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Foam- Will It Damage Medals/Ribbons?

Started by ParanormalTrooper , Apr 20 2017 08:05 PM

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#1 ParanormalTrooper

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:05 PM

Hello! I know that foam will damage helmet liners, but does it have any negative effects on medals/ribbons? I would assume so but I'm not 100% sure. I ask this because I set up a small Purple Heart display using foam and I wanted to know if i indeed need to cover the foam with something. Thanks.

 

Also, I should add that this is the type of foam used for packing, it is super compressible and hard to tear unlike normal foam. Heres a pic of the WIP display.

Purple Heart Display foam.jpg



#2 ParanormalTrooper

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:14 PM

Since I actually believe foam will damage them, i'm just not 100% sure, I removed the ribbons and the medal for now just to be on the safe side. Im still about 50/50 on the display so it's not that big of a deal if it doesnt work out.

 

Just a note, the bottom of the medal is resting in a small hole and the brooch is being held up by a piece of metal, so that most of the medals weight is actually going through the medal and its not hanging by the brooch.



#3 doyler

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:25 PM

Several topics on this.

 

MWalsh had this one with some great photos

 

I have seen this happen firat hand using the foam inserts in cases or jewelry boxes.

 

http://www.usmilitar...medals/?hl=foam



#4 doyler

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:31 PM

There are many topics on storage or display

 

http://www.usmilitar...estion/?hl=foam



#5 ParanormalTrooper

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:05 PM

Thank... Yeah, probably shouldve searched this one instead of posting about it.

 

Thanks anyways though.



#6 268th C.A.

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 03:44 AM

Hello, great research doyler. I will add to this, that being in the car bussiness on the service side, foam has been used under healiners in the interior of cars for years, since the one piece headliner made it eaiser to remove them for replacement or repairs. but thats also why they fall down after 10 years, the foam underneath deteriorates and becomes a sticky mess.You can hardly get the stuff off your hands. So thats my opinion. Stay away from the foam.



#7 Blacksmith

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 04:33 AM

Yep, plenty of old posts to read on this. That said, I would use very few man-made materials in contact with anything long-term - especially those not intended for that purpose (like packing material). One exception is the poly-fill that is in the Riker mounts. The manufacturers claim that it is intended for archival use, and I've never heard anybody say anything bad about it.

Edited by Blacksmith, 21 April 2017 - 04:34 AM.


#8 Rakkasan187

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:42 AM

As a museum professional I will tell you that foam will off gas as it deteriorates over time and it can have irreversible effects on items it is in contact with. You always should try to put some type of barrier between the artifact and the mounting surface to block the effects. Muslin cloth, non buffered, is an effective barrier we use extensively in the museum, acid free stock paper, archival safe foam core and acid free storage boxes are some of the many products that we utilize not only for preservation but in accordance with regulations on the storage of artifacts.

 

On a side note, it has also been recommended to lay medals flat, over time the weight of the medal itself on the ribbon suspension causes stress which will pull the fibers apart on the ribbons, leading to separation. You will see this on a lot of earlier medals (Civil War, etc.) This process also takes many years to occur, especially with a medal that was mint when issued and it hung in a display case for many years in different environments such as hanging on a wall in the direct sunlight, this fades the ribbon but also weakens the fibers of the ribbon, eventually leading to the tearing and separation of the suspension ribbon from the brooch due to the weight of the metal planchet which is suspended from the suspension ring.

 

A lot of technical jargon mentioned above, but again basically it is recommended to keep the medal flat on an archival buffer. The Riker mounts are good storage and display methods and as mentioned the poly fill in the Riker mounts is accepted but we also take the extra precaution and place a barrier of muslin between the artifact and the poly fill...

 

Hope some of this explanation helps as well as the information provided in the other links and other members posts...

 

Leigh



#9 Blacksmith

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:09 AM

Great information Leigh. Do you have a good recommendation on where to find the Muslin cloth?

Thank you.

As a museum professional I will tell you that foam will off gas as it deteriorates over time and it can have irreversible effects on items it is in contact with. You always should try to put some type of barrier between the artifact and the mounting surface to block the effects. Muslin cloth, non buffered, is an effective barrier we use extensively in the museum, acid free stock paper, archival safe foam core and acid free storage boxes are some of the many products that we utilize not only for preservation but in accordance with regulations on the storage of artifacts.
 
On a side note, it has also been recommended to lay medals flat, over time the weight of the medal itself on the ribbon suspension causes stress which will pull the fibers apart on the ribbons, leading to separation. You will see this on a lot of earlier medals (Civil War, etc.) This process also takes many years to occur, especially with a medal that was mint when issued and it hung in a display case for many years in different environments such as hanging on a wall in the direct sunlight, this fades the ribbon but also weakens the fibers of the ribbon, eventually leading to the tearing and separation of the suspension ribbon from the brooch due to the weight of the metal planchet which is suspended from the suspension ring.
 
A lot of technical jargon mentioned above, but again basically it is recommended to keep the medal flat on an archival buffer. The Riker mounts are good storage and display methods and as mentioned the poly fill in the Riker mounts is accepted but we also take the extra precaution and place a barrier of muslin between the artifact and the poly fill...
 
Hope some of this explanation helps as well as the information provided in the other links and other members posts...
 
Leigh



#10 Rakkasan187

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:02 AM

Great information Leigh. Do you have a good recommendation on where to find the Muslin cloth?

Thank you.
 

 

Glad this information was helpful..

 

You can find unbleached muslin cloth at Jo Anne's Linens, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, most fabric stores. You will want the unbleached muslin cloth. You may also find in some sewing sections in Target or other stores muslin cloth sheets. They sometimes come in a pack of 6-8.  There are archival companies such as Talas, Gaylord and others, but they are very expensive. You can find the same quality product at the Hobby Shops I mentioned above...

 

If you have any other questions reference preservation feel free to ask..

 

Leigh

 

 



#11 Blacksmith

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:22 PM

Good man, thank you.

 
Glad this information was helpful..
 
You can find unbleached muslin cloth at Jo Anne's Linens, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, most fabric stores. You will want the unbleached muslin cloth. You may also find in some sewing sections in Target or other stores muslin cloth sheets. They sometimes come in a pack of 6-8.  There are archival companies such as Talas, Gaylord and others, but they are very expensive. You can find the same quality product at the Hobby Shops I mentioned above...
 
If you have any other questions reference preservation feel free to ask..
 
Leigh
 
 




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