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Chemistry for Audio Heritage Preservation: A Review of Analytical Techniques for Audio Magnetic Tapes

1
Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music (IPEM), Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
2
Consultant, Audio Tape Restorer, Aurora, ON L4G 5N8, Canada
3
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padua, 35131 Padua, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Heritage 2019, 2(2), 1551-1587; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2020097
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 20 May 2019 / Accepted: 21 May 2019 / Published: 31 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Analytical Chemistry in Cultural Heritage)
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Abstract

Vast and important cultural resources are entrusted to magnetic tape around the world, but they are susceptible to degradation, which may lead to severe replay problems. Audio magnetic tapes are complex and multicomponent devices containing organic compounds and metal systems, which can be potential catalysts for many degradative reactions in the presence of water, light, or heating. The aim of this review is to collect the literature concerning the analytical determinations and instrumental approaches that can achieve the chemical identification of the components in the tape and the degradation state. Thus, a combination of destructive (such as acetone extraction) and non-destructive techniques (such as ATR FTIR spectroscopy) have been proposed, together with SEM, ESEM, XRD and TGA analyses to assess the chemical and physical characterization of the tape with the purpose to individualize restoration treatments and optimize conditions for preservation. The impact of the studies reviewed in this paper may go beyond audio, being potentially relevant to video, data, instrumentation, and logging tapes. View Full-Text
Keywords: magnetic audio tape degradation; magnetic audio tape restoration; magnetic audio tape preservation; spectroscopic techniques such as FTIR and XRD; electron microscopy determinations magnetic audio tape degradation; magnetic audio tape restoration; magnetic audio tape preservation; spectroscopic techniques such as FTIR and XRD; electron microscopy determinations
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Bressan, F.; Hess, R.L.; Sgarbossa, P.; Bertani, R. Chemistry for Audio Heritage Preservation: A Review of Analytical Techniques for Audio Magnetic Tapes. Heritage 2019, 2, 1551-1587.

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