|This primer discusses the chemistry and basic concepts behind record cleaning fluids (RCFs). Based on the positive response from another forum, I decided to make this primer available to Audiogon members as well. Such information is sadly missing from most RCF discussions which too often leave us still mystified or, far worse, misinformed. The alcohol scare is a good example of a resilient myth that is particularly misleading because it contains an element of truth. It is not my intention, however, to vilify or endorse specific commercial RCFs. I only hope that a better understanding of how these products work will enable you to select the right one for your need and use it in the safest and most effective way. I make no claim to be an expert on either RCF or Vinyl. The discussion below is based on my years of working in Surface Chemistry R & D and caring for my own LPs. |
Note: If you loathe long technical discussions, feel free to proceed directly to the summary (section G) at the very end.
A. THE VINYL
LPs, also known as Vinyls, are made from an eponymous polymer (lower-case vinyl) also known as PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Like many thermoplastic materials, vinyl requires many additives during its manufacturing to give it the desired physical properties. These additives represent only a small portion of the overall formulation. Common additives include stabilizers (metals such as barium, calcium, cadmium, lead, zinc, etc.), colorants (dyes) and plasticizers (softeners).
Plasticizers are softening agents that give vinyl its low-temperature flexibility. They are of particular interest in record cleaning because, unlike stabilizers and dyes which are chemically bound to the polymer, plasticizers are simply mixed within the polymer matrix. The most common plasticizers are phthalate esters (derived from naphtha, a polyaromatic fraction of crude oil). Phthalates used in vinyl are large, polar molecules which have no significant vapor pressure (minimal loss by evaporation). They are, however, soluble in alcohol or surfactant solution (!). A loss of plasticizer renders vinyl brittle and susceptible to further mechanical damage.
B. THE CONTAMINANTS
Even a pristine Vinyl still sealed in its jacket is covered with a thin layer of mold release, a lubricant used to ease the removal of the record from its mold after stamping. The chemical composition of this mold release varies but it is traditionally a lubricant of medium molecular weight. Modern mold releases are polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE or Teflon) in liquid or dry form.
Used Vinyls have a host of other contaminants which are less well defined. The most common contaminant is dust, on the Vinyl surface or imbedded in the Vinyl grooves. Dust can be of two origins: skin-cell debris and fine particles of dirt and sand. Other contaminants are finger prints (skin oil), adhesive (label glue), cigarette smoke and materials of unknown and sometimes surprising origins.
C. IDEAL PROPERTIES FOR RECORD-CLEANING FLUIDS
1. An RCF must be able to “wet” the Vinyl surface. Wetting ensures intimate contact between RFC and Vinyl without which cleaning is impossible. The fluid must have near zero contact angle on vinyl, i.e., it must “spread” on the vinyl surface rather than bead up. Most polar organic solvents such as alcohol and chlorofluoro alkane tend to wet vinyl. Water does not unless it contains a polar organic solvent or a surfactant—more familiar known as soap or detergent.
2. An RCF must “penetrate” tight spaces in the Vinyl groove to remove contaminants within those nooks and crannies. (analogy: dirt ground into a fabric is far more difficult to launder than surface dirt.) To squeeze through these micron-size spaces within the Vinyl grooves, an RFC must have low surface tensions, and the smaller the pores, the lower the tension required. (The surface tension is an indicator of how easily a liquid droplet can be deformed to squeeze through tight spaces). Thus, pure water with high surface tension is kept out of all tight spaces in the grooves. Alcohol, pure or diluted in water, has a moderate surface tension and cannot access the smallest pores. Water containing enough effective surfactant has a low surface tension and can access all areas.
3. An RCF must be able to “dissolve” contaminants on contact. Polar solvents like alcohols can; water cannot unless it contains alcohol or surfactant. Alcohol helps disperse contaminants in the water and its effectiveness varies with the type and amount of alcohol. A surfactant removes organic contaminants differently. At concentrations above the cmc (critical micellar concentration), surfactant molecules spontaneously aggregate into small spheres called micelles, each consisting of a few to a few hundred surfactant molecules. Within each micelle, the surfactant polar heads are aligned outward to form the polar surface the micelle that keeps it soluble in water. The surfactant hydrocarbon tails point inward to form the organic core that acts like a large expandable reservoir to “solubilize” contaminants. Note: The cmc of a typical surfactant in water ranges from about 0.01% to 0.25% by weight. Diluting a commercial RCF below its cmc will yield poor cleaning due to high tensions, poor solubilization and low foam. Consult the manufacturer for safe dilution. Below the cmc, a surfactant becomes merely a wetting agent.
