Airtight Cases and Preventive Conservation for Museums – System Q – Goppion

Display cases with airtight closure

System Q display cases serve as a barrier against the fluctuations of external climatic conditions - such as temperature, humidity and vibrations - as compared to those stabilized inside the case. They rely on special airtightness systems that keep chemical or particulate pollutants out of the compartment where objects are on display and reduce the exchange of air between inside and outside as much as possible.

Our display cases are generally designed to offer a minimum airtightness level of one exchange every ten days. This level can be greatly increased thanks to specially engineered solutions. This is what we did for the display case for the Mona Lisa (15 days) and more recently for the two display cases for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (100 days).

Airtightness is achieved with the use of adhesives applied to the joints between the plates of glass and with active magnetic gaskets or passive silicon-tube gaskets that form an airtight o-ring near the movable doors.

The locks are closed with a metal screw cap and a gasket that ensures airtightness.

Furthermore, the cases are certified airtight by the Energy Department at Milan’s Politecnico University, which carried out tracer-gas tests on them.

The display cases are built so as to make sure that the technical mechanisms (for lighting and air treatment, for example) don’t raise the temperature inside where objects are displayed.

The display cases are made with inert, non-outgassing materials tested and approved by the conservation departments of the most important museums, and this enables objects to be properly preserved.