Storing engineering paper is a critical aspect of maintaining the integrity and usability of engineering drawings, plans, and other technical documents. Engineering paper can include blueprints, schematics, technical drawings, and other types of documents that are essential for designing, building, and maintaining industrial equipment, infrastructure, and other projects.
To ensure that engineering paper is stored properly and remains in good condition, there are several best practices that engineers and other professionals should follow. In this article, we will discuss some of the most important best practices for storing engineering paper.
Keep the Paper Clean and Free from Contaminants
One of the most important aspects of storing engineering paper is to keep it clean and free from contaminants. Dirt, dust, and other particles can accumulate on paper over time, which can damage the paper and make it difficult to read or use. To prevent this, it is essential to store engineering paper in a clean and dry environment.
When handling engineering paper, it is important to avoid touching the surface of the paper with bare hands, as the oils and sweat from the skin can cause damage over time. Instead, use clean cotton gloves or handling tools to minimize the risk of contamination.
Control the Temperature and Humidity
Temperature and humidity can have a significant impact on the condition of engineering paper. High humidity can cause paper to become damp and moldy, while low humidity can cause paper to become brittle and fragile. Similarly, high temperatures can cause paper to warp and curl, while low temperatures can cause paper to become stiff and difficult to work with.
To prevent these issues, it is important to store engineering paper in a climate-controlled environment. The ideal temperature for storing paper is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with a relative humidity of between 30 and 50 percent. If possible, use a dehumidifier or humidifier to maintain the appropriate humidity level.
Store the Paper Flat
Storing engineering paper flat is critical to preventing damage and maintaining the integrity of the documents. Storing paper on edge or rolled up can cause the paper to warp or curl, which can make it difficult to read or use. To prevent this, store engineering paper in flat files or cabinets that are designed specifically for this purpose.
When storing paper in flat files or cabinets, be sure to organize the documents in a logical and consistent manner. Label each drawer or section of the cabinet with the appropriate information, such as project name, date, or document type, to make it easy to find the documents you need.
Protect the Paper from Light
Exposure to light can cause engineering paper to fade and become discolored over time. To prevent this, it is important to store paper in a dark or low-light environment. If possible, keep the paper in a room that is not exposed to natural light, or use light-blocking curtains or blinds to prevent light from entering the room.
If you need to work with the paper in a well-lit area, use a lightbox or other light source that is designed specifically for this purpose. This will help to minimize the amount of light that the paper is exposed to and prevent damage over time.
Use Acid-Free Materials
Acid can cause engineering paper to deteriorate over time, especially if the paper is stored in contact with acidic materials such as cardboard or newspaper. To prevent this, it is important to use acid-free materials when storing engineering paper.
Use acid-free folders or sleeves to protect the paper when storing it in flat files or cabinets. If you need to transport the paper, use acid-free portfolios or tubes to prevent damage during transit.
Implement a Document Management System
Implementing a document management system can help to ensure that engineering paper is stored and organized in a consistent and efficient manner. This system can include processes for documenting, storing, and retrieving documents, as well as procedures for managing access and security.
A document management system can also help to streamline the workflow and improve collaboration among team members, as everyone will have access to the same documents and can work from the same version of the document.
Storing engineering paper is a critical aspect of maintaining the integrity and usability of technical documents. By following these best practices, engineers and other professionals can ensure that their engineering paper remains in good condition and is easy to access and use when needed. By keeping the paper clean, controlling the temperature and humidity, storing the paper flat, protecting the paper from light, using acid-free materials, and implementing a document management system, engineers can ensure that their engineering paper is an asset rather than a liability.