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Subject: Sintra board

Sintra board

From: Karen Potje <kpotje<-a>
Date: Monday, July 28, 2014
Jennifer Kim <jkim<-a t->theautry< . >org> writes

>Sintra has been failing our Oddy tests.  Our last "Sintra" sample
>(manufactured by 3A Composites) that passed Oddy testing was in Feb
>2011.  Since January of this year, we have tested recent batches of
>Sintra and Celtec brands of expanded PVC board 3 times and all
>samples have failed.  Our distributor, Laird Plastics, is the same
>since the passing 2011 sample.  Our Oddy procedure has not changed,
>and the conservator performing the tests is the same.  Our sample
>sizes are approximately 1cm cubes.

I am also interested in the issue of Sintra failing Oddy tests.
About 10 years ago I corresponded about Sintra with Jean Tetreault,
Conservation Scientist at the Canadian Conservation Institute, and
with Cecily Grzywacz, then Conservation Scientist at the Getty.  We
were considering using Sintra to construct exhibition cases for an
exhibition of photographs.  Jean and Cecily had different opinions.

At the time Cecily told me:  "Sintra releases low levels of
formaldehyde.  While this is not a problem in some situations, for
albumen prints I would definitely stay away from it.  The
formaldehyde can alter the albumin and cause damage."

Jean said that he did not see too much problem with solid PVC.  He
considered the risk of the plastic breaking down to be less than
off-gassing of paints or wood during exhibitions over 5 years.  For
long-term or permanent use he advised against using it, but for
short term use he considered it to be acceptable.

I have corresponded with Cecily recently and she is still concerned
about the release of formaldehyde.  I haven't heard back yet from
Jean to find out if he has looked at Sintra any further in recent

We sometimes use Sintra as the base for our vitrines in temporary

Karen Potje
Head, Conservation/Preservation
1920, rue Baile
Canada H3H 2S6
514-939-7001 x 1236

                  Conservation DistList Instance 28:9
                 Distributed: Saturday, August 2, 2014
                        Message Id: cdl-28-9-002
Received on Monday, 28 July, 2014

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