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Subject: ISO update for imaging materials

ISO update for imaging materials

From: Douglas W. Nishimura <dwnpph<-a>
Date: Friday, September 30, 2005
ISO Image stability and physical properties update.

We just finished four days of ISO meetings for technical committee
42/working group 5 (TC42/WG5) responsible for the physical
properties and permanence of imaging materials. We meet twice a year
(generally)--in the spring and the fall so it seemed like a good
time to do my annual update. (Usually I'm working at it while
waiting for trick-or-treaters at Halloween so I'm ahead of my usual
update time.) I'll start with the relevant highlights and then
review the status of the standards of interest to this group.

As many of you will recall, working group 5 requested and was
granted a reserved block of 100 consecutive standard numbers
starting with 18901 and ending at 19000. One advantage was that it
allowed an easy conversion from the ANSI standard (which we no
longer produce) numbers to ISO numbers. ISO normally numbered their
standards consecutively, but it made it difficult to find our
standards. A standard for the storage of film might be numbered
between the standards for hip replacement hardware and refrigerated
trucks for the transportation of food. However, the American
standard that was IT9.01 became ISO 18901 and IT9.02 became ISO
18902 (notice the pattern?). However we have now finished converting
all of the ANSI standards belonging to ANSI committee IT9 (also
responsible for the permanence and physical properties of imaging
materials) to ISO standards. This process took several years as each
document had to undergo an international balloting process. The
highlights seem to be best to put in reverse order of how far along
the document is in the process (so newly published standards first;
standards being drafted last.)

Another reminder is about the process. We start at the lowest level
working on working drafts. Usually these have been dealt with within
task groups that are the sub-group below the working group. Unlike
most standards groups, our task groups have a much longer life and
deal with more standards documents. The usual procedure that other
groups do is identify a document that people express an interest in
working on. A temporary group is formed by a project leader and this
team exists only as long as it takes to get the document produced.
(So project teams form and disappear fairly quickly.)  Once our task
group is satisfied with a document, it is sent through the working
group convener to a committee ballot. Once the document has passed a
committee level ballot it goes to DIS ballot (draft international
standard) and from there to an FDIS (final draft international
standard) ballot. At the ISO (committee) level and above, ballots
are dealt with by country and there are 12 countries who have
expressed interest in our standards (although not all of them send
regular representatives.) Each country designates someone as their
country's expert and they are ultimately the person who's vote
counts at the ISO level. However, there can be a number of people
representing the technical advisory group for that country (all have
to be members of that country's national standards organization) and
they would send their comments to the designated expert. So the
system is quite complicated. However, the thing to remember is
working draft to committee draft to Draft International Standard to
Final Draft International Standard to publication.


    ISO 18934, Imaging materials-Multiple media archives-Storage
    environment has just been published. This standard was written
    to aid institutions who have no choice but to store a variety of
    imaging materials together and who need to figure out what
    storage temperature and humidity to chose as a best fit
    compromise for all of the materials stored together. It is in no
    way intended to endorse the idea of mixing collections, but was
    created as a result of the working group's recognition of the
    realities of institutional collections. It is not intended to
    replace the individual standards for the storage of specific

    ISO 18932, Imaging materials--Adhesives--Specifications for use
    This document is a revision of the former ANSI/PIMA IT4-20-1998,
    For Photography (Processing)--Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive
    Systems for Use in Mounting Photographs and ANSI/NAPM
    IT4-21-1997, For Photography--Thermally  Activated Adhesive
    Dry-Mounting Systems for Mounting Photographs. NAPM (National
    Association of Photographic Manufacturers) is the National
    Secretariat for ANSI and ISO TC42. They changed their name to
    PIMA in 1997 or 1998. More recently they joined with a digital
    industry organization and became I3A (International Imaging
    Industry Association). Anyway, the combined standards were
    updated and modified to produce ISO 18932 which was published in
    February 2005.

    ISO 18933, Magnetic tape--Care and handling is theoretically at
    the printers, although it has been a bit slow  and powers higher
    up the line are going to give it a little push to try to get it
    out as soon as possible. This document is half of duet with ISO
    18923 Polyester base magnetic tape- Storage practices. As the
    titles indicate, 18923 deals with storage issues while 18933
    deals with other preservation issues for tape.

