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glue sticks & YES paste



Some information on adhesives of a technical nature since there seems to be
list interest.  The following is compiled information from other people's
research.  The ConsDistList Archives probably has more information along
these lines for those interested.

GLUE STICKS:  The Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) in 1980's tested
Pritt and UHU brand glue sticks for chemical composition and determined that
they were (AT THAT TIME) "predominatetly (poly) vinyl pyrrolidone with
(poly) vinyl alcohol.  Partial water content.  Cross-linking may occur with
time."  Unlimited additives possible from colorants and other plasticizers.
Remember that these are proprietary products, the recipe for which can
change at any time.  These tests were done on pre-colored glue sticks, and
CCI may have done more recent and more thorough testing since then.

YES PASTE:  A combination paste.  I've seen numerous combinations cited for
this commercial product.  The most recent I've seen is:  mixture of dextrin
(a modified starch), corn starch, with water and a preservative (commercial
ad, 1996).  However, I have had to undo the adhesive (because of the damage
it had caused) too often and the generation I had to deal with also appeared
to have a protein component (applied possibly late 70's or early 80's).  It
does discolor (turns dark brown over time) and is tenacious in it's sticking
(could be an asset for whatever you are doing).  This product is often
advertised as "archival".

Please note that when speaking of adhesives, the terminology is very
specific. Pastes are processed, cooked vegetable-based adhesives and glues
are processed, cooked protein-based adhesives and then there are the
synthetics and emulsions.

Perhaps the greater question is "What's the most appropriate available
adhesive choice for my application?"  This will vary according to your intent.

There are no panacea adhesives out there.  It all comes down to point of
view and INTENT.  Look at your options and choose intelligently.

Stephanie Watkins
swatkins@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


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