Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Soluble nylon

Soluble nylon

From: Deborah Rohan <deborah.rohan>
Date: Thursday, June 14, 2001
Peter N. Krantz <bkfndrs [at] ozemail__com__au> writes

>We recently acquired a few rolls of soluble nylon, a
>Tyvek/Reemay-looking random weave, but which tears very easily
>between the fingers.  It dissolves in alcohol, and melts under heat.
>It is used as both a resizing agent, and also as a heat-activated
>adhesive. These rolls were acquired from a retired conservator, who
>was active during the nineteen eighties.
>Our question:  Is this substance still considered of suitable
>conservation-standard, as an adhesive and resizing agent?

When I was training in 1982, soluble nylon was mostly 'out,' and
I've never heard that it's come back in. I believe the original
prohibition on its use was based on research done with textiles
where it had been used as a consolidant, and had, over a decade or
two, turned yellow and insoluble--and therefore irremovable--due to
cross-linking of the polymer.

A few conservators and conservation scientists argued that no proper
research had been done on its behaviour with paper or other archive
material, but most took the textile evidence as showing an
unsuitable quality for permanent consolidation. The only time I've
used it myself was on a visit to another office, where they had many
fire-damaged books, and were using soluble nylon round the charred
edges to prevent bits breaking off; the conservator said nothing
else had both the strength and flexibility for the job. It would be
worth checking whether any further research has been done.

Deborah Rohan, Cambs. Archives Service

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:3
                  Distributed: Thursday, June 14, 2001
                        Message Id: cdl-15-3-008
Received on Thursday, 14 June, 2001

[Search all CoOL documents]

URL: http://