An Assessment of the Use of Flame Retardant Plastics for Museum Applications

Halogenated flame retardant plastic sheeting may help to reduce flame spread in museums; however, the plastics contain chemicals that may be harmful to museum objects in situ, particularly metals. This study assesses historical and contemporary problems and benefits associated with flame retardant plastics with respect to museum applications…

Author: Leikach, Danielle Caryn

Source: University of Maryland

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Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Fires in Museum, Historic Structures and Historic Storehouses
1.2.1 Past Fires
1.2.2 Statistical Data
Chapter 2 Literature Review
2.1 Risk & Conservation
2.2 Corrosion Testing in Museums
2.3 Electrochemical Testing
2.4 Flame Retardants
2.5 Environmental Issues & Toxicity
Chapter 3 Plastics & Flame Retardants
3.1 Plastic Sheeting in Museums
3.1.1 Polyethylene and Its Use
3.1.2 Combustion of Polyethylene
3.2 Flame Retardant in Plastics
3.2.1 History of Flame Retardants
3.2.2 Misconceptions
3.2.3 Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs)
3.2.4 Antimony Trioxide
3.2.5 Corrosivity of Bromine Containing Compounds
3.2.6 Flame Retardants: Advantages
Chapter 4 Analysis of Corrosion of Metal Materials in Museums
4.1 Corrosion
4.2 Corrosion Testing
4.2.1 Oddy Test
4.2.2 Electrochemical Testing
4.2.3 Other Tests
Chapter 5 Experimental Testing Procedures
5.1 Test Methodology
5.1.1 Burn Test
5.1.2 Oddy Test
5.1.3 Electrochemical Testing
5.1.4 XRF of Plastic Sheets and Extractions
5.1.5 XRD of Coupons and Corrosion Spots
5.1.6 pH of Extractions
5.2 Sample Plastics
5.2.1 Pure Polyethylene (Freer and Sackler)
5.2.2 ASFR6
5.2.3 Dura-Skrim
5.2.4 BlackFR
5.2.5 Blue Deck Cover
Chapter 6 Data Results
6.1 Burn Test
6.1.1 Data Results
6.1.2 Data Analysis
6.2 The Oddy Test
6.2.1 Weighing Test Results
6.2.2 Data Analysis
6.3 Electrochemical Testing
6.3.1 Data Results
6.3.2 Data Analysis
6.3.3 Statistical Analysis
6.4 XRF of Plastic Sheets, Extracts & Corrosion Spots on Oddy Coupons
6.4.1 Data Results
6.4.2 Data Analysis
6.5 XRD of Coupons & Extractions
6.5.1 Data Results
6.5.2 Data Analysis
6.6 pH of Extractions
6.6.1 Data Results
6.6.2 Data Analysis
Chapter 7 Conservation Risk Assessments
7.1 Identification of Risks to Collections
7.1.1 Agents of Deterioration and Types of Risk
7.1.2 Identifying the Risks
7.2 Assessing Magnitudes of Risk
7.2.1 Fire
7.2.2 Contamination
7.3 Identifying Possible Mitigation Strategies
7.4 Cost, Benefits and Difficulties
7.5 Risk Assessment Conclusions
Chapter 8 Conclusion
8.1 Brominated Flame Retardants in Museums
8.2 Oddy Test Improvements
8.3 Electrochemical Testing of Exhibit Materials
8.3.1 Benefits of Electrochemical Testing
8.3.2 Problems with Electrochemical Testing
8.4 The Future of Flame Retardants
Appendix A Oddy Test
A.1 Coupons after Testing
Appendix B Charts
Appendix C Burn Test Notes & Observations

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