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Re: [ARSCLIST] Acetate tape discolours tape box

If it manifests itself the same way it does in cellulose acetate motion
picture film, at its' worst , it will shrink, warp severly ,and become
sticky to the extent that it will not pass through a headnest. It will
also cross contaminate otherwise stable stocks.

R. Hodge


Robert Hodge,
Senior Engineer
Belfer Audio Archive
Syracuse University
222 Waverly Ave .
Syracuse N.Y. 13244-2010

315-443- 7971

>>> tflists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 10/17/2006 9:41 AM >>>
Perhaps a dumb question here -- what does the vinegar syndrome do to
the tape? I've had no problems 
playing dozens of vinegar-smelling tapes over the years. Aside from
being typical old acetate (ie 
brittle and easy to break and more likely than not to be curled on the
edges), they don't seem any 
different from non-vinegar. I've come across many a box that looks like
this, but for bigger reels.

Are there tape types more likely to go vinegar than others? For
instance, it seems like most Scotch 
111 reels, if they're old enough, smell at least vaguely like vinegar,
whereas it seems less 
prevalent in AudioTape from the same era.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Mwcpc6@xxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2006 9:21 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Acetate tape discolours tape box

> In a message dated 10/17/2006 8:50:09 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> cpeterso@xxxxxxxxx writes:
> Wow!  What a compelling picture.  There are a number of companies
> make archival boxes specially designed to absorb offgasses, but I've
> never seen such a visually strong argument for using them before.
> ********************
> "I recently came across a 3-inch reel of acetate tape, not in its
> box, that showed the following pattern in the box. I recently came
across a
> 3-inch reel of acetate tape, not in its original box, that showed the
> pattern in the box."
> I've seen this before, but only on the 3" reels of this type in the
> correspondence" boxes. I noticed it years ago, when the tapes were
> new. Can you smell any acetic acid on the tape or box?
>>From using these tapes, usually sold in poly bags without boxes, in
the days
> before cassettes, I remember that they had a distinctive smell when
new. The
> boxes were sold separately, unfolded, so a new one could be used when
the tapes
> were reused. I haven't seen this effect on name brand tapes, even the
> tapes that smell strongly of vinegar (and always have).
> One may need to do so some chemical analysis before drawing
conclusions. It
> seems strange that a gas like the acid vapor would produce such a
sharp image
> of the reel instead of diffusing throughout the box. Perhaps a larger
> is responsible for the staining.
> Mike Csontos 

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