4. An RCF must be able to “transport” contaminants away from the vinyl surface. Dissolved organic contaminants are transported within the bulk of the liquid itself (by dispersion or solubilization). Dust and other solid contaminants are carried away mostly by froth or foam (a processed called flotation). RCFs that are the best foamers are also the best dust removers. They are, in decreasing order of foamability: surfactant in water (best), alcohol in water and pure water (worst).
5. An RCF must not leave any “solid residue or thin film” behind after vacuuming. It is obvious that RCFs should contain as little solid residue as possible. But beyond that, all liquid components of the RCF should also be easily removed by vacuuming. While the bulk of RCF is vacuumed off the Vinyl surface, a small part of it is usually left behind as an “adsorption” film. How completely this very thin film is removed by vacuum depends on it volatility.
D. THE VITAL AND OVERLOOKED ROLE OF ADSORPTION FILM
Adsorption complicates matters in the removal of RCF from the Vinyl surface. Whenever a liquid (RCF) comes into contact with a solid surface (Vinyl), a fraction of the liquid’s component, be it alcohol, water or surfactant, will “adsorb” onto specific sites on the solid surface via electrical attraction and/or hydrogen bonding. Even after the bulk of the liquid has been removed by vacuum, a small fraction of the water, alcohol, surfactant and other RCF additives will always remains on the Vinyl surface as an adsorbed film consisting of several layers of molecules usually less than a micron thick. How this adsorbed film affects the integrity and sound of the Vinyl has hardly been addressed by RCF manufacturers.
If the adsorbed material is a highly volatile alcohol then it will quickly evaporate under vacuum before it has time to “leach” any significant amount of plasticizer. Adsorbed water does no harm to the Vinyl or the sound even if it remains on the Vinyl surface for a long time. On the other hand, surfactant (with water) or other additives adsorbed and left on the Vinyl surface after vacuuming may extract plasticizer, create static noises (like laundered clothes in the dryer), or alter the Vinyl sound (positively or negatively depending on the adsorbed material and your bias).
Recommendation: With water-based RCF, rinse the freshly cleaned Vinyl surface with distilled water to re-dissolve adsorbed materials and then re-vacuum the Vinyl surface to remove as much residual materials as possible.
E. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RECORD CLEANING FLUIDS
E1. What are the Common Ingredients in Record Cleaning Fluids?
As you know by now, no single fluid makes an ideal RCF. Commercial RCFs usually combine different ingredients to maximize cleaning and minimize damage. There are three basic types of RCF.
1) Polar organic solvent(s). This could be a mixture of alcohols in water to form a broad-spectrum fluid, which is capable of dissolving a wide range of superficial contaminants. It could also be one or several organic solvents specifically formulated for deep cleaning of mold release and heavy organic contaminants.
2) Surfactant(s) in water to provide deep cleaning (by solubilization and flotation). It should be pointed out here that the effectiveness of a surfactant against a specific contaminant depends on the surfactant type, its molecular weight and structure. To tackle a broad range of contaminants, it is often necessary to blend several surfactants.
3) Mixtures of surfactant(s), alcohol(s) and other polar solvent(s) in water to tackle a range of contaminants broader than normally possible with a single surfactant or alcohol. Other components may also be added (lubricant, preservative, static suppressor) but they do not attend to the cleaning process.
I will spend the remainder of this primer discussing specific contaminants, specific RCF ingredients, how to recognize them when though they are not listed, their effectiveness and potential harm if improperly used, and special cleaning step(s) recommended with each type.
E2. Should I Remove Mold Release?
As previously stated, modern mold releases for Vinyl are polytetrafluoro-ethylene (PTFE or Teflon) liquid. The presence of fluorine makes this a tough contaminant to remove. Even pure alcohols have limited effect on mold releases. Organic solvents of the chlorofluorocarbon type (CFC similar to Freon but larger) work best on PTFE: they can quickly dissolve the mold release but not the plasticizer because of large differences in molecular structure and volatility. CFCs such as trichlorotrifluoro ethane were used to remove mold release until they were banned because of their adverse effects on the air and the ozone layer although it’s unclear whether larger and less volatile CFCs are as harmful as Freon.
