|dc.description||Encapsulation of flat paper collection items, such as documents, between polyester film is standard practice preservation strategy. Equipment currently available on the market for encapsulation either employ heat or an ultrasonic welder to create the seams in the polyester film. This equipent is only produced by limited sources and can be cost-prohibitive. Each year, the Engineering College calls for project proposals for Capstone projects, a senior class project designed to have students work with a client to design and complete, mimicking the real world. The Preservation unit submitted an open proposal to design and build an encapsulator and was selected by a mechanical engineering team.
Working with a team of five senior students, the project took place in two phases, over the course two semesters. The TAMU Encapsulator design includes several innovations including an off-the-shelf removable ultrasonic welder locally sourced, an interchangable welder tip, a digital control box to adjust percent strength of the weld, and additional seam types.With a budget of $15k provided by the Library, these students were able to build a working prototype from off-the-shelf components and came in under budget. The prototype was presented in the Annual Senior Showcase, competeing with all Enginneering specialties and awarded Second Place.||en