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Polyester is a tough, chemically stable film base, and its tensile strength lessens the likelihood of damage via handling or, in the case of motion picture films, playback.
Polyester, a synthetic polymer, was used as a plastic base for photographic material from the 1950s onwards due to its superior dimensional stability and mechanical strength. During the 1960s and 1970s it gradually replaced cellulose acetate as it was found to be more chemically and physically stable than cellulose nitrate and cellulose acetate . More than 50 years after it first began to be used in the photography industry it is still demonstrating little to no deterioration.
Polyester film, a generic term for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), was developed in the mid-1950s. During the 1960s and 1970s, it gradually replaced acetate for sheet films. Polyethylene naphthalene (PEN, a modification of PET) was introduced in 1996 for amateur roll film, under the brand name Advantix, but other roll films are still made from cellulose acetate. Polyester film is a synthetic polymer, unlike cellulose acetate and cellulose nitrate, and it does not contain solvents or plasticisers. Thus, it is inherently very chemically stable.
Nitrate, acetate, and polyester films all use gelatin as their binder material. Nitrate and acetate films also had a subbing of diluted cellulose nitrate to help the binder adhere to the film. In addition, nitrate (after 1903) and acetate had an anti-curl layer of gelatin applied to the back of the film. The tendency of gelatin to soften in high humidity is made worse by the byproducts of nitrate deterioration, which cause the emulsion to become very soft and sticky. In acetate and polyester films, the gelatin is vulnerable to softening and mold growth in high humidity, but is otherwise not a major contributor to deterioration.
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Our services are highly recommended in Oxfordshire, providing high quality precision photographic and document scanning solutions for all your digital media requirements. Output digital files can be in any format, with typically any archive file converted to TIFF, with JPEG or PDF access files.