Frequently Asked Questions

We receive a good many inquiries about various aspects of storage. The following are some of the most typical inquiries.

Q. Why do you use aluminum instead of steel in your storage products?

A. Steel is not well adapted for museum storage. We utilize aluminum for 4 very important reasons. Aluminum is:

  1. Lighter than steel.
  2. Corrosion-resistant and as such, does not require painting or coatings that can affect stored collections.
  3. Stable is all atmospheres.
  4. Machinable for design flexibility.

Q. Isn’t powder-coated steel as good as or better than aluminum?

A. Powder-actuated paint applications were developed to control the potentially harmful out gassing inherent to liquid paint. There is no advantage to utilizing paint where a structurally sound and neutral material such as aluminum is available.

Q. Why do you feel the hanging surface of a moving painting storage system needs to be unpainted?

A. We try to limit liability for our clients in all our projects. Paint can crack, chip or flake off. The chipped paint particles can easily contact the surface of an irreplaceable object d’art, potentially damaging it. Further, the chipped metal surface will be exposed, leaving the potential for more or greater damage.

Q. Can we use CSI “S” hooks on other systems?

A. The “S” hooks are custom designed to match the diamond shaped pattern of CSI’s hanging surfaces. Specifically, they fit into the narrowest portion of the diamond. We cannot guarantee how well CSI “S” hooks will function with any surface other than the CSI diamond pattern.

Q. Why do photos of your ceiling and floor supported systems look so similar?

A. We make ceiling attachments for both our ceiling and floor supported moving painting storage systems. At first glance they do look similar. The difference is that the ceiling supported system is designed to carry the weight of the system as well as the art work. The floor supported system has a ceiling track solely for guidance. Both systems provide a clear, track-free aisle.

Q. How does CSI achieve track-free aisles?

A. We design and construct our units to provide both complete tortional and dimensional stability. Crystalizations is the only company in the world that provides museum-quality floor and ceiling supported systems with no track in the aisle.

Q. What is anodized aluminum?

A. Anodized aluminum is inert, achieved by electromagnetic conversion of the aluminum. This is done by dipping the sheet metal or extrusions into a vat of electrically charged acid.

We employ a clear anodize on all our cabinetry including sheet metal and extrusions. The surfaces become a beautiful matte silver. Even experienced people sometimes cannot easily tell the difference between anodized aluminum and stainless steel with a close inspection.

Q. Why are pull out systems a must for painting storage collections?

A. Our pull out systems are simply superior because they are designed expressly for art storage. They are safer, offer denser storage and provide easier access to each individual panel. Then too, there is less light exposure and they have vibration dampers to eliminate jarring and promote ease of movement.

Side-to-side painting storage systems are modifications of a bulk storage system intended for a different kind of use. When a system is modified from its original intent, it rarely does the job well.

Q. What does aerospace engineering mean?

A. The design of all of our systems originates from the world of aerospace manufacturing. For some 15 years our founder, Nelson Young, was a project/manufacturing engineer in the aircraft and aerospace industry where precision and quality are a way of life. All our systems are based on the application of Nelson’s in depth knowledge of the materials, techniques and processes from this demanding industry. This is the essence of our brand, and what sets our systems apart from all imitators.

Q. Where did the name Crystalizations come from?

A. This also traces back to Nelson Young’s aerospace manufacturing background. Nelson had in mind for sometime that he would like to find another industry to which he could apply his knowledge of the materials and manufacturing techniques used for aircraft and aerospace projects. When first approached to build large scale art, he felt that his life had come into focus…or crystallized. So, the name Crystalizations was born. The first project for Crystalizations was building the (13) wings, planes and blades that formed the Calder mobile for the East Wing of the National Gallery in Washington, DC.

Q. What do you mean by two ceiling heights?

A. We ask for two ceiling heights to help determine the unit height of a moving painting or a moving rolled textile storage unit. We are referring to the structural and the clear ceiling heights.

There can be a large difference between the two dimensions. Often the most important dimension is the location of the sprinkler head in a fire suppression system. National fire codes dictate that there must be a given clearance between the sprinkler head and the upper track. Also, it is important during a construction project for the museum staff to ask for both heights. Often the height given by an architect is the “slab to slab”. The mechanicals, such as, ductwork and fire suppression must be subtracted from this dimension. We have seen great disappointment when collection management staff members realize they do not have use of the structural “ceiling” height.

Q. What is on-center spacing?

A. On-center spacing is an architectural term. For our purposes it is the space between parallel moving painting storage units. However, it literally means from the center of one unit to the center of the next unit.