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Subject: Preservation of an ammonal mine

Preservation of an ammonal mine

From: Mark Vine <100436.3447>
Date: Thursday, July 26, 2001
I am posing this enquiry on behalf of a bomb disposal expert
colleague without access to the DistList.

Has anyone experience in the preservation of 1st World War ammonal
mines or allied materials? The mine in question was recently removed
from a deep and extremely wet trench, with the heavily packed and
padded-out explosive contents removed.

The question posed is what might be used to preserve the now
dried-out macintosh material (very similar to the linen backing
sometimes found backing old maps).

For those of you like myself quite unaccustomed to this sort of
thing an ammonal mine looks rather like a rolled sleeping bag-pack,
made from mackintosh material it would have originally been packed
with high explosives, sewn all round and sealed at one end with what
can only be described as a wooden press.

The wooden press part has lasted extremely well but the mackintosh
material is now very worn, yellow and extremely brittle.

The aim is to preserve the empty ammonal mine so that it can be put
on future display, these things are apparently very rare, any
guidance  would be most appreciated.

    **** Moderator's comments: For some information on ammonal
    (a mixture of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder, according to
    the Encyclopedia Britannica), see:

Mark G. Vine
Cowley, Oxford.
Fax: +44-1865-747035

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:13
                 Distributed: Wednesday, August 1, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-13-009
Received on Thursday, 26 July, 2001

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