How does Argon gas protect old manuscripts from degradation?

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How does Argon gas protect old manuscripts from degradation?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

Argon is a noble gas. It is extremely non reactive. The atmosphere can seem non reactive, but oxygen and other gases will react with various materials in a destructive way especially over long periods of time. So we displace the atmosphere with argon which won’t react with anything and that protects important documents in long term storage.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Most decay happens because of some interaction with stuff in regular air (looking at you, Oxygen).

Argon is a noble gas, which means it doesn’t react with (almost) anything and displaces all the other gasses that do.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Argon is a inert gas which is actually a heavy gas aswell meaning that it basically does nothing, unlike oxygen which is an oxidizer that will cause reactions to materials and objects over time.
So argon is very good and protecting objects from oxidation because it’s also heavier, pushing oxygen away.
Argon is also used in welding due to these properties because it protects the molten metal from oxidation during the welding process.
So very basic answer, hope this helps

Anonymous 0 Comments

Argon is a noble gas, which are the elements on the farthest right hand side of the periodic table of elements. Other noble gases include helium and neon. A notable feature about noble gases is that they are very non reactive, so they don’t interact with anything except under extremely rare circumstances. That makes them a great preservative in an enclosed space.

Fun fact: the American National Archives uses argon in the display cases for things like the Constitution. They previously used helium, but it kept leaking out and had to constantly be replaced.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The “Noble Gasses” are the elements along the right side of the periodic table. They’re called “noble” because they don’t react with pretty much anything. So putting a thing you want preserved into a box full of a noble gas will help preserve it by keeping the thing from oxidizing, and will also kill most organisms that might get in.

Looking down the chart, that means you could use Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon, or Radon. Argon is by far the cheapest, and it also has the advantage of being heavy, so it’s easier to work with than Helium (which also has a tendency to leak out of things.) Using Neon, Krypton, or Xenon would also work, but they’re much more expensive and not really better than Argon for preservation. You wouldn’t want to use Radon, because it’s radioactive.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Air is the enemy of freshness. Argon is not air.

I know there’s already great answers out there, but I felt this truly captures the ELI5 ideal.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The air around us contains mostly nitrogen (inert for the most part), then there is about 20% oxygen, then even less CO2 and water vapor, and then other stuff in trace amounts (ratios can vary depending on the weather and other things). These things alone can be quite harmful to paper and generally organic materials, Argon is the cheapest noble gas available, which can “push away” oxygen, CO2 and water, so the manuscript ends up in a protective bubble and is preserved for many more years to come than if we were to leave it in room temperature, general air.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Argon walks into a bar.
“Didn’t you see the sign? We don’t let noble gases in here! ” – Says the bartender.
Argon didn’t react.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Argon the most noble of God’s gasses. Pure safe argon.

There’s nothing wrong with the argon. We’re just having problems. When Jesus had problems he didn’t blame them all on the argon

Anonymous 0 Comments

The degradation is caused by the oxygen and moisture / water vapor in the air.

Argon is completely non-reactive. When you put the manuscript in a case filled with argon, the argon displaces all the oxygen, water, and everything else in the air – leaving nothing to react with and degrade the paper.