Volume 17, Number 3 .... September 1995

Technical Exchange

by Dean Yoder, Column Editor

Thermo Scanner Watch

It is the fashion accessory no conservator should be without. Casio has produced the most improbable wrist watch--a digital time keeper and an infrared radiant heat thermometer. The Casio TSR 100 Thermo Scanner watch includes an integral infrared thermo emissivity sensor. The sensor looks rather like a mini-scuba tank stuck to the right side of the otherwise normal looking watch.

I purchased the watch for $150 at a local discount store. Similar technology (in a much less wearable package, might I add) is available from Omega Engineering, Inc. for roughly double the price and up.

All infrared thermometers have features in common. They calculate an object's surface temperature by measuring the infrared radiation emitted by its surface. The amount of IR radiation in the monitored wavelength range is determined by the temperature of the object and its thermal emissivity. Thermal emissivity is a number that indicates how closely the surface resembles a perfect infrared black body radiator. A matte black surface has an emissivity of 1.0 while most other surfaces like plastics and cloth have emissivities of 0.95. Shiny metallic surfaces have a very low emissivity and cannot be accurately measured.

So what is the use of an IR thermometer? A piece of tape on your tacking iron will provide a nice emitting surface. You can then check the temperature at the working surface, not at the heating element. The surface of a painting can be measured during treatment. Heat buildup in works of art due to photographic lights can be monitored.

The Casio Thermo Scanner is pre-programmed with three different emissivity values, free (default 0.95), skin, snow and allows a fourth to be entered by the user (in the range 0.10 to 1.20 in steps of 0.05). The measurement range is from -20°C to 200°C (-4°F to 392°F) to a precision of 0.1°and can be set to display in either degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit. A measurement takes about 5-6 seconds (in the continuous scan mode, it measures every 2 seconds). It stores the last thirty measurements in memory along with the date and time of the measurement and the emissivity setting. This information is also shown on a tiny graph.

In addition to all of that, the watch keeps time, has three alarms, a countdown timer and a stopwatch.

Chris Stavroudis

Black Tiles

From the Supplies column of The Guild of Book Workers Newsletter, June 1995:

Italian made matte black tiles for use in pasting out repair tissues (and later finding them) can be had through B&F Ceramic Design Showroom, PO Box 1544, 8900 Telegraph Road, Newington, VA 22122. 703/550-1600. Ask for Florida Tile Design Series, Natura #8805 Black, 12" x 12" squares.

Anoxic Supplies Catalogue

Keepsafe Systems, Inc. is offering a comprehensive line of anoxic packaging supplies. Barrier films from Bell Fibre, Engineered Materials, and other quality manufacturers, are available both in roll stock and ready-to-use bags. The company offers surgical grade Tyvek and static intercept films, Absolute Sealing Clips, designed to produce air tight seals, Anoxic Garment Storge Bags, Ageless "Z" and "Ageless Eye" oxygen indicators, and Micro Climate Generators, designed to produce a constant source of filtered air tempered to a precise humidity.

For more information contact:

Jerry Shiner
59 Glenmont Park Road
Toronto, ON M4E 2N1
416/691-8854 fax: 416/691-5434
email 70252,763@compuserve.com

Gloves, Gloves, Gloves

A glove chart, assembled by Jahanvi Desai, a conservation volunteer at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, can be obtained through Janice Stagnitto, Book Conservation Laboratory, SISC Room 2117, MRC 806, Washington, D.C. 20560. It is 8 pages long and includes glove performance ratings for approximately 80 different substances.

"Vinegar syndrome" monitor strips

A-D strips are film base deterioration monitors that change color as the film they are stored with deteriorates, helping determine when film must be duplicated. They are a new product of the Image Permanence Institute, developer of the IPI Storage Guide for Acetate Film. When placed inside a closed can, bag, or cabinet, the strips change color from blue to green to bright yellow, to indicate the increasing amounts of acidic vapor given off by the film as it degrades. They come with a pencil that has four numbered bands of color around it, for comparison with the strips.

So far, it is not known how useful the A-D Strips would be with a nitrate collection, but they can be used with all acetate sheet and rollfilm, cinema film, and microfilm. A package of 250 costs $29.95. For more information contact:

Image Permanence Institute
Rochester Institute of Technology
70 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, N.Y. 14623-5604
716/475-5199 fax: 716/475-7230

Request for Information

Coatings Research: A group of objects conservators and arts professionals is researching coatings and needs your input. We would like to have artists and conservators share their experiences of coatings on outdoor sculptures. We are reviewing coatings, which includes paints, for both protection and aesthetics. Please share successes and failures of products that you have used in the outdoor environment on a variety of materials. We would also like to know what questions you have for the coatings industry or how you would define your ideal coating. Please contact:

Debra Lehane
Civic Art Collection Manager
San Francisco Art Commission
25 Van Ness Avenue
Suite 240
San Francisco, CA 94102
tel 415/252-2593.
email: DLehane@AOL.com

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