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Subject: Fire suppression Removing adhesives Dust cloths Soy ink Lasers

Fire suppression Removing adhesives Dust cloths Soy ink Lasers

From: Ellen McCrady <whenry>
Date: Tuesday, December 3, 1991
Elaine Smith inquired a couple of weeks ago about a fire suppressant for
the herbarium at LSU.  The main experts I look to for this sort of thing
are John Morris (Managing the Library Fire Risk, Univ. Calif. 1979; also
"Fire Protection for the Library," in The Construction Specifier, 42
#10, 1989, p. 133-141) and Bill Lull (Conservation Environment
Guidelines for Libraries and Archives, 88 pp., $10 from NY State
Library, Attn: T. Allen, 10- C-47 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY
12230).  They both endorse wet-pipe systems for suppression.  Halon has
two drawbacks not seen when it was first adopted:  It does have an
effect on health of people who are in the room when it goes off, and the
gas destroys the ozone layer.  Dry pipe systems are less reliable,
leaking more often.  Carbon dioxide will put out the fire, but it puts
people out too if they are caught in the room when it goes off.

Don't forget that fire protection has to include smoke or heat detectors
too, and valuable facilities should be electronically connected with
Security or the fire department.  Etc.  Read all about it in the above

Jim Mason asked about dried adhesive.  I used to cope with this in my
days as a bookbinder, but have never read anything from the conservation
literature on it.  I found that if the substrate was impervious to oil,
as book covers often are if coated and not worn or cracked, you can put
oil on it, and the stuff softens sometimes to the point where it can be
rubbed off.  Repeated applications and long soaking times may be
necessary.  Heat, such as the light from a light bulb, can make the
residue more soluble and softer.  With other adhesives, we found that
freezing them to make them more brittle could enable them to be cracked
or pried off of whatever they were attached to.  If you can find a
solvent that affects the adhesive but not the cover, you can use the
"bottle trick" explained by Bob Futernick in the 1984 Book & Paper Group
Annual and reprinted in the Jan. 1987 Abbey Newsletter--at least on the
flat parts of the cover.  But if the adhesive has cross-linked
extensively, sometimes you have to admit that nothing can be done.

Pete Jermann inquired about dust cloths.  Michele Cloonan had several
types of dust cloths tested by McCrone Associates before the Newberry
moved its collections into the new wing, and reported the results in the
Abbey Newsletter about 8 years ago, but I still had certain mental
reservations about the method of choosing the cloth.  For one thing, no
one asked the custodians to try them out and report on results, and no
one asked whether they made your hands greasy.  A dust cloth that got
praise from conservators was in the conservation literature not long
ago, the "Dust Bunny," used by printers.  Then the manufacturer or
proprietor sold it to another company, which upped the price and
probably felt they could get away with it, because it won a prize of
some sort.  It is available from Modern Solutions Inc., 6370 Copps Ave.,
Madison, WI 53716 (800/288-2023).  (Do anti-static sprays, or
anti-static treated cloths, hurt anything?)

Karen Sinkule asked about soy ink--what it was and how it is used.
Soybean oil has been on the market since 1985, replacing petroleum oil
or solvents in inks, to a greater or lesser extent depending on the kind
of ink it is.  Newspaper printing ink has the most in it.  Soybean oil
is more expensive but better quality, safer and quicker to decompose in
landfills.  There was an article on this in the Alkaline Paper Advocate
in July 1991, p. 26.

Doug Nishimura passed on an inquiry he had gotten about the use of
lasers in conservation.  The latest information I have about this topic
is from 1978 (Abbey Newsletter, Feb. 1978, p. 38).  I ran a little
summary of an article by John F. Asmus, "Light Cleaning: Laser
Technology for Surface Preparation in the Arts," Technology &
Conservation, p. 14-18, Fall 1978.  I quote: "Lasers have recently been
found useful in conservation work for cleaning fragile artifacts, even
when the surface is irregular or penetrated by the foreign matter.  By
setting or tuning the laser for a particular wave length, energy level,
degree of focus, and pulse length, and by selecting an appropriate
'cover fluid' (air, nitrogen, water, etc.), it is possible to get a very
selective action that removes only the tarnish, soot, graffiti, and so
on, without harming the artifact.  This can be done on cloth, paper,
paintings, and irregularly shaped objects like sculpture--even on
powdery leathers.  "By use of lasers, coffee stains have been removed
from paper, and fungi from leather and vellum, both remarkable
accomplishments.  Foxing, however, has so far resisted removal by laser
without damage to the paper."

                  Conservation DistList Instance 5:33
                Distributed: Saturday, December 14, 1991
                        Message Id: cdl-5-33-002
Received on Tuesday, 3 December, 1991

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