Friday, June 1 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
21. (Book and Paper) Mass Deacidification Carrier Fluid Selection to Protect Media

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In order to build an alkaline reserve in paper that neutralizes acids already present and protects against acids adsorbed in the future, most mass deacidification processes use a liquid carrier to deliver alkaline particles or solutes. While certain mass deacidification carrier fluids in use today are inert, others are toxic, flammable, and odoriferous. A few significant carriers (heptane, HMDS) are industrial solvents capable of changing the appearance of susceptible media. Although vendors using more aggressive fluids screen collections for media compatibility, given the hundreds of thousands of artifacts undergoing mass deacidification yearly, we can expect loss of historic and artistic content. We have performed several experiments, taking thousands of measurements in the CIELAB color space to quantify the color change of an increasingly large number of relevant media (highlighters, stamp pad ink, colored pencils, markers) on relevant acidic (book and bond) papers. Measuring before and after mechanical action while submerged in relevant mass deacidification carrier fluids in use today (perfluorohexane isomers, heptane, and hexamethyldisiloxane—HMDS) gauges their susceptibility to color change during treatment. We concluded that perfluorinated hydrocarbons seldom if ever cause noticeable changes in color density of even of the most fugitive media. By contrast heptane and HMDS produce changes noticeable to the human eye. Therefore, carrier chemistry is an important though underappreciated criterion in the selection of mass deacidification methods.

avatar for John W. Baty

John W. Baty

Conservator, Preservation Technologies
Collaborating with Preservation Technologies’ leading team of scientists and engineers, John Baty is responsible for research and development, process improvement, quality assurance, and other duties within this world leader in supplying services, products, and equipment to preserve... Read More →

La Verne Lopes

Senior QC Technician, Preservation Technologies, L.P.


Kent John

Dispersion Production, QC, and R&D Technician, Preservation Technologies, LP

Friday June 1, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Texas Ballroom (Foyer outside Ballrooms - Poster Session) Marriott Marquis Houston

Attendees (30)