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Airtight display boxes ?
  
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cascaillou




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PostPosted: May 24, 2021 12:28    Post subject: Airtight display boxes ?  

I'm looking for boxes to display specimens in, with the following criterias:

-the box must be airtight (i.e. ambient humidity shouldn't be able to enter the box)
-the box shouldn't open too easily (i.e. it must require some force to open, or there is a locking system), so that if you would grab the box by its top, it would still stay sealed.
-the box top and sides need to be very transparent (so that the specimen can be seen clearly)
-specimen size ranges from 6 to 8cm

So, what kind of boxes would you suggest?
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SteveB




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PostPosted: May 24, 2021 19:51    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

I doubt they exist, you are after hermetically sealable. Not exactly easy to create for a display box you expect to open/close ever. You probably want something to be able to purge the air in the container with nitrogen and a replaceable desiccant system to absorb humidity. If you have such critically precious specimens you need a museum grade hermetically sealed display case. Probably a temperature stable environment, overkill really. What is so vital to be protected? I've never been in any type of museum that held individual items in single specialized display boxes inside a display case, so if your local uses such things as you describe, speak with them.
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James Catmur
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PostPosted: May 25, 2021 03:06    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

I guess this is sealed, but does not meet your criteria


IMG_20210517_122541939.jpg
 Mineral: Wolframite
 Locality:
San Nicolás mining group (San Nicolás Mine), Valle de la Serena, Comarca La Serena, Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain
 Dimensions: 12cm x 4cm x 4cm
 Description:
Found in the ruined mine buildings in 1993. Dated 3 December 1966
 Viewed:  2410 Time(s)

IMG_20210517_122541939.jpg


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James Catmur
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PostPosted: May 25, 2021 03:18    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

How about vacuum food storage boxes (various makes available)? The lids are not transparent but the bases and sides are. Could you mount the specimen on the lid and use the box upside down, so you can see the specimen?


Screenshot 2021-05-25 091712.jpg
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Screenshot 2021-05-25 091712.jpg


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vicen




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PostPosted: May 25, 2021 03:36    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

interesting boxes! Where did you get the photo from?
_________________
Geological Conservator/Preparator
Natural Sciences Department
National Museums Scotland
242 West Granton Road
Edinburgh EH5 1JA
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: May 25, 2021 04:02    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

It might be helpful to tell us the kinds of minerals you are thinking of. Can they take heat and cooling? If so, glass canning jars with gasket and metal lock would work and are not expensive. Look on internet under 'clear vacuum containers' and you will mostly see ones intended for food, but could be used for minerals. In some old collections people had glassworkers seal in a closed glass tube minerals that needed to be preserved away from water, air, etc. Now one can also put in N2 or other more expensive [noble] gasses. Dessicants, if large enough and container is well sealed should not have to be changed. Plexigass squares or rectangles can be made up and after you put the specimen in you can seal the top onto it with either plexiglass glue or screws if you want to get back in. Of course having something made for you will cost a whole lot more, unless you make it yourself. Again, knowing your ideas of what specimens would be helpful.
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cascaillou




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PostPosted: May 25, 2021 08:08    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

Actually, I'm just looking to protect water-soluble (but non-hygroscopic) minerals from ambient humidity (as I live in a mountain area, where the atmosphere can be humid). Villiaumite for instance.

As I'm considering display purpose I'm after something somewhat elegant.

So far, the easiest solution I found are glass domes with rubber stopper (these are often used to display opals under water):
http://www.rocksinahardplace.com/Resources/domes2_edited-1.jpg

The rubber stopper isn't too aesthetic, but I also found a more elegant design (where the rubber stopper was replaced with a solid stopper featuring a rubber washer):
http://img0109o.popscreencdn.com/161287497_x8-clear-glass-dome-cloche-wooden-airtight-base.jpg
(I would just replace the wood by a non porous material such as plastic or metal)
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vicen




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PostPosted: May 25, 2021 08:19    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

Remember that the rubber offgas and will deteriorate with time.
Perhaps it will be better to get a glass plate and then, seal it in the same way that the natural sciences collections are kept in alcohol.
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cascaillou




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PostPosted: May 25, 2021 08:31    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

Do you know what are the offgas products of rubber?

