RC Seperation Problem
Due to time constraints, I only have time to print on RC papers. I have run into separation problems with a couple of different brands of papers. The wet times are kept to a minimum. I have a decade of darkroom experience and it is only happening on papers that were purchased recently. The separation problem has not happened to my older papers yet. Any ideas?
I don't think you've given us enough details on how you print.... Here's my experience.
Using Ilford MGIV RC, it takes quite a bit of wet time for separation to occur. For RC, I develop for one minutes, splash in stop, then 1 minute fix. My wash is usually 3 to 5 minutes. No problems. Few times, I forgot my print in wash for about 30 minutes. Corner separated JUST A LITTLE.
Using Arista (forgot the exact type but the least expensive one), it seems they always separated a little at corner.
Using Adorama house brand paper, I have not encountered separation issue but I haven't forgotten it in wash water either.
When I wash, I'm careful not to bang corners in my tray. My solutions are at room temperature that can range from 72 to 82 degrees - depending on season. My wash water is tap temperature in Florida.
OP if it is Ilford paper then Simon Galley from Ilford will, I am sure, be concerned. On a nighschool course we all used Ilford RC and dumped it for washing in a communal bath in most cases for way beyond 30 mins without any issues. OK not an ideal washing pattern but it does illustrate how well Ilford paper seems to be able to take prolonged immersion.
As we have no information what you do, how long you do it for or to what paper you do it I would probably say it is due to sunspots.
I feel slightly guilty for my unhelpful post at #5 above.
You do see that more detail is required for anyone to compare what you are doing with what anyone else is doing? For example, it could even be possible that you are carrying out a multiple stage, very complicated, toning and bleaching process with washing and drying at every step - unlikely, but quite possible. The problem is clearly not a very general one (as you have seen yourself over the last ten years, from your post) so something must have changed somewhere....
Giving more information would help you solve the problem, by bouncing ideas off the forum members, and will remain available to help future "googlers" with an apparently similar problem.
I apologize that my original explanation was less than complete.
My Process is:
1 minute developing in Liquidol paper developer.
30 second total stop bath, plain water - two bath
30 second fixer, TF-3
4 minute selenium toner 1:9 dilution
3 minute wash
hang to dry
The problem is that when I try to remove the dry prints from the line, the paper de-laminates. and you can see the paper under the plastic coating. This has happened with both Ilford and Adox papers. Neither paper manufacturer makes the paper so I question if there has been a change with the substrate. I have never had this happen in the past, even with test strips that were left in water for hours. Ilford recommends keeping the wetted time under 15 minutes and I am careful to do that.
I would replace the clips you are using on the line with something more gentle.
I always have problems with ilford's RC after being wet(washed) for a long time. Worst i seen them bubble up at the edge.
If it used to be OK and not today, then you may be right in assuming something changed. Personally, I squeegee my print gently and dry them face up on towels. But I know "hang with clip" is a common method as well.
Simon R Galley is a president of Ilford Imaging and is an active member on this forum. You may want to PM him if he doesn't respond to this post directly.