The Blind Alley, Custom Drapery and Window Covering Specialists serving Bellevue, Washington and the Greater Seattle area since 1984.


DUSTGUARD BY LEVOLOR: THE FACTS BEHIND THE PRODUCT

Levolor Riviera Blinds with DustGuard

Summary

DustGuard is a revolutionary new painting process which harnesses the forces of electrical conductivity to ensure that static does not build up on Levolor's aluminum horizontal window blinds. Electrostatic forces - at the dust particle level - are stronger than gravitational forces and are the primary cause of dust buildup.

Working with Surface Science Laboratories (SSL), an independent testing company, a representative sample set of four blinds were subjected to ambient dust conditions in real-world environments. Dust samples taken at the end of 7, 14, 21 and 28 day periods were compared using two dust counting methods. Test data show dust reduction of more than 50 percent.


Testing Methodology

Sample colors produced under normal manufacturing conditions at Levolor's Ogden, Utah, plant were chosen. Four sets of 30" x 36" blinds - both standard production and new DustGuard blinds - were installed in an office and a home environment for real-world testing. Because dust builds rapidly, accelerated testing was not necessary.

Blinds were exposed to ambient dust for 7, 14, 21 and 28 days. After each period, contaminated slats were carefully photographed at 10x magnification on high-contrast, black-and-white film. To ensure test integrity, the photographs were identified only by numbers.

Dust Reduction with Levolor DustGuard

First, dust particles in each photograph were counted manually. Next, a digital image of each photograph was made for automatic particle counting and size distribution analysis. Image analysis software examined the digital dust and determined the number of particles. Using these two methods allowed comparison and acted as a secondary control to ensure accuracy.

Finally, both dust particle counts were analyzed to determine how buildup on DustGuard and control blinds compared. These tests were designed to determine relative not absolute dust accumulation.

In addition, a series of standard test conditions were devised. These included:

Test A - The slats were placed in the horizontal position, rotated opened / closed once per day, and then the whole blind was pulled up / down once per week.
Test B - The blinds were left at a constant 45 degree angle.
Test C - The slats were left constantly closed.
Test D - The slats were left constantly open.
Test E - The slats were placed in the horizontal position, rotated opened / closed and pulled up / down once per day.

Conclusions

Tests show DustGuard consistently cuts dust in half in a number of cases, the DustGuard product showed dust reduction of 70 percent and higher versus control blinds.

Overall, the dust reduction was 66.8 percent with a standard deviation of 14.1 percent.

Tests indicate that over periods of 21 days or more, the DustGuard feature seems to have a greater dust-reducing effect. The findings also show that a significant amount of dust can be removed from DustGuard-treated blinds by simply rotating them opened and closed.


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