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Thursday, June 1 • 11:00am - 11:30am
(Book & Paper) Ionic fixatives on water-sensitive media for aqueous treatment

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The goal of this study is to experiment with various ionic fixatives to aid aqueous treatment of water-sensitive media on paper. Water-sensitivity of media can be attributed to different causes. In general, ionic dye molecules are dissolved into water; whereas, particles in pigment-based media are dislodged or dispersed in water due to a softening of the binder or the lack there of. The nature of the paper support (the length of fibers, density, thickness, sizing materials, coating, and degree of aging) is also a factor in media sensitivity during aqueous treatment. When planning the use of a fixative, the important first step is to determine whether to fix the media physically or chemically, and temporarily or permanently. The choice is based on the main cause of the given water-sensitivity: colorants, binder, additives, or the characteristics of the paper substrate. Also, one has to decide what degree of change is acceptable, based on the historic or artistic value of each object. Sometimes, a small amount of color shift, or even a slight loss of media intensity, can be considered acceptable if the objects are archival in nature and their condition is to be greatly improved by the pending washing treatment. Whereas, certain objects, particularly works of art, require minimal or no change during treatment; otherwise, the treatment is not justifiable. B-72, wax, and BEVA are some of the frequently tried fixatives based on physical holding of media. These physically-holding fixatives are to be removed after the desired aqueous treatment is completed. Cyclododecane, on the other hand, is a physically holding fixative that does not require a removal step because of its sublimation characteristics. The use of ionic fixative is relatively new. In 1988, Karl Bredereck and Almut Siller-Grabenstein published a study using ionic fixatives to improve the water fastness of ionic ink dyes when performing aqueous deacidification for archival materials. The study demonstrated that water-soluble ionic dyes could adhere more strongly onto the paper when oppositely charged fixing agents were applied to form almost insoluble complexes. The chemical bonding between the dye and the fixing agent is permanent and none-reversible. Leroy and Flieder (1993), Blüher et al. (1999), Porto and Shugar (2008) followed with more research comparing various commercially available ionic fixatives. In this study, 13 different ionic fixatives are tried: a suspension of Mesitol NBS and Rewin EL, Appretan N 92100, Cartafix FF, Cartafix SWE, Cartafix WA, Cartafix WE, Cassofix FRN-300, Nylofixan HF, Catiofast 159(A), Catiofast 269, Catiofast 2345, Lupamin 9095, and Polymin PR971L. The samples were provided by the U.S. branches of three different companies--Achroma/Clariant, BASF, and Neschen. The study focuses on observing the interaction between these fixatives with various writing media and paper and finding application methods that are easy and relatively risk free.

avatar for Soyeon Choi-[PA]

Soyeon Choi-[PA]

Head Paper Conservator, Yale Center for British Art
Soyeon Choi received a Master of Arts and a Certificate of Advanced Study in paper conservation from the State University of New York, Buffalo State College. From 2000 to 2013, she worked as a paper conservator at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia... Read More →

Thursday June 1, 2017 11:00am - 11:30am CDT
Regency A-B Ballroom Level, West Tower