Preservation

Letter and Legal Size File Folders

March, 1991

Scope

This specification covers the requirements for letter and legal size file folders.

Requirements

Construction

The file folder shall be made from a single piece of paperboard folded along a primary score line. It shall contain two additional score lines positioned on the front flap and shall have a reinforced top margin on the back flap. The folder shall have straight sides that meet evenly (when the folder is folded) with rounded corners on both the front and back flaps. (See figure 7-a.)

Dimensions

Letter Size Folder
A letter size file folder, folded along the primary score line, shall measure 8 5/8 inches in height (for the front flap), 9 5/8 inches in height (for the back flap), and 11 3/4 inches in width. The allowable variation for each dimension shall be plus or minus 1/16 inch.

Legal Size Folder
A legal size file folder folded at the primary score line shall measure 8 5/8 inches in height (for the front flap), 9 5/8 inches in height (for the back flap), and 14 3/4 inches in width. The allowable variation for each dimension shall be plus or minus 1/16 inch

Score Lines on the Front Flap
For both letter and legal size folders, the first score line shall be 3/8 inch away from the primary fold. The second score line shall be 3/4 inch away from the primary fold.

Top Margin on the Back Flap
For both letter and legal size folders, the top margin on the back flap shall measure 1 3/8 inches, plus or minus 1/16 inch.

Paperboard

Composition
Paperboard for the file folder shall be made from new cotton or linen pulp, fully bleached chemical wood pulp, or a mixture. Paperboard shall be free of groundwood (ASTM D1030, X 5 Spot Stains and TAPPI T-236cm-85), alum rosin sizing, (ASTM D549-88), particles of metal, waxes, plasticizers (i.e. wet strength additives), plastics, and shall contain less 0.0008 percent reducible sulfur (TAPPI T-406om-88). It shall be free of any components that will cause the paperboard to fail the photographic activity test (ANSI IT9.2-1988, Section 5). Surfaces shall be free of knots, shives, and abrasive particles.

Sizing
Alkaline sizing (surface, internal, or both) shall be used. (ASTM D4988-89)

Alkaline Reserve
The paperboard shall have a minimum of 3 percent calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, or a combination of both evenly distributed throughout all plies and layers, when tested according to ASTM D4988-89.

Hydrogen Ion Concentration (pH)
The pH value of the paperboard shall be between 8.0 and 10.0 when tested according to TAPPI T-509om-88.

Lignin
To demonstrate the adequacy of bleaching or lignin removal, all plies and layers of the paperboard shall give a negative reading to the phloroglucinol test when tested according to ASTM D1030 or shall have a Kappa number of 5 or less when tested according to TAPPI T-236cm-85.

Abrasion
Outer surfaces of the paperboard shall show a loss of less than 2 percent of the total weight (mounting card and sample) when tested with #CS 10 wheel and 100 wear cycles (TAPPI T-476om-84).

Surface Smoothness
The paperboard shall show a minimum smoothness of 175 Sheffield units, when tested according to TAPPI UM-518.

Thickness
The paperboard shall have an average thickness between 0.0095 inches and 0.015 inches, when tested according to TAPPI T-411om 84.

Stiffness
The paperboard shall have an internal stiffness of at least 23 Tabor stiffness units when tested according to TAPPI T-489om-86.

Machine Direction
The machine direction of the paperboard shall be perpendicular to the primary fold.

Score Lines
The paperboard shall be scored uniformly and deeply enough to permit easy, precise folding and the retention of maximum strength along the fold line.

Finish
The paperboard shall be plate finished (calendered) on both sides.

Color retention
Dyes used to color the paperboard shall show no bleeding when soaked in distilled water for 48 hours while held in direct contact with white bond paper. The board shall not show a loss or gain of more than 5 points of brightness after exposure in a Sunlighter II apparatus for 96 hours or a fadeometer for 36 hours, when tested according to TAPPI T-452om-87.

Adhesive

Water resistant adhesive shall be used to adhere the top margin of the back flap. When aged in an oven at 50 degrees centigrade and 87 percent relative humidity, the adhesive shall not soften or run, but shall firmly and evenly adhere the top margin to the back flap. The properties of the adhesive shall not detract from the properties of the paperboard (i.e. reduce the alkaline reserve, increase the percentage of sulfur, decrease the pH, decrease the folding endurance, or cause the paperboard to fail the photographic activity test, ANSI IT9.2-1988, Section 5). The adhesive shall not be visible through or alter the color of the paperboard. If it is necessary to buffer the adhesive, the same buffer as in the paperboard (i.e. calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, or a combination of both) shall be used.

Workmanship

Each folder shall meet the requirements stated in this specification, shall be constructed in accordance with good commercial practice, and shall be free of imperfections that may affect its utility or aesthetic appearance.

Each folder shall be made to the dimensions specified. All edges shall be cut straight and shall be smooth and even. The corners on both the front and back flaps shall be evenly rounded and smooth. The side edges shall meet evenly when the folder is folded to any width.

All surfaces shall be smooth with no blisters, knots, or shives. The folder shall contain no surface dirt (smudges, fingerprints, and the like) and no oozed adhesive and shall not be marred (scuffed, abraded, and the like) in any way.

The paperboard shall be scored and creased uniformly along the primary fold line. Additional scores shall be uniform and deep enough to permit easy, precise folding and the retention of maximum strength along the score line. All folded edges and score lines shall be free of fraying, cracks, and breaks.

