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These Cultural Treasures Are Made of Plastic. Now They’re Falling Apart – XiaoZhi Lim

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LOS ANGELES — The custodians of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit at the National Air and Space Museum saw it coming. A marvel of human engineering, the suit is made of 21 layers of various plastics: nylon, neoprene, Mylar, Dacron, Kapton and Teflon.

The rubbery neoprene layer would pose the biggest problem. Although invisible, buried deep between the other layers, the suit’s caretakers knew the neoprene would harden and become brittle with age, eventually making the suit stiff as a board. In January 2006, the Armstrong suit, a national treasure, was taken off display and stored to slow the degradation……

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/28/science/plastics-preservation-getty.html

 

 

 

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