Analytical studies of the degradation of cellulose nitrate plastics in museums - NMS Research Repository
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Analytical studies of the degradation of cellulose nitrate plastics in museums

Abstract

This paper discusses a project which is examining the degradation of cellulose nitrate artefacts. Several analytical techniques including Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and ion chromatography have been used to investigate the degradation processes occurring and the various factors influencing the rate of degradation. Accelerated ageing of cellulose nitrate has indicated that residual sulphate in the plastics is a cause of increased degradation. The influence of inorganic fillers, iron and humidity has also been studied.

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