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do gas masks need support to preserve their shape?


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#1 ken88

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 12:29 AM

As the title suggests, I've been wondering if gas masks need some sort of filling when they are stored in their bags.

 

I've seen unissued gas masks that have some type of cardboard or paper filling and was thinking about looking for a reproduction to go with my gas masks, especially the M5, to aid in shape preservation. Deformation seems to be a risk factor without good filling in case of longer term storage. Or what do you suggest? 

 

Thanks

 

m5mask.jpg

 

 



#2 USARV72

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 02:11 AM

Bubble wrap.

#3 Bluehawk

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 05:28 AM

Bubble wrap.

Agreed, good solution.

A gas mask IS going to gradually fall in on itself if stored without some sort of shape support.



#4 ken88

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 05:48 AM

That's what I feared, can't let that happen...

 

 

The bubble wrap sounds like a great, effective and cheap solution. Hadn't thought of that. Thanks!



#5 Bluehawk

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 08:57 PM

Another trick I've seen is to slice a styrofoam head mannequin in half longwise, lay it on its flat side, and place gas mask over the face. Gravity alone will keep the shape nicely.

resized_images.jpeg


Edited by Bluehawk, 04 April 2019 - 08:58 PM.


#6 Government Issue

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 06:35 PM

I was thinking about that the other day since I've got an M5 set up back home in storage. Thanks for the topic and advice! 

 

Ken, what's the date and story on that picture? That's the first time I've seen a UL marked bag in a period photo.



#7 ken88

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 12:33 AM

I was thinking about that the other day since I've got an M5 set up back home in storage. Thanks for the topic and advice! 

 

Ken, what's the date and story on that picture? That's the first time I've seen a UL marked bag in a period photo.

 

Hey,

I couldn't find a date but I recall learning that the M-5 assault gas mask was only made in 1944. The production was discontinued late in 1944 because of problems with the rubber, apparently it was not as resistant to cold temperatures and moisture as the army had hoped. So I'll go out on a limb and date it 1944.

Would be nice to know what factory the picture was taken in but unfortunately, there's no additional info, at least not where I found it.

 

I already stuffed mine with bubblewrap. Works great! Thanks again. 

 

Best regards



#8 DukeNougat3d

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 05:29 PM

I would not use any of the posted methods for faceforms. Thin plastic and styrofoam off-gasses fumes over time that could melt the rubber or at the very least leave a mess of the material stuck to the rubber. The best thing to do with older masks is to make your own faceforms out of packing paper. Avoid anything with ink or acids as it will imprint upon the rubber over time as well.

 

I use the packing paper method on all my gas masks and it works very well.



#9 Bodes

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 06:00 PM

The M5 was made of neoprene, a synthetic material....As stated above, they are subject to "cold setting".....This means they can deform under cold conditions, renderring them incapable of sealing properly....The sealing aspect is irrelevant, since it is an obselete mask for the purposes of gas protection any way....Get a cardboard form that were originally issued with the masks and store in the bag...Otherwise get a form that won't deform the piece, attack the rubber, and keep away from elements such as sun, heat, etc...Basically any thing that will further degrade and deteriorate the material....Bodes

#10 rooster77

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Posted 01 September 2019 - 07:33 PM

I read that the styrofoam gasses degrade the rubber.

Thats why I have cloth over my styro heads that have O2 masks on them.



#11 Bluehawk

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 07:56 AM

The M5 was made of neoprene, a synthetic material....As stated above, they are subject to "cold setting".....This means they can deform under cold conditions, renderring them incapable of sealing properly....The sealing aspect is irrelevant, since it is an obselete mask for the purposes of gas protection any way....Get a cardboard form that were originally issued with the masks and store in the bag...Otherwise get a form that won't deform the piece, attack the rubber, and keep away from elements such as sun, heat, etc...Basically any thing that will further degrade and deteriorate the material....Bodes

^ Good advice...

 

Expanded polystyrene (aka "styrofoam" - which is a Dow Chemical Co. trade name) is essentially inert, so much so that it is practically non-biodegradable. It will dissolve in the presence of certain chemicals, e.g. acetone.

Any outgassing (or "off gassing") the product is likely to exhibit will be extremely minuscule and very slowly released... far beyond the normal storage environments of most artifacts. Apparently, any significant outgassing that may happen is more probable and rapid in very high temperature conditions. 

Museums that have big budgets can afford to use head mannequins which have a cotton or synthetic cloth cover (i.e. barrier) over the polystyrene. But, in the likely storage period range of 0 - 100 years or more (?) polystyrene in and of itself will be highly unlikely to damage these gas masks.

As with artifacts of every kind, simply maintaining a stable temperature and humidity storage environment, away from direct sun light, heat, moisture and critters, under as-neutral pH conditions as possible will ensure long life for all but THE most delicate materials in nearly all preservation circumstances. 

In some sense, then, one CAN be "too careful"... There are books upon libraries upon conferences upon experts upon professional organizations upon traditions upon personal opinions upon industries upon horror stories about the 100% perfect way to preserve objects. After 50+ years in the business, I've come to realize that all we can do is give it our best effort with good intentions and some common sense.




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