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Subject: Paint for microfilm cabinets

Paint for microfilm cabinets

From: Sally Shelton <libsdnhm>
Date: Friday, June 17, 1994
A footnote to the discussion on steel cabinets and paints...When the
wildlife collections at Texas A&M flooded, the lowest tier of cases was
completely immersed. The response was to drain the cases and freeze them
immediately, after which they were eventually freeze-dried with their
contents. An unforeseen consequence of this action (which did save most
of the specimens) was severe paint loss on many of the cases. All cases
were not affected, and there was not a strong pattern of loss on the
ones which were. We found that some manufacturers (especially of the
older cases) tended to subcontract the painting and did not have the
quality control over the materials or processes that they claimed to. In
addition, they or their painters often did not adequately clean the oil
film from the steel surface before painting. I do have to say that this
was a form of paint durability testing that I do not recommend. The
powder-painted cabinets I have seen look very good indeed and I believe
that the quality control is also good. It pays to find out how much
control your manufacturer retains over the whole process. The cases
which lost 35% or more of their paint are severely compromised in their
ability to protect the collections.

Sally Shelton Collections
Conservation Specialist
San Diego Natural History Museum

                   Conservation DistList Instance 8:3
                  Distributed: Tuesday, June 21, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-8-3-003
Received on Friday, 17 June, 1994

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