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Subject: Increasing humidity

Increasing humidity

From: Patricia Bye <pbye>
Date: Friday, May 23, 2003
Shelley Howe <artchic68 [at] yahoo__com> writes

>I am trying to raise the humidity levels in my temporary exhibit
>space for an upcoming exhibit that will include a bunch of leather
>cowboy boots with decorative stitching etc. It has been suggested
>that I use Silica Gel in enclosed cases. Is there some sort of
>protocol for me to follow? ...

Silica gel is used to buffer the humidity in the closed case. This
sometimes means decreasing the humidity level but it sometimes means
increasing the level.

If the silica gel that you are using is conditioned to 50%
saturation than the job it does is to release humidity into a
less-than-50% environment; likewise it will absorb humidity from an
atmosphere of more than 50% humidity. You'll probably have to
monitor the case environment for a while to see if the quantity of
50% silica gel you are using is sufficient.

A quick formula for determining how much silica gel you need is:

    1.  Find cubic feet within vitrine (H x D x W).

    2.  Multiply that number by 0.4 to get the number of pounds of
        *dry* silica gel required.

    3.  Add 25% to account for weight when conditioned.

That number is the poundage you should order.

Pat Bye
Artifact Mountmaking and Museum Exhibition Supplies
Rosemont, NJ 08556

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:74
                   Distributed: Tuesday, May 27, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-74-004
Received on Friday, 23 May, 2003

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