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PVC outer sleeves

Discussion in 'music' started by Tony L, Apr 30, 2022.

  1. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    We’ve had a thread on this phenomenon at least once before, but this is worth linking as he shows examples of the fogging that can occur from these outer sleeves.

    I replaced all but a couple of mine quite a long while back and previously had no issues at all in my own collection, though I have certainly seen them elsewhere. All my records are stored in poly or Nagaoka inners though, and my guess is, like the laminated front of the copy of Revolver he shows I suspect they act as a barrier (the side of the record by the laminated front was perfect, the flip-back side ruined). As an example I have a copy of the limited 3xLP of The Orb’s UF Orb album in its thick stickered blue PVC sleeve. This has ‘outgassed’ to some degree as the sticker has clearly suffered, but the vinyl in its Nagaoka inners is absolutely spotless and shiny. I also have one on my copy of OMD’s first album as the die-cut Peter Saville lattice design is pretty fragile so a nice thick sleeve adds some solidity to it making it easier to remove/replace from the shelf. Again the vinyl is as shiny and fresh as when I first bought it as it has spent its whole life in a Nagaoka inner inside the orange card inner. My suspicion is this is proof of concept that a Nag does act as a barrier, but I’d still be very cautious. I’d obviously dump any PVC outers that weren’t essential to that title (i.e. part of it from new) or are obviously outgassing.

    The only ones I’m slightly worried about are my Manchester Art Gallery limited editions of Closer and Power Corruption & Lies as they are both factory shrink-wrapped inside the special exhibition PVC outer. I’m hoping the shrink acts as a barrier as I really don’t want to open these (they are valuable and were bought as investments (I already have original Factory pressings of both which get played)). Everything else in my collection is in a standard poly inner like the one shown in the video.

    Worth thinking about anyway.
  2. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    That's a dilemma. Perhaps it depends on whether a future buyer is ever likely to actually open them!
  3. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    That lad knows his stuff - good channel.
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’ll keep an eye on them. I assume the shrink would start to suffer or break-down if it was suffering. For clarity the standard card sleeve is shrink-wrapped and that is then in the PVC outer, i.e. the shrink is a barrier layer between the PVC and the actual sleeve and the record. It certainly has to be better protected than most copies which will have had the shrink removed to open and play the record! Here’s the Discogs entry for Closer which kind of shows what I mean. You can just make out the shrink in one pic under the PVC outer.

    PS Thinking about this some more I’ve decided to store the sealed Manchester Art Gallery records in a standard poly outer next to their PVC outers on the shelf. That has to remove all risk and will even protect the shrink-wrap from any outgassing. Job done!
    paulfromcamden likes this.
  5. myles

    myles Intentionally left blank

    I use Polythene outers and polylined paper inners. I was in the local record shop this morning and came across a copy of APP - Turn of a Friendly Card with a pvc inner which had gassed onto the record. It looked pretty bad so I passed - shame because it was in pretty good nick.
  6. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    That seems sensible. As I think I've mentioned before I have a handful of releases on Pan where the only packaging is a printed PVC sleeve (example). Looks great but potential archival disaster! I put the records in Nagaoka style inners when I got them but I wonder if that's enough.
  7. daytona600

    daytona600 Registered User

    Nagaoka also make outers JC30LP
    Archival crystal clear CPP Cast Polypropylene & PAT certified

    The Photographic Activity Test (PAT) is a worldwide standard (ISO Standard 18916) for archival quality in photographic enclosures. Developed by IPI ( Image Permanence Institute), this test predicts possible interactions between photographic images and the enclosures in which they are stored.

    PVC Sleeves can discolour or cloud or crack with age or under UV light
    PVC is NOT Suitable for safe Long-Term Archival safe protection for all of you records
    PVC contains softners , plasticizers or stearates. PVC does migrate and can harm your Media .
  8. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    PVC does not out-gas or any such thing. As far as plastic migration goes..................madness, total madness.

    PVC film is plasticised, and among those plasticisers used are phthaltes. Phthalates are oily liquids - they migrate/wick through things like paper (and polyethylene). The effect is no different, just slower, than placing some fatty meat on paper - the fat/grease (plasticiser) wicks into the paper.
    Inks include polymer binders, so are suceptable to effects from plasticisers.

    His knowledge of chemistry is also worse than dreadful, probably non-existant.

    A (very little, at best) knowledge is a dangerous thing. Ignore everything but the very barest basics.

    Records are themselves unplasticised PVC.

