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Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Taxidermy Discussion Categories  |  Skulls and Skeletons  |  Topic: Clear sealant for skulls « previous next »
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Author Topic: Clear sealant for skulls  (Read 18573 times)
Sea Wolf
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« on: September 23, 2006, 10:59:30 PM »

    This is a product that I was informed of by conservators at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology. The stuff is called Acryloid (Paraloid) B-72 It looks like little clear plastic bits when you get it. The museum curators dissolve this stuff in Acetone (it takes a little while and some poking and stirring) until what you have is a thin solution of it. Because of the Acetone you have to keep it in a glass or metal container. You can soak smaller skulls in this for a few minutes or hours or brush it onto larger skulls. The solution has to be thin enough to be able to soak into the bone. On larger skulls I have used this on, on some areas you can see the stuff just disappear right into the bone.  Once it has soaked for a while or you have saturated the bone by brushing it on, you let it air dry. This stuff virtually plasticized the bone, sealed it and left a very natural looking surface. Not glossy, or shiny at all. A bad skull I had that had been chlorine bleached and was all powdery was completely stabilized. Areas of bone that were brittle, porous or delicate were strengthened and no longer subject to damage by handling. The bone surface was now, also, washable/wipeable at least on the smooth areas. The Acetone evaporates and leaves the resin behind in the bone.I have used this now on small mammals, bears, coyotes and some really ancient marine mammal skulls that were disintegrating. I am more than pleased with the results of this stuff. You can purchase this stuff from these folks http://www.museumservicescorporation.com/scat/co.html

DIFFERENT LINK >> http://stores.homestead.com/conservemp/Detail.bok?no=703
« Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 09:04:38 PM by Sea Wolf » Logged

fesekula
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2006, 11:23:01 PM »

Sea Wolf, Thank you for the info. on the skull sealent. I will be checking out the B-72.
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Sea Wolf
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2006, 12:01:54 AM »

If anyone is interested, these are clips from the emails sent to me from Harvard University.

  "The methods employed in the consolidation of bone differ depending upon the condition of the bone i.e. wet, dry, greasy, etc. As you mentioned, consolidating dry bone material is most effective using Acryloid (or Paraloid) B-72, a very stable non-yellowing, non-crosslinking acrylic resin used extensively in conservation. Perhaps the most versatile method is preparing 10-20% weight:volume solutions in acetone because it dries so fast.  Of course the lower the % concentration the deeper the resin will penetrate. Higher concentrations will leave a glossy film on the surface of the bone which is not usually desirable. Acetone readily evaporates so it may be necessary to adjust viscosity of the solution by adding acetone from time to time. If the bone to be consolidated is greasy or soiled, the material should first be cleaned, degreased and completely dry before immersion in the B-72 solution or application with a brush."

  "Use Acryloid B-72 Resin beads dissolved in Acetone, soak the bones in a deep enough container so that the solution is absorbed by the bone (or paint layers of it on the skulls). Pull the bones out of the solution when it seems the bone is saturated.  Let air dry, the Acetone evaporates out of the bone, leaving the bone embedded with the B72 Resin.
The concentration we use to paint a spot on greasy bones (so that we can number the bone with India ink) is 20g of B72 beads to 80 mls of Acetone. In my notes it says to use 20g/100mls of Acetone to soak the bones in for embedding purposes.  I think you can make this solution a bit or thinner or thicker (ie more or less Acetone), ie. whatever is needed."
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2006, 12:51:23 AM »

I got something like that from a museum friend, its called Vinac B.  It works the same and may be the same thing with a different name.  Stuff works great on sealing damaged bones that need a little TLC.  The thinning and thickening is adjusted by the amount of Acetone.  Thinned is great for dipping and soaking bones, while thick will coat the bones without dripping.  I haven't asked the paleo guys what they use at the museum I work with now, but it is the same type of product painted on fossil bones before numbering.  Cool stuff none the less.  A bit pricey for commercial work but worth it for rare specimens, and excellent for preserving damaged, flaky, chalky, dried out bone.
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Sea Wolf
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2006, 03:34:19 AM »

It did appear to be expensive but when made up into a solution, you only really use what soaks into the bone. I have done several bear skulls, a couple of wolves, a bunch of european badgers and smaller skulls, a full walrus, some seals and a small whale and I still have half a bag of crystal bits. I worked over a piece of sheet metal and when I was done, I could peel up all the drips and runs that had solidified and put the leftovers back into the can of Acetone. There really is no waste with this stuff and it is wonderful to work with as you can make it as thick or thin as you need. It does indeed sound like the same stuff as the Vinac B. Harvard also uses this in a thicker dilution to put a clear, sealed spot on fossils so they can write an ID on them. I was very pleased with the results of this, especially when working with damaged and degrading bone. No more flaking, powder or disintegration. Soft, porous bone becomes quite solid and stable. And it can be removed with a soak or wipe with straight Acetone.
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RD Martin
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2006, 10:14:25 AM »

Thanks for the info and the link!
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BNS
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2006, 01:11:48 PM »

I have also used a produst like this called Butvar. It is used widely in stabilizing dinosur bones during excavation. Some fossil shops may have it in stock.

Hope this helps.
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Bonez
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« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2008, 07:13:04 AM »

Sea Wolf  & BNS  thanks for sharing the info 
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Gobblingfever
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2008, 10:06:51 PM »

Excellent!!!
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ReporterSr
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2008, 08:56:26 AM »

Thank you, everyone. I'll definitely give up the acrylic stuff that I have been using. It's great to know there's stuff out there that will stabilize skull/bones. It should help my poor car-struck croc hold together better.
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Sea Wolf
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2008, 10:54:03 AM »

RS, be aware that in using the Paraloid, you soak the skull in it. If you used anything but Elmers glue, the acetone will dissolve the glue and you will have to put the puzzle back together all over again. I have also noticed that a long soak in the acetone turns the elmers glue white. It doesn't seem to affect the holding ability of it. Just turns it white where it is exposed.
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RD Martin
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2008, 09:46:22 PM »

I have been painting on the Paraloid with no issues. Soaking puts more of a gloss than I care for in appearance.
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Sea Wolf
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2008, 10:08:27 PM »

RD, have you tried thinning it more? I personally do not like a shiny gloss surface either. If I see areas that look shiny, usually on the more solid bone surfaces, I rub it down with a white rag with straight acetone on it. It either takes it off or dulls it down so it looks natural without taking it out of the bone itself.
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Beaumont taxidermy
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2008, 10:19:15 PM »

how does this affect the teeth?
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Sea Wolf
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2008, 10:32:15 PM »

Seals in any loose teeth and coats and seals them as well. If I have wanted shinier teeth I have put on a second coat on the teeth alone with a fine bristled brush so it doesn't drip. There is no color to this resin and the thickness of the coat depends on how much it is thinned with acetone. You can also dissolve this in denatured alcohol with the same result except that it takes longer to dry. I prefer the faster dry time with the acetone despite it being a potential pain to work with.
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