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Subject: Removing pressure sensitive tape from paper

Removing pressure sensitive tape from paper

From: Grace White <grace.white<-at->
Date: Friday, December 20, 2013
Grace White <grace.white<-at->duke<.>edu> writes

>I am in the process of treating a chromolithograph map from 1890 on
>thin, brittle paper that is almost like newsprint.  It has extensive
>transparent pressure-sensitive tape on the front and back.  ...
....
>For solvents, I have tested water, ethanol, acetone and toluene.
>Acetone applied directly with a cotton swab moderately softens the
>adhesive to allow insertion of a knife beneath the carrier, ...

I have received many helpful suggestions by email for removing this
difficult tape and adhesive.  For the benefit of the DistList, I
will repeat them here.

For removing the carrier (which is the foremost problem in this
case):

    Heat spatula while working over a hot plate or heating pad
    Solvents while working over a hot plate or heating pad
    Sanding the carrier to allow more solvent penetration
    Solvent vapor chambers
    Solvent gels (e.g. Gellan gum)
    Solvents, including mixtures of:

        petroleum ether (benzine)
        MEK (methyl ethyl ketone)
        THF (tetrahydrofuran)
        xylene
        trichloroethylene
        ethyl acetate
        n-heptane
        methylene chloride

For removing residual adhesive:

    Sponge or crepe eraser while the map is held stable by a suction
    table or platen
    Sponge or crepe eraser while the map is held stable by temporary
    mends
    Cellulose powder to assist in removal
    powder or thin tissue to cover remaining tacky areas
    Working with solvent over suction

Thank you to everyone who has offered ideas.  I'll have lots of
things to try after the holidays.

Grace White
Conservator for Special Collections
Duke University Libraries
Preservation Mailbox #90189
Durham NC 27708
919-660-5906
Fax: 919-684-2855


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:27
                Distributed: Saturday, December 21, 2013
                       Message Id: cdl-27-27-001
                                  ***
Received on Friday, 20 December, 2013

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