The chemical deterioration process called “vinegar syndrome” is a widely investigated topic that, until recently, has been considered as one single chemical reaction, causing molecular chain scission, thereby degrading magnetic audio tapes with a base of cellulose acetate. Retracing the mechanisms of physical and chemical ageing in plastics, some not so well considered facts come up, showing that the problem has been recognized already long time before the vinegar syndrome per se was detected and named. In parallel, it seems that the second chemical deterioration process of plasticizer loss has been severely underestimated in the world of audiovisual archiving. The paper outlines details of physical and chemical ageing of plastics, focusing on the phenomenon of plasticizer loss, and thereby connects knowledge of polymer chemistry and the archival world.
Surname (author 1):
Phonogrammarchiv Austrian Academy of Sciences
6 October Monday
CFB Committee Room