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Subject: Naval jelly

Naval jelly

From: Molly Lambert <lambert>
Date: Wednesday, December 16, 1998
Mary Todd Glaser <toddy [at] nedcc__org> writes

>... iron fittings that had been coated with a thick, dark, gummy
>substance that was sticky to the touch. The staff of the
>institution, which until recently was all-volunteer, said this was
>*naval jelly*. It has been on the iron for at least 13 years.
>Presumably it was applied as some sort of preservative. Does anyone
>know what this? Is it harmful to the metal? It does not appear to be
>doing anything bad although it is disgusting to look at. Being soft,
>this material should be easy to remove--should a non-conservator
>attempt it?

Naval Jelly is a commercially available material used to remove rust
prior to painting.  Your local hardware store should have some.  It
is a phosphoric acid gel.  The acid content of the jelly on your
objects is probably spent at this point and the gel is serving as an
environmental barrier.

Molly Lambert
Architectural Conservation

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                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:52
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                       Message Id: cdl-12-52-005
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Received on Wednesday, 16 December, 1998

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