    Just for the record, ISO 18909 Processed photographic colour
    films and paper prints--Methods for measuring image stability is
    also theoretically at the printers. It, like 18933, seems to be
    stuck so it will also get a push to get it moving. This document
    was intended to serve as a temporary measure until we could get
    individual standards for each test method prepared. The group
    recognized that some of the documents would be quite problematic
    to deal with and would take quite a bit of time to prepare so we
    made some modifications to what amounted to ANSI IT9.9 and
    pushed it quickly through the system to try to get at least
    something (though far from perfect) out. While this is a test
    methods standard, I raise it simply because WG5 has been
    publicly criticized in the popular press for not getting a
    standard for testing the stability of digital images out
    quickly. I should point out that we have been compared to ASTM
    (that got out a standard for light testing of ink jet quite
    quickly.) In our defence, I will point out that the ASTM
    standard does what it was intended to do, but not what is wanted
    by the field for the ISO standard. The ASTM test is strictly
    comparative and makes no predictions. In addition, irradiance
    (power per area--usually watts per square meter) are specified
    at two or three wavelengths and a black panel temperature is
    specified. All other specifications are optional. (If you can
    set the RH in the test unit, set it to x. If you can set the air
    temperature in the chamber, then set it to y.) therefore you
    can't cross compare results from run to run or lab to lab. This
    is no criticism of what ASTM produced. The additional parameters
    aren't critical to a comparative test such as they are trying to
    do. The difference is being charged with the job of producing a
    car for a soap box derby versus a car to race in the
    Indianapolis 500. Both may perform ideally for their
    application, but one can't expect to produce a good Indy car in
    the time it would take to design and build a soapbox derby car.
    (Now I'll get off *my* soapbox.)

    ISO 18902 Processed photographic films, papers and
    plates--Filing enclosures and storage containers is being
    updated with an expanded scope. It has moved very quickly from
    the working draft stage to a committee ballot and I hope that it
    continues to progress as quickly through the rest of the ISO
    process. An attempt is being made to simplify the document to
    make it more user friendly.

    ISO 18916 Processed photographic materials--Photographic
    activity test for enclosure materials (Currently designated ISO
    14523 before we got our reserved block of numbers) is being
    updated (largely because it's due for it's five-year review.) It
    has also passed quite quickly through the working draft stage up
    to committee draft.

    ISO 18920  Processed reflection prints--Storage practices is
    also being revised right now. A working draft is being
    considered at the moment and with any luck, it can be passed on
    to a committee draft ballot with only minor editing. Largely, an
    attempt is being made to bring the standard more closely in line
    with the film storage standard (ISO 18911) so that
    recommendations for similar types of materials will be the same
    in both documents. In addition, the title of this document needs
    to be modified since ink-jet, dye diffusion transfer, and
    electrophotographic prints aren't exactly what we would call
    "processed reflection prints," although I have to admit that we
    expanded the scope in the last edition without fixing the title.

Status of standards of interest

    ISO 18901:2002  Processed silver-gelatine type black-and-white
    films--Specifications for stability This is the standard that
    contains the physical and chemical properties required for a
    film to get the LE 100 rating (for acetate base films) or LE 500
    (for polyester base films) including residual silver and
    residual hypo limits for processed film. In addition to
    specifications, this standard contains the test methods for all
    required tests except residual hypo (which are contained in ISO
    18917.) There is no current activity on this document (although
    it should be up for its five-year review soon.)

    ISO 18902:2001 Imaging materials--Processed photographic films,
    plates and papers--Filing enclosures and storage containers This
    document is undergoing its five-year review process and is being
    revised as mentioned above.

    ISO 18906:2000 Imaging materials--Photographic
    films--Specifications for safety film. This standard defines
    what requirements make safety film safety film. It includes a
    field test in an annex, although annexes are not considered to
    be part of the official standard (the field test is a burn
    test.) There is no activity on this document currently.

    ISO 18911:2000 Imaging materials--Processed safety photographic
    films--Storage practices. There is no activity currently on this
    document, although it is should be due for its five-year review

    ISO 18916 (Currently published as ISO 14523:1999)
    Photography--Processed photographic materials--Photographic
    activity test for enclosure materials. As discussed above, this
    document is currently being revised and will be republished as
    ISO 18916.

    ISO 18917:1999 Photography--Determination of residual
    thiosulfate and other related chemicals in processed
    photographic materials--Methods using iodine-amylose, methylene
    blue and silver sulfide. This is the test method document that
    goes with the residual hypo specification in ISO 18901.
    Currently there is no activity on this document, but it is due
    for its five-year review.

    ISO 18918:2000 Imaging materials--Processed photographic
    plates--Storage practices. There is currently no activity on
    this document, although like 18911, it should be due for its
    five-year review soon.

    ISO 18920:2000 Imaging materials--Processed photographic
    reflection prints--Storage practices. As discussed above, this
    document is currently being revised following its five-year

    ISO 18923:2000 Imaging materials--Polyester-base magnetic
    tape--Storage practices. There is currently no activity on this
    document, but it should be due for its five-year review soon.

    ISO 18925:2002 Imaging materials--Optical disc media--Storage
    practices. There is currently no activity on this document.

    ISO 18928:2002 Imaging materials--Unprocessed photographic films
    and papers--Storage practices. There is currently no activity on
    this document.

    ISO 18929:2003 Imaging materials--Wet-processed silver-gelatin
    type black-and-white photographic reflection
    prints--Specifications for dark storage. THere is currently no
    activity on this document. It was written because we didn't
    really have any recommendations for black-and-white
    silver-gelatin print storage back in 2000 when 18920 was
    produced. It was recognized as well, that the RC display problem
    was also an issue and that we couldn't reproduce the problem
    (repeatably) in the lab therefore this document specified that
    it was for dark storage only. It would make sense for us to
    merge this document with 18920.

