Must be protected against damage by salt water, as saline destroys the insulating properties of the mica. Is widely used as an insulating material, as it is virtually impervious to heat.
The cases in which mica in any form is packed should be of sound construction and lined with good quality paper. It is most essential that the wood used in building the cases should be well seasoned, dry and free from stains or traces of mildew, as, during ocean voyages, with great variations in climatic conditions, case planks may develop heavy mildew, inside and out. Some damage to the contents, mostly at the top and bottom inside surfaces, accompanied by decomposition of the paper linings, may result. This mildewed condition is found on the top and bottom surfaces of the cases where they have been in contact with each other in stowage or storage, and no air circulation has been possible, due to the absence of cross battens. Cross-battens on the tops and bottoms of the cases appear to be very effective in preventing mildew on planks. It is essential that mica waste should be dry at the time of bagging. Any moisture in the mica waste rots the bags where they are in contact with each other in stowage, and where air circulation is restricted. Mica is non-combustible, but loses its natural luster by fire, although it does not char or break. If smoke discolors the surface its commercial value is diminished considerably. When wet by fresh water and the color of the packing cases penetrates the contents and stains the mica (which may also be integrated with its wrappers), its potential value may suffer, but the unaffected portion may be salvaged by drying the mica by sun or heat or in the open air although this may be a very costly operation.
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