Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2 Equipment and

Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2 Equipment and
Motion Picture Films,
Module 2
Equipment and Procedures
©Eastman Kodak Company, 1999
Table of Contents
Equipment and Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
EQUIPMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Crossover Squeegees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Rem-Jet Backing Removal Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
In-Line Rem-Jet Removal Rack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Rotary Buffer Rem-Jet Removal Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Rem-Jet Removal Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Recirculation Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Chemical Mixing Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Control Laboratory Facilities and Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Safety Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Feed Section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Squeegees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dryer Cabinet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Drying Specifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Control of Biological Growths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Equipment Lubrication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Rack Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Tank and Line Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Disposal of Cleaning Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sound Track Processing Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Alignment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Equipment Lubrication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cleanliness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
PROCEDURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Machine Start-Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Machine Shutdown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Hand Splicing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Film Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Film Lubrication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Safe Handling of Processing Chemicals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Laboratory Cleanliness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Equipment and Procedures
This module provides more detailed support information and
specifications for the equipment and procedures required to
operate the processes for Eastman color films. The following
Modules describe the processes:
Module 7
Process ECN 2 Specifications
Module 9
Process ECP-2D Specifications
Module 11
Process VNF-1 Specifications
Module 13
Process RVNP Specifications
Modules describing other aspects of the processes are:
Module 1
Process Control
Module 3
Analytical Procedures (for Chemical Analyses)
Module 4
Reagent Preparation Procedures (for Chemical
Module 5
Chemical Recovery Procedures
Module 6
Environmental Aspects
Module 8
Effects of Mechanical and Chemical Variations in
Process ECN-2
Module 10
Effects of Mechanical and Chemical Variations in
Process ECP-2D
Module 12
Effects of Mechanical and Chemical Variations in
Process VNF-1
Module 14
Effects of Mechanical and Chemical Variations in
Process RVNP
Note: The information contained herein is furnished by
Eastman Kodak Company without any warranty or
guarantee whatsoever. While Kodak is unaware of any valid
domestic patents of others which would be infringed by the
methods, formulas or apparatus described herein, the
furnishing of this information is not to be considered as any
license for, inducement of, or recommendation for any
action by any party, any such action being a matter for
independent investigation and decision by such party.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Crossover Squeegees
Crossover squeegees minimize the loss and dilution of
processing solutions resulting from the carry over of solution
or wash water by the film from the preceding tank. They
remove solution from both sides of the film strand. The
normal position for a squeegee is just above the machine
tank so that the solution removed from the film returns to the
tank. Common squeegees include: wiper blade, rotary
buffer, air stream, venturi air stream, vacuum, and wringer
1. Wiper blade squeegees* consist of two blades, one
touching the emulsion side and one touching the
support side of the film, which by means of slight
pressure, remove adhering solution from the film and
direct the solution back into the tank. The correct
pressure of the wipers against the film will remove all
visible solution, but will not damage either the
emulsion or the support.
The wiper-blade squeegee has several advantages over
other types of squeegees. It is inexpensive, quiet,
requires no air or electrical connections, has no critical
tolerances to set and maintain, and no bearings to
corrode or stick. Maintenance is simply cleaning,
replacing worn blades, and adjusting mounting
2. The rotary buffer squeegee consists of two or more
pairs of plush-covered rollers, one roller on each side
of the film. They rotate at high speed, opposite to the
direction (counter rotation) of the film motion, lightly
contacting and wiping both surfaces of the film. See
Figure 2-1. The liquid whisked from the film by the
fast-moving plush is immediately thrown away from
the rollers by centrifugal force. The fibers on the roller
surface are dry and clean when they touch the film on
the next revolution.
A rotary buffer squeegee unit consists of a pair of
driven rollers. Complete removal of the liquid on the
film surface usually requires more than one squeegee
unit. The number of units necessary depends upon the
speed at which the film or machine is running and
upon the amount of squeegeeing needed. Rotary buffer
squeegee units are commonly used to remove surface
water before film drying and before sound track
application. They can be modified for rem-jet removal
and for lubrication of film. See Figures 2-4, 2-5, 2-6
and 2-13.
Figure 2-1 Rotary Buffer Squeegee
Another variation of the rotary buffer squeegee uses
sponge or other synthetic media to cover the rollers.
For rem-jet removal the buffers are sometimes rotated
in the same direction as the film travel (coronation),
and sometimes at slower speeds than the film travels.
3. The air squeegee (air knife) directs an air stream to
both sides of the film by two stationary air
compartments which the film passes between. Each
compartment contains a narrow slot that permits the
pressurized air to exit. Air squeegees operate at 5 to
10 psig (34.5 to 69 kPa) of pressure. They must be
operated so that misting and/or splattering of
processing solutions does not occur. Air squeegees
may be required at the front or rear of the racks,
depending on the location of the crossover. Filter the
air to eliminate dirt particles that might damage the
film or plug the squeegee orifice.
4. The venturi air squeegee† supplies a jet of high
velocity air to both sides of the film. The squeegee
consists of two movable, symmetrical air
compartments each having a narrow air slot. A spring
holds the two compartments together at a set distance
* L. I. Edgcomb and J. S. Zankowski, “Molded Squeegee Blades for
Photographic Processing,” Journal of the SMPTE, 79:123-126, February
1970; also J. C. Boutet, “Spring-Loaded Wiper-Blade Squeegees,” Journal
of the SMPTE, 31:792-796, October 1972.
† H. R Ott and R. C. Lovick, “High-Efficiency Air Squeegee and Sound
Track Developer Applicator for Color Films,” Journal of the SMPTE,
63:191-194, November, 1954.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
from the film. The spring permits the passage of
splices by allowing the two compartments to be
pushed apart by a splice as it passes through the
squeegee. When the film enters the squeegee, the
largest drops of water are blown off by air jets in a
direction opposite that of the film. As the film
approaches the jets, more water is removed; and at that
point where the film is closest to the jets, the air
velocity is sufficient to carry off the remaining surface
moisture. See Figure 2-2.
Figure 2-2 Venturi Air Squeegee
To eliminate any dirt particles that might plug the
narrow slits, an air filter should be used in the air
supply line (just ahead of the squeegee) even though
there may be another filter in the air line. This filter
should be inspected frequently and replaced when
For efficient operation, the recommended
specifications for one common venturi air squeegee
Air slot
0.0035 ± 0.0005 in.
(0.0889 ± 0.0127 mm)
Film gap
0.012 ± 10.001 in. (0.3051 ± 0.025 mm)
Air pressure
10 to 20 psig (69 to 138 kPa) depending
on the film speed in the machine.
Air entrance
room temperature*.
* The air temperature should be 100°F (38°C) or greater for the
air squeegee before the Process ECP-2D sound developer. A
squeegee using heated air at this temperature is essential for
proper sound track application. If heated air is not used the film
will not be adequately dry and sound track developer can
spread into the picture area.
An air squeegee can screech loudly if improperly
adjusted. It also must be operated so that misting and
splattering of processing solutions do not occur.
5. The vacuum squeegee works like an air stream
squeegee in reverse. A vacuum is created to draw air
into the head of the squeegee positioned close to the
film surface. As air is drawn into the head, the
moisture on the surface of the film is taken along with
6. The wringer-sling squeegee* is operated by the
movement of the film as it passes between two rollers
One flangeless roller wrings the liquid back down the
film strand and displaces it to the large flanges of the
other roller which then slings it away by centrifugal
force. The liquid is collected by two cups and directed
back into the tank. The efficiency of the wringer-sling
squeegee improves as the speed of the film increases.
The practical minimum speed for 16 mm film is about
60 ft/min (18.3 m/min).
For more information on the location of squeegees, see
the applicable Process Module machine schematic.
* Journal of the SMPTE, 76:797-800, August 1967.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Rem-Jet Backing Removal Equipment
There are two major classifications of rem-jet backing
removal equipment available from processing equipment
manufacturers. They are the In-line Rem-Jet Removal Rack
and the Rotary Buffer Rem-Jet Removal Unit*. In both cases,
the removal equipment must accomplish the following:
1. Transport the film from the prebath to the removal
unit without allowing rem jet to accumulate on the
guide rollers.
2. Angle the stream of water from the spray nozzles to
flush rem jet off the side of the film and away from the
3. Directly oppose and balance each water spray jet
aimed at the film base with a spray jet aimed at the
emulsion to prevent rem jet from depositing on the
emulsion surface or in the perforations.
4. As much rem jet as possible should be removed by the
water jets prior to contact with the backing removal
5. Provide good contact between the film base and the
backing removal media to remove any residual binder.
6. During use, flood the backing removal media with
water to reduce rem-jet dirt and chemical buildup.
In-Line Rem-Jet Removal Rack
The basic design incorporates a rack-like structure with
slowly rotating cylinders of backing removal media located
between the top and bottom rack rollers. In addition to water
sprays, some designs call for water to be plumed to the inside
of the cylinder and exit through a porous core and the
removal media. The film base contacts the removal media as
it passes through the rack in a normal helical path. The
mechanical action is more physical and takes place over a
longer time period than with the rotary buffer rem-jet
removal unit described below. For those reasons the in-line
design tends to work better, particularly at higher machine
transport speeds. See Figure 2-3.
Typical backing removal media in current use include
sponges, felt and other synthetic material placed or wrapped
around an inner core. Replacement of the backing removal
media should be a part of the regular maintenance schedule
of the machine.
The example shown is representative. Some designs have
only one rotating cylinder, others may not have as elaborate
a water spray system as shown.
This type of design has been found suitable for both print
and negative processes.
* Both classifications allow a good deal of flexibility in the mechanical
design and structure.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Figure 2-3 In-Line Rem-Jet Removal Rack
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Rotary Buffer Rem-Jet Removal Unit
One design for a rotary buffer rem-jet removal unit*, that has
been used successfully for the print process is illustrated in
Figure 2-4. Film from the prebath enters the chamber near
the bottom and is immediately sprayed on both sides by a
pair of high-velocity water jets.
Figure 2-4 Rotary Buffer Rem-Jet Removal Unit
All nozzles are set at an angle to the film path to sweep the
rem jet off the film and down the drain. A rotary buffer
squeegee removes the surface moisture from the film before
it enters the developer.
The prebath time, the number of rotary buffer units, the
distance between sprays, and the water flow rates can be
varied to obtain optimum rem-jet removal with various filmtransport speeds.
Two shortcomings are: limited path length and possible
scratching of the surfaces by particles adhering to the rapidly
rotating plush buffers. The limited path length may provide
too little time for action by the water jets, limiting effective
removal to machine speeds near 250 ft/min.
For the negative process, a rem-jet removal unit without
buffer contact on the emulsion side is recommended as
shown in Figure 2-5. Such a unit is also satisfactory for use
with Process ECP-2D and thus would be practical for a
combination negative/ positive machine.
The removal units are typically located above the
processing machine tanks at about eye level. Backing
removal media commonly used to cover these buffers are
Mohair, and Dacron plush. Make replacement of the buffers
a part of the regular maintenance schedule of the machine.
Table 2-1, Rem-Jet Removal Equipment Design
Guidelines, gives required specifications for design of
backing removal equipment.
The film then travels upward through a set of water jets, a
rotary buffer unit, and another set of high-velocity water jets.
Both sides of the film are wiped by the buffer rollers which
spin counter to the direction of the film. The pairs of spray
jets are balanced so that the spray hits both emulsion and
support sides of the film simultaneously. Buffing the
emulsion side of the film as well as the base side keeps the
emulsion clean and keeps pressure on the support-side
* Bard and Dunn, Journal of the SMPTE, 80:564-569, July 1971.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Table 2-1 Rem-Jet Removal Equipment Design Guidelines
In line Removal Rack or Rotary Suffer Unit
“Spraying Systems” 1⁄8 VVSS 11002*
Spray Nozzles*
“V” jet 1⁄8 VV 11002
(both have 0.036-inch diameter orifice)
Typical Range: 1⁄2 inch to 1 inch
Spray Jet to Film Distance
Water Pressure
30 psi or greater
500 mL/100 h of film per spray nozzle†
Flow Rate (16 or 35 mm)
In line Removal Rack
Rotary Buffer Unit
Total Flow‡ (16 or 35 mm)
10 to 30 L/100 feet processed
2 to 4 L/100 feet processed
Removal Media Materials
Sponge§, Felt-wrapped Core etc.
Mohair or Dacron Plush
Typical Range:
20 to 100 rpm
Typical Range:
2000 to 4000 rpm
Acetate: 4**
ESTAR Base: 8 to 12
Usually 2††
Can be used
at any speed
Less than
250 ft/min‡‡
Can be made long¶¶
Usually very short***
Base Side
Emulsion Side
Rotational Speed
Number of Mechanical Contact Points
Transport Speed
Water Residence Time§§
* There are no particular spray nozzles that must be used. The design criteria mandates that the flow rate must be adequate (i.e., 500 mL/100 feet
at 30 psi) to wash off the rem jet and/or keep the emulsion clear of rem jet. The spray pattern should be wide enough at the spray jet-to-film
distance to cover the width of the film.
