What is the difference between buffered and unbuffered?

When storage materials are “buffered” it means an alkaline substance has been added to counteract the acids that may form in the future and to help absorb acids from artifacts. Alkaline-buffered storage materials usually have a pH of between 7.5 and 9. Most objects can be safely housed in unbuffered neutral pH material (with some exceptions). When in doubt about the type of enclosure or container to use, an unbuffered neutral pH enclosure is recommended. Read more about it and see a list of what items should be stored using buffered or unbuffered materials here- Buffered And Unbuffered Storage Materials.

Many Print File products say they have passed the PAT. What is the PAT?

The Photographic Activity Test (PAT) is a worldwide standard (ISO Standard 14523) for archival quality in photographic enclosures. Developed by Image Permanence Institute in Rochester NY, this test predicts possible interactions between photographic images and the enclosures in which they are stored. The PAT is also used to test the components of enclosures, such as adhesives, inks, paints, labels, and tapes. The test involves incubating materials in temperature- and humidity-controlled chambers to simulate aging and takes from four to six weeks. After incubation and sample evaluation, a final report is provided.For more information visit their website at www.imagepermanenceinstitute.com

Why does Print File chooses polyethylene over polypropylene for their negative preservers?

For almost thirty years, Print File has manufactured negative preservers from polyethylene, an archival material proven safe for maximum long-term storage. We use polyethylene since the alternative polypropylene, creates a greater static charge, which consequently attracts more dirt and dust to the negative. In addition, dust and scratches are more noticeable on enlarged negatives; therefore, it is imperative that the conditions to reduce dust and scratches be controlled as much as possible. We optimize these conditions by manufacturing our negative preservers from polyethylene.

Why does Print File uses polypropylene and not polyethylene for their print preservers, slide preservers, and album pages?

We believe the presentation of your valuable photographs requires the clearest and most transparent archival preserver available. Print File’s superior polypropylene offers this clarity whereas polyethylene is more translucent. Slides are protected from rubbing against the film by the mounts and are not subject to the same static problems as negatives. Furthermore, photographs are not customarily reproduced from the print and the consequences of dust on the photographs are less critical to the final outcome of your preserved image.