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Museum and Preservation


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The low surface tension, inertness, nonflammability and other unique characteistics of 3M™ Novec™ Fluids have found application in a variety of technologies used to protect and preserve valuable documents and artifacts in museums, archives, libraries, universities and research facilities.



Document Preservation

Manufacturing methods introduced over the past 100 years have allowed the mass production of affordable, standardized papers – bringing the printed word within reach of most of the world’s inhabitants. Unfortunately, these same manufacturing methods, combined with the spread of airborne pollutants, have accelerated the acidic deterioration of valuable books, manuscripts and other documents.

To preserve these materials for future generations, the challenge has been to find ways to increase the pH of cellulosic materials without damaging or altering their written or printed content.

A new deacidifying technique being successfully used by a number of preservationists involves treating printed materials, manuscripts, photographs textiles and other materials with certain metallic compounds, using a 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluid as the carrier solvent.

Novec fluids are an ideal choice for this application because they do not damage or discolor delicate papers or bindings, or cause inks to run or fade. Their extremely low surface tension allows treatment chemicals to penetrate deeply into the substrate, for more complete protection. These nonflammable hydrofluoroether materials evaporate quickly and completely, leaving no residue of their own behind.

3M™ Novec™ 7100 Engineered Fluid

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Preservation of Biological Specimens

Alcohol has been used for many years by natural history museums as a medium for preserving animal specimens for study and display. Because of its flammability, however, the use of alcohol is increasingly restricted. Over time, alcohol can also penetrate soft tissues, resulting in discoloration of the specimen and the fluid.

Some alternatives to alcohol, such as formalin, can not only damage specimens, but also have health, safety and flammability concerns of their own.

In recent years, 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids have been successfully used to replace alcohol as a preservation medium for rare and often fragile marine animal specimens. Novec fluids are non-flammable, low in toxicity, non ozone-depleting and have a relatively low global warming potential.

Novec fluids do not damage delicate tissues, remain crystal clear over time and have demonstrated an ability to preserve the natural color of specimens better than alcohol.

3M™ Novec™ 7100 Engineered Fluid
3M™ Novec™ 7200 Engineered Fluid

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Fire Protection

3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid offers a number of unique advantages for protecting records stored on various electronic media; paper documents; archival film and video; fine arts, antiques and other valuable - and often irreplaceable — items which are vulnerable to conventional water, foam and dry chemical extinguishing agents.

  • Evaporates cleanly and completely during discharge
  • Leaves no residue to clean up
  • Electrically non-conductive
  • Non-corrosive
  • Non-reactive with paper, canvas or other such materials, nor is it reactive with that which is printed, drawn, painted or written on such materials

Novec 1230 fluid offers a wide margin of safety, and an environmental profile unmatched by any other halogenated agent – helping to make it today's long-term solution for protecting your most valuble assets.

3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid

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