† This is a typical flow rate which is commonly achieved with the type of spray nozzles listed above in the table.
‡ Total flow depends on the number of nozzles used. Typically 6 to 8 are used in the Rotary Buffer Units. In-line Removal Racks typically use
anywhere from 20 to 60 spray nozzles.
§ Many design specifications call for a water sponge. A water sponge is one that is internally fed with water. The water continually exits the sponge
from within, helping to keep it clean.
¶ In the Rotary Buffer Figures 2-1, 2-4, 2-5 and 2-6 the buffers are counter-rotating, i.e., the buffer surface and film surface at the point of contact
are moving in opposite directions. The CW (clockwise) and CCW (counterclockwise) designations are from the reference point of looking at the
rotation through the front glass plate of the unit.
** The number of mechanical contact points refers to the points at which the film backing touches the removal media. If the contact points are
efficient (i.e., optimized wrap, media material, transport speed. rotational speed, etc.) then fewer of them are required for excellent removal.
†† Most designs have two contact points (2 sets of buffers).
‡‡ At speeds greater than 250 ft/min, it is possible that multiple units will be required. Another option is to install a buffer box which has three or more
sets of buffers and the associated water sprays.
§§ The water residence time refers to the elapsed time from when the rem-jet backing is first sprayed with water and when it hits the first mechanical
contact point.
¶¶ Some designs have a truncated cylinder which does not provide mechanical contact points on the first loop of the rack. This increases the water
residence time.
***Water residence times are usually very short in the Rotary Buffer Unit—usually on the order of 1⁄4 to 1⁄4 second.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Rem-Jet Removal Characteristics
When removing the backing from acetate or ESTAR
support, the initial sets of water sprays are most important
since most of the rem-jet backing is removed at this point.
Spray nozzles must have a sufficient flow rate to wash the
backing off the film and should be angled to allow the
backing to flow down without danger of re depositing on the
emulsion surface.
The in-line removal rack should have initial water sprays
angled to the tank wall away from the adjacent strand of film.
Take care to direct the rem-jet stream to the bottom of the
tank without allowing emulsion-side deposits. Emulsionside sprays should always oppose base-side sprays.
Most designs of the rotary buffer units have the first set of
water sprays isolated as shown in the diagrams.
Figure 2-5 Modified Rotary Buffer Rem-Jet Removal
Points to consider in the rotary buffer design illustrated in
Figure 2-5.
1. Emulsion-side buffers should not be used.
2. An air knife or vacuum squeegee is needed at the exit
of the unit. Depending on the efficiency of the air knife
and the design of the removal unit, a second air knife
may be needed to remove the additional water that the
emulsion buffers would normally remove.
3. Spray nozzles 7 and 8 are added (Figure 2-5) and are
positioned such that each is directly opposite a baseside buffer. Some units have two opposing nozzles
between the two sets of rotary buffers. If the design of
the units makes it impossible to position the additional
nozzles properly, nozzle No. 5 can be removed, but the
five remaining original nozzles must be retained.
4. Angle nozzles 7 and 8, 15° downwards and 15°
towards the back of the unit.
5. The spray nozzle-to-film distance of nozzles 7 and 8
should be between 1⁄2 and 1 inch.
6. If backing removal is inadequate, the efficiency of the
unit can be improved by realigning the top or bottom
film rollers to increase the wrap or pressure on the
base-side buffers. Take care not to increase pressure to
the point of causing abrasions on the film base.
7. Figure 2-6 shows another type of design which is
suitable for Process ECN-2.
Figure 2-6 Alternate Rotary Buffer Rem-Jet Removal
2 3 E B
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Recirculation Equipment
A recirculation system includes the filtration, replenishment,
distribution, turbulation, and temperature control of a
processing solution. A recirculation system is beneficial for
all processing solutions for maintaining process quality and
uniformity. A typical recirculation system is represented
schematically in Figure 2-7.
Filter recommendations for each process are presented in
the corresponding Process Specifications Module.
1. Replenisher Tanks
After a replenisher solution has been mixed and
chemical analysis shows it to be within specification,
pump it into a replenisher holding tank. From the
holding tank, replenisher is fed into the recirculation
pump. The replenisher holding tanks should be larger
than the mixing tank so that new mixes can be added
without first completely draining the holding tanks of
old solution.
Each holding tank should be connected by
means of a transfer line directly to the mixing
tank. A common header should not be used
because of the chance of contaminating one
solution with another.
Outlet: A separate outlet is needed to deliver the
solution to the machine. It should be in the wall
of the tank, positioned about 1 or 2 inches above
the inlet. This arrangement leaves solution in the
tank and thus prevents the floating cover from
resting on the bottom of the tank. Solution
entering the tank will then flow under the cover.
Also this position of the outlet traps any solid
material, thus limiting the amount of solids
entering the machine. The sludge that collects on
the bottom can be removed through the drain
Drain: The drain should be located at the lowest
point of the tank in order to completely empty
the tank when necessary.
A replenisher holding tank should have a dust cover, a
floating cover, an inlet, an outlet to the appropriate
machine tank, and a drain.
Floating cover: The cover reduces solution
exposure to air, and possible oxidation of some
mix components, as well as evaporation. The
cover is usually made of polyethylene or
polypropylene. It should fit close to the tank side
walls without wedging as the cover rises and
falls with solution levels. The dust cover loosely
fits over the top of the tank keeping dust, drips
and splashes out.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Inlet: The inlet should be in the wall of the tank
as close to the bottom as possible and below the
outlet to the machine. With the inlet in this
position, the incoming solution will not flow
above the floating cover or splash over the top of
the tank.
Construction materials for replenisher tanks are
listed in the appropriate Process Specifications
Figure 2-7 Recirculation System For a Machine Tank
(Distributor or
To Drain
From Replenisher Tank
*HEAT EXCHANGER (Tempered water flows through outer
jacket, solution flows through the center)
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
2. Flowmeters
Figure 2-8 Flowmeter Check and Calibration
Flowmeters for the replenisher solutions should have a
precision of at least ± 5 percent and flowmeters used to
regulate the recirculation of the solutions should have
a precision of ± 10 percent.
3. Pumps and Lines
The pumps and lines must be sized for each flow rate
which, in turn, depends on type of distribution or
turbulation and machine speed. Corrosion-proof
pumps made of polyethylene, PCV, titanium, or
Hastelloy C should be used for all bleaches.
Flowmeter Check and Calibration: Check the
flowmeters once a month by measuring the flow with
a graduated cylinder (500 mL) and stopwatch.
Disconnect the feed line at a convenient place between
the flowmeter and the machine. Collect the fluid in the
cylinder for 30 to 60 seconds with the flowmeter set at
the recommended value, and the replenisher or wash
water running. Measure the volume collected and
compare it with that expected for the given flow rate.
If the measured volume does not agree within
5 percent of the expected volume, run a second check.
If it still does not agree, clean the flowmeter and then
recheck again. If cleaning is not successful, recalibrate
the flowmeter by measuring the flow at four different
settings near the desired flow. Plot the volumes
obtained versus the corresponding meter settings and
draw the best straight line through the points. The
calibrated flowmeter setting can then be determined
from the calibration line as illustrated in Figure 2-8.
8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22
4. Temperature-Control Equipment
Temperature-control equipment must hold the Process
ECN-2 and ECP-2D developers within ± 0.2°F
(± 0.1°C), other solutions within ± 2°F (± 1°C), and
washes/rinses within ± 5°F (± 3°C) of the
recommended temperature. Process VNF-1 first
developer within ± 0.5°F (± 0.3°C), color developer
within ± 1.0°F (± 0.6°C), other solutions within ± 5°F
(± 3°C), and washes/rinses within ± 2°F (± 1°C).
However, do not underestimate the importance of the
secondary solution tolerances. Solution temperatures
should be checked every day with a very accurate
thermometer whose calibration is traceable to NIST
(National Institute of Standards and Technology,
formerly NBS).
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
5. Turbulators
Developer turbulation is accomplished by a series of
submerged jets or drilled headers that apply
recirculated solution directly to the surface of the
emulsion. Figure 2-9 illustrates a simple turbulator
design. The turbulator pipes run perpendicular to the
film strands at a distance of 1⁄2 inch or less. Backup
rollers at the jet impingement points make certain that
the desired spacing between jet and emulsion surface
is maintained and prevents film striking the rack,
eliminating possible film damage.
The jets are formed by spray nozzles or holes drilled in
the turbulator pipes. Detailed turbulator specifications
for Process ECN-2 and ECP-2D are given in
Tables 2-2 (see page 2-15).
Figure 2-9 Typical Developer Turbulator
If the processing tank is wide enough to install
them, the A-1 type nozzles do a good job. The
M-5 nozzle is satisfactory for closer
installations, although its spray coverage is
slightly less uniform than that of the A-1.
Nozzles: Two common nozzle designs are
designated A-1* and M-5†. These nozzles have a
front slot and an orifice drilled from the back.
The submerged spray patterns of these nozzles
are illustrated in Figure 2-10. For adequate spray
coverage of 35 mm film, the A-1 must be
1⁄ inch from the film while the M-5 can be as
little as 1⁄4 inch from the film.
Drilled holes: An alternative to spray nozzles is
the drilled hole turbulator. In this system, a row
of holes is drilled in the turbulator cross-header
so that the emerging solution strikes the film
emulsion. Compared with nozzles, drilled holes
have the advantages of easy fabrication, no
alignment problems, lower cost, less likely to
clog or scratch film, and suitability for film
width above 35 mm. However, drilled hole
distributors have higher flow rates and hence
require larger pumps and pipe sizes than
* A l-inch long nozzle with an A-1 type spray pattern is manufactured by
Treise Engineering, Inc., 1941 First Street, San Fernando, CA 91340.
† One manufacturer is the Carter Equipment Company, 15430 Condon
Ave., Lawndal, CA 90260
Figure 2-10 Submerged Spray Patterns of A-1 and M-5 Nozzles at 12 PSI
¼ inch
(35 mm Film)
(35 mm Film)
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Table 2-2 Developer Turbulation Design Guidelines, Process ECN-2, ECP-2D, D-96 and D-97
Spray Nozzle
Drilled Header
Nozzle designs (e.g., A 1 or M 5) that provide adequate spray
coverage must be used. Approx. 120 180 nozzles will be
needed depending on the spray pass frequency.
Five or more holes per inch (25 mm) Each hole
must be at least 0.031 in. (0.79 mm) in diameter.
(Larger hole sizes require higher flow rates.)*
For A-1 nozzles, 15-20 psig (approx. 100-140 kPa) measured
in the nozzle header. (Available data indicate other commonly
used nozzle designs will work well in this pressure range.)
For 0.031 inch holes, 10-20 psig (approx.
70-140 kPa) measured in the drilled header.
Spray Pass
1.0-1.5 sec
1.0-1.5 sec
(Hole) Distance
For A-1 nozzles, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. (13-19 mm). Some nozzle
designs (e.g., M-5) may require closer film-to-nozzle spacing
for efficient film coverage
Flow per Nozzle
A-1 nozzle at 15 psig: 1800 mL/min
A-1 nozzle at 20 psig: 2300 mL/min
(Flow rates for other designs may vary significantly.)
Each 0.031 in. hole at 10 psig: 250 mL/min
Each 0.031 in. hole at 20 psig: 350 mL/min
Total Flow
200-400 litres/min (53-106 gal/min), depending on number of
A-1 nozzles and pressure. (Total flow for other nozzle designs
may vary significantly.)
325-450 litres/min, (86-119 gal/min) depending
on number of 0.031 in. holes and pressure.
to 1⁄2 in. (6-13 mm)
* See Figure 2-11, Pressure Drop Vs. Flow Rate for Various Diameter Holes.
Figure 2-11 Pressure Drop Vs. Flow Rate for Various Diameter Holes
Technical Reference:
"Flow of Fluids Through Valves, Fittings and Pipe"
Hole Size =
Technical Paper No. 410
0.031 in
Hole Size =
0.043 in
Hole Size =
0.0625 in
Other Factors
1. Spray Pass Frequency
2. Distance to Film
Hole Size =
0.09375 in
3. Holes per Inch
4. Back-Up Rollers
Constant Kinetic Energy
FLOW RATE, mL/min/hole
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Chemical Mixing Equipment
A general chemical mix area should contain chemical
storage areas, a weighing area and a mixing area.
1. In the chemical storage area provide:
Adequate access for delivery of large-quantity
lots of chemicals.
Local exhaust over the scales with a capture
velocity of 100 ft/min, and adequate room
Emergency procedures.
Proper equipment for handling large-size
containers of chemicals.
General organic and inorganic chemical storage.
Oxidizer chemical storage.
Reducer chemical storage.
Solvent storage vault isolated from the other
work areas by fireproof walls.
Fire extinguishers and automatic fire alarms.
Water tap and a floor drain.
