The AIR-SAFE system AUTOMATICALLY filters case air FOR EVERY KNOWN FORM OF MUSEUM POLLUTION and regulates relative humidity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Instead of allowing air exchange with a surrounding gallery, the AIR-SAFE passively recirculates, filters and re-conditions the air in any normally-sealed (non hermetic) case. Now microclimate control is easy. Just connect the hoses and AIR-SAFE goes to work with no power, no pressurizing, and no desiccant trays.
Like it or not, the air in even a "clean" environment like a museum (or your house) contains pollutants that can damage art and artifacts. From the micro-carbon particles and acid gasses of industrial pollution to natural organic materials like bacteria, molds, mildews to just plain dust, pollen and dirt; things outside are constantly moving inside to threaten art and artifacts. Visitors themselves are a major source of pollution. Beside being anointed with perfumes, colognes, deodorants, after-shaves, lotions and gels, each visitor evaporates one half of a cup of saliva a day with all of it's contents and sheds about 1.5 grams of skin. Yech! These are things that attack artifacts. Add the chlorine, ammonia and other chemicals from cleaning products and you end up with quite a collection of stuff you don't want on your collection.
Things inside cases are sources of pollution too. Construction and case materials can give off formaldehyde, other chemicals and even particulates. Artifacts themselves can outgas from the bacteria contained in a mummy to the acid contained in a paper document. This contamination present in the historical artifacts themselves also end up harming your collection.
Cases alone don't help. The routine HVAC cycles in a display environment will cause normally sealed display cases to exchange their ENTIRE VOLUME of air with that of the surrounding gallery every THREE days. So all the outside pollutants get inside the case. And all the inside pollutants move outside to be shared with the next case. (The high IR of conventional lighting greatly accelerates this case breathing. It can also create photo-mechanical damage through differential expansion and huge induced cycles in RH.)
Stop the damage. The secret isn't in sealing cases or building machinery to actively condition the air in them. It isn't in exotic nitrogen or argon environments. It isn't even in massive, energy-sucking building-wide air filtration systems. Some institutions have spent hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars doing these things. While we appreciate this stimulus to the economy, even when these systems work, this is really doing it the hard way.
The simple way is to control differential pressure between the case and the gallery. AIR-SAFE does this with an extremely lightweight bellows system. Operating at pressures less than 0.0002 PSI, the AIR-SAFE system uses normal temperature and pressure variations in an environment to circulate air through TEN separate sequential, filtering media. An AIR-SAFE system has four separate chemical filters to provide protection from acid gasses, organic vapors, formaldehyde and ammonia. While each of these chemical filters is an effective particulate filter, we add four more electrostatic material particulate filters and ten inches (over two pounds) of color indicator silica gel. Case air circulates through the AIR-SAFE system, because it is easier than blowing through normal case seals.
Once conditioned to a particular humidity, the silica gel in an AIR-SAFE provides superb RH buffering. The case air moves THROUGH the silica, not over it or around it. Airflow is positive, directional and as we mentioned above under average conditions the ENTIRE VOLUME OF THE CASE WILL BE FILTERED EVERY THREE DAYS.
There is no need to use elaborate purging or sealing techniques. Air intrusions from opening cases for inspection or maintenance are filtered almost immediately. Any possible outgassing from case materials or even the artifacts themselves is filtered CONTINUALLY. Transparent filter housings allow you to monitor the color indicator silica gel and any dust contamination on the white particulate filter materials.
AIR-SAFE is simple, effective and inexpensive. It provides positive, passive, long-term, case protection from all pollutants, external and internal. AIR-SAFE works continually but requires no power. Unlike active systems, there is no possible failure mode where an AIR-SAFE could endanger a collection. The huge filters in an AIR-SAFE system create no restrictions to airflow, provide excess capacities for safety and give exceptional filter life. A traveling exhibit protected by an AIR-SAFE system with a huge (400 cubic foot) case is averaging a 9-month filter life. In smaller cases and less robust environments, filters can last years.
- 12" x 12" x 12" high acrylic housing
- Sensitive check valves maintain positive flow through 2 disposable filter cartridges
- Each disposable filter cartridges contains:
- 2 micro-particulate filters
- 2 NIOSH/MSHA certified chemical filters (Acid gas/Organic vapor and Formaldehyde/Ammonia)
- 40 cubic inches (over 1 pound) of color change silica gel
- Reclosable volume compensation bag
- 1/2-inch NPT male taper pipe connectors
- Flexible polypropylene tubes
- Maintenance and filter replacement done easily and without any tools
- Integral 12" x 12" powder-coated steal pan allows use of additional desiccant or special preservatives.
- Filters 50 cubic feet volume (180 cubic feet when using NoUVIR stone-cold lighting)
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