Several commercial RCFs are “deep cleaners” that contain powerful organic solvent(s) and/or surfactant(s) in water. This type of deep cleaner will remove mold release and heavy contaminants, but, being less selective than CFCs, may remove plasticizer as well. Use this type of deep cleaner cautiously and sparingly as their cumulative effect on Vinyl is unknown. Some RCFs contains lubricant that compensates for plasticizer loss.
I am ambivalent about the need to remove mold release. On one hand, any organic material on Vinyl, even an exceedingly thin film, must be considered a contaminant and should be removed. On the other hand, mold releases are PTFE molecules, which are among the softest polymer extant, especially in comparison to vinyl. I seriously doubt that a thin film of such material could significantly affect Vinyl sound—I am in the realm of educated guess here.
E3. Leaching Plasticizers: How Bad Is Alcohol?
This is easily the most confusing and misunderstood topic about RCF. First let’s get one thing straight: old Shellac records are incredibly sensitive to all alcohols and none should be used on these precious old records, period.
Vinyl is not at all sensitive to alcohols but the plasticizer within the vinyl matrix is. Alcohols can slowly dissolve a plasticizer out of the vinyl thus rendering it brittle in the long run. This dissolution is, however, a slow process—the alcohol must first “wet” the vinyl surface, slowly “enter” the grooves via “film flow,” and finally “diffuse” into the vinyl matrix to dissolve the plasticizer. Each step depends a great deal on the polarity of the alcohol and its concentration. When an alcohol is diluted with a lot of water, it quickly loses its ability (polarity) to dissolve plasticizer. A mixture of 5 to 15% IPA in water has a limited ability if any to leach plasticizer especially when the contact time is restricted to a few minutes or less.
There are many legitimate reasons for using alcohol (or their mixture) as an RCF additive. 1) Alcohol leaves no film behind and thus has no sonic signature—this is a very desirable quality to some audiophiles. 2) Though inferior to surfactant, alcohol is still a good cleaner and will work adequately with new or moderately dirty records. It cannot remove deeply imbedded dirt or very sticky materials but it can handle a broader range of contaminants than a surfactant. 3) As long as the concentration of alcohol is low and the applied liquid quickly removed from the Vinyl surface with a powerful vacuum, an alcohol/water cleaner is perfectly safe.
E4. Are All Water-Based RCFs (with Surfactant) Equally Effective?
No. Let’s first review the likely surfactants used in water-based RCF. Though surfactants are generally effective cleaners, this effectiveness varies a great deal with the surfactant type (head), its molecular size and structure (tail), and the type of contaminant. Nonionic and anionic surfactants are typical surfactants used in RCF.
By far the most common nonionic surfactants are alkyl phenol ethoxylated alcohols. They naturally come as a broad mixture (Poisson distribution) of molecular weights and, for this reason, can accommodate a wide range of contaminants. For the same reason, they—more specifically one fraction of the nonionic mixture—can readily remove the plasticizer as well. Nonionic surfactants also tend to adsorb more on Vinyl surface.
Common anionic surfactants are alkyl sulfates, alkylethoxy sulfate, alkylaryl sulfonates and alkylarylethoxy sulfonates in roughly increasing order of detergency. 1) Alkyl sulfates are old laundry detergents, which tend to lose their effectiveness in cold water and in the presence of hardness (calcium). This shortcoming is rectified in synthetic alkylethoxy sulfates. 2) Alkyl- or alkyaryl sulfonates are good synthetic surfactants. However, their molecular structure must be tailored to the contaminants. Certain structures may form a viscous phase with contaminants which is difficult to remove. For record cleaning, they are more effective as a broad mixture. 3) Alkyl- or alkyarylethoxy sulfonates are one of the most powerful and versatile commercial surfactants. They work in hard water, accommodate a wide range of contaminants and are excellent foamers as well. Their effect on the plasticizer may be minimized with a careful selection of the molecular size. Finally, cationic surfactants traditionally used as fabric softener and hair conditioner may also be used as a static suppressor.
