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The Care and Feeding of Celluloid 2017-07-27

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JAIC 1991, Volume 30, Number 2, Article 3 (pp. 145 to 162)

CELLULOID OBJECTS: THEIR CHEMISTRY AND PRESERVATION
JULIE A. REILLY


ABSTRACT—Cellulose nitrate plastic was the first synthetic commercial material. Cellulose nitrate was used to produce a great number of objects now in museum collections. This paper discusses the manufacture, deterioration, and preservation of celluloid objects.


1 A HISTORY OF CELLULOSE NITRATE PLASTICS

1.1 INTRODUCTION

1.2 HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

2 SYNTHESIS AND MANUFACTURE

2.1 GENERAL

2.2.2 Acids, water, and alcohol

2.2.3 Camphor

2.2.4 Additives

2.3 Cellulose Nitrate Synthesis

2.4 RINSING, DRYING, KNEADING

2.5 SEASONING, CRYSTALLITE FORMATION

2.6 FABRICATION

2.7 SOURCES OF INHERENT DETERIORATION

3 DEGRADATION

3.1 INTRODUCTION

3.2 FORCES OF DEGRADATION

3.2.1 Thermal Degradation

3.2.2 Chemical Degradation

3.2.3 Photochemical Deterioration

3.2.4 Physical Degradation

4 CELLULOID IN THE COLLECTION

4.1 IDENTIFICATION

4.1.1 General Characteristics

4.1.2 Optical Characteristics

4.1.3 Solubility

4.1.4 Stains

4.1.5 Infrared Spectroscopy
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