Historical Oddy Test Results: Wax

Oddy Test Results for sample of Wax


An Oddy-style test was conducted on a sample of wax. The test procedure was as follows:

The sample was enclosed in a glass vial with blanks of polished lead, silver, and copper. Half of the sample was placed beneath the blanks so that the affect of direct contact as well as volatile contaminates could be assessed. Moist cotton was placed in the test vial which was then sealed and exposed to 55 degrees F for 48 days. A control vial was prepared in the same manner, without a wax sample, and exposed to the same conditions. A second sample was prepared as above and placed in an area that received direct sunlight for several hours a day. This vial was prepared as a back-up in case the wax melted in the heat chamber. The wax did not melt when exposed to 55 degrees F but did soften substantially. The second test vial was examined at regular intervals throughout 75 days.

1 - 48 Sample 1 (dental wax exposed in heat chamber) No change in test blanks.
1 - 75 Sample 2 (dental wax exposed to sunlight) No change in test blanks.
1 - 45 Control No change in test blanks.


The wax did not cause any observable change to, or corrosion of, the metal blanks.

Requested by Benchmark, Rosemont, N.J. 08556

All waxes are capable of leaving stains if left on an object for a long time. Limited use is better. Conservators recommend a barrier layer of B-72.


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