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Subject: Microcrystalline wax

Microcrystalline wax

From: Barbara Appelbaum <aandh>
Date: Tuesday, April 13, 1999
Yangsook Choe <ysc [at] foremalsvard__bd__se> writes

>I would like to hear your experiences and to discuss, for
>example, about a best temperature for the best results and how you
>applying it and why?, etc. I am also interested in any tips for
>books and articles about this subject.

There has been considerable discussion about the relative merits of
wax vs. resins for coatings of metal objects with corrosion
problems.  An article (Dana Moffett, "Wax coatings on ethnographic
metal objects: justifications for allowing a tradition to wane,"
JAIC 35 1996-1-7) makes the anti-wax case, that it is very difficult
to remove completely and therefore complicates additional treatment.
It of course also promotes dust accumulation.  It may be that the
case in favor of resins has been weakly presented because
conservators are so fond of using B-72 for everything, even when a
different resin might be better;  B-72 is not a good moisture
barrier, so its performance in this case may not be optimal.

In other words, I think you should reconsider routine wax coatings.
This is not to say that you shouldn't be doing it at all.  Every
situation has its own requirements, and every treatment material has
pluses and minuses.

B. Appelbaum

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:81
                  Distributed: Tuesday, April 20, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-81-009
Received on Tuesday, 13 April, 1999

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