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Removing Glue from Torbernite
  
  Index -> Conserving, Preparing and Cleaning Minerals
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nurbo




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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2009 17:32    Post subject: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

Hello,
I have a Torbernite which arrived glued to a styrofoam square and covered in cotton wool,. excellent packaging, but somehow a cotton wool fibre covered irregular shaped styrofoam chunk doesnt really do the specimen justice, so I was hoping someone could tell me if it would be ok to put it in warm water to get rid of the glue and the base? I was trying to photograph a small zoned area under UV which looks just incredible and I couldnt get the lense in near enough because of the styrofoam, its got to go.
Ive added a picture taken under UV.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
db



torbernite on base.JPG
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torbernite on base.JPG


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Gail




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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2009 17:38    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

We remove pieces and re mount them all the time. Use isopropyl ( rubbing ) alchohol. You can use a Q-tip ear swab if you are worried about how it will affect your piece, but we have yet to see it do any damage to pieces without soft matrix.
It pops off in just a minute or so.

By the way, we often half fill a small bowl to set the mounted piece in, then watch it as it might wish to topple shortly thereafter.
Good luck!

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GneissWare




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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2009 20:04    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

You may want to ask what kind of glue was used to determine the right solvent. It shouldn't be soluble in most organic solvents, like isopropyl or MEK. If white glue was used, water will remove it.
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Gail




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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2009 20:08    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

Or silicone, that is harder to remove but alchohol works on that too...we often take a razor blade to break down the edges to help the alchohol work its way in.
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pub1tzu




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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2009 20:39    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

But do be aware that torbernite is a VERY unstable mineral...always itching to become metatorbernite and then fall apart.
I was once advised not to attempt to clean torbernite...kinda felt like you wouldn't really clean halite crystals.
I'll look to see what else is said here...would love to clean my torbernite collection...along with the cuproskldowskites.

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GneissWare




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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2009 20:56    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

The reaction from torbernite to metatorbernite is a dehydration reaction. As a hydrated phosphate, Isopropyl may not be a good choice, nor acetone, as they both tend to absorb water. I tried to find solubility info on torbernite, but it is illusive. If anything pops up I'll post it.
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John S. White
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PostPosted: Sep 07, 2009 05:08    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

My guess is that the specimen you have has already altered to metatorbernite as a result of losing some of its waters. I am quite certain that the reaction is not reversible, so I see no harm in letting it soak in warm water for several hours, at least, just to see what happens to the glue. If this doesn't do the job, then you might try some organic solvants, applying them with a brush or swab as suggested by Gail.
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nurbo




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PostPosted: Sep 07, 2009 05:43    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

Thanks for the advice,

I am a little bit nervous because as Gneissware pointed out earlier, information on Torbernite's solubility is very hard to come by, I found a site related to cleaning minerals that say's it isnt soluble in water but is soluble in Hydrochloric acid, so I'll give the soaking idea first go and see what happens.

Given Torbernite transforms to meta-Torbernite due to water loss I couldnt decide if soaking it in water would hasten the transformation, slow it down or make no difference.

I'll let you all know if I end up with a pile of radioactive green sludge.

db
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John S. White
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PostPosted: Sep 07, 2009 08:33    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

Torbernite is quite unstable and the water-loss appears to occur shortly after its being removed from where it crystallized, which is why I am quite certain that your specimen has already altered to metatorbernite so putting it in water will do no harm. If fact, I am sure that much torbernite has altered to the meta- phase even before having been collected.

I agree that that dreadful styrofoam base has to go.

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lluis




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PostPosted: Sep 07, 2009 16:34    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

Good evening

My exprience with styrofoam mounted pieces are that they are glued normally with a solvent glue or directly with blue tack. Never had one with Elmer's Glue.

Water will only remove (well, swell) Elmer's glue.

Alcohol, either ethanol or isoprpyl alchol would work great for a silicone, as Gail said.

