Evaluating Storage Materials: Alternatives to the Oddy Test
September 4, 2014
View video (55 minutes)
About the Lecture:
The Library of Congress has a quality assurance program for testing materials that come into contact with collections in storage or on display to ensure those materials will not harm collections. The traditional Oddy test assesses the impact of material off-gassing on collection items through the corrosion of metal coupons, a result that does not necessarily correlate well to the Library's primarily paper-based collections. Dr. Eric Breitung discusses research in the Preservation Research and Testing Division that uses paper instead of metal as a sensor and multiple analytical methods to assess the degradation level of the paper sensor. Common book and paper preservation materials such as book cloths, binding boards, foams, and adhesives were subjected to accelerated aging in the presence of Whatman filter paper and the traditional Oddy metal sensors, then evaluated with ion chromatography (IC) and ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy. Of significant interest was the analysis of corrosion products formed on the metal coupons with x-ray diffraction (XRD). Dr. Breitung discusses the assessment of the impact of these specific products on collection materials to better understand the often contradictory results obtained from the Oddy test, and how a new test might better inform the paper conservation community.
Dr. Eric Breitung, Research Chemist, Preservation Research and Testing Division, Library of Congress