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Acid-absorbing inter-wind film

Slow down 'vinegar syndrome'
  [vote for,

Most movie film made before the late 1980's has been made of either cellulose nitrate or cellulose acetate. Cellulose nitrate poses not only conservation difficulties, but also safety problems (since it is extremely flammable, can occasionally self-ignite, and can even burn under water). Acetate films don't pose nearly as much risk to nearby personnel, but can nonetheless pose severe conservation problems because cellulose acetate decomposes, giving off acetic acid, and the acetic acid vapor in turn hastens decomposition.

There are commercially available products that can be put in sealed film cans along with movie film to provide some protection; these products will absorb acetic acid and water vapor, thus reducing the concentration of acetic acid in the air inside the can. Unfortunately, film that isn't near the edges of the reel can't "breathe" as well as film at the edges, and so concentrations of acetic acid can build up there, causing degredation and eventual failure.

I would suggest that film which is showing signs of possible "vinegar syndrome" could be wrapped along with a specially-treated acid-absorbing film material. Although each reel would only be able to hold half as much film as would otherwise be the case (assuming the acid absorbing material was about as thick as the film stock), the extra bulk would be a small price to pay if the improved exposure to the acid-absorbing material meant that "vinegration" was significantly slowed down.

supercat, Jun 16 2004


       Depending how frequently this layer would have to be replaced and the any increased potential for scratching, this is a great idea.
oneoffdave, Jun 16 2004

       A winder (which may - but need not - be the projector) could separate the film from the protection material, and re-wind it with a new length. This is good. (+)
angel, Jun 16 2004

       Makes sense to me.
krelnik, Jun 16 2004

       I suggest we simply convert it to DVD. :-)
oldvan, Jun 16 2004

       BrauBeaton: come now, that's never stopped you before...
DrCurry, Jun 16 2004

       Hmmm... it may last an even shorter time if converted to DVD. See: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1590561,00.asp
elegyjay, Jun 16 2004

       Further proof that [BrauBeaton] is not a United States citizen.   

       Sounds good. Allows for extra time before transference to modern filmstock.
shapu, Jun 16 2004

       //Allows for extra time before transference to modern filmstock//   

       And for improvements in digital technology. Transfering to new filmstock will result in generational loss. Even if the film is copied to new filmstock, digital technology may improve to the point that a new scan of the original filmstock may be better than an earlier digital scan of the original stock or a new scan of the film copy.
supercat, Jun 16 2004

       I stumbled over this and it had no votes - poor thing, probably lost them in the crash. I gave it one.
normzone, Jul 08 2007

       I know a little about this and I think it deserves a bun.   

       Now someone needs to invent the machine that unrolls the fragile film and adds in the absorbing material. Maybe it could copy it to digital format at the same time. (Not DVD, DVDs are stored in a lossy compression scheme. Each frame should be recorded separately and losslessly.)
Galbinus_Caeli, Jul 09 2007


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