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    The Information Background in the Field of Biological Deterioration of Nonmetallic Materials

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    Important in the consideration of biological agents is the role of chemical and physical factors such as moisture, heat, light, oxygen, and salts. Crucial in determining the existence of the biological agents at the site of the deteriorative action, they also influence the rates of reaction of biological agents on their substrates. For the subsequent discussions of rubber, plastics, paint, textiles, and other nonmetallics, this paper will sketch the development of science in this field. A secondary goal will comprise outlining methods for obtaining published information on the subject.

    There are many antecedent instances of biological deterioration of nonmetallic materials, but World War II assembled circumstances where the subject rose to the attention of the government. Environments of battle theaters and the need to concentrate immense amounts of materiel under primitive storage conditions caused the deterioration by biological agents to become critical. This paper will provide some history and describe events during and after World War II associated with the development of the field.

    To perform biodeterioration research and development, it is essential to know the work done in the past. It is important to have under control that little bit of the information reservoir pertinent to the biodeterioration field. The paper, therefore, will identify the information resources which developed concomitant with the needs of research, development, test, and evaluation in the biodeterioration field. The intent is to leave the audience with a picture, not only of the subject matter highlights of this fascinating field, but also the sources where he can gain additional information.


    information sources, biodeterioration, materials, nonmetallic, microorganisms, tropics, rodents, boring organisms, fouling organisms, history, mildew, rotting, humidity, temperature, primary journals, abstracts journals, information centers, fungi, insects, marine organisms

    Author Information:

    Wessel, CJ
    Senior vice-president, Science Information and Library Systems, John I. Thompson & Company, Washington, D.C.,

    Committee/Subcommittee: G01.09

    DOI: 10.1520/STP32020S