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ARSCLIST  February 2009

ARSCLIST February 2009

Subject:

Re: Cleaning of grooved discs- how about fungus?

From:

Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 1 Feb 2009 02:00:13 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Dave Radlauer wrote:
> Hi, I noted your posting on ARCSLIST:
>
> << We have a client with a number of boxes of grooved discs with fungus.
> Any suggestions about techniques or labs that offer the service would be
> appreciated. >>
>
> I presume these are grooved vinyl or shellac discs. But if any are actetate
> (i.e. one-off recordable discs)

These discs are not acetate. Except for some early 30s European discs
that have gelatin coatings (and are water soluble), they are cellulose
nitrate lacquer, not cellulose acetate. They are properly called
lacquer discs, but if you must use a chemical name, they are nitrate
discs, not acetate discs. This is because there IS an acetate based
disc. These are the transparent Flexo discs that were used by Brunswick
for 16-inch pressings around 1933, and the opaque clay colored, slightly
greasy, very flexible discs used by World Broadcasting System in the
early to mid 30s. (There is a similar opaque blue disc they pressed for
another company that have s slight vinegar smell.)
> there is another mechanism at work. You may
> already know this but acetate discs over time sublimate acidic (acetic?)
> byproducts which may appear as mold (whitish dust adhering to surface) but are
> not.
>
> Two tips if this is the case:
> 1) Under no circumstance use any cleaner containing alcohol.

This is the second time in a couple of weeks that someone has discussed
not using alcohol on lacquers while not mentioning that is is SHELLAC
that must not be cleaned with any alcohol containing fluid. Where does
this come from? While it might not be the most efficient cleaner, I've
never seen any problem of using an LP cleaner (which often has a slight
amount of alcohol) on lacquer discs-- while these cleaners can be deadly
on shellac 78s. The only thing I can think of is a confusion of ethenol
(the type of alcohol used in cleaners) and methanol which was noted in
Chris Paton's Georgia State study as a problem. She did not mention if
methanol was tried directly or in solution. Ethanol is usually less
than 1% in record cleaners.
> There are
> other chemicals to be avoided as well, perhaps other listmates can specify.
> 2) One specified chemical used to remove the surface material generated by
> this process is Ammonium Carbonate -- approx a tablespoon of powder in a gallon
> of distilled water.

This is Kodak Lens Cleaner -- NOT to be confused with Kodak Photoflo.
> Applicaton of this can be followed up with a very
> gentle, neutral surfactant like photoflo or products available from many fine
> vendors for gentle cleaning of disc surfaces.
>
> Best,
>
> Dave Radlauer
> www.JAZZHOTBigstep.com
>

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