Emergency procedures.
Store dry flammable solid chemicals in the
solvent storage vault. Keep all chemical storage
areas cool and dry since some chemicals are heat
or moisture sensitive. The Material Safety Data
Sheet (MSDS) for each chemical contains
proper storage information.
2. The weighing area requires accurate scales, safety
equipment and ventilation.
Use scales with easily read dials, capable of
weighing to an accuracy of 1 percent for fast,
accurate weighing. Both heavy and light
capacity scales are needed.
Provide safety equipment such as:
1. Emergency overhead shower.
2. Face and eye water spray.
3. In the mix area provide mixing tanks and mixers,
solution storage, safety equipment and ventilation.
Mixing tanks and mixers: Construct mixing
tanks from AISI Type 316 stainless steel or
other materials listed in the table “Construction
Materials,” in Modules 7, 9, 11 and 13. Because
of the corrosive nature of all bleaches, prepare
them in tanks made of plastic, or one of the more
corrosion resistant metals listed in the tables. If
a stainless steel tank is used, the bleach must be
removed immediately after mixing and the tank
rinsed several times with water.
Use the on-center mixing technique since it
provides adequate mixing of the solutions with
minimum aeration. Mount a sufficiently
powerful mixer over the mixing tank so that the
shaft is vertical at the center of the tank with the
mixing impeller 1⁄3 the tank diameter above the
bottom of the tank. Tack weld four dames
vertically to the inside of the tank, 90 degrees
apart and extending from a point several inches
from the tank bottom to within 1 inch of the top.
The width of each baffle is 1⁄10 the tank
diameter. A tank depth-to-diameter ratio of
1.5 to 1.0 provides good mixing. Having an
adequate number of mix tanks will provide
greater flexibility in scheduling the preparation
of solutions.
Calibrate the mixing tank at the most used
mixing volumes. The calibration must be
accurate to ± 1 percent.
3. Impervious gloves, eye protection, and selfcontained breathing apparatus.
4. Fire extinguishers.
5. Material Safety Data Sheets for each
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
chemicals. A booth-type exhaust should be
installed over the hopper which will draw air
away from the person putting chemicals into the
hopper. The air flow rate should provide
100 ft/min face velocity at the operator side of
the booth.
A suggested installation is shown in
Figure 2-12. Mount small tanks on a dolly for
mobility. A mixer mounting that allows for easy
attachment and removal gives the tank more
utility. Use a small corrosion proof pump to
transfer solution from the mixing tank to the
appropriate holding tank.
Keep all parts of the chemical mix area clean,
orderly and well lighted. Keep aisles open and
uncluttered. Keep floors and stairs in good
condition, and preferably with a hard, unbroken,
and impervious finish. Chemicals allowed to
soak into the floor reduce floor life and
constitute a health hazard to personnel. Since
chemical spills are best removed by flushing
down the affected floor area with water, a water
tap and floor drains are essential.
For convenience and efficiency when dissolving
large quantities of solid and liquid chemicals,
use a chemical hopper which draws the
chemicals into the mixing tank with strong jets
of water. Locate the hopper on the floor of the
mixing room near the mixing tanks with its bin
at the working level of the operator. This reduces
the amount of lifting of chemicals by the person
making the mix and also minimizes spillage of
Figure 2-12 On-Center Mixing Equipment
(four baffles)
(four baffles)
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Solution storage:
1. Provide tanks and space for storage of
mixed solutions.
2. Provide floating covers and dust covers for
replenisher storage tanks.
3. Establish a minimum distance for
transferring replenisher solutions from the
replenisher storage tanks to the processing
Safety equipment:
1. Emergency overhead shower.
4. Mixing technique
Problems from contamination during solution
preparation will be minimized by following these
If you mix only chemicals for NEGATIVE-type
processes, use two tanks: one for the developer
and another for all other processing solutions.
If you mix chemicals for both NEGATIVE and
REVERSAL processes, use four mix tanks: one
for the negative developer and the reversal first
developer, one for the color developer, one for
the bleach, and one for all other solutions.
2. Face and eye water spray.
3. Eye protection.
4. Impervious gloves.
5. Self-contained breathing apparatus.
6. Safety carrier.
7. Hand-cleanser dispenser.
8. Carboy.
9. Tippers and filters.
10. Dispensing systems and pumps.
11. Aspirator pump.
12. Proper grounding of containers for volatile
and flammable chemicals.
13. Material Safety Data Sheets for each
14. Fire extinguishers.
15. Railings and guards.
16. Emergency procedures.
The Safety Equipment section (page 2-21)
describes much of the above safety equipment
recommended for the chemical mix area.
Provide local exhausts with a capture velocity of
100 ft/min over the mixing tank. A split cover,
with attached local exhaust, on the mixing tank
is very effective. The exhaust system should
provide an air flow of 175 ft3/min (5 m3/min) for
every square foot (0.09 m2) of solution surface
and provide 50 to 75 ft/min (15 to 23 m/min)
control velocity over the surface of the tank.
Control Laboratory Facilities and Equipment
1. Space Requirements and Location
A control laboratory for motion picture film
processing should have two separate rooms: one for
chemical control and one for sensitometric control. A
space of about 100 ft2 (9.3 m2) for each of these rooms
should be adequate for most installations. Proper
ventilation of these rooms is required to minimize
problems from chemicals (dust, vapors and gasses), as
an aid in certain operations requiring temperature
control, and for the general welfare and comfort of
Since chemical analyses must be made on fresh
replenisher mixes as well as on machine tank
solutions, locate the chemical control laboratory
convenient to both the mix room and the processing
machine room. Locate the sensitometric control
laboratory near the processing machine room also.
2. The Chemical Control Laboratory
Construct the floor of acid-proof tile or brick, with
suitable wall aprons. Provide a central floor drain for
easy cleanup of spills. Cover walls with an acid-proof
paint, or some other chemically inert material, to
protect them from accidental splashes.
Construct work benches from wood, with tops made
from cast epoxy resin, monolithic mineral fiber and
Portland cement, or natural quarried stone. Install wall
outlets for gas and air lines at convenient locations.
Locate shelves and cabinets for storage of standard
reagents on adjacent walls.
If the total local exhaust ventilation is less than
ten room volumes per hour, supplement it with a
general room ventilation system having enough
capacity to bring the total to ten air changes per
hour. Vent the discharge air outside the building
where it will not contaminate incoming air.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Include an exhaust hood for the analytical work where
there is danger from explosive or toxic vapors.
Construct the hood with a metal or wood frame and
sheets of corrosion resistant vinyl-clad steel, fiberglass
or plastic laminate. Install a sliding door with a
shatterproof tempered safety glass or plexiglass
window at the front of the hood. Supply the hoodenclosed area with gas, air (low pressure), and
electrical lines.
Use explosion-proof types of exhaust fan, motor,
electrical wiring, and lighting, in compliance with the
National Electrical Codes for flammable liquids
having a flash point below 80°F (26.5°C). The fan
should produce an air velocity through the face of the
hood, with the door fully open, of 100 ft/min
(30.5 m/min). In order to assure good capture of air
contaminants, the shape and size of the face and the
location of the slots in the plenum should minimize the
variability of the air velocity at various points across
the hood. The goal is to keep velocity between 90 and
110 ft/min. Ground all the metal parts of the hood, sink
drain, fan, and duct work.
Use stainless steel (AISI, Type 316) or cast epoxy
resin laboratory sinks. Include the usual hot and cold
water taps. Provide similar taps for a water bath used
for sample pH and specific gravity measurements at
specified temperatures. For operations requiring
suction filtering, include a cold water tap fitted with an
aspirator pump. Dispense distilled water using suitable
tin, glass, or stainless steel lines and valves.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Provide an eye wash, overhead safety shower and fire
blanket in an accessible place in the event that
chemicals accidentally come in contact with
laboratory personnel.
The Safety Equipment section (page 2-21) lists safety
equipment needed in both the chemical mix area and
the analytical laboratory.
A list of the various types and sizes of laboratory
glassware needed for analytical work can be compiled
by reference to the individual methods in Module 3,
Analytical Procedures, and Method ULM-0005/1.
Required glassware includes beakers, graduated
cylinders, flasks, burets, transfer pipets, tip-up pipets,
reagent bottles, etc.
Other essential equipment includes an analytical
balance, a pH meter (with suitable electrodes),
thermometers, hydrometers, magnetic stirrers, a
constant-temperature water bath, and a
A spectrophotometer equipped for making
measurements in the ultraviolet and visible regions of
the spectrum, provides a rapid means for making
certain chemical analyses. Some models can also be
used to check filters for sensitometers, densitometers,
printers, etc.
3. Sensitometric Control Laboratory
Equip this room with standard tables and work
benches having tops covered with vinyl sheeting or
plastic laminate and properly grounded and fused
electrical outlets for all instruments. Provide a ceiling
fixture for general room illumination.
Equip the laboratory with a photoelectric color
densitometer; ample storage cabinets for lamps, filters,
and other accessories; and a freezer for storage of
control strips. Build an illuminator into one of the
work benches for use in the visual inspection of
processed control strips. Make working space
available in the room for plotting sensitometric and
chemical control data.
4. Mechanical Control Facilities
The mechanical controls for the processing machine
are usually located in the processing machine room
itself. The mechanical control equipment required are:
accurate temperature indicators and temperature
controls for the various tank solutions, machine speed
indicators, flowmeters, valves and piping for
replenishers, and appropriate devices for sampling of
the tank and replenisher solutions.
In larger installations, where it seems feasible to
employ two or more individuals, the routine work
associated with preparation of mixes, sampling of
solutions, simple chemical analyses, processing and
evaluating sensitometric strips, etc., could be handled
by a person of high school graduate level who has had
some experience in chemical analytical work. The
supervisory activities, however, including the
responsibility of process adjustment, interpretation of
control data, training of operators and analysts, etc.,
should be delegated to someone having considerably
more training, preferably an analytical chemist or
chemical engineer.
6. Laboratory Cleanliness and Personnel Training
In the interests of avoiding contamination of film
products, analytical reagents, and film tests; and in
protecting employees from dermatitis and other
hazards, keep both the chemical control laboratory and
the sensitometric control laboratory spotlessly clean at
all times. Instruct all employees in the importance of
laboratory cleanliness and in the safe handling of
chemicals. See “Safe Handling of Processing
Chemicals” on page 2-34.
5. Personnel
For a small processing laboratory, one properly trained
person can handle all of the work associated with
adjustment and control of the process. This includes
sampling and analyzing fresh mixes and machine tank
solutions, processing and reading sensitometric strips,
tabulating mechanical operating data, plotting control
charts, and interpreting the results. Since a
considerable amount of responsibility is associated
with these combined duties, it is advisable to employ
an analytical chemist or chemical engineer for this
* L. E. West, “The Role of the Chemist in the Processing Laboratory,”
Journal of the SMPTE, 65:133-136, March 1956.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Safety Equipment
Train everyone who handles chemicals, such as mixing
equipment operators and analytical laboratory personnel, in
the use of all safety equipment in the chemical handling
areas, and in the exact location of the safety equipment.
Material Safety Data Sheets for each chemical used in film
processing solutions are available from the chemical
supplier. The sheets contain information on safe handling
and storage of each chemical. The data sheets are required to
be on file in the work place by U.S. Federal Law. Following
are some of the common devices recommended for the safe
handling of chemicals. Most devices are available from
laboratory supply houses.
1. Aspirator Pump
Use a water faucet aspirator, or an aspirator bulb to
provide low-vacuum suction for pipetting hazardous
2. Safety Carrier
Use a safety carrier for carrying all bottles containing
hazardous liquids up to 1 gallon in size. Safety carriers
can be as sophisticated as a padded safety carrier or as
simple as a plastic bucket. Transport larger volumes of
such liquids in carboys.
3. Carboy
A carboy is a large receptacle for liquids that is made
of glass, plastic, or metal and is usually cushioned in a
protective container. Carboys are used for transporting
large quantities (5 to 15 gallons) of hazardous
solutions and solvents. Use a hand truck to carry
carboys from one location to another.
4. Tippers and Tilters
An inclinator cradle or bottle filter is a valuable aid for
pouring liquids from large containers. Tippers for
large drums or barrels are available.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
5. Dispensing Systems and Pumps
Use closed pumping and calibrated delivery systems
for adding large and accurately measured amounts of
hazardous solutions to a mix. Such special dispensing
systems are commonly used for acetic acid, sulfuric
acid, hydrochloric acid, ammonium hydroxide, and
Dispensing small quantities of toxic or corrosive
liquids from a carboy or drum can be accomplished
safely by means of a portable pneumatic or mechanical
pump. The parts of such a pump must be immune to
attack by the liquid being dispensed. It may be
necessary to remove the pump from the liquid and
rinse it after each use.
