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With vacuum freeze-drying, ATI can return many damaged books, documents, family collectables, business documents, keepsakes and photographs back to a pre-loss condition. We work frequently with private homeowners as well as hospitals, businesses, libraries, schools and government institutions.
What is Vacuum-Freeze Drying?
Vacuum freeze-drying is four-step process we use to remove water or moisture from items that have been frozen in order to retain the item's original shape and biological structure.
- The object must first be frozen solid. Freezing the object solid locks the product structure firmly into position and ensures that the original shape of the object will be retained once the process is complete. After the object is frozen solid, we place it in a chamber that is connected to or contains a condenser.
- A condensing surface, which is usually colder that -40 degrees Celsius, is used to attract vapors away from the frozen object. It also protects the high-grade vacuum pump used in freeze-drying from water, oils and fats that may come from the object being freeze-dried.
- We connect a vacuum pump in series to the chamber and condenser and turn it on. When the proper pressure is reached inside the chamber, a vapor of moisture is drawn out of the object and collects onto the condenser.
- Once most of the vapor of moisture is drawn out of the object, we slowly apply heat to help remove any remaining vapors and to release bound water (which is typically the most difficult type of moisture to remove from an object). We add heat using a source such as heat coils or light.
What can be Vacuum Freeze-Dried?
- Books and manuscripts: Coated papers, drafting linens, leather, maps, parchment, pulp paper
- Business/personal records and documents: Attorney-client files, company files, confidential records, medical records, plans or blueprints, product catalogs, reference materials, trade secret records, appraisals, birth/death certificates, contracts, household records, loan agreements, passports, school transcripts, securities, maps, tax records
- Historical and collectable items: Badges, baseball cards, certificates, porous board stock boxes, rare documents, stamp collections, paper money collections
- Keepsakes: Baby books, baskets, family collections, leather and rawhide collections, newspaper articles, cookbooks, recipe cards, scrapbooks
- Textiles: Embroidery, flags, needlework, silks, tapestries
- Paintings and drawings: Acrylics, drafting cloth, linen drawings, water colors
- Photographs: Album prints, aperture cards, chromogenic prints, gelatin dry plate glass plates, matte and glossy collodion prints, photomechanical prints.