The Institute of Paper Conservation will act as the Cooperating Body in a research project being undertaken under the direction of Dr. Derek Priest at the Paper Science Department of the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology (UMIST).
The aim of the project is to establish the theory and practical principles for a method of determining nondestructively the mechanical properties of paper in a book, for use in condition surveys of library books. (The method currently used almost everywhere is to fold a corner back and forth by hand--very inexact. The fold test gives quite variable results even when it is done in a paper lab after the paper has been properly conditioned. Still, it may give a good idea of how the paper will stand up to normal use.)
A portable ultrasonic sensor, used with a portable computer, may be developed, based on the sensors already in use in paper mills for online readings of paper strength while it is still on the machine. A graduate student will work on the project for three years from September 1990.