It should be noted that the surfactants used in most commercial RCF are fairly pedestrian cleaners commonly used in other household products. There is a plethora of sophisticated surfactants that are capable of doing a much better job of cleaning records with less potential harm. While some may be considerably more expensive that common surfactants, the added cost is not significant because of their low concentration. We have yet to enjoy state-of-the art surfactants in record cleaning fluids.
Note: The effectiveness and safety of commercial RCFs vary vastly depending on the surfactant(s) used. But unless their compositions are revealed, evaluation is difficult and speculative.
E5. Are Water-Based (Alcohol-Free) RCFs Completely Safe for Vinyl?
Not necessarily. The ability of all surfactants to leach plasticizer from Vinyl has been grossly overlooked. As discussed above, surfactant molecules aggregate into small micelles that are capable of solubilizing plasticizers in their hydrocarbon cores. This ability is enhanced by the lower surface tension which allows the surfactant solution to completely wet the Vinyl surface, penetrate deeply into the Vinyl grooves and diffuse into the vinyl matrix to contact the plasticizer.
So, even without alcohol, an RCF containing surfactant—most commercial RCFs—is quite capable of extracting plasticizer out of your Vinyl if the RCF is left on the record long enough. (I found in an unrelated work, that surfactant solutions in water can leach out plasticizer from rubber and PVC sleeves. I switched to Teflon sleeves to circumvent this problem).
Recommendation: With ALL RFCs, it is of paramount importance to remove the cleaning liquid from the Vinyl surface a quickly and as thoroughly as possible with a powerful vacuum.
E6. What Is A Preservative?
Preservative is one confusing term in RCF! It may refer to a compound in the RCF intended for “preserving the Vinyl” or to a compound (e.g. EDTA) in the RCF used to “preserve the RCF” itself. What a mess!
The term Vinyl preservative is a misnomer. Vinyl is an extremely inert polymer that needs no protection from chemical or biological degradation. Like many polymers, however, it is susceptible to UV degradation with long-term exposure to sun light. But unless you intend to play your LPs in a convertible roadster, the UV effect is irrelevant. The term Vinyl “preservative” may refer to other functions: 1) to minimize the loss of plasticizer, 2) to replace the lost plasticizer, 3) to lubricate and thus protect the Vinyl grooves against further mechanical damage, and 4) to change the sonic character of the Vinyl grooves.
E7. Should I Use A Lubricant Or Preservative For Vinyl?
I am impressed by the benefits of such treatment but use it only when necessary because of some naggings concerns. First, with new or relatively clean Vinyl, properly formulated RCF and correct cleaning procedure, plasticizer loss should not be a problem and clean Vinyl grooves should perform just fine without lubricant/preservative. After all, we have enjoyed the sound of Vinyl for years without such treatment. I reserve the use of these additives damaged records that could not be restored by cleaning alone. Second, the sonic signature of these additives remains a matter of debate. Some hear at a quieter and darker background. Others hear subtle loss of details, a slight deadening of the sound. Third, leaving a film of lubricant/presevative on the Vinyl also means leaving behind adsorbed surfactant with the potentially negative effects discussed earlier.
Finally, the fate the lubricant- or preservative film in the grooves in the long run is largely unknown. The electrostatic attraction or hydrogen bond holding this film to Vinyl is probably not strong enough to survive the tremendous and repeated stress of the needle against the grooves (analogy: mechanical breakdown of engine lubricant). Only a few molecules thick, the adsorbed film would be ultimately shredded into contaminants clogging the grooves. The study of thin lubrication film is a difficult and highly specialized area of Science (tribology) that I am not terribly familiar with so I leave it up to you to make your own decision.
For me, without more information, the safest treatment for new or undamaged Vinyl is simply to clean it as well as I can and leave nothing behind. If studies of the long-term effect of lubricant or preservative exist, RCF manufacturers should make them available to customers to ease their concern. After all, we each own hundreds if not thousands of LPs, many of which are valuable or irreplaceable and some of us are understandably reluctant to use additives whose short- and long-term effects on Vinyl must be taken on faith.
E8. What is EDTA?
