You will see the word 'Buffered' mentioned in the specification of our archival materials. But what does buffered actually mean?
When it comes to long term storage, or 'Archival Storage' one of the key components is the box, folder or other enclosure you are placing your items in. If your item is in direct contact with the box, folder, or other, you need to know that it
In general terms, acid is bad in a storage environment. That's why all of our materials are acid free.
Acid can discolour, degrade and destroy some objects, especially paper. So, it's important to reduce/remove the exposure to any acidic sources in the storage environment. Paper made from pulp is its own worst enemy and will degrade becoming more acidic with time.
Buffered materials contain an alkali buffer, usually calcium carbonate. This buffer neutralises acids that may develop in the stored paper, or that migrate from other sources (such as the air, shelving etc.). This buffer will protect the stored items without you even realising.
So, that's it in a nutshell, Buffered means protection!
There are a very limited number of items that shouldn't be stored in buffered storage materials, such as blueprints/cyanotypes. If in any doubt please contact a qualified conservator.
You can read more about our archival buffered materials here