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Subject: Polyvinyl alcohol

Polyvinyl alcohol

From: Lisa Mibach <mibach>
Date: Saturday, February 28, 1998
On behalf of Rob Proctor, Sara McElroy
<smcelroy [at] utxvms__cc__utexas__edu> writes

>This question is in reference to the stability and aging
>properties of polyvinyl alcohol. I think I've heard recently of
>some re-evaluation of these properties, especially pertaining to
>cross-linking, becoming less soluble over time, etc.  Can anyone
>help me with this?

In the late sixties this was considered to be a "wonder drug"
because of its working properties and easily controlled appearance.
However, by the early 70's a number of conservators had discovered
that it became insoluble very quickly (e.g. within a few days!) and
its use was pretty well dropped because the field was small enough
for word of mouth to be efficient and sufficient.

That is obviously no longer the case, and it may be that pvOH is a
different animal now than it was then.  It would be nice if someone
could do some methodical testing on the pvOH(s) available today;
until then I would stay far,far away from it unless you are looking
for permanence similar to that of concrete.

Lisa Mibach
Heritage Resource Management
1-29 Cambridge St. North
Ottawa, ON K1R 7A4 Canada

                  Conservation DistList Instance 11:74
                   Distributed: Friday, March 6, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-11-74-009
Received on Saturday, 28 February, 1998

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