Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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silica gel

A colloidal form of silica, available in the form of pale amber colored highly absorbent granules. and used as a dehumidifier. It is generally kept in small cloth hags near objects on display or in storage that are prone to cockling or other damage. By absorbing moisture from the atmosphere. silica gel helps prevent formation of mold, softening of water-soluble coatings, cockling, warping, etc. When saturated, it can he dried by heating. Sometimes color-coded particles are added which change color when the gel has become saturated. It is also available in an air-floated, extremely fine powder form that is useful for adding slip resistance to coating, and dulling effects to varnish and similar finishes.

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