Is all UV filtering glass the same?
No. There is a distinct difference between UV filtering glazing and glazing that provides UV protection. According to PPFA Guidelines for Framing Works of Art on Paper, for glazing to be labeled as providing UV protection, it must block at least 97% of the UV light rays in the 300 to 380 nanometer range.
Tru Vue® Conservation Grade glass products are the only glass products available in the industry that offer this level of protection. In providing at least 98% UV protection, Tru Vue Conservation Grade glass products are considered "photo-safe" by meeting ISO 18902 and passing ISO 18902.
What percentage of UV rays does the coating block?
Tru Vue Conservation Grade glass products, including Museum Glass®, Conservation Clear® and Conservation Reflection Control®, effectively block 99% of all harmful indoor and outdoor UV light rays.
Is the UV coating permanent?
Yes. Tru Vue manufactures its Conservation Grade glass products by applying an inorganic silica-based UV inhibiting coating to the glass surface. The UV coating is “baked” into the glass, producing a permanently bonded coating. Tru Vue Conservation Grade glass products have been field tested for over 20 years and do not delaminate or degrade over time.
When should UV protection glass be used?
Since UV light rays come from indoor and outdoor light sources, all items on display are vulnerable to the damaging effects of UV light exposure. That’s why it is important to use glass with at least 97% UV protection on all of your custom framing jobs.
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 on all works of art your customers 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.
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 items on display?
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. Using conservation framing techniques and materials as well as educating your customer on how to properly display and care for their framed piece will help minimize the risk of damage caused by these factors.
Remind your customers that care should be given when displaying their framed piece to avoid unnecessary exposure to light. Since some light is required for your customers to enjoy and see their framed pieces, it is all the more important to reduce any damage from UV light, by using glazing with at least 97% UV protection.
How can I help my customers protect their framed pieces?
Help your customers select framing materials that will protect their framed pieces for years to come. Educate your customers on the damaging effects of all light, visible and invisible, and recommend that they select glazing with at least 97% UV protection to reduce the damaging effects of UV light. Give your customers simple instructions for displaying and caring for their framed piece. UV protection will not eliminate fading, so your customers should use care when displaying their framed pieces. Direct light exposure for any duration should be avoided. Hanging or displaying the piece in a controlled lighting environment with low humidity is recommended.
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.
Is fluorescent light harmful?
Yes. All light can be harmful. While fluorescent lighting can have a higher output in the UV range compared to incandescent lighting, the more important factor is the overall brightness of the light source. To minimize light damage, avoid placing artwork near sunlit windows or bright sources of light.
The windows in my customer’s home have UV coating. Should I still use UV filtering glass?
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.