6. Eye Protection
Wear safety glasses with side shields in all laboratory
areas. For protection from spills and splashes, coverall
safety goggles or full face masks are available to fit
over ordinary safety glasses
7. Eye Spray and Emergency Shower
A hand- or foot-operated eye bath is essential to
provide rapid and complete flushing of eyes that have
contacted chemicals. Be sure such eye baths are easily
accessible in all chemical handling areas.
Provide a shower head or water nozzle located in the
ceiling and activated by a pull chain in all chemical
handling areas. Use this shower whenever significant
quantities of a chemical have been spilled on skin or
clothing. Test the spray washes and showers at least
once a week to make certain they are in good working
order. Turning them on will flush out any rust or dirt
that has collected in the spray holes or lines.
8. Exhaust Hoods
Weigh finely divided, dusty chemicals and chemicals
that give off flammable vapors, in an exhaust hood.
The air current must be sufficiently powerful to carry
any chemical dust, vapors and gasses away from the
operator. Be sure the hood is equipped with an
explosion-proof fan and electrical fittings.
9. Respiratory Protection
Selection of respiratory protection is a complicated
task which should be done in consultation with an
industrial hygienist. Use a respirator only in the
context of a complete respirator program including:
a. Coordinated central administration.
b. Selection of the mask according to the hazard.
c. Provision for maintenance by qualified personnel.
d. Inspection and cleaning of the equipment.
e. Assignment of respirators to individuals.
f. Training of users and supervisors.
g. Clean uncramped storage.
h. Fit testing of masks on the wearer.
i. Medical approval of users.
j. Record keeping regarding training, selection and
k. Written procedures for use
10. Hand-Cleanser Dispenser
Frequent use of a slightly acidic liquid hand cleanser
may offer some protection from dermatitis by
removing allergenic agents from the hands or gloves.
Provide the cleanser in special dispensers located in all
areas with wash basins and spray washes.
11. Gloves
Gloves have varying resistance to penetration by
liquids depending on the liquid, glove material and
manufacturer. More reputable manufacturers publish
literature to guide in selection of the best glove for use
with a given liquid. For general use, medium weight
neoprene gloves offer very good protection. The
importance of gloves to prevent chemical burns and
dermatitis cannot be over-emphasized. Use waterproof
impervious gloves with cotton liners for handling
chemicals and for cleaning solution tanks or
equipment. After each use, and before removal from
the hands, thoroughly wash off the gloves with water
and hand cleanser to reduce the absorption of
chemicals into the rubber. Put on and remove gloves so
that the liners are not contaminated with chemicals.
Change gloves at least once a day and whenever
contamination of the inside of a glove is suspected.
Use gauntlet-type or shoulder-length impervious
gloves in the handling of strong acids and caustic
12. Fire Extinguishers
Provide properly selected portable fire extinguishers
in all lab areas.
13. Railings and Guards
Protect hazardous areas around tanks, pipes, motors,
stairways, and platforms by railings or guards.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Feed Section
Periodically check all rollers in the feed section for
alignment and freedom of rotation. Check alarms for proper
Frequently check squeegees for proper operation, alignment,
and cleanliness. If squeegees are not properly adjusted and
maintained, they will not adequately remove solution from
the film. They can also scratch the film and spray or drip
processing solution, causing damage to the film and
Drying Specifications
Factors affecting film drying are: time in the dryer, geometry
of the dryer, air flow pattern (impingement or indirect), air
flow volume, air temperature and humidity in the drying
cabinet, and final squeegee efficiency before the dryer. The
optimum conditions for drying film must be determined for
each processor, making allowance for film moisture content
and static buildup.
Starting-point specifications for control of the above
factors are given in Table 2-3.
Table 2-3 Impingement Type Film Dryer
Dryer Cabinet
Because the film is wet and tacky when it is in the dryer, it is
essential that the dryer cabinet and air be free of dirt and lint.
Therefore, carry out the following maintenance program at
regular intervals.
1. Vacuum and damp wipe the inside of the cabinet to
remove any dust, lint, etc., that may have collected.
2. Examine all rollers for buildup of emulsion or gelatin.
Negative Film
Print Film
Hole Diameter
0.06 in. (1.52 mm)
0.25 in. (6.35 mm)
Spacing Between
0.5 in. (12.7 mm)
2.25 in. (572 mm)
0.56 to 1.5 in.
(14.2 to 38.1 mm)
0.81 in. (20.6 mm)
90 to 117°F
(32 to 47°C)
135°F (57°C)
30 to 50%
15 to 25%
1000 ft3/min
(28 m3/min)
5000 ft3/min
(140 m3/min)
5 to7 min
3 to 5 min
Input Air
3. Check doors and latches.
4. Check rollers and floaters for freedom of operation,
and lubricate (sparingly) if necessary
Relative Humidity
Air Flow
5. Test all alarms for proper working condition.
6. Inspect heating coils and check for proper output.
7. Check air filters and replace if dirty
8. Replace any rubber roller rings that show signs of
9. Clean flanges that show emulsion buildup.
10. Clean the dryer cabinet drive-roller assembly (outside
of the dryer), and carefully wipe off any excess oil.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Extending the dryer time one to two minutes beyond the
above values allows for a wider range of drying conditions
and dryer geometry (including nonimpingement drying), but
with less stringent control of drying conditions.
Upon cooling to room temperature after leaving the dryer,
the film should have a moisture content in equilibrium with
air at 50 percent relative humidity.
Control of Biological Growths
Algae, fungi, and bacteria tend to grow on the inside walls of
prebath, wash and rinse tanks. Their presence is indicated by
a slippery and slimy feel on the tank walls. Fungus may also
grow in ferricyanide bleach. Fungus growth can reduce
ferricyanide to ferrocyanide and cause insufficient bleaching
The formation of algae, fungi, and bacteria in the tanks
usually can be controlled by draining and rinsing the tanks
and letting them dry out as part of the daily and weekly
shutdown procedure. Use of good housekeeping practices is
also important. If algae, fungi, or bacteria form, add about
2 mL/L of a 5 percent solution of sodium hypochlorite to
each tank as the tank is being filled with fresh water. This
solution is a common household chlorine bleach, such as
Clorox, Sunny Sol, Purex, etc. Use this method
intermittently to prevent the buildup of microorganisms.
Clean machine racks and check for ease of operation
regularly. Solid materials and tars must be removed from the
racks. Their presence can cause dirt, scratches, and abrasions
on the film, as well as interfere with the drive mechanism of
the machine. A method of cleaning removable machine
racks is given below. For racks that cannot be removed, see
the section on Tank and Line Cleaning.
1. Procedure
Remove the racks from the machine, and
immediately rinse with hot water for 2 minutes.
If racks are permitted to stand without rinsing,
chemicals will dry on them and make cleaning
very difficult.
Scrub the rack with a stiff bristle brush.
If deposits still remain, submerge the racks in the
Sulfamic acid cleaning solution for 20 minutes.
Note: Be certain that the hypochlorite solution is completely
removed from the tank before film enters, or reticulation
and/or emulsion stripping may result.
Any tank with significant slime or growth should be
scrubbed with a 3 percent to 5 percent solution of sodium
hydroxide using a scouring pad and then rinsed with water.
Wear full face shield, impervious gloves and clothing for
protection from the caustic solution.
Equipment Lubrication
A processing machine, like any other mechanical equipment,
requires lubrication.
All mechanical friction points on the machine should be
lubricated as required. The friction points include bushings,
chain drive, idler rollers, bearings, etc.
Oil and grease should always be used sparingly to avoid
transferring any to the film. Film areas covered with oil or
grease will not be wetted by the processing solutions they
Rack Cleaning
Note: Observe precautionary information on product labels
and on the Material Safety Data Sheets.
Cleaning solutions contain strong chemicals. Observe all
federal, state or local codes when disposing of cleaning
Sulfamic Acid Cleaning Solution
Water (room temperature)
800 mL
Sulfamic Acid
50 g
Water to make
Rinse the racks again in hot water for 2 minutes.
Scrub the racks with a stiff bristle brush to
remove any remaining deposits.
2. Safety Precautions
Under no circumstances should hydrochloric acid,
nitric acid or sulfuric acid be used in place of sulfamic
acid. Do not add household cleaning agents or organic
solvents to the cleaning solution because toxic fumes
may be liberated. Do not add hypochlorite bleach to
the cleaning solution because toxic chlorine gas will be
Sulfamic acid solutions are harmful to skin and
clothing. A hand spray, face spray and shower must be
available in the areas where these solutions are used.
Eye protection, impervious gloves, rubber boots, and
aprons should be worn at all times by personnel using
these solutions.
The residue on processing racks, especially the racks
used in the color developer solution, may cause
dermatitis by contact with bare skin.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Tank and Line Cleaning
Solid materials and tars must be removed occasionally from
the processing tanks, recirculation system, and supply lines.
A suggested cleaning method follows:
Installing bleach accelerator in a wash or stop
tank requires no special cleanup procedures. A
simple water rinse is sufficient after discarding
the tank solution. If biological growth is
observed in the wash tank, add approximately
59 mL (2 fl oz) of 5 1/4 percent solution of
sodium hypochlorite per 50 L to the wash tank
when rinsing it.
In general, dirt, sediment, and sludge are removed from
the tanks and lines by flushing them with hot water. This
treatment does not, however, remove carbonate scale, which
can accumulate in developer tanks and lines. Carbonate scale
is a white or gray solid that bubbles when contacted with acid
and is easiest to remove by means of a sulfamic acid cleaning
Installing the persulfate bleach in the
ferricyanide bleach tank requires cleanup. First
remove all of the ferricyanide bleach from the
replenisher tank, lines, sumps, pumps, and
machine tank. A poor cleanup will result in a
contamination of the persulfate bleach which
may, in turn, cause non-bleaching. Use the
following procedure to cleanup the ferricyanide
bleach tank. (Caked-on material will still require
scrubbing. Check the bottom of the holding tank
and the machine tank for ferricyanide residue.)
Note: Acid cleanup, if not done correctly, can affect
processing results later.
1. Machine Tank and Line Cleanup—Hot-Water
Disconnect or remove sensing elements of the
temperature controller and any recording
equipment to prevent damage. Remove filter
Slowly drain the tanks and lines. Drain the
solution in the tanks and lines into a holding
tank. Immediately fill the tanks with hot water
140°F (60°C) and scrub the tanks with longhandled bristle brushes.
Drain the tanks and lines. Refill the tanks and
lines with hot water and recirculate for 1 hour.
Drain the water to the sewer.
Check for carbonate scale in the developer tank
and lines. The frequency of an acid cleanup
depends on the rate at which the scale forms.
Change the filters and reassemble the
temperature controller and any recording
2. Machine Conversion Cleanup
When converting your machine from
ferricyanide bleach or persulfate bleach to “UL”
Bleach, the following special clean-up
procedures are required.
1. Conversion from ferricyanide bleach: first
remove all red brass from the system, then
clean up the bleach system as described
above under Machine Tank and Line
Cleanup—Hot-Water Cleanup. A high pH
wash (10 to 12) will help eliminate any
prussian blue in the system. Three cleaning
cycles are recommended.
Conversion from ferricyanide bleach to
persulfate bleach:
1. Drain the ferricyanide bleach and dispose of
the solution.
2. Rinse the tanks, racks, and lines of the
bleach system, with water and drain.
3. Rinse the system with a 10 percent solution
of fixer in water, and drain. If the rinse
water shows a distinctive green color,
repeat this step.
4. Rinse the system with a 10 percent solution
of persulfate bleach in water and drain.
5. Fill the system with fresh persulfate bleach.
3. Replenisher Supply Line Cleanup—Hot-Water
Disconnect the supply lines at the replenisher
tank and flowmeters. Flush the lines with hot
water for one hour.
At convenient places, disconnect sections of the
developer replenisher supply line and check for
carbonate scale. The frequency of an acid
cleanup depends on the rate at which scale
Drain and reconnect the supply lines.
2. Conversion from persulfate bleach: first use
a series of hot water rinses in the accelerator
and bleach tanks. Since the accelerator tank
will become a wash tank, the initial series of
rinses is enough. Fill the bleach tank with
hot water and turn on the recirculation and
replenishment system. Three to five
cleaning cycles are recommended.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Note: For efficiency, the entire system, from the
mix tank to the recirculator, can be cleaned at
one time. The night before the cleanup, mix the
sulfamic acid cleaning solution in the central
mix tank and pump it into the replenisher
holding tank for overnight storage. Perform
steps (d) through (j) the following day.
4. Machine Developer Tank and Line Clean Up—Acid
Disconnect or remove the temperaturecontroller sensing elements and any recording
equipment to prevent damage.
Pump developer replenisher and tank solutions
into their respective storage tanks. A portion of
the developer tank solution is used to prepare a
conditioning solution used in the cleanup
procedure described under step (h) below.
Remove the racks and turbulators from the
machines. Depending on design, it may be
appropriate to leave racks with turbulators in the
machine to clean jets, etc.
Mix the sulfamic acid cleaning solution in the
central mix tank. Use the formula is given above
under Rack Cleaning. Use hot water 140°F
Pump the cleaning solution into the replenisher
storage tank and then to the machine through the
replenisher lines.
