Polman Minerals Fine Fluorescent Mineral Specimens and Ultraviolet Lamps
Acrylite®UV Filtering OP-3 Acrylic
The Acrylite® UV Filtering OP-3 Acrylic (OP-3) is manufactured by Evonik Industries of Germany. Evonik recently purchased Cyro Industries of New Jersey, where OP-3 is manufactured. OP-3 is the product that is best suited for making fluorescent mineral displays, as it blocks ultraviolet light, while allowing visible light to pass. OP-3 is not fluorescent, and will not cause a haze like the tin or float side of glass will. OP-3 has been rated to block 99.5% of ultraviolet light from 390nm and below. Although glass products can block all the harmful ultraviolet wavelengths, the longer wavelengths of ultraviolet light can easily pass through glass. That is why if you are looking to block all ultraviolet light from passing through your display case window, we recommend using OP-3 acrylic.
OP-3, along with glass, is what is used on the Polman Mineral Display Case. A 1/8-inch piece of OP-3 is set behind a piece of 1/8-inch glass with a small divider (about 1/16 inch). The divider is used to prevent the moire effect or pattern (see photograph below).
The advantage of having glass on the outside and OP-3 on the inside is that the glass is more scratch resistant and easier to clean. The OP-3 provides full ultraviolet light blocking, stopping longwave ultraviolet light from leaving the case and creating an unwanted distraction by causing the viewers clothes, teeth etc. to fluoresce.
Evonik also makes a product called OP-3 P99. OP-3 P99 is mostly used for paintings in museums, and has a matte finish. When purchasing OP-3, DO NOT ORDER OP-3 P99 by mistake. The matte finish does NOT work for fluorescent mineral displays. Make sure when you order OP-3 that the salesman understands that you do NOT want OP-3 P99. Evonik only sells through distributers, so when purchasing this product, you need to find a distributer near you. By clicking on Evonik, you will be able to find a distributer near you.
If you purchase OP-3 for your display case, we highly recommend cleaning the OP-3 with Novus® #1 Plastic Clean & Shine. This product cleans, shines and protects your acrylic. Most importantly, it is an antifog, antistatic dust repellent. This product prevents fluorescent lint and dust from being attracted to your face plate due to static charge.
This product can be purchased at any good plastic supply store or online at Roxy Enterprises NY, Inc. The price ranges from about $5.00 to $8.00 for an 8 FL. OZ bottle. Roxy sells the 8 FL. OZ bottle for $5.95 plus shipping. When cleaning your OP-3, use a clean, soft, lint free cloth. Do NOT use a glass cleaning product to clean the OP-3, as you may cause irreparable damage to the acrylic.