Some of the earliest synthetic resins were cellulose esters from cellulose fibers. Cellulose nitrate was first made as a substitute for ivory and later was used for photographic film, or in clear lacquers, adhesives and high gloss paints. While cellulose acetate replaced cellulose nitrate because of its lower flammability, both materials are inherently unstable and decompose at room temperature. Ultraviolet light, heat, and/or high humidities can hasten their decomposition. Both materials are still commercially available and are used as adhesives and coatings. More recently, other cellulose esters have been developed with better properties in respect to weathering, adhesion, and lacquer formation.
Synonyms and Related Terms
cellulose plastic; ésteres de la celulosa (Esp.); estere di cellulosa (It.); éster de celulose (Port.)
- Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988
- Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
- Book and Paper Group, Paper Conservation Catalog, AIC, 1984, 1989