Identification Markings

The following information shall be legibly embossed on the inside bottom flap of each folder: name of manufacturer, pH range, year of manufacture, and the words low lignin.

Preparation for Delivery

Packaging

The file folders shall be folded along the primary fold and shall be packed in standard commercial container and sealed with tape. The number of folders to be packed in each container shall be specified in the purchase order.

Marking

The outside of each packing container shall be legibly marked with the following information: the purchase order number and the type, size, and number of file folders packed in the container.

Quality Assurance Provisions

Tests

Test procedures and controls specified in this document shall be used to determine the quality of the product. Other procedures and controls must be approved by the National Archives before test results will be accepted. Unless otherwise indicated, the tests shall be performed at and the samples conditioned to standard conditions of 73 degrees Fahrenheit (plus or minus 3.5 degrees) and 50 percent relative humidity (plus or minus 2 percent RH.) (See TAPPI T-402om-88.)

Test Methods

  • The requirements for paperboard quality and characteristics shall be tested in accordance with specified test methods of the American National Standards Institute(ANSI), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and the Technical association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI).

  • Publications describing these tests may be ordered directly from the technical associations at the following addresses:


    • ANSI - American National Standards Institute, 1430 Broadway, New York, New York 10018

    • ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials, 1916 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

    • TAPPI - The Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper industry, One Dunwoody Park, Atlanta, GA 30348

    Tests for Paperboard Quality

    The requirements for paperboard quality shall be tested according to the following methods:

    Requirements Test Method
    Lignin (See p. 1)
    -Pholoroglucinol
    -Kappa number

    ASTM D1030, X5 Spot Stains
    TAPPI T-236cm-85
    Rosin (Raspail test) ASTM D549-88
    Reducible Sulfur TAPPI T-406om-88
    Sizing ASTM D4988-89
    Alkaline reserve ASTM D4988-89
    Hydrogen ion concentration TAPPI T-509om-88
    Abrasion TAPPI T-476om-84
    Surface Smoothness TAPPI UM-518
    Thickness TAPPI T-411om-84
    Stiffness TAPPI T-489om-86
    Color Retention TAPPI T-452om-87

    Test for Photographic Activity

    The file folder (paperboard and any adhesive used) shall pass the photographic activity test described in ANSI 1T9.2-1988, Section 5.

    Responsibility for Tests

    Unless otherwise specified in the purchase order, the supplier is responsible for the performance of all requirements specified herein. Unless otherwise specified, the supplier may use his or her own facilities or any commercial laboratory acceptable to the National Archives. The National Archives reserves the right to perform any of the tests set forth in the specification where such test are deemed necessary to assure that supplies and services conform to prescribed requirements.

    Inspection

    Examination Criteria

    An examination shall be made to determine whether the completed file folder complies with the Requirements section of this specification (see pages 1-3). The qualities and characteristics that shall be regarded as unacceptable in the completed folder are listed below.

    Completed Folder

    • Not style specified

    • Not dimensions specified

    • Not materials (qualities or characteristics) specified

    • Not color specified

    • Not construction specified

    • Not identification markings specified
    Workmanship
    • Edges not cut straight, not smooth and even

    • Corners not evenly rounded and smooth

    • Surfaces not clean or smooth not free of oozed adhesive, smudges, fingerprints or dirt

    • Surfaces not free of blisters, knots, or shives

    • Surfaces not free of scuffs and abrasions

    • Fraying, cracks, or breaks along any folded or scored edges

    • Side edges not meeting evenly when the folder is folded to any width

    Packaging for Delivery

    An examination shall be made to determine whether the packaging of the boxes for delivery complies with the requirements of Preparation for Delivery Section of this specification. The characteristics that shall be regarded as unacceptable in the packaging are listed below.

    Not number of folders per container specified in contract

    • Container not sealed with tape

    • Container not legibly marked with the purchase order number

    • Container not legibly marked with the type of file folder within

    • Container not legibly marked with size of file folder within

    • Container not legibly marked with number of file folders within

    Responsibility for Inspection

    Unless otherwise specified in the purchase order, the supplier is responsible for the performance of all inspection requirements specified herein. The National Archives reserves the right to perform any of the inspections set forth in the specification where such inspections are deemed necessary to assure that supplies and services conform to the prescribed requirements.

    Sampling for Examination

    Construction and Workmanship
    To sample file folders for construction and workmanship, file folders shall be selected according to MIL-STD-105E at inspection level S-2 with an acceptable quality level of 4.0 percent defective from each lot of material offered.

    Testing
    To sample file folders for testing, file folders shall be selected according to MIL-STD-105E at inspection level S-2 with an acceptable quality level of 2.5 percent defective from each lot of material offered.

    Preparation for Delivery
    To sample file folders for compliance with packaging and marking requirements, file folders shall be selected according to MIL-STD-105E at inspection level S-2 with an acceptable quality level of 4.0 defective from each lot of material offered.

    Sampling Method
    The sampling of file folders for examination shall be carried out according to methods specified in "Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes", MIL-STD-105E, issued January 2, 1990 and available from Naval Publications and Forms Center; Standardization Document Order Department, Building 4, Section D; 700 Robbins Avenue; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111-5094.

    Ordering Information

    The following information shall be included in the purchase order.

    • Title and date of the specification

    • File folder dimensions

    • Number of file folders required

    • Purchase order number

    • Number of file folders per shipping container

    • Special delivery conditions

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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