Archival materials - Permanence

Permanence can be defined as the ability to remain chemically and physically stable over a long period of time. All materials change with time, but permanent materials will be "in working order" during many years to come. A quality paper is estimated to last for several hundreds of years. Other media, e.g. audio and video tapes will last for ten to twenty years.

The permanence of digital media such as optical disks does not depend on the permanence of the disk only. In archives there are well kept digital media, which cannot be read since the necessary equipment is no longer available.

Analogue storage – the permanence depends on the properties of the material and of the storage and handling conditions.

Digital storage – the permanence depends on the properties of the material and of the storage and handling conditions but is often limited by the availability of soft- and hardware.

Accelerated ageing

How do we know how old a material will be?

Will it keep for hundred years? The only way to be safe is to wait for hundred years. But if we don’t want to wait?

Evaluation of long-term stability is one of our specialties. Accelerated aging is an invaluable tool when you want to estimate the lifetime of materials.

Our laboratory is well equipped with climate chambers with both temperature and humidity control. We also have advance equipment for evaluation of light fastness. The ageing of a material is often evaluated in terms of the change of one or more chemical or physical property with time.

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Phone 010-516 50 00, E-mail info@ri.se

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