6. Ferricyanide Bleach Systems
Do not use the sulfamic acid cleaning solution on the
ferricyanide bleach systems.
Drain the cleaning solution from the system into
a holding tank. Slowly discharge it into the
municipal sewer system according to municipal
sewer use codes. Flush the mix and reserve
tanks, replenisher lines, machine tank, and
recirculation system with water. Fill the machine
with water and recirculate for 30 minutes. Use
the recirculation system filters.
Acid cleanup of a ferricyanide bleach system can
result in the evolution of hydrogen cyanide, HCN, an
extremely toxic gas.
Dump the rinse water into the sewer and change
the filters.
Fill the recirculation system with developer
conditioning solution, which is used developer
tank solution diluted 1:1 with water. Recirculate
this solution for 30 minutes.
The work area must be well ventilated. Under no
circumstances should nitric acid or sulfuric acid be
used in place of the sulfamic acid. Do not add
household cleaning agents or organic solvents to the
cleaning solution because toxic fumes may be
liberated. The sulfamic acid cleaning solution is
harmful to skin and clothing. A hand spray, face spray,
and shower must be available in the areas where this
solution is used. Eye protection, impervious gloves,
rubber boots, and aprons should be worn at all times by
personnel using this cleaning solution.
Recirculate the cleaning solution in the system
for about 2 hours. Replenish the solution at the
rate of 250 mL per minute per machine to
maintain solution pH and temperature. Do not
use filters while the cleaning solution is being
recirculated. Brush machine tanks with the
cleaning solution where required.
5. Safety Precautions for Use with Sulfamic Acid
Cleaning Solution
Drain the conditioning solution from the system
into a holding tank from which it can be slowly
discharged into the municipal sewer system if
allowed by municipal sewer use codes. Replace
the turbulators, racks and change the filters.
Reassemble the temperature control and
recording equipment.
Only hot water is used to clean this equipment. Tanks
and supply lines are flushed as described above.
7. Cleaning Central Mix Tanks
Mix tank cleaning is minimized by pumping solutions
out of them as soon as possible. In this way, tar does
not have time to form and adhere to the sides of the
Remove the solutions from the mix tank as soon
as possible.
Rinse the tank immediately with hot water
140°F (60°C).
Remove any residue which may remain in the
tank by scrubbing the tank with a brush dipped
in the sulfamic acid cleaning solution.
Rinse with hot water 140°F (60°C).
Fill the system with fresh developer tank
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Disposal of Cleaning Solutions
Disposal of used cleaning solutions into municipal sewers
must be done in accordance with the municipal sewer codes.
Never discharge large quantities of cleaning solution directly
into a sewer system or into a receiving body of water. The
use of holding tanks and a timed-release device is
recommended for sewering cleaning solution unless directed
otherwise by the code. If discharge is not permitted, contact
a Chemical Disposal Service such as one of those listed in
the Hazardous Waste and Environmental Services Company
Directory. The directory is part of publication, Chemical
Week- Buyers Guide Issue, published yearly, and available in
larger public libraries.
Sound Track Processing Equipment
The procedures for sound track processing on EASTMAN
Color Print Film, are described in Module 9, Process
ECP-2D Specifications. A close-up of the required
equipment is shown in Figure 9-6. Because sound track
processing is a precision operation, the required equipment
must be kept in top operating condition.
Equipment Lubrication
Use a lubricant, such as Alvania No. 2* mixed with
Microsize Molykote†, for idler-gear sleeve bearings.
Lubricate ball bearings lightly every 2 or 3 months with a
light (SAE 10) turbine oil. Replace any malfunctioning
Keep all equipment clean, especially moving parts.
1. Carefully rinse the applicator wheel, wiper blades, and
solution tray with warm water immediately following
the use of the applicator. Do not deluge the applicator
with water.
2. Keep the applicator tray and developer supply lines
3. Keep the backup roller, guide rollers, and other parts
free of any foreign deposits.
4. If the applicating wheel does not turn freely, or if the
stripe is not applied with the correct center line, the
applicator may need to be disassembled and repaired.
5. Clean and lubricate idler rollers regularly.
Maintain the venturi air squeegees in alignment, and the gaps
To keep the applicated sound developer in the sound track
area of the film, maintain the proper alignment between the
guide rollers and backup roller relative to the applicator
wheel. Also maintain alignment in the idler roller assembly
to eliminate vibration and film twists.
Keep the spray jets and squeegees aligned in the wash box
to prevent contamination of the picture area with sound track
Align the sound-track application detector, if used.
Check the alignment of the application equipment each
time the processing machine is prepared for sound track
development. Check the gaps between the backup roller and
the applicator wheel during normal machine maintenance.
* Alvania No. 2 is a product of Shell Chemical Co., One Shell Plaza,
Houston, TX 77002. It is a lithium soap, multipurpose lubricant of an NLGI
No. 2 type.
† Microsize Molykote is a product of Dow Corning Corp., PO Box 0994,
Midland, MI 48686.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Check all squeegees for proper operation and
Check the leader for twists.
Turn off the white lights and turn on the
Machine Start-Up
Use a definite start-up procedure when preparing the
machine for processing film. The procedure will vary
somewhat, depending on the length of time the machine has
been idle. If the machine has been idle only overnight, the
procedure is called a Daily Start-Up; if the machine has been
idle for an extended period, the procedure is called a Weekly
1. Daily Start-Up
Splice in a control strip of the appropriate film or
While the control strips are being processed,
check the room for emergency buckets,
dispenser levels of acid-type hand cleaner,
machine leader, stapler and staples, etc. All of
these items should be available before any
production film is spliced into the machine.
As the control strips reach the takeoff, remove
them for evaluation. Interpretation of the control
strips will indicate if any corrective action is
required, see Module 1, Process Control. If the
control strips indicate that the process is in
sensitometric control and shows no evidence of
physical damage, the machine is ready for film
Splice in the production film.
Leave the machine threaded with leader for short
shutdowns, such as overnight. To avoid breakage on
start-up, do not leave splices in the bleach.
Turn on the power, air, and water supplies to the
machine, and start the exhaust system.
Drain to the sewer and rinse, any tank being
treated with hypochlorite solution.
Fill the wash tanks and check solution levels in
the other machine tanks. If a solution level is
slightly low, check the specific gravity. If the
specific gravity is normal, add replenisher. If the
specific gravity is high, add water. With
recirculation systems that draw solution from
the top of the machine tank, the solution must be
high enough in the weir boxes to prevent air
from being drawn into the recirculation system.
2. Weekly Start-Up
If the machine has been idle longer than overnight, use
the following procedure:
Install fresh filter cores in the following systems:
solution recirculation, wash water, replenisher
supply and compressed air (for air squeegees).
Turn on the recirculation pumps and water to the
wash tanks.
Remove any scum on the surface of the solution
in the tanks.
Check the turbulation system for proper
Clean out the dryer cabinet and install clean air
filters in the drying system.
Turn on the temperature control systems for all
solutions and washes. Frequently check the
temperatures of all solutions and adjust when
Check all alarm and warning systems.
Check all air squeegees and adjust, if necessary.
Follow steps (a) through (p) in the Daily
Start-Up procedure.
Check the replenisher supply; mix solutions if
Start the dryer blowers.
Turn on the replenishers and adjust the flow
rates for leader. Start the machine and check the
machine drive. Bring the machine up to speed
gradually. If the machine is equipped with
adjustable racks, check the racks for correct
solution times.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
3. Sound Track Start-Up
Clean the machine following the procedures
given above. Check for metal chips,
miscellaneous machine parts, and foreign
materials that could cause oxidation or catalytic
decomposition of developers (zinc, tin, copper,
some phenolic plastics, etc.) or degradation of
the bleach (iron, etc.).
Mix solutions and pump them into the machine.
Mix normal quantities of prebath, fixer, bleach,
and final rinse (or stabilizer) replenishers, but
only a small amount of developer replenisher in
the event that developer formula modification is
Run a development series using control strips.
Suggested starting times are given below. The
developer times specified in each Process
Module are used only as guides for preliminary
machine design. With the developer properly
mixed and its temperature correct, run a
developer series to select a development time
that is optimum for the particular film and
processor. If the best development time
determined by your tests differs by more than
about 10 percent from the time specified in the
Process Module, some other mechanical or
chemical factor is probably out of specification
and should be corrected.
Use the following procedure when changing from a
silent to a sound process.
Thread the sound track equipment with leader.
Feed the leader into the machine until any film
being processed is beyond the sound track
developer applicator. Stop the machine briefly,
cut the machine leader after the bleach wash, and
splice in the length of leader that has been
prethreaded in the sound equipment. Turn the
machine back on, continuing to feed leader into
it, until steps (c) through (f) have been
Turn on the air supply to the venturi air
squeegees and set at the recommended pressure
and temperature for sound processing.
Turn on the wash box or water squeegee and
check for proper operation.
Turn on the sound developer to fill the applicator
Check the film path for any irregularities that
could cause a film break or scratch.
Splice in the production films.
Note: Because the 16 mm sound film may be
either A- or B-wound, attention must be given to
the position of the perforations in relation to
their required position in the applicator.
1. Color Negative Process:
At 106°F (41.1°C): 2:45, 3:00, 3:15
2. Color Print Process:
At 98°F (36.7°C): 2:45, 3:00, 3:15
Before the film arrives at the sound track
developer station, set the equipment to the
required specifications.
3. Color Reversal Process—VNF-1:
First Developer at 100°F (37.8°C): 2:55,
3:10, 3:25
Color Developer at 110°F (43.3°C): 3:20,
3:35, 3:50
4. New Machine Start-Up
Use the following steps for a machines first start-up, in
addition to the steps mentioned above under daily and
weekly start-up.
Before the start of operations, make sure that all
the necessary materials and equipment for
chemical and sensitometric control are ready.
Equipment includes a pH meter, proper
electrodes, glassware, reagents, a densitometer,
etc. Materials include KODAK Publication Nos.
Y-55, KODAK Process Record Forms, E-64,
KODAK Curve Plotting Graph Paper, and
KODAK Process Control Strips. Analytical
Procedures are in Module 3 of this manual, and
Analytical Reagent Preparations in Module 4.
Fill the machine tanks with water to check for
possible leaks. Check the machine transport.
Check the machine for mechanical fitness, for
solution times by actual measurement, and for
temperature control by accurate thermometers.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
4. Color Reversal Process—RVNP:
First Developer at 111.2°F (44.0°C): 1:45,
2:00, 2:15
Color Developer at 114.8°F (46.0°C): 2:01,
2:16, 2:31
After the best development time is selected and
the process is stable, the machine is ready to
process production footage. After about
5,000 feet of production footage has been
processed, analyze the developer for bromide,
CD-2 or CD-3, and pH. Make any final
adjustments to the replenisher concentration and
replenishment rate. Once in stable operation, set
up a recommended schedule of solution analysis
similar to the one given as the first table in the
appropriate “Effects Module.” For example in
Process ECN-2, see Table 8-1, “Critical
Chemical Analyses,” in Module 8, Effects of
Mechanical and Chemical Variations in Process
Machine Shutdown
Drain the prebath, stabilizer and wash-water
tanks. If biological growths are a problem, add
2 mL of sodium hypochlorite solution for each
litre of water filling the tank.
Remove the filters.
Shutdown procedures vary with the length of time a
processing machine is to be idle.
1. Daily Shutdown
Leave the machine racks threaded with leader for
overnight shutdowns, and leave the processing
solutions in the tanks. To prevent breaks on start up,
avoid leaving splices in the bleach.
Remove all squeegees and soak them in water.
Note: It is especially important for squeegees to
be operating clean and scratch-free when
processing preprint films.
Splice leader to the last roll of production film
and allow it to thread through the machine.
As the production film leaves each tank, shut off
the recirculation and replenishment systems for
that tank.
Remove and soak wiper-blade squeegees in
After the film passes through the dryer cabinet,
turn off the machine drive and take-up.
Wash rollers from rotary buffer squeegees in
detergent, rinse with water, air-dry and fluff.
Using a water filled squeeze bottle, rinse off all
exposed areas such as leader, racks and
squeegees. Dried-on processing solution could
form chemical residue and scratch the film.
Lubricate any spools or rollers used with the
squeegees once a week with a small amount of
Vaseline petroleum jelly or its equivalent.
Clean the machine and adjacent areas.
Shut off all controls, alarms, warning systems,
Shut off all power and services to the machine.
Drain the wash-water tanks.
Turn off all services to the machine.
2. Weekly Shutdown
On weekend shutdowns use this more extensive
shutdown procedure. This provides an opportunity to
perform preventive maintenance, which will help keep
the machine operating at peak efficiency.
When the last production film enters the load
accumulator, splice on leader.
