CD-R media with top layer way too fragile

vbimport

#1

Last year I bought a whole stack (200 discs) of CD-R media because the price was low and I tested a few first and they gave really good PI scans (very low PI).

So at first this media was really good, but now I find that they are very fragile discs. In particular on the top surface where they seem only to have a very thin silver layer that sometimes can scratch off very easily.

I was just wondering if anyone else has seen this type of problem before. The discs are just plain silver colour on top, with no printing or branding. Looking at the top it doesn’t look like normal silver paint, it’s silvery but with kind of like a moire pattern (or perhaps diffraction pattern is a better description). Does anyone know the type of look that I mean?

Anyway I’m starting to think that these discs were never made properly in the first place. I’m thinking that they were perhaps supposed to have another layer of clear-coat or whatever to protect this silver layer. Has anyone ever come across CD-R media like this before?


#2

Yes, I have seen plenty of CD-R media in my time with no or insufficient protection of the top layer. Such discs can easily get damaged to the point of being unreadable.

If you want CD-R media with really good protection of the top layer, I suggest looking for Verbatim (Super) AZO CD-R with the “Crystal” top layer or Maxell CD-R PRO.

BTW the parity (errors) on CD media are called C1 and C2 (and sometimes CU) or E11, E21, E31, E12, E22, E32.
PI (PIE / PIF) is the term for DVD media parity.


#3

[QUOTE=uart;2005299]…it’s silvery but with kind of like a moire pattern (or perhaps diffraction pattern is a better description). Does anyone know the type of look that I mean?[/QUOTE]

My unbranded TY CDRs look the same as you describe. Luckily I haven’t noticed any peeling or anything though (yet).


#4

[QUOTE=Arachne;2005305]My unbranded TY CDRs look the same as you describe. Luckily I haven’t noticed any peeling or anything though (yet).[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the info. Yes these discs also were sold to me as “unbranded TY CD-R’s”. The media certainly burns extremely well and the spindles do look like TY, but I think these ones are perhaps factory seconds or something. I really think these discs may have been from a faulty batch that didn’t get a final lacquer coat or something like that.

I’m even thinking about the fesibilty of getting a spray can of clear coat and doing the top of those discs that I’ve currently burnt and which are still in good condition. I think this might be worth my while instead of re-burning them to different media. I just test sprayed a few today and it seems to have worked ok, it hasn’t impaired the readability of the discs in any way and I’m pretty sure it’s made the top surface a lot tougher (though only time will really tell).

As for my other 180 of these discs that are still blank, that’s a tough one. I don’t thinks it’s worth my time and effort to clear coat these when I can buy new media that was propery manufactured for under 25 cents a piece. I’m still trying to decide whether to bother or whether to just throw them away. After losing a few already I’ve decidied that I definitely can’t trust anything to them long term because of their fragility.


#5

Interesting that yours are “unbranded TY” also! I do plan to use my remaining ones (waste not want not hehe), but I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on them now. :wink:


#6

[QUOTE=Arachne;2005305]Luckily I haven’t noticed any peeling or anything though (yet).[/QUOTE]

Just so you know what to look for, with these discs it hasn’t actually been peeling so much as either scratching or kind of disintegration of the silver layer.

The first thing I noticed was when I scanned some of the discs that I burnt a while ago. I noticed the scans where still good over most of the disc but had huge problems in some places. When I held these discs up to the light I could see small scratches and like pin-holes where the light was coming straight through. At first I didn’t worry too much but just resolved that I would need to be a little more careful and keep them in jewel cases at all times when not in use.

Unfortunately I still found problems even when I thought I’d handled them fairly carefully. I had a few instances where I’ve founds marks on the discs where the silver just seems to be disintegrating to the point where you can basically just rub it off with you finger (kind of in the way you could rub off a pencil mark or something). It’s not exactly like it’s flaking off. Yes I’ve seen that before on other media where it flakes, that’s like a bonding problem, but this is like just rubbing off a thin layer of paint or something, it’s not even thick enough to actually flake.

BTW I’m not totally sure but I think these “disintegration spots” might have been caused by just getting a little bit of sweat or something on the discs during handling and then over time this has eventually caused the problem. I’m definitely hoping that the ones I’ve sprayed over with clear coat will not succumb this.


#7

Well you’re storing them OK (jewel cases) so I wouldn’t think storage is to blame - is it hot or humid where you’re storing them?

