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The width of the mat from the inner to the outer edge.

mat board core
The center area of mat board. Usually 1/16 inch thick. It can be standard or conservation quality.

mat board cutter
A tool use to cut windows in mat board.

mounting board
Backing material which is used to support the artwork or mount images when this is necessary. Standard or acid-free foam core is excellent mounting boards.

non-glare glazing
Slightly frosted glass or acrylic glazing to reduce the reflection of light sources, which can create visual hotspots that may obscure the view of part of the artwork.

The process of making a solution or material pH neutral (pH of 7.0). If a material is acidic, it can be neutralized by adding an alkali or base material. If it is alkaline or base, it is neutralized byadding an acid. Pure water has a pH of 7.0, which is considered neutral.

offset, mat board offset
The reveal of the bottom mat board when one mat window is stacked on top of another. A standard offset between the top and bottom mat is 1/4".

optical brighteners
A class of widely varying types of chemical compounds with one common characteristic, they absorb ultraviolet light and re-emit it as visible blue and violet wavelengths. Their presence in and on a substrate tends, therefore, to "whiten" it. They are also known as "fluorescent agents" because they strongly fluoresce under "black light" (U.V. light of longer wavelengths). Due to the fluorescent effect and re-emission of blue/violet visible light, optical brighteners add a "sparkle" or brilliance to some substrates in addition to their "whitening" effect.

A measurement that indicates the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a material. On a scale from 0-14, pH 7.0 is neutral, above 7.0 is alkaline (acid-free or base), and below 7.0 is acidic. The scale is a logarithmic progression, meaning 6.0 is 10 times or more acidic than 7.0. pH can only be measured on water-soluble materials.

photographic activity test (PAT)
A worldwide standard (ISO Standard 14523) for archival quality in photographic enclosures. The test predicts possible interactions between photographic images and the enclosures in which they are stored. The PAT is also used to test the components of enclosures, such as adhesives, inks, paints, labels, and tapes.

This term is often used to imply that a product will not react adversely with photographs. There is currently no standard definition or set of test methods that fully encompass this term. The basis for such a claim is unclear.

An acrylic material used instead of glass. It is very light in comparison to glass and much more resistant to breakage.

The piece of mat board that is left over when the opening is cut. When making a triple or thicker mat, often the plug is left in place to provide a cutting surface for the next mat board.

A single layer of paper. A term used when several sheets of paper are laminated together to form a board.
The prevention or delay of deterioration of and damage to archival material through appropriate environmental controls and/or treatment; preservation is a broader term than conservation.

Term used to describe how a frame looks when viewed from one end. It will describe the width and height of the mat, and the dimensions of the rabbet.

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