    ISO 18932:2005 Imaging materials--Adhesive mounting
    systems--Specifications. This is a new document this year and is
    discussed under highlights above.

    ISO 18933 Imaging materials--Magnetic tape--Care and handling.
    This document, currently in publication, is discussed above.

    ISO 18934:2005 Imaging materials-Multiple media archives-Storage
    environment. This new document is discussed above.

    ISO 18938 Imaging materials--Optical Discs--Care and handling
    practices for extended usage. This document is currently being
    written and is still at the working draft stage. It is intended
    to be a parallel document to 18933 for optical discs rather than
    magnetic tape.

    ISO 18940 Imaging Materials--Reflection colour
    prints--Specifications for consumer-indoor stability. This is
    the document that is very slow and difficult to deal with. It
    contains the endpoints for all of the colour test method

    ISO 18942 Imaging materials--Methods for treating prints,
    negatives and transparencies after their production. This is a
    fairly new project and deals with a number of those pesky issues
    such as lacquering of prints. The difficulty with producing this
    document has been that pretty much anything relevant to the
    "post-processing" treatment of the new imaging materials all
    seem to be industrial secrets. In addition, investigating these
    issues isn't worth any money to the companies so there is no
    incentive for them to look at their own products for solubility
    problems and reactions with lacquers.

    ISO 18943 Magnetic hard drives used for image storage--Care and
    handling. This is a new project so a first draft hasn't even
    been started yet.

In the past I've limited my review comments to standards that I felt
were of interest to conservators and collection managers, but for
the curious, I'll disclose the identities of the other standards
that belong to WG5 that I've omitted mentioning. Conservation
students doing research projects may be interested in the standard
test methods available.

    ISO 18903:2002 Imaging materials--Films and paper--Determination
    of dimensional change

    ISO 18904:2000 Imaging materials--Processed films--Method for
    determining lubrication (for motion picture film)

    ISO 18905:2002 Imaging materials--Ammonia-processed diazo
    photographic film--Specifications for stability

    ISO 18907:2000 Imaging materials--Photographic films and
    papers--Wedge test for brittleness

    ISO 18908:2000 Imaging materials--Photographic
    film--Determination of folding endurance

    ISO 18910:2000 Imaging materials--Photographic film and
    paper--Determination of curl

    ISO 18912:2002 Imaging materials--Processed vesicular
    photographic film--Specifications for stability

    ISO 18913:2003 Imaging materials--Permanence--Vocabulary

    ISO 18914:2002 Imaging materials--Photographic film and
    papers--Method for determining the resistance of photographic
    emulsions to wet abrasion  (also referred to as the mushiness
    test in the industry.)

    ISO 18915:2000 Imaging materials--Methods for the evaluation of
    the effectiveness of chemical conversion of silver images
    against oxidation

    ISO 18919:1999 Imaging materials--Thermally processed silver
    microfilm --Specifications for stability

    ISO 18921:2002 Imaging materials--Compact discs (CD-ROM)--Method
    for estimating the life expectancy based on the effects of
    temperature and relative humidity

    ISO 18922:2003 Imaging materials--Processed photographic
    films--Methods for determining scratch resistance

    ISO 18924:Imaging materials--Test method for Arrhenius-type

    ISO 18926: Imaging materials--Information stored on
    magneto-optical (MO) discs--Method for estimating the life
    expectancy based on the effects of temperature and relative
    humidity (This is currently in publication)

    ISO 18927:2002 Imaging materials--Recordable compact disc
    systems--Method for estimating the life expectancy based on the
    effects of temperature and relative humidity

    ISO/TR 18930:2001 Imaging materials--Protocols for outdoor
    weathering experiments (As a technical report, this document
    will eventually either have to be withdrawn or it will have to
    become a full standard.)

    ISO/TR 18931:2001 Imaging materials--Recommendations for
    humidity measurement and control (See comments above regarding
    technical reports.)

    ISO 18935:2005 Imaging materials--Colour images on paper
    prints--Determination of indoor water resistance of printed
    colour images

    ISO 18936 Colour films and paper prints--Methods for measuring
    thermal stability (Still in progress. No published standard

    ISO 18937 Reflection colour prints--Methods for measuring light
    stability (Still in progress. No published standard yet.)

    ISO 18939 Digital hard copy for medical imaging--Methods of
    measuring permanence (In progress. No published standard yet.)

    ISO 18941 Imaging Materials--Reflection colour prints--Method
    for measuring ozone fading (In progress. No published standard

That covers all of the standards, both published and "in progress"
handled by ISO TC42/WG5.

Douglas Nishimura
Senior Research Scientist
Image Permanence Institute
Rochester Institute of Technology

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:18
                  Distributed: Friday, October 7, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-19-18-001
Received on Friday, 30 September, 2005

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