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Old 16th Mar 2007, 6:35 pm   #6
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bedfordshire, UK.
Posts: 210
Default Re: Ebonite cleaning / preserving

Thanks everyone for your responses.

Before posting my question I spent some time attempting to find some definitive advice on the internet. I did find some articles on preserving various plastics published by museums, but no real guidance on what to do with ebonite.

I was concerned about using water or a solvent to try and clean the panel without knowing what chemical reactions might take place, etc. The following is a statement from one conservation scientist that I found:

"Hard vulcanized rubbers like ebonite and vulcanite contain 30% or more sulfur vulcanizing agent. Oxidation in air of sulfur compounds in the rubber produces sulfur oxides which react with atmospheric moisture to eventually form sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid may be present as droplets on the surface of the hard rubber. It can react with ammonia in the atmosphere to form ammonium hydrogen sulfate and ammonium sulfate."

As suggested I might try polishing the panel to improve its appearance. I have some Greygate Plastic Polish. I think this is a similar product to the perspex polish that you mentioned using, Peter?


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