Page 15 - February 2018
P. 15

+2,-4
 Po

 Polonium
 208.982
       Some unscrupulous
 +4,-2  founders increased the
 Se    proportion of lead to
       make their products

 Selenium  cheaper to manufacture
 78.971
       at 631°C), because the antimony dissolves
 +2    into the molten mixture of the other two.
       The metallurgical science is complex, with
 I     the overall melting point of type-metal
       changing according to the amount of an-

 Iodine  timony included.
         ‘Foundry’ (or ‘founders’) metal is meant
 126.904.2  to be the most durable of type-metal alloys,
       as the types are returned to the case and
       re-set many hundreds of times, and so the
 +2,-4  material needs to be very hard-wearing.
 Rn    Monotype and Linotype alloys are softer, as   An example of a newspaper rotary printing plate
       these are used only once (in theory, if not
       in practice) and then melted to be re-cast
 Radon  as new type for each job.            spectacular disintegration when running
         Linotype slugs cast for use in the in
                                             at high speed on web-fed presses.
 208.982  newspaper industry were rarely printed   Some unscrupulous founders increased
       from (other than for the production of   the proportion of lead to make their prod-
 +4,-2  proofs); they were used primarily to   uct cheaper to manufacture, and this also
 Se    semi-circular stereotypes were cast for use   teeing repeat business. One well-known
                                             speeded up the wear of the types, guaran-
       produce a mould (flong) from which the
                                             typefounder also reputedly supplied type
       on high-speed newspaper presses.
         Line-casting machine alloys do not need
 Selenium  the exceptional durability of foundry type   cleaning brushes with extra hard bristles
                                             to accelerate this wear and tear upon the
 78.971  and are cheaper to produce since they con-  printing surface.
       tain larger proportions of the less costly   So how hard is foundry type in rela-
 +2    elements. Re-melting type metal again and   tion to Monotype? Until recently it was
       again causes an imbalance in the type-
                                             expensive and time-consuming to carry
 Pb    metal proportions through the production   out a detailed analysis of type-metal, but
                                             new technology has simplified the assay
       of dross, and metal has to be periodically
 Lead  replenished through the addition of a   process. At the Herberger Institute for
                                             Design and the Arts, a division of Arizona
       ‘refresher’ ingot which restores the correct
 207.2  balance of ingredients.              State University, type-metal analysis using
         Failure to maintain the correct metal   photon bombardment technology allows
 +2,-4  balance in the casting of newspaper ste-  the formula of the elements used in very
       reotypes could occasionally result in their   small pieces of type to be revealed. The
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