Jen Jackson 8/16/11
Anybody know if its safe to place objects directly on Kydex? This is a non-permanent installation. Thanks for your suggestions.
Jen, we have not used this particular product-(see description below). Acrylic/PVC - that is fire retardant. FM Conservators here usually stay away from PVC and fire retardant materials. I would suggest oddy testing a piece of it if possible to make sure it will not harm your objects. Acrylic is a much safer choice of material in contact with artifacts.
If you absolutely need to use the material.....I would use a barrier such as mylar between the material and the object. If case is sealed tightly it could be a problem. If case has air exchange it would be better. Be careful sometimes 3 month exhibits can turn into 12 months or longer due to budget short comings.
KYDEX® thermoplastic sheet (Kydex 100)
is manufactured from an acrylic / PVC alloy that has some very unique characteristics. Tough, nonporous, noncorrosive, chemical resistant, fire retardant and thermoformable. KYDEX® sheet has very good abrasion resistance and virtually no moisture absorption.
Material is normally 48" x 96". Thickness runs from .028" to .500" thick. Roll stock is available in the thinner grades. Several different surface patterns are available. General Information About KYDEX® Sheet:
The KYDEX® name is a trademark of the Kleerdex Company for their proprietary thermoplastic. Each grade is custom suited for your particular application or performance need. They typically should be considered for applications requiring any or all of the following benefits:
Fire Retardancy High Impact Resistance Rigidity Superior Chemical Resistance Thermoformability
KYDEX® Sheet is typically not a cost-effective substitute for cheaper thermoplastics such as polyethylene, styrene, or cheap ABS, unless those materials are not performing satisfactorily. KYDEX® Sheet can be very competitive and effective as an alternative to painted metal, fire-retardant ABS, Noryl®, Lexan® (polycarbonate), etc.
KYDEX® Sheet complies with Underwriter’s Laboratory, CSA, Building Code and / or FAA flammability requirements. Because of the high impact resistance of KYDEX® Sheet, it has a longer in service life and is very durable. The rigidity allows for a better feel and /or the ability to downgauge. Its superior chemical resistance allows it to be used in harsh, chemically rich environments. It also makes KYDEX® Sheet extremely cleanable because harsh cleaners do not damage the texture or the color of the material. KYDEX® Sheet has excellent forming properties that result in uniform wall thicknesses and crisp detail. There are a complete range of grades, colors, sheet sizes and textures available to meet the most demanding applications.
Field, George RBCM:EX
Kydex is a thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride, our conservation policy is to stay clear of PVC plastics as a rule, short term maybe long term contact no.
Jen Jackson 8/17/11
Thanks guys! I will see if we can find another case material & at the very least use Mylar for all of the objects. I appreciate your help!
Re: [mountmaking-forum] Re: Kydex?
When I mentioned Sintra earlier I did so because it has been used and retested many times for well over a decade by the Getty Museum and I know that it has been tested and used by at least one of the SI museums and bunch of other reputable institutions.
That said, the first time I saw it, I freaked out as well and started to tell folks that we needed to send the stuff back! I think we have probably all been taught the same general lessons about material types, and in that context PVC products are a big No No. On the other side of the coin I have also seen quite a variety of polyethylene products fail tests over the years and they are supposed to be a "good" material!
Oddy testing famously has its limitations but the idea that you can judge a material solely by looking at an MSDS is just an exercise in wishful thinking I am afraid.
Anyway one of the main characteristics that makes Sintra desirable is that it has working qualities kind of like a slightly soft grainless plywood, it takes paint well etc... If these characteristics are part of what you are looking for you might try Renshape which as I understand it is slightly stiffer than Sintra. This is a product that has been recommended by Pamela Hatchfield (author of "Pollutants in the Museum Environment") and that is used at Boston MFA. I believe it is actually a polyurethane product - which you also wouldn't expect to consistently pass Oddy testing - but apparently it has. The only downside to this material that I have heard of is that the thinnest it comes in is 1" sheet thickness.
Good luck with your quest.
Let us know if you discover something that everyone can agree on!