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Subject: Compact storage of wet collections

Compact storage of wet collections

From: Robert Waller <rwaller>
Date: Friday, June 30, 2000
Sue Valis <suev [at] austmus__gov__au> writes

>I would be very interested to hear if anyone has information on the
>possible detrimental effects of compactus movement on wet natural
>science specimens, caused either by the vibration of the compactus
>unit, or just by the motion of the preservation solution while the
>compactus is in use.

We considered the risk of physical damage to fluid preserved
specimens due to shock and vibration during compactor use, with the
help of advice from Paul Marcon of the Canadian Conservation
Institute.  Our conclusion was that the risk of physical damage due
to repeated movement of compactor shelves is trivial and
insignificant.  This is due to the low accelerations involved (even
when compactor units are bumped together the instantaneous
acceleration at a jar is small) and because the fluid provides
specimens with excellent viscous dampening against shock and
vibration.  Also, fluid-preserved collections are subject to much
more significant risks in terms of sub-optimal fluid levels and
concentrations, contaminants, physical damage due to crowding within
jars, (in some cases) light exposure, and so on.

Robert Waller
Chief, Conservation
Canadian Museum of Nature
Box 3443, Station D
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6P4

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:3
                  Distributed: Thursday, July 6, 2000
                        Message Id: cdl-14-3-005
Received on Friday, 30 June, 2000

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