformers, some motors, and some capacitors. PCBs were never used in tape manufacture. There was a major environmental disaster in the 1970s when companies dumped large quantities of PCBs into the Hudson River and the James River, creating a poisoned water environment that will take centuries to remedy. Chlorine, and most of its compounds are dangerous poisons, thus they are banned unless one gets a waiver and/or an EPA license which can only be had by instituting
strict material use and disposal controls that met EPA chemical safety standards.

PVC, Polyvinyl Chloride, was used in Europe for some time by BASF and AGFA in the manufacture of their base films. Ampex used a PVC binder, but only in their 600 series of tapes. There is a major chemical problem with PVC. Any loose radical Chlorine atoms can readily combine with moisture to form Hydrochloric Acid, or HCL. When this happens, the HCL will attack the head core materials and the tape head gaps, which drastically shortens head life and causes major problems in the head gap area. So for both environmental problems of handling Chlorine, and its bad habit of generating HCL and eating tape heads, PVC was dropped from tape manufacture, decades ago, with the exception of its continued use for decades in the Ampex 600 series tape binder chemistry.

The seeds of the disaster that have lead to Sticky Shed Syndrome arise in tape maker chemical changes of the 1970s, is an important and interesting story. I do not believe that the government had anything to do with these tape chemical changes. They were done by tape makers for various reasons unrelated to government regulation.

Hope this helps.

Charles Richardson

On Apr 5, 2008, at 6:25 PM, David Lennick wrote:

I will stand corrected if that's the case, but that was what I heard at the time.


Tom Fine wrote:
Hi David:
Are you sure the whale oil story is true. I was told it is mythology and that the real story is that certain solvents couldn't be used in the manufacturing process anymore.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message ----- From: "David Lennick" <dlennick@xxxxxxxxxxxx
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, April 05, 2008 12:04 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: Sticky AGFA PEM 469
"Environmental law changes forced most tape manufactures to change  the
formula of their binder in the early 70's."

Read: They used to use whale oil, then they went to synthetic.

Richard L. Hess email: richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.

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