Display Case Material
Our display cases are designed to help you display and protect your cherished collectables. This means protecting them from the damage that handling, shelf wear, knocks or ultraviolet (UV) light can cause. From time to time customers ask us about UV Resistance (UVR) and damage prevention. So, we thought it would be helpful to share a short article on the subject.
While a large portion of the sun's rays are visible light, ultraviolet light outside the visible spectrum comes down alongside it and these UV rays can have damaging effects on your collectables if they come in contact with it, unobstructed, at the right angle. This harmful UV light comes down in three different levels of strength, based on the wavelength, known as short wave, medium wave, and long wave.
Short wave UVC light is very dangerous to humans, The ozone layer absorbs more than 99% of the suns rays. Medium wave UVB light reaches the outer layer of our skin. The ozone layer absorbs about 90%, leaving about 10% to cause sun burn and skin cancer. Long wave UVA light penetrates to the middle layer of our skin. The ozone absorbs about 50% leaving about 50% to cause skin tanning, premature ageing and wrinkling. The main difference between these three types of UV light is the wavelength, or the distance between the peaks of each wave in the ray, measured in nanometers (nm).
UVC has a wavelength of 200-280 nm. UVB has a wavelength of 280 nm to 315 nm. UVA has a wavelength of 315 to 400 nm. The rays that are most damaging to your collectables have a wavelength of 285 to 400 nanometers - UVA with some UVB (Windows block UVB). Certain types of indoor lighting emits small amounts of UV light, which over time can cause damage.
We use Light Meters to measure Ultraviolet Resistance (UVR). The display case material is chosen for its composition (up to 99.7% UVR), strength and visible light transmission (VLT). Our display cases are designed for indoor use and normal indoor lighting. They are not 100% effective in blocking all UV rays outdoors.
The vast majority of damage that occurs to collectables is due to relative humidity and heat. High humidity causes mould, delamination and warpage. Low humidity causes embrittlement and shrinkage. Paper/cardboard and plastics shrink/expand at different rates causing bubbles to loosen on carded figures. Significant fluctuations in temperature also degrades plastic, a chemical change causing yellowing that is common in figure bubbles.
Collectables on display should always be kept indoors, out of direct sunlight, at room temperature with stable relative humidity and low power lighting. We know 1000’s of collectors that take all the necessary precautions and their collectables are in perfect condition.
Many sellers of Display Cases state they are "acid free" which is incorrect. The term “acid free” is not used in relation to plastics. The terms “inert” and “stable” are used to describe plastics that can be safely used in preservation. Our Folding & Blister Display Cases use Archival Quality PET which is an inert material and will not break down over time, proving it to be the perfect choice for long-term protection.
We now hope you'll be confident to make educated display case purchases.