This allows the researcher to determine how many days at each temperature it takes for a particular level of degradation to be reached. In such a test, the purpose is not to predict a particular outcome for a specific type of paper, but rather to gain a greater understanding of the chemical mechanisms of decay.
In such a test, treated and untreated papers are both subjected to a single set of fixed, standardized conditions. Some point out that there is no standard point at which a paper is considered unusable for library and archival purposes.
To predict the long-term effects of particular conservation treatments. In this context, a material, usually paper, is subjected to extreme conditions in an effort to speed up the natural aging process.
Usually, the extreme conditions consist of elevated temperature, but tests making use of concentrated pollutants or intense light also exist.
Other researchers criticize the ways in which deterioration is measured during these experiments. Besides variations in the conditions to which the papers are subjected, there are also multiple ways in which the test can be set up.
This test is based on the Arrhenius equation. The two are then compared in an effort to determine whether the treatment has a positive or negative effect on the lifespan of the paper.
In such a test, paper samples are generally subjected to several elevated temperatures and a constant level of relative humidity equivalent to the relative humidity in which they would be stored.
The researcher then measures a relevant quality of the samples, such as folding endurance, at each temperature. This type of test is, however, a subject of frequent criticism.
From the data collected, the researcher extrapolates the rate at which the samples might decay at lower temperatures, such as those at which the paper would be stored under normal conditions.
One argument is that entirely different chemical processes take place at higher temperatures than at lower temperatures, which means the accelerated aging process and natural aging process are not parallel.
Many argue that this method cannot predict an exact lifespan for the tested papers, but that it can be used to rank papers by permanence. Ina frequently used method in which 72 hours at degrees Celsius is considered equivalent to 18—25 years of natural aging was established by R.
In theory, this allows the researcher to predict the lifespan of the paper. While some researchers claim that the Arrhenius equation can be used to quantitatively predict the lifespan of tested papers,  other researchers disagree.
For instance, rather than simply placing single sheets in a climate controlled chamber, the Library of Congress recommends sealing samples in an air-tight glass tube and aging the papers in stacks, which more closely resembles the way in which they are likely to age under normal circumstances, rather than in single sheets.Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability Jim Shulman Deaderick Street, 9th Floor Nashville, TN () [email protected] adrc.
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