Stacking CD-Rs (for storage)



Will it damage CD-Rs if more than one are stored front-to-back, like they are in a spindle? I’m thinking about storing 50 of them on an empty spindle; or, more likely, I have quite a few standard old-style jewel cases (that are thicker than the new thin cases) left over from making coasters, and each of these thick jewel cases will hold 4 disks without placing extra pressure on them.

Would any chemical reaction (or pressure-induced changes) occur if they’re stored front-to-back, so the written-on side of one disk is touching the label side of its neighbor? I assume this would be better than storing them so the written-on side of the two adjacent disks are in contact.

Are there any good commercially available containers for safe, compact mass-storage? Probably I’ll use thin jewel cases for copies that I’ll keep and listen to, and also “mass storage”, as described above, for backup copies.



especially with storing 4 disks in a thick jewel case, where the upper disks aren’t held firmly in place so they can move around, there is also a possibility of the written-on surface getting scratched from sliding across its neighbor

in a jewel case the disks are held in place so they won’t move, and both surfaces (written-on and label) are touching nothing but air; are either or both of these (prevention of sliding, and no chemical/physical contact with another surface since they’re suspended in mid-air) necessary for safe storage?



The recording surfaces (top and bottom) of properly designed and manufactured CD’s don’t touch when they are stacked because CD’s are specified to have little stand-off rings around the hub area that separate the discs. Of course, if you have a CD that is warped, it could end up touching its neighbor around the very outer edge. And if you use labels that are too thick, they could end up touching on the recording surface (another argument against labels).

Some people recommend against storing CD’s horizontally long term (in either jewel cases or stacked in a spindle) because of the chance that the CD’s could sag over time from the pull of gravity. I don’t know whether or not this is a realistic concern.

By the way, the top surface of a CD is more vulnerable to damage than the bottom surface, because the top surface is only protected by a thin layer of lacquer or similar material, while the bottom surface is protected by the full thickness of the polycarbonate substrate.



Thanks for the information. Yes, it makes sense that vertical storage might put less stress on them, especially if there are lots of discs stacked.

“another argument against labels”

I won’t use labels; will just write on the inner ring, where there’s no burning, with a pen.



You’re welcome.

Some people like to store large numbers of CD’s by placing them in thin sleeves which are then loaded into an album or wallet. But others have reported some problems with storing in CD wallets:

By the way, one thing I would not do is store discs where they are free to rub against one another as described in your 4-CD’s per full-size jewel case idea. The stand-offs I described would probably not protect against scratching in that sort of scenario where the CD’s can move laterally relative to each other. The stand-offs would only work when the CD’s are stacked on a spindle.



could sag over time from the pull of gravity.

100’F temps could certainly help this process. I store discs on spindles, never had any problems with them. If it’s critical data, that’s another story. I think there’s more that’s not known about
CDR’s and storage, longevity, than is known.