Accurate identification of materials may help to differentiate an early production of a furniture model from a recent production. Plastics are not easy to identify with certainty by visual inspection alone and simple tests (e.g. Mossman, 1988; Nuttgens, 1999) although useful are not always completely reliable or may require burning or heating of objects. Techniques such as Fourier Transform Infra Red spectroscopy (see Shearer, 1989) require expensive equipment and trained staff. However, more reliable and simplified tests are being developed in response to the needs of the plastics industries (Mucci, 1997). Further information on the identification of these materials is given in Chapter 4.
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