How long will these prints hang and will they be in direct sunlight? I wouldn't worry..EC
Just framing a print with plexi right from american frame is hard enough w/o shit clinging all over. They machine cut it and it arrives w/o dust. I roll off one side of the protective paper onto a cardboard tube or pvc pipe that way it doesn't tear and goes fast. Then I immediately stick that surface onto the mounted/matted print and hope the static hasn't pulled every air particle onto it. Then roll off the protective paper on the remaining side. I can usually do this with only one or two specs of something that got in there or were already on the matt board. with gloves on, lift a corner of the plexi and wipe away the fuzz. The more time you lift the plexi, the worse it gets. If you don't have canned air or a filtered compressor, get some. That said, I'm a perfectionist when it comes to framing my work. If there's just one fuzzy in there, I'll get it out. Oh, and don't expect to get your work back w/o some scratches in the plexi. That shit scratches just by looking at it.
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Thanks for the information guys. I too was looking for this type of acrylic......
Properly processed B&W prints are very unlikely to be affected. Alt process prints are also extremely durable.
Conventional type C prints will fade much more readily. I have Type R and Cibas made decades ago that haven't faded with no special protection.
But nothing lasts for ever. I have much more faith in the longevity of current color pigmented inkjet prints than I do with RA-4 or old Ektacolor prints.
My color slide film (E4) made decades ago and dark stored are all fading away slowly. Color and chromogenic negatives, color Polaroids are also fading.
For group or small individual shows I try to spend as little money as possible for framing. To that end I have tried to standardize on specific print sizes making matts and frames easily reusable.
Thanks for the further thoughts guys. I'm still waiting on responses from some companies about large sheets of plexi. It looks like at the most I'll spend about $4 per 11x14 sheet. Considering the americanframe stuff is $12 that's quite a savings.
Are you, or will you consider being, a "reseller". If so that may be your least expensive option in the long run. When I was, I got acrylic from Valley Moulding (So Cal). Look to your own region, if so.
I concur wholeheartedly, with the comments on "non–glare" acrylic glazing. They will ruin any perceived sharpness and contrast on your finished photographs, mollifying any advantage with glossy papers. I still have an unused 40"x52" sheet of the crap.
I too, am unconcerned with UV protection where archival techniques are employed with B/W papers. Although I don't recommend it, I have prints which are exposed to direct sun for some hours every day, with no perceived fading over 20 years (mats are another issue though).
True plastics dealers can be found in most metropolitan areas. Otherwise you'd need to buy wholesale from a true framing dealer and not some ready-made framing distributor.
Difficult to save money unless you cut the sheets yourself, but plastics shops can give you
a volume rate to do it for you. Plexi type acrylic has several distinct advantage: it doesn't
break easily, it is clearer than glass, and its a better insulator with respect to preventing
condensation behind the glazing. Disadvantages include higher price, easy scratching, and
the need to apply anti-static liquid if you don't want it attracting dust. True anti-reflective
(optically coated) acrylic is very very expensive, but there's nothing quite like it. The amt
of UV protection afforded by any of these products, glass or acrylic, is marginal. Might help
a tiny bit, but nothing will protect color prints well under direct sunlight or hot halogens.