Many institutions that display, study and store documentation and artifacts around the world have been fitted with Hanwell Pro environmental monitoring solutions to safeguard our heritage for the future.

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Meredith Paetz

Vice President, Business Development, USA


Measurement Types

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A solution for every application studied by Cultural Heritage Institutions

Buildings | Monuments | Landscapes | Books | Works of Art | Artifacts

Temperature & Humidity

Organic materials including metal, dyes, and textiles

Institutions will be aware that tangible culture is prone to damaging effects caused by temperature and humidity. Some independent effects of high temperature include increased biological activity and acceleration of chemical deterioration processes. In high relative humidity conditions insects and molds thrive, metals corrode, dyes and textiles fade and deteriorate more quickly, organic materials such as wood and leather swell or change shape, and gelatine emulsions and adhesives become sticky.

Temperature and humidity levels need to be monitored and controlled in conjunction with one another using the Hanwell Pro ML4000RHT USB and wireless data logger ranges. Humidity can often be controlled by manipulating temperatures within an area in order to control these effects within an environment. This recorded data can be for alarms and historical data analysis.

Light & UV

Works of art, photographs, textiles, and books

Light is renowned for being one of the major causes of deterioration to pigments such as inks, paper, and other organic substances. Further damage is caused by ultraviolet light (UV) within the sun ray or fluorescent light which produce oxidation of cellulose. This results in fading of papers and ink, but also further chemical reactions occur that can turn paper yellow or brown and separate fibers.

Studies within cultural heritage institutions can easily determine if too much light and UV is exposed for too long by using the Hanwell Pro ML4000LUX/UV series of USB and wireless data loggers. Measurements taken include the amount of visible light (LUX) the proportion of UV present (µW/lumen) and the UV power (mW/M2).

Insect Pests

Furnishings, wooden materials, textiles

A common problem for organic materials comes from irreparable loss or damage to books resulting from an attack of insect pests. Studies have shown this could be as a result of dust buildup or transmitted from other infested items. Termites, Silverfish, Booklice and others are all responsible for feeding on organic materials such as paper, leather, parchment, glue, and gum of bookbinding.

In the past, conservators have relied on expensive toxic fumigation to eliminate insect pests in and around infested areas. These methods kill insect pests but leave harmful gases or residues on the books themselves which can be just as damaging.

Institutions can use the Hanwell Pro AnoxiBug system as a cost-effective anoxia treatment to show that staff can use with ease when an infestation occurs. The infested items are placed in an aluminum packet with an oxygen indicator. When the bag has been sealed (with the item inside) the oxygen level is lowered to such a point that all insects perish. The bag and indicator can either be stored at this point or reused for another time.

Airflow & Wind

Airflow and damage to historical buildings

The movement of air within character buildings occurs in hallways, stairwells and other wind traps close to exits or even open areas. Air is drawn through a building at damaging rates, bringing with it pollutants that can affect the condition of monitored environments surrounding valuable collections.

Similarly, the external corrosion on buildings caused by the wind force (speed and direction) of rain, pollutants, and debris can have not only detrimental effects on the condition of the external building walls, but also potentially lead to internal damp.

Institutions can use the Hanwell Pro RL2000 series for internal air movement and external wind, speed, precipitation, barometric pressure, temperature and humidity studies. Using these tools, studies can determine a 3D model of air movement within historical buildings such as a chapel.

Latest Case Study

Mary Rose Museum

Modern engineering helps the historic warship’s safe passage into the limelight providing visitors with an insight into 16th-century maritime.

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