Audio Tape Digitisation Workflow

1.1.3. Inspect for damage / Look for chemical deterioration / Binder degradation

Look for chemical deterioration of modern tapes with a binder of polyester-polyurethane (produced after mid 1970's):
  • Pigment binder instability
  • Decay caused by hydrolysis process
    • Sticky tape
    • Oxide shedding
The hydrolysis process can be temporarily reversed - consult an expert.

Roll off a few turns and look for first signs of stickiness.

Remember to take care of debris on the machine caused by sticky tapes.

Tapes with Sticky-Shed Syndrome

Stckyness 1
Sticky tape

Sticky shed
Signs of binder degradation as dirt on the machine
Oxide shedding
Oxide shedding

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