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Subject: Plastics and storage

Plastics and storage

From: Ann Swartzell <aswartze>
Date: Wednesday, September 21, 1994
This is posted on behalf of Maryly Snow <slides [at] ced__berkeley__edu>

    I need some advice on the relative merits of three different plastic
    materials, ABS, polycarbonate, and phenolics.

    I am in the process of converting 432 card catalog drawers to slide
    library drawers. The drawer inserts have been milled out of wood;
    the earthquake/drawer stops have been finished. Now I need 6,950
    dividers. These are small rectangular chips that divide the drawer
    inserts into slide-sized sections. Since the milling wasn't done
    exactly, the dividers will vary plus or minus 1/16 of an inch,
    meaning that whatever material I choose will have to be trimmable.
    This rules out acrylic, as it is brittle and could shatter under the
    paper cutter or mat knife. This raises the question of the next best
    material to use for the dividers. There is polycarbonate, which can
    be cut, but isn't as clean as acrylic. There is ABS, which is
    chemical and shatter resistant and is cutable, but is it clean? And
    there is high density laminate, or phenolic. I believe that Library
    Bureau (manufacturer of slide cabinets) uses paper phenolic.

    Does anyone know which is more archival, has the least outgassing
    and and is still cutable? Polycarbonate, ABS, or phenolic? Since 16
    dividers will be in each drawer, and each drawer will hold 250 35mm
    slides, I need a material that is safe to use with film emulsion and
    in a library.

    Maryly Snow
    Architecture Slide Library
    University of California, Berkeley

Ann Swartzell

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:22
               Distributed: Wednesday, September 28, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-8-22-005
Received on Wednesday, 21 September, 1994

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