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Re: [BKARTS] sealing device for encapsulations

"I would like to hear from those of you who have discontinued
use of double-sided tape in your encapsulations and who are currently
using some type of mechanical sealer to enclose the polyester..."

I am in a new lab, but my technician and intern days provided me the
opportunity to use and observe several makes and models of welders.  At
Berkeley in the mid-90's there were both a Polyweld and a Minter
Ultrasonic in use. They also use an ultrasonic at CCAHA in Philadelphia
and at Princeton, among others.  Most small labs use a heat welder,
which is okay for infrequent use.  The main advantage of the Polyweld,
Monarch, or other heat welding systems is cost, at about $2,000 US, for
a table top model.  

Aesthetically, the heat welders leave a bead of melted polyester along
the perimeter, but the ultrasonic leaves a seam with a slight margin
around the perimeter of the capsule.  Where storage space is at a
premium, the extra margin can be a problem, but it can be used to
advantage as a binding margin for post-bound albums and the like. 

The floor-stand model Polyweld for oversized items is about as expensive
as an ultrasonic. Since I'm in the process of equipping a lab, I got a
quote from Bill Minter for an ultrasonic welder in 2006, and the range
was about $20-30,000, depending on the model, shipping costs, etc.

The cool operating temperature, and the ability to make spot welds
anywhere on the "page"  really sell the ultrasonic welder.  Once you
have used one, it feels painful to go back to the "old way" with heat
(with burnt mylar occasionally getting stuck to the heating element,
creating  a lovely aroma). Ultimately, you have to look at the volume of
work and the availability of funds for equipment.  If you have a decent
line item for equipment, then get the ultrasonic welder, because it will
pay for itself over time. (It is also much faster and neater than tape

Valinda Carroll
Preservation Manager
Harvey Library
Hampton University

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