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Document Preservation for Achives and Museums

Nonflammable carrier solvents for museum conservation applications

Document conservation has become an increasingly urgent issue for museums, libraries and archives. While manufacturing methods introduced over the past 100 years have allowed the mass production of affordable, standardized papers, these same manufacturing methods – combined with the spread of airborne pollutants – have accelerated the acidic deterioration of valuable books, manuscripts and other documents.

To preserve these materials for future generations, the challenge has been to find ways to increase the pH of cellulosic materials without damaging or altering their written or printed content.

A new deacidification technique being successfully used by a number of rare book and document conservation specialists involves treating delicate materials with certain metallic compounds, using a 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluid as the carrier solvent.

Novec fluids are an ideal choice for book and document conservation applications because they do not damage or discolor delicate papers or bindings, or cause inks to run or fade. Their extremely low surface tension allows treatment chemicals to penetrate deeply into the substrate, for more complete protection. These nonflammable materials evaporate quickly and completely, leaving no residue of their own behind.

As a carrier solvent for chemicals used in rare book conservation and preservation – and for other museum conservation applications including original manuscripts, textiles, photographs and other delicate materials – Novec fluids offer a unique balance of properties, including:

  • Nonflammable
  • Clear, colorless
  • Does not cause printing or handwriting to run or fade
  • Will not discolor paper or bindings
  • Penetrates deep into substrates
  • Evaporates cleanly, leaving no residue
  • Low odor
  • Low in toxicity
  • Non ozone-depleting, low global warming, non-VOC

Product Information on Novec Fluids for book and museum conservation

3M™ Novec™ 7100 Engineered Fluid


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