The UK has around 2,500 museums, galleries and heritage sites housing anything from priceless paintings and artefacts to manuscripts, motors, mummies and much more. Unfortunately the UK has one of the wettest climates in the northern hemisphere which means these valued assets are under real threat of moisture-related damage. Without protection and control of Relative Humidity (RH) levels, mould, bacterial growth and corrosion can occur causing significant and costly damage. Once moisture damage has occurred the object will probably never return to its former condition.
Munters is a global leader and premium partner in energy efficient air treatment solutions and have been defining the future of air treatment since 1955 when it was founded by the famous Swedish inventor and entrepreneur, Carl Munters (1897-1989) together with Marcus Wallenberg and two others.
Munters’ sorption dehumidifiers are equipped with desiccant drying wheels called rotors. The wheel contains small air ducts with a very large contact surface and is treated with silica gel that absorbs moisture easily. When the dehumidifier is operating, two air currents pass through two sectors at the same time. One air current is dehumidified, resulting in ultra-dry air. The other airstream is heated and is used to dry the rotor so that it can absorb moisture again. The moisture is taken away in the warm moist air current and discarded. The rotor operates regardless of the ambient temperature and relative humidity. Running and maintenance of the dehumidifier is very cost-effective so capital and operating costs are low.
Like most good ideas Munters’ dehumidification principle is basically simple. There are few moving parts and consequently the chance of a breakdown is unlikely. The equipment can operate for long periods, maintaining very precise levels of relative humidity and very little servicing is normally necessary. Our comprehensive range of small portable dehumidifiers perfectly meet restrictive space and low noise requirements. The Munters desiccant dehumidifier’s uses no CFCs, HCFCs or gases linked with ozone depletion in the moisture removal process and therefore provide a greener alternative to other dehumidification systems. Further considerations, when artefacts are on display, are the size and location of the dehumidifier and the low noise output when in operation.
Munters’ products are unique as their desiccant technology is in each and every one of their products. Every new product produced is innovative and brand new to the market in order for them to stand out as market leaders and bring a new solution to our customers. Today, manufacturing and sales are carried out in 30 countries by around 2,700 employees.
Munters’ dehumidifiers are used worldwide to protect film, tapes, documents, books, and artefacts in archives, museums, and libraries. Temperature and pollutants are important factors in preserving documents. Temperature, humidity and pollutant levels all play a vital role in the preservation of such items. In general the humidity and temperature have to be as stable as possible and pollutants should be kept to a minimum. In some cases entire museums or libraries are climate controlled. A benefit of using a dehumidification system is that it minimises energy consumption.
The fundamental problem remains that although restoration techniques have advanced considerably, once moisture damage, bacterial growth, corrosion etc. has occurred the object will probably never return to its former condition. With the rising investment required for acquisition, maintenance and restoration of collectibles, Munters desiccant dehumidification technology prevents damage occurring in the first place or arrests their onset.
Using dehumidification has the following advantages:
- Indoor air quality is improved
- Mould prevention
- Energy cost reduction
- Corrosion prevention
- Collections are preserved
- Pollutants are minimised
- Indoor climate is controllable all year round
- Archive storage
- Fine art storage
- Historic ship preservation
- Historical buildings
- Photographic film storage
Munters’ systems keep King Henry VIII's sword safe from humidity-related damage. The sword is on display in its own sealed case and the humidity levels and temperature are strictly controlled. The sword is maintained at 35 per cent RH. This is the optimum level for a metal object of this nature that has already been subjected to significant corrosion damage.
The Munters dehumidification unit is placed outside the case (for aesthetic reasons) and the dry air is ducted in. The ambient moisture is removed, protecting the sword from high humidity and preventing further corrosion damage.Back to top