EDTA has also been called a preservative. But EDTA preserves the RCF itself, not the Vinyl. EDTA is a chelating agent: it preferentially binds with polyvalent cations such as calcium, magnesium, and iron and keeps them from interacting with other active ingredients in the RCF, interactions that can cause precipitations. For this reason, EDTA is also called a sequestering agent. EDTA is generally used in complex mixtures such as hand lotion, hair shampoo, toothpaste, etc. where interactions with even minute amounts of calcium (from hard water, for example) can cause undesirable precipitation. By sequestering divalent ions, EDTA also inhibits enzymes that attend to bacterial activity. This action prevents the bio-degradation of some surfactants (particularly nonionic surfactants such as alky aryl ethoxy alcohol). So, EDTA is a preservative for the RCF, not for the Vinyl.
E9. How Important Is the Quality of the De-ionized/Distilled Water?
Only deionized/distilled water should be used in record cleaning but its residue level may vary. Surfactant-based RCFs do not require distilled water with ultra low residue. Typical de-ionized or distilled water contains only a few parts per million (ppm) of residue, an insignificant amount for the surfactant (several hundred to several thousand ppm), which is designed to handle a far higher level of dust and contaminants from the Vinyl. Furthermore, the level of residue from water pales in comparison with surfactant residue (adsorbed film) left in the groves after cleaning (without final water rinse and vacuum).
Alcohol-based RCFs, on the other hand, handle solid residue poorly—unless they also contain surfactants—and require de-ionized/distilled water with low residue, the lower the better. For the final water rinse, de-ionized/distilled water with ultra low residue is also required as little surfactant is left to prevent water-residue deposit on the cleaned Vinyl. One of the best available water is High Performance Liquid Chromatography or HPLC water. This is “nanopure” water with less than one ppm of total residue; it is usually sold in gallon bottles by laboratory suppliers.
F. HOW TO RECOGNIZE DIFFERENT TYPES OF RECORD CLEANING FLUIDS
We have seen that different types of RCF require slightly different cleaning procedures. But since their ingredients are usually not listed, you have to first figure out which fluid you have in your bottle. That’s actually pretty easy. All you have to do is shake it, smell it and touch it.
F1. Alcohol-Based RCF
1. Foaming. It does not foam persistently when you shake it.
2. Smell. It smells like…an alcohol. Methanol, ethanol and Isopropyl alcohol (or propanol) smell slightly different but share a family scent that we all know quite well.
3. Touch. All alcohol-based RCF evaporates easily leaving that cool feeling on your skin. Unless they contain other additives (e.g. lubricants) these RCFs are thin (non-viscous) like water.
4. Special Care. Scrub vigorously during application to enhance removal of imbedded contaminants but limit the contact time with Vinyl to avoid extraction of plasticizer. There is no need for additional water rinse as alcohols evaporate completely off the Vinyl surface under vacuum.
F2. Surfactant-Based RCF
1. Foaming. When shaken, it produces a lot of foam that persists for several minutes before gradually collapsing. Roughly, the higher the foam, the more concentrated or effective the surfactant is although foaming may be somewhat reduced if alcohol or other additives is also present.
2. Smell. Nonionic surfactants have a distinctive scent akin to that of alcohols but lighter and sweeter. They are the most commonly used surfactants because they are readily available and inexpensive (about $1-2 per pound; typically, less than 0.005 pound is used per quart). Anionic surfactants have a combination of slightly sweet and acrid smell.
3. Touch. The solution feels slick like soapy water and slightly viscous. It does not evaporate quickly off your skin unless it also contains alcohol.
4. Special Care. In the cleaning process, an adsorbed layer of surfactant will always be left on the Vinyl surface after vacuuming. A dry surfactant film does no harm to the Vinyl except for possible static noises (anionics) or a slight deadening of the sound (nonionics), but a wet surfactant film can extract plasticizer. To remove traces of adsorbed surfactant, apply a final rinse with distilled water and dry thoroughly with a good vacuum.
F3. Mixtures of Surfactant(s) and Alcohol(s).
You’ll simply find the combination of above clues for alcohols and surfactants with some masking effects.
Special Care: I also recommend a final water rinse and vacuuming for this RCF type.
F4. Deep Cleaner, Lubricant, Groove Conditioner, Static Suppressor, Etc.
They are either special organic solvent(s) or and/or concentrated surfactant(s) in water. Organic solvents usually have a smell distinct from that of alcohol and do not foam persistently. The best clues for lubricants are a slightly oily feel and/or an increased viscosity. Other additives are difficult to recognize.