Besides, for washers, are there more durable materials than rubber?
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lluis




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PostPosted: May 25, 2021 08:54    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

Hi, Cascaillou

For what you are asking for, I think that you ask maybe for much too much...

I live at seaside (say, around 200 meters beach), and it is very humid.
I have villiaumite in a Jousi-like box, that are not airtight, although interchange is very slow... and Villiaumites are in great shape... And that for more than 20 years.
For humidity, think that a wonderful Kushana tetra was gone in a day due a rain storm (it had BD, bronze disease, but unseen until a rise in humidity created havoc...)
Villiaumites passed this day if nothing had happened...

If you are only worried for non-hygroscopic minerals, you may use the Jousi type boxes (they, Jousi, do not produce them anymore for more than 20 years...) If you are interested, mail me as private message and I will tell who sells them now (as good as former ones, just better, because they have longer fitting sides and are more sure.
And if you wish to secure that no more air will enter, simply, place the specimen in the box, and then place a stream of superglue or any other "crazy" glue, and you will have an airtight box (hard to open, though.... With a scalpel and lots of patience, could be done, though....)

Hope it serves

With best wishes

Lluís
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B.




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PostPosted: May 25, 2021 11:50    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

HI ALL! I have been following this thread and Cascaillou's other related threads here and on MinDat.

Let me be very practical about all this.

Firstly, If you are asking to protect many thousand Euro (or $$$) type specimens, the goal might be different than protecting routine several Euro or $$$ type specimens. The time spent on all this and protection costs should, at least partially, reflect the quality and prices of the specimens to be protected.

If your examples are in a flood or home water disaster, no amount of protection will save them from damage. So it is just routine humidity that we should be discussing here.

If your display box examples are on a shelf in a display case.....especially a lighted display case, that alone is quite dry, even without any additional protection and even in ordinarily humid environments.

Sooooo, I have found that the small silicone gel packets commonly found in bottles of vitamin pills, and other similar stuff, specifically put in the bottles to keep the pills dry, is a easy and simple and inexpensive method to protect mineral specimens from routine display case humidity. Put a few packets in with each boxed specimen, change the packets every 6 months or so, and, as Lluis said it should protect the specimens from routine humidity for years. No problems! BOB
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cascaillou




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PostPosted: May 25, 2021 12:02    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

If that's enough to protect my Villiaumite from the humid atmosphere, then I would be fine with acrylic boxes. However I'm left with the problem of finding boxes which won't open easily.

Ps: sent you a private message lluis
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B.




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PostPosted: May 25, 2021 13:42    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

Just as simple a solution for boxes you don't want to easily open.

Review the pix of Bob Kerr's plastic boxes protecting the very hi quality crocoite specimens.

Instead of using glue, after your specimen is in the box with a couple of packets of silicone gel, cut several short 2 cm strips of cellophane tape (Scotch Tape). Gently tape each bottom corner of the box to its box base. The tape will barely be noticed, hold the box firmly shut, but the tape is easily cut with a razor blade whenever necessary. The box is then opened and reclosed using another short strip of tape in the corner.

Easily done without making a mountain out of a mole hill. BOB
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James Catmur
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PostPosted: May 25, 2021 15:16    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

Hi Vincen

They are from Bosch and I got the photos of the Interweb from a commercial site I should not name.

James



vicen wrote:
interesting boxes! Where did you get the photo from?
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vicen




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PostPosted: May 26, 2021 03:35    Post subject: Re: Airtight display boxes ?  

All will depend on the rubber per se.
For sealers, you can always use some a reversible adhesive.
To add environmental condition to your minerals, some desiccants sachets could be added, but you will not want the specimens to be too dry. You will need to measure the volume of the container to know the appropriate amount of sachets.
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