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Storage Vault Flooring- Medite

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    • #134857
      Laura Fedynyszyn

      Hello All,

      We are planning for a new mobile storage system for our contemporary textile collection. One of the quotes I’ve received involved putting down a Medite II subfloor. It is MDF, but is formaldehyde-free with little off-gassing. Their literature said it is used widely in museums, but just wondering if anyone has first-hand experience with it? Thanks!

    • #134858
      Jen Hunt Johnson

      Hi Laura,

      This is a great question. I did a quick search using the Conservation Online or CoOL website to help research it further. If you’re not familiar with this resource, I find it is great for just these types of questions, since you can access published articles, as well as posts to the ConsDistList a resource that many conservators use to post questions among themselves. Here is the link:

      Some of the brief references I found verified the one concern I had, which is that although the Medite product advertises a formaldehyde-free adhesive system, the wood itself can still off-gas its own volatile components. That being said, your intended use is as a subfloor, which would be more isolated from collections than say a tightly enclosed exhibit cabinet or other display furniture, as discussed in the literature below. There may also be ways to seal the product, or the addition of your top flooring may provide the barrier that you need. In your case the material is not in direct contact with the collection and so I think that limits the potential risk. I am by no means an expert on building materials but from my brief reading so far, it would seem Medite is a good choice as compared to standard plywood product, but I couldn’t say if it is the best there is.

      I have listed links to a few of the resources I referenced and we will continue to try to find more information or potential contacts for you. Thanks for your question.

      Jen Hunt Johnson

      Try a search on the CoOl website for “medite”

      WAAC Newsletter Technical Exchange – Construction Materials
      Briefly comments on the nature of off-gassing of the wood component of Medite though the adhesive system is formaldhyde free, the wood is still not.

      A few posts regarding use of MDF materials in exhibit spaces

    • #134860
      Laura Fedynyszyn

      Hi Jen, Thank you so much for looking into it for me. I had used CoOL but somehow missed those articles. Greatly appreciated! You’ve given me some new leads to work through as well.


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