Frequently Asked Questions
What percent of UV rays are blocked by regular glass or acrylic?
Regular glass typically filters out about 45% of UV energy and regular acrylic typically filters about 65%. These glass and acrylic products are not suitable for preservation purposes. For preservation purposes, ISO 18916 standard recommends using glass or acrylic that blocks at least 97% UV energy.
Tru Vue manufactures specialty line of glass and acrylic products for preservation purposes. All of our Conservation Grade glass and acrylic products provide 99% UV protection, which exceeds the preservation standards.
Why is UV protection important?
Without at least 97% UV protection framed pieces will age and fade more rapidly. Indoor and outdoor UV light rays contribute to severe color loss, paper embrittlement and deterioration of framed pieces. These effects are both cumulative and irreversible. The materials that make up the piece, the paper or fabric on which the image is displayed, may become brittle. Photos may appear yellow or stained with ghostly silver deposits rising to the surface. Once damage from light has occurred, it can never be reversed. That’s why it is important to understand what you can do to minimize this type of damage before it happens.
Are there forces other than UV light that can contribute to damage to my framed pieces?
Yes. While it is very important to reduce UV light exposure, this alone will not eliminate fading and other deterioration. All light, not just UV light can be damaging. Heat, pollution, moisture, the materials that make up the piece as well as poor quality framing materials are all contributing factors.
How can I protect my framed pieces?
Having your pieces framed by a professional custom picture framer who uses conservation framing techniques and materials will help minimize the risk of damage caused by these factors. Care should be given when displaying your framed piece to avoid unnecessary exposure to light. Direct light exposure for any duration should be avoided. Hanging or displaying the piece in a controlled lighting environment with low humidity is recommended. Since some light is required for you to enjoy and see your framed pieces, it is all the more important to reduce any damage from UV light, by using glazing with at least 97% UV protection.
For additional tips, Tru Vue recommends reading "A Consumer Guide to Materials for Preservation Framing and the Display of Photographic Images", created by the Image Permanence Institute. To download this guide go to www.imagepermanenceinstitute.org.
When should UV protection glass or acrylic be used?
Conservation framing materials and techniques should always be used on sentimental, valuable, limited edition and one-of-a-kind artwork. Also use UV protection glass or acrylic on all works of art you want to protect, especially posters and open edition prints. Posters or open edition prints are more susceptible to UV light damage since the inks, papers and other materials used to create them are more likely to deteriorate than those used in higher end reproductions.
Can fluorescent light harm artwork?
Yes. While fluorescent lighting can have a higher output in the UV compared to incandescent lighting, the more important factor is the overall brightness of light. To minimize light damage, avoid placing artwork near sunlit windows or bright sources of light.
The windows in my home have a UV coating. Should I still use glass or acrylic with UV protection?
Yes. Unfortunately, the sun is not the only source of harmful UV light rays. All light sources, whether natural or artificial, have some of their components in the ultraviolet range.
When should I use acrylic?
Tru Vue recommends using acrylic for hanging and shipping heavy, oversized artwork, children's rooms, earthquake zones, high traffic areas or anywhere extra care is required.
What type of glass or acrylic should I use for pastel or charcoal based art?
Pastel or charcoal based art can become damaged using most glazing products due to the inherent static charge of the substrate. Tru Vue Optium Museum Acrylic, StaticShield Acrylic and Optium Acrylic® provide an anti-static feature to help protect this type of art from damage.