Special Care: When groove additives are present, a final water rinse and vacuuming is optional. If you like the sound with the additive (and adsorbed surfactant), do nothing. If you don’t like it, remove surfactants and other additives with a final water rinse and vacuum. Some oily additive(s) will remain on the Vinyl.
G1. Basic Concepts in Vinyl Cleaning
Record cleaning is simple in theory but complicated in practice. Some basic concepts, chemistry and useful steps are summarized below to help you better understand the process and use RCFs effectively and safely:
1. To be effective, a record cleaning fluid must possess many properties some of which are mutually exclusive. An ideal RCF must be able to “wet” the Vinyl surface (alcohol or surfactant), “penetrate” deeply into the Vinyl groove (surfactant), and “dissolve” or “solubilize” contaminants on contact. It must also be able to “transport” (foam) solid contaminants away from the Vinyl surface and leave behind after vacuuming no residual film that could affect plasticizer and sound. During cleaning, a good RCF must not extract plasticizer from Vinyl rendering it brittle and susceptible to damage.
2. No single fluid can offer all desirable properties above. While water is the safest fluid to use, effective cleaning is not possible with water without additives. Most commercial RCFs include several cleaning agents—typically alcohol(s) or surfactant(s) or both—in water that provide the balance between effective cleaning and minimal harm to Vinyl.
3. All cleaning agents (additives) have their advantages and disadvantages. Alcohols (in water) are not very effective at deep cleaning but can dissolve a wide range of contaminants and evaporate completely under vacuum. Surfactants (in water) can provide exceptional cleaning (by solubilization). This effectiveness, however, strongly depends on the surfactant type, molecular structure and concentration and can be contaminant-specific. (When a minimal amount of surfactant is used, it serves only as a wetting agent.) Just like alcohols, surfactants can also leach plasticizer from Vinyl with prolonged contact. Unlike alcohols, surfactants can leave a sonic signature if the adsorbed film is not completely removed.
4. For deep cleaning, some RCFs use concentrated surfactant mixtures and/or organic solvent(s) other than alcohols. These cleaners, which are capable of removing mold release, may also extract plasticizer from Vinyl given enough contact time. Thus, deep cleaning should be reserved for special cases and should not be frequently repeated.
5. Whether you use alcohol-based or surfactant-based RCFs or others, the contact time between RFCs and Vinyl during cleaning should always be minimized to reduce plasticizer extraction from Vinyl.
6. After using a water-based RCF, additional water rinse and vacuuming are usually beneficial. All RCF ingredients adsorb on the Vinyl surface as a thin film that can be difficult to remove with vacuum. Unlike alcohols which completely evaporate under vacuum, RCF ingredients like surfactants and other additives should be removed with water and vacuum to avoid plasticizer loss, static noises and other deleterious effects.
7. Proceed cautiously with Vinyl lubricant, preservative and additives other than surfactants and alcohols. While they can offer sonic benefits, their long-term effects—sonic and otherwise—remain unknown and have not been made available by the manufacturers.
8. Different types of RCF require a slightly different cleaning procedure. Alcohol-based cleaners require vigorous brushing to help dislodge contaminants. Surfactant-based cleaners require additional water wash and vacuum to remove adsorbed surfactant film. When a lubricant is also used, this final rinse is optional and contingent on your preference for the sound.
9. Only low-residue de-ionized/distilled water should be used for record cleaning. Surfactant-based RCFs, however, do not require ultra-low residue water as the surfactant designed to handle large amounts of residue and contaminants from the Vinyl can handle water residue as well. Alcohol-based RCFs, on the other hand, handle solid residue poorly and require de-ionized and/or distilled water with very low residue. The final water rinse in particular requires de-ionized and/or distilled water with ultra low residue.
10. While RCF ingredients are often not listed, you can have an idea of the type of RCF by simply shaking, smelling, and feeling the fluid. Whenever possible, request a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for any RCF or household cleaner before using it. This is a good way to obtain the list of all the ingredients (active and inactive) and their potential hazards.
G2. Parting Shot
It is my fervent hope this primer will provide you with the basic understanding to undertake the task of cleaning your treasured LPs with confidence and safety. As this piece was put together with some haste, your questions and help in pointing out the unavoidable deficiencies and errors will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.