Category:Plastics

From Wiki

Introduction

This table serves as a living document and tracking tool for the continued generation of content for polymers that may be considered for use by museums for collection storage, display, and transportation. The original table was compiled and presented at the American Institute for Conservation’s Annual Meeting in 2020 during the Collections Care Network session.

Contributors

The table design and original information compilation was completed by Molly McGath, Catherine H. Stephens, Gina Watkinson, Kate Wight Tyler, Paige Schmidt and Rachael Perkins Arenstein

How to Use This Table

This table currently acts as a landing page, or directory, for polymer classes found within materials used for display, storage, and transportation of cultural heritage materials. This table lists polymer classes (including, but not limited to, plastics) and identifies each polymer’s most commonly encountered physical forms and applications in this context. Specific products (and their brands) that are primarily or significantly composed of these polymer classes are also listed.

This table does not make recommendations for or against the use of the polymers or products listed. Instead, this table serves as a centralized list of known polymers (historically or presently used in proximity to collections) that will direct the reader to up-to-date information regarding each polymer, so that an informed decision can be made about its use in a particular application.

As research and analysis regarding polymers continue to be performed and published, this table aims to serve as a centralized directory for this information, and can be used as a tool by the field at large to identify gaps in our collective knowledge, and highlight areas where further research or the compilation of said research is needed. At present, each polymer links to a CAMEO entry, which will provide a more thorough list of references and summaries of each polymer. It is the aim of the Collections Care Network and Materials Working Group to generate content within each polymer Wiki entry regarding Personal, Environmental, and Collections risks, which will be drawn from recent publications and literature reviews.

  • If the field for each polymer regarding Personal, Environmental, and Collections risks contains the text Present, this indicates that content has been generated within the Wiki entry for this risk category, but does not indicate that a risk exists.
  • If the field for each polymer regarding Personal, Environmental, and Collections risks contains the text Needed, this indicates that this Wiki entry still needs information regarding this risk category.
  • If you wish to contribute or update any information for a given polymer, or if you would like to add a polymer or product, please contact Paige Schmidt using AIC Plastics wiki in the subject line.

Polymer Assessment Tools for Exhibition, Storage, and Transport

The primary goal of this table is to aid in the decision-making process for selecting materials for use in the display, storage, and transportation of cultural heritage materials. This table aims to consolidate references and guide users to the most relevant and up-to-date research, but does not aim to make recommendations for particular polymers or products. When considering if a polymer-based product is appropriate for your intended use, consider the following while exploring the information in this directory:

  • Base polymer’s mechanical and chemical properties (including degradation mechanisms and products)
  • ALL components of a product’s design (e.g. gaskets, adhesives)
  • Intentional additives (including coatings)
  • Unintentional additives from the manufacturing process
  • Date of manufacture (is this still the same product formulation you relied on 10 years ago?)


For more information on product selection and methods for analysis, please see the panel discussion, When the Rubber Hits the Road: Considerations for Plastics as Storage Materials and Some Tools to Drive the Conversation Forward, presented at the AIC 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting. In the presentation some general recommendations were made. Please refer to the presentation and the table below, as well as the full entries on CAMEO for more detail.

Polymer Table

Click on the arrows within the table header to sort the column alphabetically. Use CTRL+F to search within the table

