Student Projects Recently Completed

Wendy Smith, Lecturer in Paper Conservation at the University of Canberra in Australia, wrote in November that six students had just completed their projects. They are listed below, with abstracts supplied by Ms. Smith. She says that for access conditions to the full reports, contact should be made to the Secretary, National Centre for Cultural Heritage Science Studies, Faculty of Applied Science, University of Canberra, PO Box 1, Belconnen, ACT, Australia, 2616.

1. Water soluble coloured pencils (Samantha Shellard). Eight different products over a range of seven colors were tested for their ability to withstand color change on exposure to light. A range of light stabilities was found. No one brand performed consistently well (or badly) over the range of colors tested. The "wash" samples were more fugitive than the normal pencil mode.

2. Self adhesive photograph albums (Detlev Lueth). Five currently available albums were tested. All used acrylic adhesive and the plastic cover sheets were polypropylene. Four out of the five had inner boards that were heavily positive for lignin (although the actual covering paper was negative). The fifth album was sold as having "quality acid-free pages." The pH of the inner boards ranged from 6.2 to 8.9. All albums failed the Photographic Activity Test (ANSI IT9.16).

3. Use of Chinese scroll mounting brushes in paper conservation (Diana Coop). Results were not conclusive, but generally the Chinese brushes performed satisfactorily. Their price is much less than that of similar purpose Japanese brushes.

4. Fixatives for pastel drawings (Amanda Larratt). Nine commercial products, as well as conservtion products Paraloid B72 and Klucel G were applied to artists' pastel samples. They were examined for fixing strength and for color change both on application and after aging by heat and light. Generally, the greatest fixing strength was accompanied by the greatest change in color. Paraloid B72 consistently performed the best of the materials tested, with Micador Workable Fixer being the best of the commercial products.

5. Use of surfactants in paper conservation (Alice Cannon). Lissapol TN450 and Orvus paste were applied to a range of modern papers. Tests established that both surfactants removed dirt more effectively than water alone. However, significant residue was left on the paper, particularly with the Orvus paste, and there was a considerable reduction in tensile strength following accelerated aging.

6. Stability and effectiveness of ultraviolet stabilised glazing materials (Narelle Jarry). Ultraviolet stabilized polycarbonates gave the lowest transmission of ultraviolet radiation. After 500 hours exposure to light in a QUV Weatherometer, only minor changes in UV transmittance occurred in all acrylics tested, and effectively no change occurred in the polycarbonates. The percentage of UV transmitted at 390 nm by the polycarbonates (no more than 10% in any sample) was very much lower than that of the acrylics (50-85%). Initially, stabilized glass had a relatively low transmission at less than 30%, but this rose to over 40% after the 500 hours aging.

Robert C. Morrison announced in the Conservation DistList February 13 that a student report on pith (Tsuso) paper, by Lisa Stoddart, was available for a small charge from: National Centre for the Conservation of Cultural Materials, Conservation Materials Course, Faculty of Applied Science, University of Canberra, PO Box 1, Belconnen ACT 2616, Australia, Attn: Mrs. J. Wigg (

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