polyethylene terephthalate

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    • #132497
      Charlene Martin

      Does anyone know if this is suitable for exhibits or long-term museum storage?  I am comparison-shopping for artifact boxes, and found this company: clearbags.com.

      Thank you!

    • #132502
      Charlene Martin

      I see that Mylar is made of polyethylene terephthalate esters,but I don’t want to assume anything about polyethylene terephthalate.



    • #132501

      Some PT may content PVC in their surface, a Beilstein test is needed in order to confirm it.

      But apart that, its the most stable plastic around.

      An as any storage material, there’s pro’s and con’s. And as any plastic, its more suitable to humidity retention if there’s a fluctuation donc it must be used in an HR controled place only.

      Mylar-d is the PT made by Dupont, and theoricly it doen’t containt any PVC traces. But a lot of providers call their PT as Mylar too even if its not the case.


      There’s a lot of info around about using PT in storage, you may want to check the AIC Wiki and googling around a little.


    • #132500
      Charlene Martin

      Thank you, Mauro.

      I wanted to include a follow-up with some detail for everyone’s benefit. I did some research with a clearbag.com company representative, and they assured me that there aren’t any traces of PVC in their “Crsytal Clear” food and photo boxes (they contain PolyEthylene TerePhthalate). You may be right, and this company may not truly understand archival quality and therefore may be overlooking PVC or acidic/additive traces –  but I’ve questioned them several times and received the same answer. I am considering them for future artifact storage box purchases.

      The dimensions are different from Gaylord or University products, but if that isn’t a problem, consider getting 25 boxes at $10, instead of $33!





    • #132499
      Jane Dalley

      When dealing with a commercial company, you may not get a clear answer because they do not understand the requirements.  Companies generally use the cheapest plasticizers and raw materials available.  This is especially true for products like plastic bags as they are not intended to last long.  So, it’s buyer beware.  Also, some information is proprietary and will not be shared.  Another drawback is that the commercial market is consumer driven and changes to composition can change without notice in order to please market demands.  The answer you get today may not be true tomorrow.

      If it is important to have a good quality box,  I recommend simply asking if a company’s products meet the appropriate  ANSI/ISO/NSO Standard.  If it does, they will know.  If they don’t know or have never heard of the product, then you may well be buying short term relief at the expense of long term grief.

      If price and not quality is the deciding factor, I recommend doing the best you can with what you’ve got. If a box is required to protect an artifact, any box is better than no box.  If there is already a box, a good quality box is better than a poor quality box.  There is information readily available on making enclosures, and I have seen successful rehousing projects undertaken by summer students.  Group purchases can also bring the price down.

      Just some thoughts.  Thanks for the opportunity to share!


    • #132498

      Beilstein test for PVC detection is useful and easy to learn and perform. You just need a bundsen gas lighter and a regular wire. Of course one must do it right in order to avoid false results.

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