Polymer Class Plastic/Elastomer Form(s) Application Manufacturer and test with more text to make column wider test Content on Personal Risks Content on Environmental Risks Content on Collection Risks
Cyanoacrylate
(methyl, ethyl, or butyl alkyl groups)
Liquid (solidifies upon curing) adhesive Loctite/Superglue, Borden/Krazy® glue, Loctite/Super Attack,Eastman Chemical/Eastman 910®, ELFY®/Super glue Present Present Present
Epoxy Resin Liquid (solidifies upon curing) adhesive Ablebond; Araldite [Huntsman ex Ciba-Geigy]; CM Bond; Epon® [Hexion]; Epotek; Hxtal; Phillyseal R (formerly Pliacre) [Philadelphia Resins]; UHU Present Needed Present
Polyacrylate (Acrylic) Present Present Present
Polyacrylate (Acrylic) Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) Solid, clear,colorless sheeting casework, matting and framing Evonik, Rohm GmBH[has changed hands]/Plexiglas®, Rohm GmBH/Acrylite® , Astari/Astariglas®, Lucite International/Lucite®, and Perspex International/Perspex®, Plaskolite/Optix® Present Present Present
Polyacrylate (Acrylic) Polyvinyl acrylate Emulsion (applied as liquid, dries) glue/adhesive Needed Needed Needed
Polyacrylate (Acrylic) Pressure sensitive adhesive (doesn’t dry) tape 3M brand (hundreds of acrylic-based tapes); Tesa brand (myriad acrylic tapes) Present Present Present
Polyamide Nylon 6,6 Film
3D printing material
Dupont/Dartek
Ultimaker/nylon filament
Present Present Present
Polyester Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) Film, Fiberglass Polyester fiber, Polyester resin, Melinex, Mylar, Dacron, Terylene, Teijin Fibers Needed Needed Present
Polyester Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) Fiberglass, fabric Insulator in electrical housings Needed Needed Needed
Polyester Polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) Fiberglass Needed Needed Needed
Polyester Polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) Fiberglass Needed Needed Needed
Polyester Polyglycolide or polyglycolic acid (PGA) Fiberglass Needed Needed Present
Polyester Polylactic acid (PLA) Fiberglass Needed Needed Present
Polyester Polycaprolactone (PCL) Fiberglass Needed Needed Needed
Polyester Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Fiberglass Needed Needed Needed
Polyester Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) Fiberglass Needed Needed Needed
Polyester Polyethylene adipate (PEA) Fiberglass Needed Needed Needed
Polyester Polybutylene succinate (PBS) Fiberglass Needed Needed Needed
Polyester Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) Fiberglass Needed Needed Needed
Polyester Vectran Fiberglass Needed Needed Needed
Polycarbonate An example where the group name for polymers is not distinguished from individual polymeric chemicals in company’s literature sheet glazing SABIC/Lexan Present Present Present
Polyolefin (Polyalkene) High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Closed cell foam
Spun bonded fiber
Film
Gas filled bubbles
Padding
Lining, cover, barrier
Cushioning
Encapsulation
Container
Fill
Dow/Ethafoam 180, 220, 400, 600, 900; Dow/Ethafoam 180 AS, 220 AS; Sealed Air/Cellu-Cushion; Voltek/Volara; Pregis Corp/PolyPlank;
DuPont/Tyvek Type 10 (stiff),14 (soft),16 (perforated)
Sealed Air Corp/Bubble Wrap
Pregis LLC/Microfoam
Pregis LLC/Propafoam
Zotefoams plc/Propazote
Dow/Strandfoam
Matra Plast/Hi-Core

