The Conservation By Design Board Collection.
The Conservation By Design range of boards in this catalogue have been developed over many years. They have clearly defined specifications and are produced under controlled manufacturing conditions allowing those responsible for conserving and preserving the collections of Museums, Galleries, Libraries and Archives to confidently select these products for their application.
‘Board’ is a broad term that incorporates everything from a thick paper to honeycomb panels. Mostly when we think of board we think of paper based items but in this catalogue it can include synthetic materials such as Plastazote® polyethylene foam or composite materials like Gatorfoam®; which combines paper with polystyrene foam.
Paper based board can be made with or without adhesive; the method of manufacture chosen will depend on the end user application. We offer boards for making storage boxes and folders, supporting, mounting and framing objects as well as boards for bookbinders. Although CXD specialise in boards of the highest archival specification, for applications where this level is not required we have included a selection of lower quality boards.
Non Adhesive Laminated Paper Board.
The earliest forms of paper board were made in handmade papermills. In Japan these thicker multi-layer papers are known as Tamishiguchi. In Europe little is known about the manufacture of these early ‘Pasteless’ boards other than they were produced in varying thicknesses by laying one or several wet layers of pulp on top of each other so that the wet fibres bonded together. They were then pressed and dried.
In 2007 Conservation By Design initiated a project with Jacques Brejoux, of the Moulin du Verger (MDV) handmade paper mill and Christopher Clarkson, (rare book conservator and conservation consultant to Hereford Cathedral, Wordsworth Trust and the Bodleian Library in Oxford) to develop boards and cover papers of similar quality to those found on early Renaissance bindings. The resultant MDV papers and boards can be found in this catalogue and are the product of many years combined experience and dedication to the production of authentic materials of the finest quality.
If a hard dense board is required, such as for post 19th century bookbinder’s millboard, it is normally made without adhesive on an ‘Intermittent’ board machine. This kind of machine forms the board around a large drum by building up layers of wet pulp until the desired thickness is achieved. The board is then pressed and dried. It is sometimes known as ‘Pressboard’ or ‘Transformer Board’. This method of manufacture is capable of producing very hard dense board and often uses recycled material. The typical density range is 0.96 g/cm3 to 1.30 g/cm3.
In the 19th century old hemp rope, which also contained elements of tar, was used to make an extremely hard board which was very popular with bookbinders. Apart from bookbinding, boards made by this method can be used for picture backing boards and boxmaking. They are also used for the shoe, automotive and electrical industries. Most of the mills using this kind of machinery are not suitable for making high quality archival binding or storage board. However there are one or two specialist mills still in existence that are capable of producing a high quality product and Conservation By Design use such a mill to produce ‘Superior Millboard’ and ‘EcopHant Boxboard’.
Although these boards use recycled waste they are acid and lignin free as they are made solely from CXD archival quality, post production paper and board waste created during the manufacture of ‘Premier Archival Board, Boxes, Folders and Envelopes.
The ‘Intermittent’ board machine is inflexible and cannot make the variety of colours and surface finishes that can be acheived by laminating layers of paper with adhesive and because of the high density of the product it is also very hard to cut. This makes it unsuitable for producing mountboard for artwork.
Adhesive Laminated Paper Board.
The most flexible method of manufacturing boards for mounting, framing and storage/boxes is to glue two or more sheets together on a laminating machine. This allows papers and textures to be combined to create an infinite variety. Paper and foils can also be used for special applications. Corrugated board is also laminated but the inner core is fluted to create thickness without density.
As an intrinsic part of the board CXD pay particular attention to any adhesive used for laminating the plies of paper together. The first quality Museum, Conservation Mounting and Premier™ Archival Folding Boxboards are made using ‘Evacon R’, an EVA adhesive. A PVA adhesive with Neutral pH is used for the second quality boards.
EVA is a much more expensive adhesive than PVA but has proved more resistant to acid hydrolysis and contains no plasticisers. For the range of corrugated boards we use a starch adhesive. Due to the difficulty in controlling moisture content starch is now rarely used commercially for producing mountboards. In the past, many boards were laminated with hot animal glue and can be identified by the brown glue line between each layer of paper.
Paper can be glued together on either a reel-to-reel laminator or a sheet-to-sheet laminator or a sheet to reel laminator.