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 Post subject: PVC sleeves and 78 RPM records.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:46 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
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Good morning. I've recently seen a seller keeping his 78s stored in cardboard sleeves put in turn into plastic sleeves, and with the original paper sleeve kept in front, between the cardboard sleeve and the plastic sleeve. I've never thought about storing the records this way, and it looks very clever: the record looks as if it was still inside its printed paper sleeve, but it's safe inside the cardboard sleeve instead, and everything, included the printed paper sleeve, is protected by the outer plastic sleeve. I would like to store at least the most precious records of my collection this way, but only a narrow plastic sleeve would fit the cases where I usually store my records. Narrow-fit sleeves are usually made with PVC; for some reason PE sleeves are usually too large and overabundant. Moreover, PVC sleeves are those that look more transparent, more glossy and thicker (in a word: better) than the usually cheaper polythene (PE) sleeves.

However, there is a sort of debate going on wether PVC sleeves can damage 33 RPM Long Playings; someone says yes, others swear they've kept their "vinyls" in PVC sleeves for dacades and nothing happened. (My personal two-cents contribution to this debate is that I've had a pair of records visibly damaged by inner PVC sleeves in direct contact with the records; these were the original sleeves in which the record was sold by the way. All other records with inner PVC sleeves are apparently unharmed, as well as those kept in outer PVC sleeves. I ignore wether the damage may occur depending on the specific composition of one PVC sleeve vs. another, possibly by outgassing, bacause of the similarity of the compound with which the sleeve and the record are made, etc.).

78s are made in a completely different compound and all of the above should not apply, at least in theory. Can perhaps anyone comment on what may happen to schellac 78s kept in PVC on the long run? Is it generally considered safe?


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 Post subject: Re: PVC sleeves and 78 RPM records.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:37 am 
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Victor III
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Location: near Utopia, UK
PVC is polyvinyl chloride, the same material as vinyl records! (in part - they are usually made of a blend of PVC and polyvinyl acetate). As a pure material it should also be inert to shellac.

However, I've occasionally seen both 33s and shellac 78s with damage caused by PVC sleeves, visually a ripple-effect on the surface, sometimes quite severe.

The problem with PVC is that it's almost never used in its pure state. Plasticizers are compounded in, often for example di-octyl phthalate which is an oily liquid. These materials can to a certain extent migrate to the surface over time (and/or the plastic surface degrades/oxidises slightly, exposing a higher concentration of these other ingredients). By their very nature these additives can partially dissolve, swell or otherwise migrate into other plastic materials in contact.


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 Post subject: Re: PVC sleeves and 78 RPM records.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:33 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 546
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Thanks a lot, Orchorsol. Not good news unfortunately. I suppose that, depending on the quantity and compound used as plasticizer, the sleeve may or may not damage the records, which would explain the different reports.

I'm evaluating the possibility of buying a thermosealer and reduce the size of PE sleeves on my own.


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 Post subject: Re: PVC sleeves and 78 RPM records.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:11 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:18 am
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I keep my 78s in anti-static polyethylene-lined paper sleeves, an out them in hard cardboard sleeves like with LP records. Whenever they came with original sleeves, I keep them outside the cardboard cover adding a plastic outer sleeve. It looks good and the polyethylene does not harm discs.

I normally keep my LPs in their original inner sleeves until they wear out, and use heavy (150 micron) polyethylene clear outer sleeves to protect the covers. I never used (or have seen) PVC inner sleeves, and I do not use PVC outer sleeves. I have some thousands LPs, some dating to the late forties, and never saw any damaged by their inner sleeves (most original inner sleeves were paper, but plastic was also utilized since the early 50s).


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 Post subject: Re: PVC sleeves and 78 RPM records.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:27 am 
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Victor V
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I've told this story elsewhere, but for what it's worth, here's my experience with them.

About 10 years ago, I bought a huge collection of 78s and LPs, all of which were stored in the same climate controlled area for at least 35 years. The 78s were in paper sleeves and were fine. A large number of the earlier LPs had those newer lined sleeves and at least half of them had left the surfaces with the ripply appearance mentioned above, some even looked like the stuff had fused to the vinyl. I'm not really an LP person, but some of this stuff was pretty desirable, so I randomly grabbed some of the suspect discs and cleaned them using disc doctor brushes, cleaner, distilled water rinse and VPI vacuumed dry. SOME of them came clean and that appearance vanished, others did not. The only thing I can think of (and others agreed elsewhere in a Facebook group) is certain vinyl "mixtures" are more vulnerable and react differently, but I'm not a scientist, so it's just a hunch.

