Solvent Solver: A Calculator for Working with Teas Fractional Solubility Parameters

Written by Mark Ormsby
National Archives and Records Administration

Download Solvent Solver (.zip)
Databasei (.zip file) - (updated Nov 2006, see note below)

This program is a tool for using the Teas fractional solubility parameter system in conservation applications. The program's calculations are based on Teas' model, which makes a number of assumptions and simplifications. The solubility parameters that the program uses and calculates are approximations based on this model. They are not physical constants (such as boiling point, density, etc.), and some solvents have different solubility parameters listed by various references. The limitations of Teas' system should be considered when using this program and interpreting the results. In particular, note that Teas' approach does not consider acid/base reactions, and it uses a simplified treatment of hydrogen bonding. Although water is included in the program's list of solvents, users are cautioned that Teas' model may not adequately describe the solvent and solubility behavior of water mixtures. For more information please see the articles listed in the References section. The Solvent Solver program was written in Visual Basic by Mark Ormsby, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). It is freeware, distributed at no cost, and users are welcome to copy and share it. The program was suggested by NARA conservators Elissa O'Loughlin (now at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD) and Alan Puglia (now at the Houghton Library, Harvard, Boston, MA).

Instructions for Installing the Solvent Solver Program

This program runs under any version of Windows from Windows 95 onward.

To install the program double click on the file SETUP.EXE on the Solvent Solver installation CD. The program will guide you through the rest of the installation as it sets up the program on your hard drive. This process should only take a minute or less.

After the installation is finished you can run the Solvent Solver program by first clicking on the Start button. Under Programs find Solvent Solver and click on it to show the green beaker labeled Solvent Solver. Double click on the beaker to run the program.

Update for users outside the US (Nov 2006)

The Solvent Solver program, available for download on Conservation OnLine, was written under Windows 98. Recently, Marko Mard of Evtek University of Applied Science in Finland identified a problem when running the program under Windows XP. When a solvent was selected from a list the program stopped and displayed "Runtime error 13, Type mismatch." The problem is that the program uses a period to indicate decimal numbers while the Windows configuration run by the group in Finland uses a comma.

To resolve this issue, a new database file was created that has commas in place of periods. The file "solvent solver database 1.0.txt" can be downloaded by clicking the link above. This new file should be written over the original database file that was created when the program was installed. Users who have not encountered the "Type mismatch" problem do not need to make any changes.

Thank you to Marko Mard of the Evtek Help Desk for identifying the problem and finding the solution.

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