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Subject: Acrylic coated board

Acrylic coated board

From: Cathy Aster <aster>
Date: Friday, December 15, 2000
I'd like to know if anyone who has responsibility for the
preservation of archival collections is contemplating or has decided
to make the switch to using manuscript boxes constructed from
acrylic coated board.  I've obtained the MSDS from Metal Edge West
for the acrylic coated board they are currently using.  Although the
ingredients seem to have an extremely low toxicity, the chemical
composition of "Micryl 763R" by Michelman, Inc appears to be
proprietary information.  Metal Edge also paid IPI to conduct
physical degradation and PAT testing; Metal Edge will provide the
testing results with that explanation to interested parties.

The primary issues I am weighing include:

    1.  Does the acrylic coating provide enough water repellence to
        warrant the extra cost (approximately 14% more than the
        standard grey-white board)?  It appears that extra
        protection would be gained by water dripping from above, but
        if water poured in around the boxes in any great quantity,
        an entry point is still available in the seams on the bottom
        edges of the box--although the box board itself would afford
        a measure of water resistance.

    2.  Is it obsessive to be concerned about the reduced air
        exchange that may occur between the box contents (sitting
        unused on a shelf) and the storage environment due to the
        acrylic coating?  Could that have any negative effects?

    3.  One of the primary selling points seems to be the "look" of
        the box board, and the obvious protection from fingerprints
        and general soil appearing on the outside of the box.  Sends
        a good message to the patron/user about how we care for our

Cathy Aster
Head of Preservation Services
Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-6010

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:33
                 Distributed: Monday, December 18, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-14-33-019
Received on Friday, 15 December, 2000

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