1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Clear sealant for skulls

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Sea Wolf, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    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
  2. fesekula

    fesekula Active Member

    Sea Wolf, Thank you for the info. on the skull sealent. I will be checking out the B-72.

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    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."
  4. Wolf

    Wolf AHOOoooooo!

    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.
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    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.

    RDMARTIN53 Active Member

    Thanks for the info and the link!
  7. BNS

    BNS New Member

    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.
  8. bonez

    bonez Member

    Sea Wolf & BNS thanks for sharing the info
  9. Gobblingfever

    Gobblingfever 100% PEER GOBBLER ADDICTION!!!!

  10. ReporterSr

    ReporterSr If you think education is expensive, try ignorance

    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.
  11. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 Active Member

    I have been painting on the Paraloid with no issues. Soaking puts more of a gloss than I care for in appearance.
  13. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. how does this affect the teeth?
  15. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 Active Member

    Sea Wolf, definately like it thinner. Have done the cloth rub with acetone too to remove gloss. A little of the solution goes a long way. The thinner mixture is easier to get inside nasal areas too.
  17. Gobblingfever

    Gobblingfever 100% PEER GOBBLER ADDICTION!!!!

    Mix sealant with acetone, paint or soak in solution. When done sealant canstay in a sealed container and be reused numerous times if I got this right? Will not wear out like a peroxide after so many uses?
  18. RDMARTIN53

    RDMARTIN53 Active Member

    Yes, obviously in a container that is safe for acetone. I use an empty acetone can itself and pour up in a glass jar to use. Learned the hard way to clean off the container opening before sealing after use. It WILL dry like glue and be difficult to remove ::)
  19. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    This does not wear out as it is a clear resin in a solution of acetone or denatured alcohol. In time, you will have to add more resin beads and acetone to replace your solution. Any drips and runs, once dry, can be peeled off the surface under your drying area ( I use a sturdy piece of plastic sheeting) and put right back into the bucket to dissolve again. There is no waste like using a spray. The resin will dissolve in acetone or denatured alcohol. The alcohol might be a bit safer to work with but I prefer the very rapid dry time of the acetone. :)
  20. Gobblingfever

    Gobblingfever 100% PEER GOBBLER ADDICTION!!!!

    Thanks for ALL the info. I want to try this stuff out for my own personal europeans.