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Thread: Exhibition Case Materials

  1. #11
    PACCIN Advisory Committee Member T. Ashley McGrew's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    Based on what I can tell, Forex is a version of several products available here in the States. The most well known brand - that is also used as a generic term for this type of material - is called Sintra. That generic term can be a real problem in that not all rigid PVC foam boards pass Oddy tests making them unsuitable for use in display cases.
    Interestingly the fact that a PVC product seems to consistently pass testing is just maddening to many people including a bunch of conservators I have encountered. Despite this skepticism Sintra has been in use (passing repeated Oddy testing) for at least 15 years now at the Getty Museum and is used by any number of other major museums as well.
    Although it does not fit into the world-view of some folks where simple solutions are supposed to make our lives easier - an approach that goes something like "PVC bad - PE (Polyethylene) Good" I always try to remind people that perhaps the most consistently tested and recommended plastic for use with collections - Polyethylene - frequently fails Oddy testing. The gold standard of foams for the last 30 years - Ethafoam brand PE foam - has widely failed oddy tests during two periods that I am aware of and many, many other PE products - foam, film and sheet fail testing everyday.
    By the way controversy erupted in 2014 an part of 2015 in the form of a widespread rumor that Sintra was failing Oddy testing. I could never confirm the source of the rumor but it was revealed at the Lunder Center conference "Conservation and Exhibition Planning: Materials Testing for Design, Display, and Packing" November 19-20 2015 that some if not all of the failed tests were the result of distributors substituting similar looking products made by different manufacturers. Anyway Sintra can be purchased by the same kind of sources that you find mentioned on the Forex website - usually sign making suppliers and such. It cuts and screws much like light weight wood product only without grain. It takes paint well. Itís main drawback is that it is less rigid than ply or MDF and my require extra bracing to avoid sagging when used for decking. Good luck!
    T. Ashley McGrew
    PACCIN Advisory Committee member

  2. #12
    Thats great! It's funny, I didn't even consider Sintra I suppose because I only ever see it in the 1/8" - 1/4" range, and I'm looking for deck construction thicknesses, but I see now that it's available in 19mm. Now I'll just have to go through our conservation dept. for approval...

  3. #13
    A mechanical film barrier is still required to create a real barrier between wood products and sensitive materials.

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