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The use of accelerated ageing tests for studying the degradation of cellulose nitrate

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that high levels of sulphate in cellulose nitrate artefacts may be a cause of increased degradation. Accelerated ageing tests have been used to study and monitor the deterioration of prepared cellulose nitrate samples and artefacts over time. An evaluation has been made of the effects of high temperature and high humidity (70 degrees C/75 degrees RH). The changes in the cellulose nitrate samples were monitored by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), ion chromatography and elemental analysis. The work confirms that sulphate does indeed influence degradation and that the presence of inorganic fillers in artefacts may inhibit the degradation to some extent

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