In the early 1980s, researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) were urged to develop a new test that would accurately determine whether storage enclosures would harm photographs over the long term. The experimental work ultimately lead to the development of the now well known Photographic Activity Test or PAT, which became an ANSI and then an ISO standard and remains the trusted method for determining the safety of a material used in photo storage or display.

In 1985, the Image Permanence Institute at RIT was formed and began testing products for both users (such as museums and libraries) and archival supply companies. IPI has continued to improve the accuracy of the test and to expand its scope to include plastics, adhesives, inks, and other materials.

Wherever you see the PAT icon in the catalogue, this is reassurance that this item or its component parts have been introduction to conservation by design limited independently tested and passes the requirements of the tests and standards. All PAT testing of Conservation By Design materials are sent to the Image Permanence Institute (IPI) in Rochester USA. Other tests are carried out at leading Institutions, that offer the performance quality and professional knowledge that is needed for specialist testing.


See a selection of products available by arranging an appointment to visit the CXD showroom in Bedford, the showroom features a range of CXD products including Planorama® and Museum display racking, pull out picture storage racking and items from the Timecare® range.

The showroom is based at CXD offices on Postley Road, Bedford and is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. (VIEWINGS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY).

If you have any questions about the showroom or would like to arrange a one-to-one consultation, please click here.