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Subject: Evaluating materials for exhibition and storage

Evaluating materials for exhibition and storage

From: James Martin <james.s.martin>
Date: Thursday, September 28, 1995
I'd like feedback on techniques being used by subscribers to this
list for testing the suitability of materials for use in the
construction of exhibition and storage cases, how widely these tests
are being used in the field, and the specific criteria on which
materials are being judged as suitable or unsuitable.  The
conservation literature describes a few such tests which are fairly
straightforward to use and provide qualitative or semi-quantitative
data on the presence of volatile acids (Oddy and Hopwood tests),
sulfur-liberating materials (sodium azide test), and chlorine
(Beilstein test).  We use each of these tests in addition to FT-IR
and SEM-EDS for evaluating materials.

Used alone, these tests provide only a piece of the answer required
to make an informed decision about the use of a certain material.
Used in combination, these tests provide a more complete chemical
characterization of the material, but such a systematic approach
does not seem to have been directly addressed in the literature.

My interest is in initiating dialog on this topic, and eventually
developing a systematic approach for screening materials that
provides unambiguous information.  If you wish to respond to me
directly, replies will remain confidential.  Assistance with this
project is welcome. Thank you,

James Martin
Director of Analytical Services and Research
Associate Conservator of Paintings
Williamstown Art Conservation Center

                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:30
                Distributed: Friday, September 29, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-9-30-002
Received on Thursday, 28 September, 1995

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