The preservation and conservation of ink jet and electrophotographic printed materials

Glynn, Deborah (2001). The preservation and conservation of ink jet and electrophotographic printed materials. PhD thesis The Open University.



This research project has investigated the light fastness of ink jet and electrophotographic printed materials by the means of an extensive accelerated and natural ageing test programme. The effect of visible radiation of different wavebands on the deterioration of a selection of ink jet printed materials has also been assessed. The findings of the research indicate that all of the ink jet printed materials tested are sensitive to light and should not therefore, be put on permanent display. Most of the ink jet printed samples exhibited greater light sensitivity to the shorter wavelengths of the visible spectrum, than the longer wavelengths, with damage decreasing as wavelength increases. This relationship was not evident with the cyan and blue printed samples, which showed that their light sensitivity was determined by the spectral absorption characteristics of the printed patch. Some of the ink jet printed materials produced erratic fading rates on exposure to light. This phenomenon was attributed to either the occurrence of photochromism or the disintegration of the dye particles in the ink, but further testing needs to be conducted to gain a better understanding of this reaction. Other factors also influenced the light fastness of the ink jet materials, such as the type of paper employed for printing, ink concentration and ink combination. The electrophotographic printed materials were found to be more stable to light, although the yellow toner from some of the systems would show noticeable fading after approximately 65 to 325 years on permanent display (at 50 lux for eight hours per day).

A range of basic conservation treatments was also been investigated and the results indicated that ink jet print materials are very sensitive to all forms of aqueous treatments. Finally, thermal/dark ageing has been performed on the digital printed papers employed in this investigation. The conclusion is that all of the papers are prone to yellowing in storage.

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