Does anyone know anything about Meridian High Density board. We have an artist from England who has all his frames backed with it. I can only find suppliers in England. Is there a US equivalent with a different name?
That would be HDF, High Density Fiberboard. It is in common use in framing in the UK and Europe, though it is not considered preservation grade in the US. There have been words across the pond about this. HDF is commonly available in the US in thicker panels that are veneered and used in cabinets. i'm really not sure where to send you for panels thin enough to use as backers for art prints.
There are versions of it that are considered preservation grade, but you won't find them at Home Shelter Stores, or the normal line of suppliers to the framing industry. They are also relatively expensive. You might be able to find them through distributors of archival materials like Talas or Gainesboro.
Normal HDF is made from the sawdust and ground wood leftovers of millwork (so it has wood protein in it and develops acidic gasses) and is held together with glues that probably have some kind of chemical out-gassing (peroxide, formaldehyde, etc) that aren't good around most art either.
If preservation is an goal with the art, I would stick with more traditional materials like 100% cotton rag board for both mat and mount. There are other options which are almost as good using materials made from Alpha-cellulose.
"These specialist boards are hard wearing, acid free, buff in colour, support excellent fold characteristics. Manufactured to high conservation standards for use in Archives, Libraries and Museums for conversion into die-cut boxes, brass stitched conservation boxes "
Hmm: A certain matboard supplier used to label their "standard" card "acid free" which is a pretty meaningless term in conservation circles. There is also not much hard information on the site as to the actual composition of this board.
I would want to see a proper assessment of this product by competent conservators before I would regard this as a safe substitute for the proven backings we already have.
Thanks for your replies and links. As suspected, there doesn't seem to be a supplier in the US. We have bid the job with our usual acid free backing, but if they want to pay the freight, we will import the requested material fro England. Found a couple suppliers who ship internationally.
I'm pretty confidant that the Meridian is archival, although I understand there has been conversation about it. This artist is a pretty big name, so I think he knows what he wants. Also the pieces will be mounted to Dibond, so the backing won't be in direct contact with the art work.
Thanks again for your replies, and I'm really happy to have found this forum.