Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

The science behind it

  • (C10H8O4)n
  • Melting point is around 250°C
  • Can be transparent or opaque white
  • It can be semi-rigid or rigid depending on how it was processed
  • It is a successful water and moisture barrier
  • A well-known commercial brand, produced in 1952 by Dupont™, is Mylar®

The story behind it

  • PET is a safe and stable plastic used often in conservation in the form of either foam or sheeting, to house or protect artifacts
  • It is also used during conservation treatment, e.g. for some humidification treatments, and as a barrier on the suction table
  • It is commonly used to make water bottles, and is a popular material in the art and drafting industry

We recommend PET as an important material for an emergency response or disaster kit. It can be draped over shelving units, tables, or boxes to protect records from water or moisture damage caused by sprinklers, or fire extinguishers.

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