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Subject: Excel binding

Excel binding

From: Harry Campbell <hcamp>
Date: Wednesday, April 24, 1991
In 1985 our binder (GBC) began providing Excel style binding on our
serials (20,000+ per year).  All have the wide hinges, and all -- except
for recased and some STF items -- have square backs.  At that time we
also asked GBC to bind the heavy serials flush at the tail, assuming
this would improve the book's ability to stand comfortably on the shelf.
The binder agreed to provide this feature for a small upcharge, but
suggested that if we had all serials bound flush, they would do it for
free.  We accepted the offer.

  As I've watched these volumes age I've noticed that the low-use items
stand perfectly at ease on the shelf, with little or no sign of stress
on the structure or change in shape.  Volumes that receive heavy use
exhibit all of the normal signs of wear and tear.  Some bindings
probably fail because of structural problems, and some from over-use and
abuse.  I assume, however, that the failure or de- formation of these
bindings is somewhat delayed because they are bound flush, and the
structure has a chance to rest on the shelf between uses.

  Other features of these bindings seem to generally improve the way the
whole structure operates.  The square backs are very "openable" and the
wide hinges, although flexible, provide a very durable attachment of
cover to text.  Again, I suspect these other features would not work so
well without the flush binding.

  In my opinion, the real problem continues to be the need for a binding
structure that can withstand photocopying.  I feel the Excel style
offers the strength and flexibility required, in terms of the shape and
the cover-to-text attachment.  The biggest problem with these, and other
styles of binding, would seem to be the lack of success of double-fan
adhesive leaf attachment.

  Most of our non-STF serials are adhesive bound, and although most hold
up very well, the volumes we see failing at the photocopier are the
adhesive bound items.  It has been my observation that when a flexible
volume is flattened on a copier, there is simply not enough glue between
the pages to hold them together.  Perhaps a heavier lining or notching
might, in some cases, help strengthen the leaf attachment, but when a
heavy volume is opened flat on a table or pressed  flat on a copier -
especially if the paper is at all stiff or slick - the tendency is for
the pages to come apart at the opening, leaving only the glue on the
edge holding the paper to the lining, which is not a very strong
attachment.  Last year we asked our binder to stop notching for exactly
this reason.  When the book is opened flat the notched pages break free
of, and ride over the glue in the notches.  Therefore at every notch,
each about one sixteenth of an inch wide, the already weak
paper-edge-to-lining attachment is gone - further weakening the
attachment of the whole page.

  At this point, however, there are no better alternatives to double-
fan adhesive binding for many types of printed materials, no matter what
style of binding is used.

  In most cases, the Excel binding seems to have performed well here
over the last six years.  I am convinced that a major reason for its
relative success is the flush tail.  Without this feature it probably
would be vulnerable to deformation and failure - perhaps even more so
than traditional library binding styles.

Harry Campbell
The Ohio State University
hcamp [at] ohstmvsa__ircc__ohio-state__edu

                  Conservation DistList Instance 4:56
                  Distributed: Sunday, April 28, 1991
                        Message Id: cdl-4-56-005
Received on Wednesday, 24 April, 1991

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