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Re: print longevity testing

<x-flowed>See insert below:

>When Wilhelm tests paper/ink combinations he exposes them to standard
>conditions of light and atmosphere.  This only creates a standard form of
>exposure from test to test, but does not allow one to determine what portion
>of fading is due to what particular insult (UV, visible light, oxygen,
>ozone, other pollutants, etc.).  The only way to do that would be to test
>each paper/ink combo exposed to just one of these variables.  (Wilhelm has
>made claims about the amount of fading due to UV compared to that damage
>done by visible light.  He must be doing tests under different combinations
>of light, UV only tests and visible/no UV tests for example, in order to
>make such statements.)  For instance, when testing for lightfastness, unless
>the paper/ink being tested is immersed in a zero humidity nitrogen
>atmosphere (inert) you can't eliminate any of the effects of the atmosphere
>itself and the contaminants it carries.
>Matted/glazed/framed works are largely, but not completely, protected from
>the atmosphere, because they are protected from "turnover" of the gases and
>contaminants in the local environment (unless they are placed in very drafty
>spot).  Thus gases and contaminants that are trapped within the mount will
>react with the print, but after those reactions occur little fresh
>contamination will occur because of the stagnant conditions created by the
>mount.  The same goes for dark-stored prints that are kept in albums, filing
>cabinets and the like.
>So I would wager that the best protection for prints would both shield the
>print from UV light (sealing it against visible light can only be done in
>dark storage, otherwise the print would not be viewable :-)) and seal it off
>from the atmosphere.  The solution would seem to be UV protective plastic
>lamination.  I have sealed several of my Epson 1200 prints (OEM inks on
>Mitsubishi matte paper).  I have not performed any tests with them because
>they have not been sealed that long and because the particular laminate I
>used was not UV protective.  But at least they are sealed off from
>atmosphere induced damage.  I find that glossy laminate gives even matter
>paper a glossy paper look.  I have yet to experiment with matte finished

Atmospheric components will diffuse through most polymeric materials, 
so you might retard the flow, but you won't stop it. If the 
permeation, or diffusion is sufficient - even at very small amounts - 
degradation will occur - doesn't take many molecules. You need to 
know what the protective plastic is (not brand name, but technical 
name). And how thick it must be applied to provide a "starvation" 
barrier. Diffusion rate varies to the inverse second power of 
thickness; a little extra thickness adds a lot more protection. The 
archive people rely on inert blankets to protect documents. This 
means the documents are in a controlled 100 percent nitrogen (or 
Argon) atmosphere. Of course, this is the ultimate barrier against 
atmospheric attack. Not for the homeowner, except Bill Gates  (no 
joke - he has collections archived).

>Any comments on these ideas?  Can anyone comment on their own use of
>D. Grenier
>Olympia, WA
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Please turn off HTML mail features. Keep quoted material short. Use
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