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Re: [BKARTS] clay-coated paper stuck together

On Aug 28, 2006, at 9:23 PM, Susie Lunas wrote:

I was wondering if any new techniques have popped up regarding opening or
releasing pages that have stuck together due to water or dampness. I have
several items that at one time got wet, and the clay-coated paper has stuck

The following is not a solution for you, but certainly something that needs to be passed along to people who can research this further:
In Chicago, many years ago, Bill and Bob from Graphic Conservation, Inc. purchased a small vacuum (freeze) dryer for some disaster recovery work. In preparation for a talk to the Chicago Area Conservation Group (CACG), they wetted some clay coated encyclopedias. After freezing, the books were vacuum dried at various(?) pressures at various(?) temperatures --- as I recall, no heat was added, simply the ambient temperature was used. I found it very interesting that some of those clay coated paper test books dried without the pages sticking together --- contrary to what many of us had experienced. I have always wondered if anyone has done any more work with that idea.
As far as I know, most every company that does vacuum freeze drying adds heat to the process. If I understand correctly, the heat speeds up the process, thus shortening the time required. There may be some who will argue with me on this statement, and I look forward to their reply.

As to whether or not you could rewet the books and have them vacuum freeze dried, I tend to doubt that it would work as the pages have already bonded together.
In the above experiments, the books, if I remember correctly, were placed in a tank of water for a few hours and then frozen as quickly as possible. Since your books dried, the clay probably acted like an adhesive to fuse everything together. I don't think there are any magic bullets or magic cures?
Maybe someone else has more information, or better yet, a solution?
Bill Minter

William Minter Bookbinding & Conservation, Inc.
4364 Woodbury Pike
Woodbury, PA  16695
Fax:   814-793-4045
Email:    wminter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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