Moisture-proofing Halite

Greetings from DownUnder,

I live in a very humid sub-tropical place on the East Coast of Australia, and I want to display halite from Mt Gunson (South Australia) and Saltan Sea (CA).

I left a piece unprotected, and it virtually dissolved away.

Is there any material that does not fluoresce and is transparent to all wavelengths between about 300nm and 700nm?  If there is, I could build a sealed cage for the stuff.

Is there some sort of clear lacquer that could be used?

Any help appreciated.

Graham Fraser, #1699

[email protected]

 

ed.a's picture

Re: Moisture-proofing Halite

Hi Graham,

You could try acrylic plastic sheet like OP-4 that's made for use in tanning beds. It passes about 75% of 300nm UV, so it might work for MW illumination. It probably blocks SW. For SW, a labware bell jar made out of quartz glass would be ideal. They're made for vacuum and also rather elegant looking. Typical lime glass passes LW, but very little MW and no SW.

If you just want protection and utility, and the specimen isn't fragile, you might try vacuum sealing in food packaging baggies. The material is thin and can pass UV.  ... OK, I just did a quick test of FoodSaver and Reynolds Handi-Vac bags. A single layer of the Handi-Vac bag passes about 60% in both SW and (broadband UVB) MW. The FoodSaver bag has two materials, the clear side also passes about 60% SW and MW, while the corrugated side passes abut 50% MW and effectively blocks SW.

If your material is like the halites I collected from Trona, you might be able to store them in a brine solution. The locals there sell lake brine in jugs to Gem-O-Rama collectors. I suppose it would have to be just right to keep from either dissolving the crystals, or growing your own ;)

Re: Moisture-proofing Halite

Thanks Ed,

Sorry the long delay - to be honest I have only just checked for replies.

I want to put the pieces on show in my Mobile Fluorescence Museum that is nearing completion, so looks count.  I am hoping there is some sort of laquer that will do the job, but if I can't find any, I'll give the plastic bags a try.

Thanks again,

 

Graham Fraser.

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