Note: If the machine tanks and racks are to be
cleaned or if the racks are to be removed from
the machine, try the following. As the end of the
production film leaves the color developer,
break the leader where it leaves the load
accumulator. This allows the leader to strip out
of the machine. As the leader strips out of a rack,
remove the rack from the tank and rinse it with
Shut off the replenishment and recirculation
3. Sound Track Shutdown
Shutdown procedure for sound track developer:
As the leader that follows the coated film threads
through the applicator, widen the gap between
backup roller and applicator wheel until
developer application stops.
When the applicator is completely threaded with
leader, stop the machine briefly and cut the
leader at either end; then splice the two ends in
the machine together. Start the machine and
continue running until it is completely threaded
with leader.
Turn off the developer replenisher, air supplies,
water supplies, and heaters.
Rinse the applicator with water and remove all
solution deposits. The applicator should not be
deluged with water.
Set the sound-developing equipment aside still
threaded with leader. It is imperative not to leave
the equipment threaded with film because the
emulsion will stick to the squeegees, thus
freezing up the apparatus.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Hand Splicing
When repairing breaks, etc., it is important that the splices be
properly made. They must be strong and smooth to avoid
causing trouble as they run through the machine.
When splicing leader to leader, the ends should overlap
about 4 in. (10 cm). Be sure the ends are properly aligned.
Two staples in the leading end and one in the trailing end of
the splice are generally used to hold these edges down so that
trimming is unnecessary.
When making a splice between ends of film or between
leader and film, the overlap is limited to about 1 in. (25 mm)
so that the staples will not enter the picture area.
Avoid allowing steel staples to sit in the bleach overnight
or longer.
Whether the film is replaceable or not is
important. For example, an intermediate film is
very critical sensitometrically and also
replaceable. If it breaks in the developer,
perhaps the machine should be shut down, the
break repaired (to avoid rethreading the
machine), and the intermediate reprinted. On the
other hand, if camera negative film breaks in the
developer, every effort should be made to
recover it because a speed shift resulting from
standing in the developer may be better than
losing the film completely. It may be advisable
to have large rolls of leader on hand to splice to
the trailing end of a break (if the machine is not
stopped) to avoid having to rethread the
Film Handling
1. Breaks
Film breaks can occur anywhere in the processing
cycle, and usually result from too much tension, poor
splicing, a torn film edge, etc. It is essential to
minimize the hazard of film breaks by good processor
design and maintenance, as well as by attention to
proper film splicing and handling.
A preprocessing inspection may be helpful in finding
poor splices and torn film edges before the film enters
the processing machine. Such an inspection involves
rewinding the film and leader in the dark and feeling
both edges for tears and catches. Care must be taken to
avoid putting pressure, strain, dirt, or finger prints on
the film. Wearing lint-free white gloves and keeping
the inspection area spotlessly clean are recommended.
The rewind equipment should be grounded to reduce
static which can discharge and fog the film.
A procedure for handling breaks under different
circumstances should be developed by every
processing laboratory. This procedure should be
established before emergencies occur. The right
procedure to follow when a break occurs is influenced
by all of the following factors:
Machine Design
The physical design of the processing machine
and the speed at which it runs will determine the
accessibility of various areas and whether it is
possible to splice broken film ends together
without interrupting operation. The ease or
difficulty of rethreading the machine is a very
important consideration.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Type of Film Being Processed
Part of Machine in Which Break Occurs
A break in the dark part of a machine is very
difficult to handle quickly. If the film must be
salvaged, it may be necessary to shut the
machine down until the loose ends can be found
and spliced together. Shutting down the machine
should be used only as a last resort.
A break in the light part of a machine is usually
easier to handle than one in the dark. The loose
ends can often be spliced together without
shutting down the machine
A break in the dryer cabinet is dangerous
because the emulsion is still soft and vulnerable
to physical damage. Any film that is removed
from the dryer while it is still wet should be
placed in water if salvage will be attempted.
Film taken out of the cabinet and placed in water
should be rewashed or reprocessed in the
machine to minimize the accumulation of dirt or
After a break has been repaired, leader should be
fed into the machine until the machine has been
checked for and cleared of any twists,
scratches, etc.
2. Twists
Where possible, processing machines are designed so
that, when properly threaded, only the base side of the
film comes in contact with transport rollers. If the film
should become twisted (turned over), the emulsion
side would contact the film transport rollers and
possibly become damaged. Twists in the film can be
caused by mistakes in threading, mistakes in splicing,
too much slack, etc.
Twists are detected by the physical appearance and
“feel” of the film as it passes from rack to rack. With
experience, the operator can tell the difference
between the base and the emulsion side of the film.
EASTMAN Black-and-White Opaque Leader 5981
and 7981 is available to make twists easier to spot.
Black on one side and white on the other, this leader
makes it easy to locate the position of a twist in the
3. Scratches
Scratches can occur on the base side or the emulsion
side of the film.
Scratches are caused by the film being pulled over or
against a rough or dirty surface. Carefully inspect film
at the dryer cabinet. If scratches are apparent, the film
should be traced back through the machine until the
cause is found.
Regular and careful preventive maintenance,
especially on racks, rollers, and squeegees, reduces the
possibility of film damage.
Some auxiliary equipment, such as the backing
removal unit, final squeegee, etc., may use a roller that
comes in contact with the emulsion. Frequently
inspect such rollers for freedom of rotation,
cleanliness, alignment, etc., to minimize damage to the
The more frequent causes of scratches are:
Spools that are not rotating freely or that are out
of line.
Chemical crystals or other foreign material on
Old, hard, worn, dirty, or maladjusted
Foreign objects in machine tanks.
Improper machine threading (a twist in the film).
Deposits on the rem-jet buffer.
Improper loading of camera magazine or
processing machine.
Cinching a roll of film before or after
Contact with spray nozzles in the developer
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Film Lubrication
Figure 2-13 Rotary Buffer lubricator
Lubrication* of motion picture print films prior to projection
is beneficial. The treatment contributes to smooth
performance during projection, helps prevent static charge
build-up, as well as providing cleaning action and protection
from scratches and cinch marks. Full-coat lubrication is used
primarily on 8 mm and 16 mm films. Sometimes it is also
used on wider films for the scratch protection and cleaning it
affords. Edge coating (edge waxing) is necessary for larger
1. Full Coat
Full-coat (overall) lubrication of Eastman films
designated for projection, can be accomplished after
drying by passing the film through a lubricant solution
in a dip tank. The film can then be buffed on both
emulsion and support surfaces by passing it through
two or three buffer squeegee units. See Figure 2-1 and
Figure 2-13. A buffer squeegee unit consists of a pair
of plush-covered rollers that are motor driven at a high
speed, counter to the direction of the film motion. The
first one or two buffer squeegee units should be
contained in a stainless steel housing that allows
excess lubricant solution to return to the dip tank. A
suction air vent should be mounted near the film exit
from the metal housing to remove the excess volatile
solvent (e.g., methyl chloroform). The buffer squeegee
in the above lubricator is an effective film cleaner,
removing loose processing dirt, including some dye,
from the film surface. The bulk of this dirt becomes
suspended in the lubricant solution in the tank. It is
important that the solution in the dip tank not become
dirty or change concentration appreciably; the dip tank
should have an overflow to maintain an appropriate
solution level and to continuously remove some of the
dirty solution.
The lubricating equipment can be designed for any
film format. The number of buffer squeegee units
needed depends on the transport speed of the
processor. Three pairs of buffer squeegee units have
been found adequate for film speeds between 100 and
200 ft/min (30 and 60 m/min). Further details on this
method of lubrication can be found in the paper, “The
Rotary Buffer Squeegee and Its Use in a Motion
Picture Film Lubricator,” by H. F Ott and J. E. Dunn,
Journal of the SMPIE, 77:121-124, February 1968.
Lubricant Formula
Many oils and waxes are not suitable for fullcoat lubrication of film because they form
globules or mottle instead of a smooth, uniform
coating. On prints, such mottle causes flicker or
random variations in density Hence the nature of
the oil or wax used, as well as the solvent used to
dissolve and coat it, is of critical importance.
Before it is used, any lubricant formula must be
carefully tested for its temporary and permanent
effects on the film. One satisfactory formula for
full-coat lubrication follows:
Film Lubricant Formula (full coat)
* F. J. Kolb and E. M. Weigel, “Lubrication of Motion-Picture Film”
Journal of the SMPTE, 74:297-307, April 1965. Also R. S. Perry and L.
Mino, “Lubrication of 35 mm Release Prints for Extended Print Life,”
Journal of the SMPTE, 92:1051, October 1983.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
PE Tetrastearate
(Pentaerythritol tetastearate)*
0.59 g
Methyl Chloroform (inhibited)†
* Available as pentaerythritol tetastearate, Chemical No.
P7421 from Kodak Laboratory and Research Products,
Rochester, NY 14650, or as Hercules B-16 Synthetic
Wax, from Hercules Inc., Hercules Plaza, Wilmington,
DE 19894.
† Available as 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, Chemical No. 3613
from Kodak Laboratory and Research Products,
Rochester, NY 14650, or from Dow Chemical USA,
2020 Dow Center, Midland, MI 48674.
CAUTION! Harmful if inhaled.
KODAK Movie Film Cleaner (with lubricant)
may also be used for full-coat lubrication.
Safe Handling of Processing Chemicals
2. Edge Coat
The 35 mm and 70 mm films for theatrical projectors
need additional waxing for satisfactory projection life.
This additional wax is coated on the film edges since
theatrical projectors require an amount of lubricant
that would cause mottle on the picture area and in the
sound stripe.
The edge coat waxing equipment described by Perry
and Mino is recommended. Variations of these units
can easily be made an integral part of the processing
machine to reduce handling costs and increase the
speed of production. In the basic design, rotating discs
apply the lubricating solution to the area of the film
that lies outside the picture area along the perforations
and edges. These discs usually rotate in a lubricant tray
and they depend on surface wetting to pick up and
transfer the solution to the film. The applicator discs
should be coupled into the main drive to assure that
film speed and applicator speed remain equal.
Wax is usually applied only to the emulsion side of the
film. The drying rate of the edge coat formula should
be low enough to allow transfer of wax to the support
side of the roll. Some laboratories lubricate both sides
of the film directly.
To reduce accidents and lost time, it is essential that
laboratory personnel be trained in proper procedures and
safety precautions for handling specific processing
chemicals, as well as general classes of chemicals. Such
training should be given to all individuals who have anything
to do with handling chemicals, whether at the receiving
dock, in storage areas, mix areas, processing rooms, cleaning
and inspection rooms, or laboratories. Material Safety Data
Sheets contain information on the proper manner of handling
specific chemicals. These sheet must be on file in the
laboratory according to U.S. Federal Law.
Eye irritation and dermatitis, are the major hazards
associated with handling photographic processing
chemicals. Employees handling or mixing any chemical
solutions should wear protective clothing such as coveralls,
long-sleeved jackets, rubber aprons, impervious gloves, and
eye protection to avoid direct physical contact with the
chemicals. Personal breathing apparatus may be needed
under certain use conditions as noted in the Material Safety
Data Sheets. General safety principles and information on
dermatitis follow.
A solution of paraffin wax dissolved in inhibited
methyl chloroform is a satisfactory edge lubricant. As
a general rule, the life of frequently projected film is
proportional to the concentration of wax in the edge
coating solution.
Film Lubricant Formula (Edge coat)
Paraffin Wax
50 g
Methyl Chloroform (inhibited)*
* Available as 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, Chemical No. 3613 from
Kodak Laboratory and Reseach Products, Rochester, NY
14650, or from Dow Chemical USA, 2020 Dow Center, Midland,
MI 48674. CAUTION! Harmful if inhaled.
The edge coat is applied at both edges of the emulsion
surface at a rate of 33 mL per 500 feet of film, resulting
in a deposit of 1.65 g of wax on each 500 feet of 35 mm
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
1. Handling of Liquids
With a few exceptions, employees handling liquids or
concentrated solutions should wear impervious gloves
and tight-fitting goggles for eye protection. This is
especially important when dispensing, measuring, or
transporting quantities of liquids. Use mechanical
pumps or metering devices whenever possible to
dispense liquids from drums or carboys. An inclinator
cradle or bottle filter is useful for pouring solutions
from carboys.
When opening glass-stoppered bottles of ammonium
hydroxide, nitric acid, and other solutions with toxic
fumes, wrap a paper or cloth towel around the neck of
the bottle and over the stopper before tapping the
stopper to loosen it. Rinse and dry the outside of acid
bottles before they are opened. Never leave bottles
open for extended periods of time on the bench top. Do
not leave stoppers in a place where someone might
accidentally contact them. Securely stopper bottles
before they are transported from one location to
Never carry concentrated acids, such as sulfuric or
glacial acetic, or alkalies, such as ethylenediamine or
caustic solutions, in open pails or in unprotected glass
bottles. A padded safety carrier can be used for
carrying bottles up to 1 gal (4 L) in size. Larger
volumes should not be carried in glass bottles other
than protected carboys. Store large bottles containing
corrosive liquids on the floor or on shelves that are no
higher than 2 ft (0.6 m) from the floor.
