Different Glass

Float - Anti-Reflective Ultraviolet - Diffused

Choosing the right glass is an important aspect of designing your frame. The image illustrates the impact that the use of different types of glass may have on a picture.

Float glass: Whilst regular float glass is cost effective, it has two disadvantages. It has a reflective (glossy) surface and, as seen in the image, is not ideal for bright conditions. The other issue is that it has a slight green cast, which is caused by iron impurities. To counter the iron impurities, special iron free silica is used and the product is called water-white float glass. Sadly it still has the same reflective surface.

Diffused glass: Diffused glass has the same light reflection as float glass, therefore to solve this problem the glass is acid-etched and that creates a matt finish. The matt finish then scatters the reflective light to a wider viewing angle, which allows it to appear to be less reflective. Unfortunately diffused glass can show a grey cast. The price is higher than water-white float glass.

Anti-reflective Ultraviolet glass (AR UV): The price for AR UV is more expensive than diffused, however the benefit is immense. AR UV has a light reflection of less than 1% and, as can be seen on the image, is very significant. UV wavelengths will damage pictures and the following are examples of their sources:

By AR UV having an UV filter this significantly blocks any wavelengths passing through to the picture and subsquently protects it. The UV filtration blocks just above 98% specific wavelengths, though not a complete block and visible light can damage pictures. It is advisable to not hang a picture where the light is very bright.

Mouldings ~ Mountboards

Associate of the Royal Photograhic Society @ALBhypframing Fine Art Trade Guild