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Subject: FTIR


From: Sue Gatenby <sue.gatenby<-a>
Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Valerie Tomlinson <vtomlinson<-a t->aucklandmuseum< . >com> writes

>I am looking into getting an FTIR for our conservation lab, and
>would like ask list members for advice.  What makes and models of
>FTIR are people using in their conservation setting?  Are there
>particular models that are recommended?  Are there any
>recommendations on capabilities and add-ons that are
>necessary/highly recommended for museum conservation labs? What sort
>of library of spectra would be required?  What are the uses you use
>it for?

I also saw the Bruker FTIR at ICOM-CC and was impressed with its
size, portability, non-destructive testing and the fact that you
just needed to place object next to it to run a scan.  But was
unsure about its reference library capabilities.

I am presently using the Perkin Elmer FTIR with UATR attachment
which the museum has had for about 10 years.  Originally we were
intended to use it with a Fibre optic probe for testing on larger
objects.  But it was incapable of working with this attachment.  So
we returned it.  This system was originally purchased for the
identification of plastics; I have also used it for identification
of dyes and conservation materials quality testing.  I also have
purchased a number of reference libraries for plastics and additives
which I have added to the search mode.

It is a good system but can only really handle thin materials or
otherwise you will need to take a sample.  It only takes a measure
of the surface but I have never had any problems with dust.  It can
be difficult to identify unknown materials even using the reference
libraries most of these libraries have been set up for commercial
purposes and some of the materials we find in the museum collection
are not represented.  Therefore we are collecting samples to set up
our own reference library.  This system also has a really useful
compare function.

I find the system often frustrating because sometimes it is not very
user friendly and difficult to identify museum materials and
deteriorating materials.  I think that it would be difficult to find
a system which is easy to use particularly for non-technical staff
members.  You will need to devote a fair amount for system, learning
the system and its particularities.  I have thought about upgrading
our system but have not looked into it.

I think you need to ask yourself what type of materials you will be
looking for and check out the conservation literature to see what
results successes and failures FTIR has for these materials.  I can
only comment on plastics and their additives and textile dyes.

Sue Gatenby
Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
500 Harris Street, Ultimo
Sydney NSW 2007
+61 2 92170269

                  Conservation DistList Instance 28:25
                 Distributed: Friday, November 21, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-28-25-002
Received on Wednesday, 19 November, 2014

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