2. Handling of Solvents
Several flammable and hazardous solvents are used in
analyzing and using photographic processing
solutions. Keep flammable solvents in approved selfclosing metal containers away from sources of
ignition. Maintain containers at ground potential to
prevent ignition of vapors from any static discharges
generated by the operator. Attach a grounded wire to
the handle or other convenient part of the container by
means of a battery clip. Do not permit smoking in
areas where such solvents are used, and remove any
open flame or apparatus that generates sparks from
those areas. Provide adequate fire protection.
Complete precautions to be taken against fire and
explosion in the handling of solvents are outlined in a
handbook and various pamphlets published by Fire
Protection Research International, 60 Batterymarch
Street, Boston, MA 02110.
Most organic solvents are toxic if swallowed. Such
solvents like corrosive solutions, should never be
pipetted by mouth. Use a rubber bulb or an aspirator
Some of the solvents used, such as methyl chloroform,
give off vapors that are toxic. Breathing these vapors
can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation.
Never pipes liquids by mouth. A variety of pipetting
aids are available from laboratory supply houses.
The safe handling of solvents requires well-ventilated
storage and mix room areas; the use of hoods and
closed containers for volatile materials; and the use of
impervious gloves, eye protection, and proper
respirators where necessary. Lubricating, lacquering,
and cleaning of film must also be done in enclosed
ventilated machines in properly ventilated areas.
Always dilute acids by adding acid slowly to water.
Some concentrated acids evolve considerable heat
when mixed with water. When acid is added to water,
the heat is dissipated throughout the water; whereas, if
water were added directly to acid, the rapid formation
of steam and vapors could spatter the acid, and the heat
may even be great enough to break the container.
The emergency treatment of splashes on skin,
clothing, and eyes is the same as for acids and alkalies,
namely, immediate and thorough flushing with
running water, followed by medical attention.
Prolonged or repeated contact with solvents tends to
defeat the skins natural protection and predispose an
individual to dermatitis.
Dilute and flush all spillage of corrosive solutions
immediately with large quantities of water. A single
drop of acid can cause a severe burn. See the Material
Safety Data Sheets for proper procedures.
Any area of skin or eyes contacted with corrosive
chemical solutions should be flushed immediately
with large amounts of running water. Flush the skin for
at least 10 minutes and the eyes for at least 15 minutes.
Remove all contaminated clothing or shoes. In the case
of eye contact, hold open the lids and flush the eyeball
with a gentle stream of water from an eye bath or a
hose. Obtain prompt medical attention for all skin and
eye burns.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
3. Handling of Solids
The basic principle for the safe handling of solids is the
same as that for handling liquids and solvents, namely,
avoiding direct physical contact with any part of the
body and not breathing the dust.
Do all bulk weighing and transferring of solids from
their original containers in a weighing hood designed
to remove dust from the breathing zone of the worker
and to reduce the chances for contamination of the
worker's clothing. Keep all hood surfaces and adjacent
areas clean, and remove all spills promptly by
vacuuming. Wear gloves and eye protection whenever
possible. Make frequent changes of uniform
mandatory in all chemical mix and processing areas.
One of the most frequent causes of difficulty in this
respect is the contamination of the cuffs on jackets and
trousers. Personal breathing apparatus may be needed
under certain use conditions as noted in the Material
Safety Data Sheets.
Some of the potentially hazardous solids used in
motion picture processing are discussed below.
KODAK Color Developing Agents, CD-2 and CD-3,
are chemicals that, even in solid form, can cause skin
sensitization. Sodium hydroxide, other solid alkalies,
and silver nitrate are capable of causing severe skin
and eye burns. Emergency treatment for accidental
skin contact with hazardous solids is the similar to that
of liquids; first, brush off the loose solid, followed by
immediate and abundant application of water.
Observe the flammability and reactivity properties of
chemicals. Flammable solids like KODAK Reversal
Agent, RA-1, should be handled as carefully as
flammable solvents, since these materials can ignite
easily and burn vigorously. Do not use metal tools
such as scoops or shovels with shock or impact
sensitive materials such as the kit chemical KODAK
VNF-1 Persulfate Bleach and Replenisher, Part A.
In summary all chemicals must be handled in such a
way as to keep them off the skin, out of the eyes, lungs
and stomach. This can be done by proper personal
protective measures, mechanization of chemical
handling, proper methods of transporting and storing,
provision of properly designed exhaust hoods and
good general ventilation, and proper cleaning of
working areas and clothing. All of these factors are
important in connection with the dermatitis problem
discussed below.
4. The Nature and Cause of Dermatitis
Dermatitis is a broad term used to describe skin
inflammation of any kind. Dermatitis may arise from
contact with certain chemicals. These chemicals fall
into two broad categories. The first category includes
chemicals that cause irritation such as might be caused
by acids or alkalis. The condition caused by such
chemicals is called “contact irritant dermatitis.”
The second category includes chemicals that cause an
allergic reaction such as might be caused by poison
ivy. This reaction is called “contact allergic
dermatitis.” Some chemicals may fall into both
categories and be able to produce both a contact
irritant and a contact allergic dermatitis.
Contact irritant dermatitis may be caused by acids,
caustics and strong oxidizing agents which damage or
destroy the skin by direct chemical action. Soaps,
detergents and solvents may cause inflammation by
removing the normal protective oils from the surface
of the skin. These agents do not require an allergy or
special sensitivity to produce an effect that all people
react more or less alike to under similar degrees and
conditions of exposure.
In contrast, substances capable of causing contact
allergic dermatitis may be handled without problems
for weeks or months and then suddenly even a small
contact can cause skin inflammation in some people.
This is because the skin itself has developed an altered
reaction as a result of repeated exposures to the
particular chemical; wherever the chemical touches
the skin, swelling, redness, itching, and finally blisters
may develop. This is the type of reaction that results
when people develop a sensitivity to poison ivy.
While many chemicals have the ability to cause
contact dermatitis, some may affect only one out a
thousand people, while others may cause a rash in a
large majority of the people who are exposed to them.
Also the length of time it takes to develop a sensitivity
can vary greatly in different people. It can range from
two or three weeks to several years or more. The
degree of sensitivity may also vary, with some persons
being only mildly affected and others showing severe
inflammation at the slightest contact. With the latter
type of response, the sensitization is often permanent
and may limit further work with a given chemical.
Other people may be able to continue their work with
little or no trouble if they are careful.
Physicians occasionally test for sensitivity to a
particular compound by placing a tiny amount of the
chemical on some portion of the body. This is called a
patch test. A positive result will be obtained only after
the person has become sensitive. Hence it cannot be
used to predict which employee might develop
dermatitis. Since there is no known way of preventing
a normal skin from becoming sensitive to certain
chemicals after repeated contacts with them, every
effort must be made to prevent the contacts from
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
5. Factors That Predispose to Contact Allergic
Frequency and extent of skin contact are the
most important factors in deciding whether a
person will develop a sensitivity. Since the
amount of contact necessary to produce
sensitivity in any given person is unknown, the
only safe procedure is to avoid all skin contact
with such chemicals.
Exposure to more concentrated solutions or
exposure to certain forms of a chemical might be
important. Simultaneous exposure to certain
mixtures may be more damaging than exposure
to single chemicals.
The duration of any given contract is also very
important. If the chemical is removed within a
few minutes, the chance of penetration into the
skin is less likely.
Previous injuries to the skin, such as those
caused by caustics, detergents, solvents,
chapping, abrasions, cuts, or other skin diseases,
can allow the chemical to penetrate more easily
and quickly. Excessive sweating can also speed
Persons who have a known history of contact
allergic dermatitis, childhood eczema, should
avoid exposure to known skin irritants and
sensitizers. There are no differences among
races, between sexes, or between blondes and
brunettes in ability to develop skin allergies.
6. Specific Photographic Chemicals Causing Dermatitis
Developing agents, particularly Hydroquinone,
KODAK Color Developing Agents, CD-2 and CD-3,
either in solid form or in solution are very potent skin
sensitizers, and they can cause dermatitis if handled
carelessly KODAK Persulfate Bleach Accelerator,
PBA-1, can also cause skin sensitization with repeated
skin contact.
A certain amount of simple irritation can result from
contact with alkalis in the developer or with other
concentrated solutions. Check the Material Safety
Data Sheets to determine which chemicals can cause
allergic skin reactions.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
7. Prevention of Dermatitis
Every laboratory should consider the possible
occurrence of dermatitis among its employees as a
serious threat to successful and profitable plant
operation. Great emphasis should be placed on the
prevention of dermatitis rather than on the cure. All
employees, supervisors, and plant medical personnel
must be quite familiar with the nature of skin
problems; and they should realize that protective
measures must be carried out 100 percent of the time
with no exceptions. They must be made a routine part
of the job.
It is not sufficient to outline to employees the
necessary steps that should be taken to prevent
dermatitis and then to take no further action to see that
the program is carried out. Management should
exercise constant vigilance to see that employees are
cooperating at all times and to point out to them that
the program is for their own welfare and protection as
well as for the organization.
The following suggestions will be helpful in
formulating a dermatitis-prevention program:
Prevention of Contact with Chemicals
1. Cleanliness of working areas: Keep all
working areas clean and free from chemical
dust and spilled solutions. Carry out bulk
weighing of dry chemicals in appropriate
areas with hoods designed to remove dust
from the vicinity of the worker
2. Use of impervious gloves: Always use
impervious gloves with cotton inner liners
when handling concentrated materials in the
mix room and when cleaning tanks or
equipment. It is surprising how many
routine tasks can be performed successfully
when gloves are worn. Change gloves at
least once per day and always clean before
reuse. Never touch the outside of gloves
with bare hands in putting them on or taking
them off. Before gloves are removed, wash
their outer surfaces with an acid type hand
cleaner and rinsed with warm water. At
least once a day, both outer and inner
surfaces of the gloves should be cleaned
with an acid hand cleaner. The gloves
should be inspected frequently for tears or
holes without contaminating the inner
3. Protective clothing: Change protective
clothing, such as coveralls, long-sleeved
jackets, etc., frequently or whenever any
chemical is spilled on them. Keep work
clothing in separate lockers from street
clothing because of the danger of
4. Protective hand creams: Protective hand
creams have often been suggested for use in
connection with dermatitis caused by
chemicals. However, a long study of many
types of hand creams has shown them to be
relatively ineffective against potent skin
sensitizers in photographic processing
operations. Their use is not recommended at
the present time for controlling dermatitis
encountered in photographic processing.
Removal of Chemicals from Skin
Experience has shown that immediate removal
of chemicals from the skin, in case of accidental
contact, is the most important single measure in
reducing the number of dermatitis cases. All
areas where chemicals are handled, mixed, or
used must have convenient hand-washing
facilities, preferably with foot-operated valves.
Each area should be provided with a dispenser
containing a slightly acid liquid hand cleanser
that has a pH of 5.0 to 6.0. Such hand cleansers
counteract the alkalinity of the developer
solution, aid in removing the basic developer
compounds and considerably reduce the
likelihood for the development of dermatitis.
They are commonly used for surgical skin
preparation and cleaning in hospitals.
8. Procedure in Case Dermatitis Occurs in Employee
If an employee develops a case of dermatitis, remove
the employee from work for treatment by a physician
or plant nurse. Self-treatment with ointments, etc., is
not recommended.
Require all employees to report any dermatitis at once
and learn to observe their own hands for signs of
redness or swelling around nails or between fingers.
An employee should be particularly careful if they
have any cuts or scratches or any other skin irritation
on the hands or wrists. Most employees who have
recovered from a mild case of dermatitis can continue
to work in color processing unless they are unusually
sensitive. This will depend on their skill in preventing
all skin contact, however, and it should be allowed
only after consultation with a physician.
Employing the measures described above should keep
the incidence of dermatitis in any laboratory at a very
low level, certainly on the average of less than 1 or
2 percent of the total number exposed. Many color
processing laboratories have been able to go many
months at a time with no reported cases. This kind of
record will not come about unless unceasing attention
is given to the problem.
Within minutes or possibly seconds after contact
with chemicals, especially color developer, the
hands should be thoroughly washed with water
and acid hand cleaner. This should be repeated
after each known contact occurs. Ordinary bar,
powder, or liquid soaps are ineffective for this
purpose. The acid-type cleanser is essential.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Laboratory Cleanliness
1. Introduction
Materials used in building construction are often
dirt producers. Bare concrete floors, chipping
paint, pipes and ducts, rough-textured surfaces,
and some acoustic ceiling materials are all
potential sources of dirt. Smooth, easily-cleaned
materials should be used wherever possible
(e.g., plastic laminate, vinyl flooring, stainless
steel, ceramic tile, etc.)
White spots noted during projection are commonly
known as white dirt, windows, stars, sparkle, or snow.
An objectionable amount of white dirt can be present
in a print made from any camera or other preprint film.
