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Subject: Relative stability of architectural blueprints and transparencies

Relative stability of architectural blueprints and transparencies

From: Anna Hoffmann <annaalenahoffmann<-at->
Date: Friday, May 25, 2012
Emily K. Bell <ebell [at] wellesley__edu> writes writes

>These are often on very thin tracing paper, or as-yet-unidentified
>plastic films.  To me it seems that if the film is Mylar or another
>stable polyester or polyethylene film, then it will last very well,
>whereas if it is PVC or some other unstable film we might be better
>off focusing our efforts on preserving the blueprint copy instead.

You might want to keep in mind that even though polyester is a very
stable material, the media might well be very sensitive or unstable:

I once came across plastic films with a photosensitive image layer
(I don't know what type of materials exactly as there was no time
for any testing), where the emulsion showed severe signs of
deterioration after a heavy water damage; in areas where the items
were really wet, the photoreceptive coating started cockling, and
after drying, the image layer fell off in tiny flakes in these
areas, leaving a clear plastic film with no information at all...

There is an article dealing with the topic which might be useful for
you: "Permanency of reprographic images on polyester film" by Hanna
Szczepanowska, and Wayne Wilson published in AIC Vol 39 (2000) No 3,
available via


Anna Hoffmann
15B Clark Street
London E1 2HD

                  Conservation DistList Instance 26:2
                  Distributed: Thursday, May 31, 2012
                        Message Id: cdl-26-2-005
Received on Friday, 25 May, 2012

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