On the other hand, a few years ago, I bought several crates of Diamond Discs at an auction and a lot of them were in those newer "poly lined" gold paper ten inch sleeves like Bags Unlimited sells. Every single DD in those sleeves had some sort of filmy, milky looking gunk on them and as you removed them from the sleeves, they almost stuck to the poly. Cleaning them 3 or 4 times got rid of the gunk finally, but they still have that weird appearance although they do play fine. I don't know how these had been stored prior to me getting them, but I do know they were part of an important collection and there were lots of great discs there and somebody knew these were particularly good titles.

I guess the bottom line for me is, I wouldn't use those sleeves, paper has always served me well.

I see Carlos responded while I was writing this. My experience has been with poly, I was under the impression that the poly and PVC area basically the same and I've heard the "ripple" story echoed many times, so for what it's worth, I'm posting this anyway.

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: PVC sleeves and 78 RPM records.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:42 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
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CarlosV wrote:
I never used (or have seen) PVC inner sleeves

Carlos, at some point some records were sold with an inner sleeve made of paper with an inner layer of transparent film. This film is not "crackling" as it is the paper & plastic film "sandwich" in use today (I believe today's film is mylar, but I'm not sure), but it is instead very soft to the touch. Record collectors say this type of film is made of PVC. However, this film, and this film only, in some cases might be found sticked to the record, and the record stained with a ripple-effect, as Orchorsol said. It is also referred to as "ghosting", as the record looks covered with a whitish shroud.

Fortunately this type of inner sleeve was not massively used: most inner sleeves were made with paper only. One record that I perfectly remember having had this problem is Tarkus by Emerson, Lake and Palmer, so I believe it takes around 30-40 years of storage before the interaction between the record and the film of the inner sleeve begins. Statistically, I'm pretty sure that, should you have time to go through your entire record collection, you would find at least a pair of records that are beginning to show this problem.


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 Post subject: Re: PVC sleeves and 78 RPM records.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:57 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
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OrthoSean wrote:
My experience has been with poly, I was under the impression that the poly and PVC area basically the same and I've heard the "ripple" story echoed many times, so for what it's worth, I'm posting this anyway.

Sean, thanks a lot for your comments. What you write is quite surprising as polythene is considered 100% safe with records, but on the other hand it's very difficult to tell one compound from another, especially if it's pasted inside a paper sleeve, so possibily it was not polythene although it looked so.

Concerning LPs, the vast majority of mines are stored in polythene outer sleeves, with only some occasional LP stored in a PVC outer sleeve. On one hand, PVC sleeves look tremendously better: more shiny, more transparent, more robust, better shaped and manufactured. PE is pretty dull by comparison. But on the other hand these PVC sleeves tend to shrink around the record with time, and most have developed a bubbled or wrinkled surface which clearly suggests that "something bad" is chemically happening. On the other hand, all PE sleeves look exactly as they looked the first day (that is not very good, but not getting worse either...) and I would swear that they are pretty much inhert. Or so my experience says.


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 Post subject: Re: PVC sleeves and 78 RPM records.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:29 am 
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Victor V
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Location: Near NY's Capital
Well, again, my experience seems to echo what I've read elsewhere and I think there are factors like heat, even humidity, perhaps dampness exposure also. Who knows though? The LPs I experienced this with were never stored in extreme conditions, the man bought these all new and took impeccable care of everything yet some had that issue with the ripples and some did not....I'm not an expert at all, just sharing what I've seen. I still have at least 15,000 more his LPs in my storage to deal with, someday!

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: PVC sleeves and 78 RPM records.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:39 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 546
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I just hope I'm not going to find out "the hard way" that what is considered 100% record-safe is instead not so safe! ;)


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 Post subject: Re: PVC sleeves and 78 RPM records.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:00 am 
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Victor IV
His epigrams are all his own, the man's an epigramophone!
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
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Location: UK
All my 78rpm records are stored in their original covers, either paper from the manufacturer or cardboard from the supplying dealer, and have survived in good condition for many decades. The information and period advertising on these covers adds to the interest of the records themselves, as exemplified by my regular "Covers Covered" articles in the CLPGS magazine.

The only records which I store in clear vinyl outer covers are centre start Pathé discs, whose original cardboard covers are prone to disintegration after more than 100 years. The vinyl protects the original covers from further scuffing, and after about 10 years I have seen no ill effects on the cardboard so far, but I do check them regularly.


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