What makes my books go "rusty"?

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Offline thedoc

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What makes my books go "rusty"?
« on: 12/03/2012 08:50:01 »
Peter Hurt  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
The pages of my favourite paperback books are turning rusty and some are so bad I have to throw them away. What is causing the rusty pages of my books?  Will it spread to my other hardback books?  Some are valuable and I have a big collection.  Can I stop the rust from spreading
 further in those books already affected?
 
I hope you can help as I have tried websites who deal with books and cannot get a satisfactory answer.

Thank you.
 
Lesley.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 12/03/2012 08:50:01 by _system »

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Offline Sprool

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Re: What makes my books go \
« Reply #1 on: 12/03/2012 12:43:00 »
Surely it can't be rust? There needs to be iron and moisture and oxygen fro rust to form. As far as I know, Iron is not a normal ingredient in paper. Are there higher than normal traces of metals from use of recycled pulp stock?
Is it photo-oxidative effect the paper sizing, or discoloration due to growth of mould or similar?

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Offline imatfaal

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Re: What makes my books go
« Reply #2 on: 12/03/2012 17:42:22 »
Slight oxidation of the plant fibres that make up the paper over time - giving that dried, fragile, almost burnt look?
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Offline MikeS

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Re: What makes my books go \
« Reply #3 on: 13/03/2012 07:10:49 »
It may be a bacterial growth that turns brown like rust over time.
http://cool.conservation-us.org/byauth/maravilla/deterioration-causes.html

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Offline Don_1

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Re: What makes my books go
« Reply #4 on: 13/03/2012 09:49:12 »
There are sites which deal with paper degradation. Try a search for 'lignin'.
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Offline RD

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« Last Edit: 13/03/2012 10:01:23 by RD »

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Offline SeanB

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Re: What makes my books go
« Reply #6 on: 14/03/2012 18:06:27 »
You need to store them in an atmosphere that is very dry, to keep the fungus from further damaging the books. Thus you need a sealed room, with a controlled atmosphere ( best is to remove all oxygen, and maintain a dry nitrogen only atmosphere) where you can have very low humidity. Otherwise vacuum packing after dessication will preserve them quite well, provided the packaging does not apply pressure on the book, so it will be a box with the books inside, with a seal that allows you to draw a near vacuum inside.