In the early 1980s, researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) were urged to develop a new test that would accurately determine whether storage enclosures would harm photographs over the long term. The experimental work ultimately lead to the development of the now well known Photographic Activity Test or PAT, which became an ANSI and then an ISO standard and remains the trusted method for determining the safety of a material used in photo storage or display. In 1985, the Image Permanence Institute at RIT was formed and began testing products for both users (such as museums and libraries) and archival supply companies. IPI has continued to improve the accuracy of the test and to expand its scope to include plastics, adhesives, inks, and other materials.
Wherever you see the PAT icon in the catalogue, this is reassurance that this item or its component parts have been introduction to conservation by design limited independently tested and passes the requirements of the tests and standards. All PAT testing of Conservation By Design materials are sent to the Image Permanence Institute (IPI) in Rochester USA. Other tests are carried out at leading Institutions, that offer the performance quality and professional knowledge that is needed for specialist testing.
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