Such white spots may be caused by dirt particles or
scratches on either side of the preprint film or lying
between the preprint and print films during the printing
operation. These dirt particles and scratches form
unexposed images (white spots) on the print film. The
source can be in the processing, in the editing and
conforming, in the printing, or in any combination of
the above.
Evaluation of the projected images for dirt is a
judgment that depends upon scene content, scene
density, scene magnification, and viewing distance.
Therefore, determination of an acceptable dirt level is
difficult. Of course, the smaller the film format, the
more noticeable dirt particles become.
Improper processing machine construction
materials can be a significant source of dirt. Use
of a stainless steel tank for ferricyanide bleach,
for example, would lead to the production of
large amounts of corrosion products such as
prussian blue in the bleach. Any sources of
friction causing undue wear of mechanical parts
(such as spools, rollers, bearings, and plastic
cores) will also generate dirt.
Important types of processing-related film dirt are:
sulfur particles caused by a low fixer pH, silver
particles caused by improper electrolytic silver
recovery, tar caused by aerial oxidation of developer
rem-jet particles that remain on the film because of
improperly adjusted removal equipment, incorrectly
mixed prebath, and biological growths from the water
The lab layout should be organized to minimize
traffic flow, and clean, lint-free smocks,
uniforms and film-handler's gloves should be
provided to film handlers.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Water Supply
Hard water is a source of dirt since it can cause
the precipitation of carbonate and other ions in
the form on calcium salt crystals. The municipal
water supply may also contain suspended matter
and biological growths (e.g., diatoms).
Additional filtration and water-treatment by the
lab may be necessary.
Air Supply
Any work area generates significant amounts of
airborne dirt. Air ducts in buildings frequently
end in ceiling outlets placed to distribute the
incoming air uniformly throughout the room.
The system creates turbulence and continuously
stirs up dirt present in the room and keeps it in
random motion so that it has many opportunities
to contact clean film. Incoming air should be
well filtered to remove particles larger than
5 microns, and should have nonturbulent
(laminar) flow.
Laboratory Personnel
One of the primary sources of dirt in filmhandling areas is personnel. Clothing usually
contains a significant amounts of loose dirt and
lint. Workers move about constantly; and each
time they return from a less clean area, they
bring dirt of some sort with them. Dandruff, skin
flakes and skin oils are also common forms of
film dirt.
2. Sources of Dirt Particles
However, this section deals mainly with other dirt
sources in the lab. Such dirt consists of dust, cloth
fibers, hair, skin flakes, chemical crystals, corrosion
particles, etc.
Construction Materials
Emulsion skivings and scrapings can result from
improperly aligned spools in the processor, film
cutting and splicing operations, and burrs or
snags in the processor or printer. Rem-Jet may
be abraded by rollers, generating dirt, and
sprockets may generate dirt from the
3. Electrostatic Charge
Any film-winding or rewinding operation may put an
electrostatic charge on the film. The amount of charge
buildup depends on the relative humidity in the work
area and the actual handling procedure and the
equipment. Charged film attracts dirt particles in direct
proportion to the magnitude of the change, and this can
be a serious problem during film-handling operations.
The surface conductivity of most film, (especially
processed film) decreases rapidly with a decrease in
the relative humidity. A reduction in the surface
conductivity of film in turn reduces its ability to
dissipate an electrostatic charge. Any residual
electrostatic charge on film attracts dust and dirt, and
it can even discharge (exposing unprocessed stock) if
large enough. A relative humidity range that is
acceptable for both static buildup and worker comfort
at 70 to 75°F is 60 to 65 percent. Below 45 percent
RH, it is difficult to keep film clean, even if filmcleaning devices are used. Relative humidity higher
than 65 percent may cause rusting or corrosion of
metal, and will cause the emulsion to soften or even
promote mold, mildew and fungal growth.
Techniques of Charge Reduction
Specially treated polyurethane or synthane
rollers, which cause a minimal amount of static
charging, should be used wherever charge
buildup is a problem. Metal rollers, while not
building a charge themselves, can impart a
charge to processed film.
Since it is impossible to completely prevent
static buildup on preprint film during the many
handling operations commonly necessary for
production, the use of static eliminators in
conjunction with film cleaners is recommended.
Several static eliminators are commercially
available. Such static eliminators should be
located at key points in the film-handling
sequence, including the film windup on the
processing machine. While the static eliminator
may not completely remove the charge, in
reducing the charge, it decreases future dirt
attraction and increases the effectiveness of film
cleaning devices.
Grounding metal rewind and film-handling
equipment may also be helpful in reducing static
All of the following can increase static buildup
on film:
1. An increase in film winding tension.
2. An increase in the speed of film movement.
3. A decrease in relative humidity.
4. Slippage of film on transport rollers.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
4. Techniques of Dirt Reduction
Air Pressure
Maintaining positive room air pressure in all
film-handling areas is essential for dirt
reduction. This positive pressure prevents dirty
air from entering the room when a door is
opened. Unfiltered outside air should always be
excluded (i.e., don't open windows).
The concept of vertical laminar flow is usually
applied to clean hoods*, which are commercially
available for use with a single piece of film
equipment (e.g., printer, splicer, rewind bench).
See Figure 2-15. Several companies market
complete built-in systems or portable units for
almost any size room or work area.
Air Flow
An excellent way of supplying clean air to filmhandling areas without creating turbulence is by
laminar flow. Laminar flow is a controlled,
unidirectional flow pattern of air which picks up
any loose dirt and carries it directly to an exit.
Hence, dirt particles have little opportunity to
settle before they are moved to and trapped in
the filtering system.
Laminar flow can be either horizontal or
vertical. Horizontal is the easiest to use for
general room ventilation. One wall can be a grid
filled with filters through which air enters the
room. The air then exits through the opposite
wall and recycles through the laboratory
conditioning system. See Figure 2-14. The air
should be filtered twice (through a prefilter and
an absolute filter) before reentering the room.
The prefilter removes most of the larger dirt
particles to prevent clogging of the absolute
filter. The absolute filter passes only particles
smaller than 0.3 micron in diameter. A laminar
airflow rate of 15 to 30.5 metres per minute
(50 to 100 feet per minute) should be adequate
for most room installations.
Figure 2-14 Wall-to-Wall Laminar Flow Clean-Room
Figure 2-15 Clean Hood for Film Handling
(right end)
(left end)
Keep the dirt level in the processor drying
cabinet very low because much of the film in it
is wet and sticky. Even if the airflow in the
processor room is laminar and the dirt count in
the air is low, the drying cabinet should have a
separate air filter. A high-efficiency particulate
air (HEPA) filter, such as the Micretain Equi
Flo† filter (95 percent efficient at 0.3-micron
particle size) is recommended.
* For more information on the design of clean hoods, see “Dirt-Free Exhaust
Hood for Cleaning Film,” Journal of the SMPTE. 67:689-690, October
1958. B. Agnew, “Application of Aerospace Clean Room techniques in
Photographic Laboratories,” Journal of the SMPIE' 76:111-114, February
1967. R. Westfall and E. Knutsen, “Factors Affecting the Cleanliness of
Motion Picture Film,” Journal of the SMPTE, 85:853, November 1976.
† A product of Cambridge Filter Corporation, 7645 Henry Clay Blvd.,
Liverpool, NY 13088.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Relative humidity has a pronounced effect on
film, Newton's Rings, ferrotyping and emulsion
keeping. Of more concern here, however, is the
effect it has on the electrostatic properties of
film. For reasons outlined in the section on
electrostatic charge, the relative humidity in
film-handling areas should be maintained in the
range of 60 to 65 percent, and never less than
45 percent. Portable humidifiers (not
vaporizers) have been found to be effective for
small areas.
Shoe Cleaners and Air Showers
Substantial reductions in room dirt can be
achieved by means of shoe cleaners and air
showers, which remove loose dirt from the
clothes of lab personnel. Such devices should be
located at the entrances to clean areas. Water
baths or tacky-mats may be used to clean the
bottoms of shoes.
Population Density and Traffic Control
Since people are major dirt contributors, it is
advisable to avoid crowded conditions in critical
areas. A reasonable rule of thumb for such areas
is no more than one person per 100 square feet of
space. Equipment, too, should be given adequate
space and positioned so as not to interfere with
proper room airflow. Otherwise, it might trap
and collect dirt.
Unnecessary traffic in clean areas should also be
eliminated. To protect the film from
contamination, clean areas should be off limits
to those who do not work there.
Building and Equipment Maintenance
Regular janitorial service in film-handling areas
is essential. Frequency of room and equipment
cleaning depends on individual laboratory
circumstances. Pipes, ducts, walls, ceilings, and
all equipment should be kept free of loose dirt by
vacuuming or damp-wiping. Abrasive powders
or pastes should be avoided, since they tend to
leave a particulate residue. Industrial cleaning
fluids that do an excellent job are now available.
Vacuuming can actually increase dirt problems
if the vacuum equipment discharges indrawn air
through a filter and back into the room. Such
equipment invariably discharges fine dust which
travels over the room before setting. A central
vacuum system avoids this problem. If floors are
wet-mopped, a cellulose type of sponge mop
should be used rather than a stringy cloth mop.
A regular program of equipment maintenance,
as outlined above, is also essential to keep
laboratory dirt to a minimum. Proper lubrication
of moving parts is particularly important to
reduce dirt generation. Where air squeegees are
used on the processor, great care must be taken
to keep them clean. The air jets can firmly
embed dirt particles in soft, wet emulsion.
Relative Humidity
Solution Filtration
Because of the many sources of dirt particles in
processing solutions and wash water, both
external and internal to the process, all solutions
and water lines should be filtered. Filter porosity
should be 15 microns or less. See specific
recommendations in the process sections. If the
local water is very hard, it may be necessary to
add more sequestering agent to solutions or
soften the water.
The insoluble material may originate from a
number of sources. The water supply can
contribute in two ways. It can contain solids and
also have hardness high enough to produce
sludge when used for preparing processing
solutions. The processing chemicals themselves
may contain impurities that will not dissolve in
water. Such impurities are at a minimum if the
chemical is sold as photographic grade under
American National Standards Institute
specifications. Emulsion skivings and
antihalation backing are also sources of dirt and
need to be controlled. The amounts of the
materials in solution largely depend upon how
well the processing equipment is designed and
the attention paid to proper maintenance. Also,
as a result of evaporation and aeration, solutions
will contain some insoluble materials as tars and
salts of crystallization. Some salts are slow to
redissolve, while tars are usually insoluble.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Film Cleaning Devices
In spite of the above precautions, handling large
amounts of camera negative and preprint films
can lead to dirt accumulation. Hence film
cleaning in an ultrasonic device, or by hand on a
drum, or by rewinding through a soft cloth that
is wet with solvent is necessary from time to
time, especially after manual handling (e.g.,
splicing, color timing) or during long printing
One of the best solvents found to date for
nonmechanized film cleaning is inhibited
methyl chloroform. It has relatively low toxicity,
is nonflammable, evaporates quickly, removes
most varieties of film dirt, is relatively
inexpensive, and has antistatic properties.
Because of its toxicity, the caution given by the
film lubricant formula above is required.
Some labs have film cleaning devices on their
printers. These are generally vacuum units
through which preprint and/or print film passes
before reaching the printer aperture. Newer
designs of film cleaners have soft rotating
brushes to improve their effectiveness with low
risk to the film.
Never clean film by wiping with a dry cloth,
since this will charge the film and may cause
scratches. Always use proper safety precautions
when handling, using or disposing of solvents.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
5. Tracing the Sources of Dirt
Occasionally it may be necessary for a lab to track
down the source of dirt contamination of the film it
handles. In this event, a microscope can be used to
examine samples of dirty film or samples of dirt
gathered on adhesive tape or trapped by the tacky-dish
Any dirt which has settled on work surfaces can be
sampled easily with ordinary adhesive tape. The tape
can then be mounted on a microscope slide. Many
kinds of dirt (such as rust, paint, particles, emulsion
skivings, and lint) are easy to identify visually
A shallow dish coated with tacky gelatin (a tacky dish)
can be placed in various locations in the laboratory to
collect dirt. The dirt in these areas can then be
analyzed periodically for both type and quantity.
Typical locations for such dishes in the processing
room would be at crossover rollers, air squeegees,
drying cabinet, and final windup. Film handling areas
should also be tested.
Microscopic examination of dirt on an actual
production roll of film may also be helpful in
determining the source of dirt. The location of dirt
particles relative to splices, relative to the start or end
of rolls, or in repeating patterns can be helpful
information. The photographic effect of the particles,
if any, can also be helpful in identifying them. In
addition, solubility and color reaction tests can be run
on dirt particles to help identify them.
Processing KODAK Motion Picture Films, Module 2
Processing KODAK Motion Picture
Films, Module 2
KODAK Publication No. H24.02
Kodak, Eastman, Estar, and Kodel are trademarks
Minor Revision 5/03
Printed in U.S.A.
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