If a solvent glue, then it would will be removed by ethylacetate (caution: flammable and toxic ) and also with acetone (acetone will make soft styrofoam; You should remove it with a toothpick and forbearance,.....

Take in account that residues of cleaning are radioactives. so, no to be discarded as safe...
Even water would be somehow radioactive......

With best wishes


Lluís
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Les Presmyk




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PostPosted: Sep 08, 2009 09:45    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

Place a drop of water on the glue. If it gets tacky, then you know it is Elmer's. Then, I would cut off as much of the styrofoam as possible but making sure you will be able to set the specimen upright in the bowl or dish. Finally place just enough water in the container to cover the styrofoam and wick up to the glue. This way, you will be able to soak the glue off without immersing the specimen in water.

I have washed metatornernites in the past without any problems. They do not react like the meta-autunites from Washington. Those you want to keep out of water. I, too, would be concerned about placing the piece in something like acetone but again, you do not have to immerse the specimen in order to get rid of it.
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nurbo




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PostPosted: Sep 08, 2009 15:01    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

Again thanks for all the tips everyone, I tried warm water but Im afraid water had no effect :-(
Isopropyl alcohol next I guess, It looks like silicon, Im going to have to be pretty delicate doing this, the glue is very well stuck. I dont understand why they didnt use terostat or some other mineral clay, I could understand gluing it to an acrylic base but an irregular shaped lump of styrofoam? weird
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Les Presmyk




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PostPosted: Sep 08, 2009 16:16    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

Although I do not understand why anyone would use silicone with a styrofoam base. at one time, styrofoam was the mineral base of the future.

Rob Lavinsky and I bought a collection a few years ago that the collector mounted a number of specimens and used everything but Elmer's glue. Most of his specimens were mounted during the time when Mineral Tak formula was not the best and he apparently bought a cheap brand of silicone. So, the blue gunk would not come off the specimens and the silicone was still almost gooey in some cases. To make matters worse, he even used the Tak to secure paper labels to the fronts of specimens. There were a couple of specimens I had to break the cloth covered wood bases off with my Zuber trimmer. In fact, I learned the hard way that I will pay more attention to collections and how the specimens are mounted.

So, putting matters into perspective it is not as bad as you might think and you are asking all of the right questions.
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lluis




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PostPosted: Sep 08, 2009 16:26    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

Good afternoon, Nurbo

Elmer's glue only swells after sometime.....No inmediate.

If it is silicone (should be transparent...), only a drop of alcohol, and you could take your piece. I have never seen anyone glueing with silicone to styrofoam, but.....

And Les, I fear that I also bought some pieces of that collection.
Pity that labels were ruinated (stained with oil......).
Well, things happen..... :-(

With best wishes

Lluís
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Carles Millan
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PostPosted: Nov 24, 2009 14:04    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

Hot melt glue is not silicone

The adhesive that is usually applied hot with a gun for fixing minerals on a polyacrylic base has nothing to do with silicone. It is actually a chemical completely different from the silicone polymers that are mainly used in aluminium-glass frames and for sealing bath joints and that, as far as I know, cannot be injected with a heating gun.

For more info you may want to look it up in the Wikipedia at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_melt_glue
(link normalized by FMF)
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nurbo




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PostPosted: Dec 19, 2009 03:56    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

So I got the glue stuff off after a couple of hours soaking in warm water then when I came to photograph the zoned area I couldnt find it, a quick search revealed it had fallen off, which is pretty annoying. However it did make it easier to photograph under UV.


torbernite.JPG
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Zoned Torbernite under long wave UV.approx 6 mm across
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torbernite.JPG


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parfaitelumiere




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PostPosted: Dec 19, 2009 05:41    Post subject: Re: Removing Glue from Torbernite  

Nurbo, the thumbnail glue can often go with water, just let the specimen in water several hours, and then ou can remove the glue, that becames white when ok for removing.

Sorry, you did it...

Now I know it's elmers glue.
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