/Propylex
Coroplast LLC/Coroplast (copolymer)
/Geotextile
/Poly-Pellets
/Poly-fil
Present Present
Polystyrene Polystyrene (PS) Present Present Needed
Polystyrene Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Extruded Foam, Closed Cell
polystyrene core laminated with paper or plastic on both sides
Expanded foam
Container, Padding
Support, Backing
Loose fill
Dow Chemical/Styrofoam; /Stylite
3A Composites/Fome-Cor; Bainbridge/Artcare Foam Core Boards & Artcare Restore;Laird Plastics/Gatorboard
patented Dow Chemical/ Packing peanuts (packing noodles, foam popcorn)
Present Needed Needed
Polyurethane Polyether urethane (PUR ) thermoset elastomer from very soft to rigid textile fabric elastane Needed Needed Present
Polyurethane Polyester urethane (PUR ) thermoset elastomer from very soft to rigid from skate wheels to safety helmets Needed Needed Present
Poly(vinyl acetate) Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) Foam Needed Needed Present
Poly(vinyl acetate) Polyvinyl Acetate (PVAc or PVOH) Liquid/adhesive Adhesive/Glue, Paint Elmer’s; Jade Adhesives/Jade 403 (80/20 vinyl acetate/ethylene copolymer) Present Present Present
Poly(vinyl alcohols) Adhesive/Consolidant Dupont/Elvanol Sekisui/Selvol Hoechst/Mowitol RhonePoulenc/Rhodoviol Wacker/Polyviol Needed Needed Needed
Poly(vinyl butyrals) Adhesives, Sealants, Coatings Solutia/Butvar (B-72,B-74,B-76, B-79, B-90, B-98) Needed Needed Needed
Poly(vinyl chlorides) Rigid board casework 3A Composites/http://cameo.mfa.org/wiki/Sintra%C2%AE_Material Sintra] Present Present Present
Poly(vinylidene) Polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) Film Barrier coating/wrap Saran Wrap (when it was made by Dow Chemical; now brand is owned by SJ Johnson and "Saran wrap" is made with polyethylene) Present Needed Needed
Poly(vinylidene) Polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) Coatings Needed Needed Needed
Silicone Oxime Silicone (NOT acetoxy silicone) Liquids, gels, elastomers, solid thermoplastic or thermosetting resins Adhesives, sealants, lubricants, protective coatings Surebon SB-170 Present Needed Needed
Cellulose Ester Cellulose Acetate (CA, CTA, CDA) Film Historically used for lamination Present Present Present
Cellulose Ester Cellulose Nitrate (CN) Adhesive Shouldn’t be used as storage material Duco Cement Present Present Present
Cellulose Ether Solid methyl cellulose (MC), sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC), ethyl hydroxyethyl cellulose (EHEC), hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC), methyl hydroxypropyl cellulose (MHPC), Klucel® [Aqualon], http://cameo.mfa.org/wiki/Glutolin Glutolin [Kalle]], CMC7HC [Hercules], Methocel A [Dow], Cellosize® [Union Carbide]; Needed Needed Present
Cellulose Ether Methylcellulose Solid Adhesive Methocel [Dow], Polycell, Tylose® MB [Hoechst], Glutolin, Sicho-Zell, Cellothyl, Syncelose, Celevac, Cellumeth, Hydrolose, Nicel, Culminal [Aqualon], Methofas® [ICI, England] Present Needed Needed
Cellulose Ether Ethyl cellulose Solid Adhesive Ethocel [Dow], Ethylcellulose [Aqualon] Present Needed Needed
Rubber (synthetic) Polybutadiene Thermoplastic resin Tire treads, coatings Needed Needed Present
Rubber (synthetic) Polystyrene see polyolefin entry Foams, insulator, shock absorber Needed Needed Present
Rubber (synthetic) Nitrile rubber (NBR) Films, injection molded products gloves, gaskets, hoses, shoe soles, kitchen mats, printing rolls, food-wrapping films Needed Needed Present
Rubber (synthetic) Styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) Films, Injection molded products, coatings tires, footwear, adhesives, coatings, carpet backing Needed Needed Present
Rubber (synthetic) Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) Injection molded products appliances, automobile parts and fittings, telephones, radios, televisions, pipes and conduits, luggage, boats, toys, bottles Needed Needed Present
Rubber (synthetic) Ethylene Propylene Rubber (EPR) Films, Injection molded products, coatings gaskets, coated fabrics, footwear and for automobile and appliance parts Needed Needed Needed
Rubber (synthetic) Ethylene Propylene Diene (EPDM) Solid, foam Weatherstripping, seals on doors for refrigerators and freezers (where it also acts as a insulator), face masks for industrial respirators, glass-run channels, radiators, garden and appliance hose (where it is used as a hose material as well as for gaskets), tubing, washers, O-rings, electrical insulation Needed Needed Present
Rubber (synthetic) Butyl rubber (Isoprene) Adhesives, coatings, solid Tires, inner tubes, hoses, gaskets, diaphragms, paper coating, waterproofing textiles, adhesives Needed Needed Needed
Rubber (synthetic) Neoprene (polychloroprene) Coatings, solids, films Gaskets, roof coatings, shoe soles, wet suits, gloves, contact adhesives, fabric coatings Needed Needed Present
Rubber (synthetic) Polysulfide Sealants Sealants Needed Needed Present
Rubber (synthetic) Silicone Rubber liquids, gels, elastomers, solid thermoplastic or thermosetting resins adhesives, lubricants, protective coatings, release agents, paints, rubbers, coolants, implants, insulation Needed Needed Present
Rubber (Natural, Vulcanized) Solids, foams Historical applications, gasketing, shock mounts Needed Needed Present

References

Preservation of Plastic Artefacts (PoPART) in Museum Collections Project website

Coughlin, M., 2019. Plastics. In Preventive Conservation: Collections Storage. Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Smithsonian Institution, The George Washington University Museum Studies Program.

Chalifoux Zephir, M. 2010. Care and Identification of Objects Made from Plastic. In Conserve O Gram 8/4. Washington, DC: National Park Service.

Costello, Susan, 2020. Preserving Plastics in the Collection at the Harvard Art Museums, American Institute for Conservation Annual Meeting 2020, May 28.

Down, Jane L., 2015. Adhesive Compendium for Conservation. Canadian Conservation Institute.

Elkin, Lisa, and Christopher Norris. 2019. Preventive Conservation: Collections Storage. Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Smithsonian Institution, The George Washington University Museum Studies Program.

Keneghan, B., and L. Egan, eds. 2007. Plastics—Looking at the Future and Learning from the Past. London: Archetype Books.

Odegaard, Nancy, Scott Carroll, and Werner S. Zimmt, 2007. Material Characterization Tests for Objects of Art, 2nd edition, Archetype Books.

Pasiuk, Janet, 2004. Safe Plastics & Fabrics for Exhibits & Storage. In Conserve O Gram 18/2. Washington, DC: National Park Service.

Shashoua, Y. 2008. Conservation of Plastics: Materials Science, Degradation and Preservation. Oxford, UK:Elsevier Ltd.

van Aubel, Carien; van Rooijen, Olivia. 2020. Plastics You Know: The Plastics Identification Tool and Collection Surveys, American Institute for Conservation Annual Meeting 2020, May 28.

Williams, R. Scott, 2019. Plastic Storage Products. In Preventive Conservation: Collections Storage. Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Smithsonian Institution, The George Washington University Museum Studies Program.

Williams, R. Scott, 2002. “Care of Plastics: Malignant Plastics.” WAAC Newsletter 24 (1): 1–14.

Subcategories

This category has only the following subcategory.