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cellulose acetate

Broader Term: 

n. ~ An extruded plastic made from hydrolyzed cellulose, usually wood pulp or cotton, dissolved in acetone.


Variant forms of cellulose acetate include cellulose diacetate and cellulose triacetate. Cellulose diacetate was commonly used as the base of photographic and motion picture films beginning in the early 20th century. It was replaced by cellulose triacetate in the mid-20th century. Use of cellulose triacetate as a film base was largely, but not entirely, superseded by polyester beginning in the 1950s. Clear sheets of cellulose triacetate are used as protective sleeves for photographs. Deterioration of cellulose acetate films often results in a condition called vinegar syndrome.

(Leggio, et al. 2000) Cellulose acetate is the generic term used to describe a variety of acetylated cellulose polymers, including cellulose diacetate, cellulose triacetate and the mixed esters of cellulose acetate propionate and cellulose acetate butyrate.