    Loads of total garbage posted here too.
    sp25 likes this.
  9. daytona600

    daytona600 Registered User

    US Library of Congress
    The American National Standards Institute ANSI NAPM IT 9.16
    The archival label on a product suggests that it is permanent, durable, or chemically-stable, and can be used for long-term preservation purposes
    Archival plastic enclosures can be made from polyester, polypropylene or polyethylene
    polyester is the most inert of the three, it can generate static electricity which attracts dust and is very expensive. Polypropylene is a stiff, high clarity, and chemically stable plastic. Polyethylene is also chemically stable and although transparent in its low density form, is not as clear as polypropylene

    ( PVC ) polyvinyl chloride are not recommended for archival storage. This plastic, often referred to as "vinyl" is not as stable as some other plastics. It can contain volatile plasticizers and emit damaging hydrochloric acid as it deteriorates.
    Wolfmancatsup likes this.
  10. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    What are the very clear, thin, crinkly ones made of? Any problem with those?
  11. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Probably Mylar/polyester - my understanding is these are pretty much the safest thing to use. Make your records look cool too :)
  12. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc pfm Member

    We have this debate every so often, I always read it. I also never know what the facts are. Am I alone?
    MarkL56 likes this.
  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The facts seem pretty consistent: PVC outer sleeves can in certain situations fog the surface of records stored in their usual sleeves inside and as such are best avoided. That’s really all one needs to know. The scientists can argue over the correct terminology to describe this phenomenon, but that’s the bottom line. Don’t use PVC sleeves.

    From a personal perspective as a serious record collector and dealer for well over 40 years now the only issues I have personally had with records I know the full history of are a couple of coloured vinyl 12” and 7” singles that were supplied in PVC outers with no inners.


    As an example about half of these Expanding label 7” singles from 2003-5 have now fogged. This is a worse case scenario as the records are just in the printed PVC outers with no barrier layer.

    This aside I have never personally had any record go the way of the ones in the video. I suspect this is because my vinyl is well stored with regards to heat and moisture and that I use Nagaoka or other poly inners. The OMD 1st album I cite above (Discogs) has been in a PVC outer and Nagaoka inner for 42 years now and it looks as new. I may have changed the PVC outer along the way, I can’t remember, but it has always been in one as I wanted to ensure the fragile die-cut ‘slats’ are protected from catching on neighbouring albums. I certainly bin anything cracked or yellowed PVC sleeves, though I now only have a couple of albums with very fragile sleeves in them now. I have no combination of PVC outer and card/paper inner. All my vinyl is in a Nagaoka or standard poly inner.

    I’ve certainly seen a lot of other vinyl that has been fogged/damaged in what looks like this way, though it often looks like it has been damp-stored, is coated in nicotine or other issues. The most interesting thing in the video above for me is the Revolver where the side next to the laminate was saved. That suggests a plastic barrier such as a Nagaoka inner does work as I have found myself.

    PS Do have a look at the Ongoing maintenance thread too as that highlights the breakdown of some 50s, 60s and 70s poly inners that again can lead to fogging.
  14. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Cheers Paul.

    Does anyone have any recommendations? I’m looking for thin, clear, snug, no-flap ones. Do they even exist? Currently my records go naked because I can’t stand the feel and look of the thick rubbery ones, or the way baggy ones fill up with air, or the way that the ones with flaps stick to the records.

  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    They certainly exist as Japanese albums usually ship in them. I’ve heard the ones with sticky flaps (which I dislike too) referred to as ‘Drake Sleeves’, whether they do a flap-free version I don’t know. The poly ones I use (from covers33) irritate me a bit as they do make it harder to get the record on/off the shelf, but they work and I can’t see myself replacing them at this stage even though I much prefer the Japanese style mylar ones.
    Seanm likes this.
  16. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    I have a handful like this (crystal clear, snug fit, no flap) that came with records bought at Concerto in Amsterdam.

    I once asked the guy behind the counter if I could buy some and he told me they only sell them singly. With records in. Dutch humour :)
    MUTTY1 and Seanm like this.
  17. mikeyb

    mikeyb pfm Member

    You can get those Drake type sleeves without a sealable flap from Vinyl Guru.

    I ordered from them the other day.
  18. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    What are those really thick plastic type sleeves called? I have a few originals from maybe the 70s or 80s that look like original covers, they have like a pleated/crimped edge. I'm woefully uneducated about sleeves, all mine are in some kind of outer and I have a stack in the cupboard but I've no idea what they're made of.
  19. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Those are one of the PVC types under discussion. Many have a textured frosted effect inside too. If there wasn’t the chemical breakdown issue they’d be my favourite sleeves by far as they are really solid and offer good physical protection. Far easier to deal with than the far flimsier poly types.
  20. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    Ahh I see, yes the ones I have a stack of are the really flimsy things that covers often slide in/out of when moving the about.

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