View Full Version : Archival vs. PH Neutral
07-30-2006, 12:49 PM
What is the difference between archival mattes/mountboards and PH Neutral? I thought archival meant ph neutral? Is one better than the other? Thanks!
07-31-2006, 01:23 PM
i was hoping to see if someone more knowledgable than me writes in! but i believe ph neutral means that is was treated to reduce acid, and archival means it was made that way to begin with, and the 'better' of the 2. but i hope others will put in their say!!!
07-31-2006, 01:29 PM
Thanks for the reply Chewie!
07-31-2006, 01:47 PM
Archival seems to be a word used by artists and means different things to different people, especially framers:)
Framers Talk about standard ph neutral, conservation and museum grade boards.
Standard ph neutral board is made from wood pulp and chemically treated to neutralise the lignin and acid content. They are fine for normal art that is not of high monitory or sentimental value but can deteriorate over many years.
Conservation and museum board are both made from rag, typically cotton, or alpha - cellulose and are totally acid and lignin free. They are also much more expensive. They should be used for quality original works of art, art or documents of a historical nature, and art that has a high monitory or sentimental value. They have a much longer life than standard ph neutral board (allegedly).
08-18-2006, 12:59 PM
I am a framer and just got the best explanation about this in some company literature;
There are 3 kinds of mats. decorative, conservation and cotton (or musuem quality)
Here is what the literature said about each.
"decorative: made of wood pulp that is buffered with calcium carbonate to slow the dameage caused by acid and lignin. Over time, acid and lignin can degrade the matboard and the artwork"
"conservation: matboard made of alpha cellulose (wood pulp) fibers that have been chemiclly treated to eliminate the acids and lignans that can degrade the matboard and the artwork. Alpha-cellulose based matboards are suitable for minimum levels of conservation framing and as an alternative to non-conservation matting"
" cotton: matboard made of cotton fibers, which are naturally acid-free and lignin-free. Cotton is time-tested and naturally free of any chemicals or pollutants that would degrade matboard or artwork. ... cotton is the natural choice when the highest levels of matting are required..."
We get a lot of artwork in that has discoloured from poor framing. I have not been able to personally determine which is worse though, acidic mats or regular glass which does not block UV rays. Also, remember if you are using acid free mats, please use an acid free backing.
08-18-2006, 01:58 PM
There is a very full explanation and specifications here of the various mountboards and their uses for anyone that is interested.
06-15-2007, 12:48 PM
Is there some way to tell what kind of mat board you have? I have a bunch of mat board from a couple of years ago and have no idea what kind of mat board I have......
06-15-2007, 06:48 PM
There are pens that you can use to mark on the matboard and test to see if they are acid free. I have used them, and am not particularly fond of them because it can be hard to discern the result (is the mark pink or purple, not sure, etc).
One thing that will definitely indicate is to look at the core (middle of the matboard). If the facing paper is a white, for example, and the core is an off-white or brownish tint, then it is probably not acid free. The core of paper mats(non acid free mats) will typically begin to turn darker over time. Now they have begun to make paper mats with cores that stay white over time, so this is of course not a hard fast rule! ;)
Hope that helps some! If in doubt, I would assume that it is not acid free!! Better safe than sorry!!
06-17-2007, 10:56 AM
Thank you ........ the new stay white core is a puzzler. I will definately buy a pen. Thanks for the info.
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