I think I have a few of mine stored in jewel cases at my mum’s - I’m going there today, so I’ll have a check and see how they’re doing, I think. Thanks for explaining what you’re seeing in more detail. :wink:


#8

It would not be the first time that shiny silver top layers of CD-R media flake off.

If you are buying unbranded CD-R without protection layer, I would strongly recommend getting printable versions. :slight_smile:


#9

[QUOTE=uart;2005323]When I held these discs up to the light I could see small scratches and like pin-holes where the light was coming straight through. .[/QUOTE]

This is consistent with the type of damage that’s been associated with plastic sleeves and wallets, where the polymers are reacting with the disc. Heat, humidity, UV, etc also contribute.


#10

I’ve had the recording layer come off very easily with my TY CD-R as well. They were the same silver unbranded ones. Just handling poorly for a split second can wreck the whole disc. I am not using them anymore for anything I want to last a long time.

TY ceramic coat are quite durable though.


#11

For the record, I have had some Ritek shiny silver CD-R that came with pinholes, lol.
Were these TY CD-R by any chance value line?


#12

[QUOTE=kg_evilboy;2006003]Were these TY CD-R by any chance value line?[/QUOTE]
They weren’t actually sold to me as “value line” but I’ll bet they probably were. Either that or a faulty batch that had found it’s way onto the grey market. Like I said they were cheap enough.

I’ve had the recording layer come off very easily with my TY CD-R as well. They were the same silver unbranded ones. Just handling poorly for a split second can wreck the whole disc. I am not using them anymore for anything I want to last a long time.

Yup cd pirate, that sounds almost exactly like mine. I see you’re also in Australia so maybe a bad batch got dumped over here.

One thing on the positive side and maybe this can help anyone else that’s been caught with a bunch of discs like this. I bought a cheap pressure pack can of quick dry clear-coat from the local hardware store and after a little experimenting to get the technique and coat thinkness right I’m now coating these suckers fairly quickly and efficiently. So far the results look quite promising, I’m finding a thin coat is best as it’s touch dry fairly quickly which reduces the total amount of “stuffing around”. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t think that the disks are actually worth the effort to clear coat like this, not when you can just buy good discs cheap enough. But since I’ve already got them now and I do hate to waste stuff I probably will end up clear coating them and using them like this. Maybe someone could suggest some accelerated ageing/wear test that I could do to ascertain whether the clear coated disc are really durable enough.


#13

Thick coat violates the standards and may be not good because the disc may be unbalanced :slight_smile:


#14

The Verbatim Extra Protection TY CDRs seem pretty durable, as do printable unbranded ones.

My mum’s husband uses them all the time DJ’ing and I’ve seen how he handles them when he’s in a rush to get the next disc/track cued up, and they’re fine. And they’re stored in a binder. :wink:


#15

[QUOTE=kg_evilboy;2006059]Thick coat violates the standards and may be not good because the disc may be unbalanced :)[/QUOTE]

Yes but this clear coat is only very thin anyway. Even a “thick” coat of spray on clear-coat would be much thinner than a stick on label for example. I did think about the problem of extra thickness and possible effect on balance, but seriously I don’t think it’s a real issue even with a “thick” coat of spray on.

In the end I decided on using a relativley light coat purely for the reasons of convenience (as in fast drying) and economy.


#16

Hmmm as long as the coat itself doesn’t go funny it should be alright.

CD-R are harder to unbalance than DVDR. I’d scan my discs with a BenQ in cd speed first @ like 4x - 16x and 32x. Then rescan just to see if they change in errors @ those speeds. If not it should be perfectly fine to keep spraying :slight_smile:


#17

For someone who doesn’t print, out of the coatings on the printables which is the most durable, least tacky feeling top surface?


#18

[QUOTE=IdontexistM8;2006894]For someone who doesn’t print, out of the coatings on the printables which is the most durable, least tacky feeling top surface?[/QUOTE]

The unbranded TY printable CDRs that I got from SVP have a matte (not glossy or tacky) white top. Hope that’s what you were after. :slight_smile:


#19

[QUOTE=Arachne;2006916]The unbranded TY printable CDRs that I got from SVP have a matte (not glossy or tacky) white top. Hope that’s what you were after. :)[/QUOTE]

I don’t mind the glossy ones too much as long as you can write on them it’s the tacky ones that are nasty and they smell ghastly too!

I’ve never been able to work out which is which online.