Foam Rubber CD Box Inserts: The Silent Killers?

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Foam Rubber CD Box Inserts: The Silent Killers?

No, it's not a Halloween topic. Bear with me, folks.

Today I picked some double CD box from my collection (Brahms' Deutches Requiem with Previn) and to my horror, the sponge-like square insert-thingy that divides the two cd's in the box had desintegrated completely and now resembled a sticky orange fungus that completely covered the label-side of the cd's.

I hadn't played this particular CD in years (in fact, it was one of the first I ever bought) and apparently, the foam rubber material had undergone some disasterous chemical transformation over time. Luckily I managed to get most of the sticky stuff off the cd's with the help of a soft brush and lots of white-spirit. The cd's appear to be still playable, luckily.

So after this ordeal I went through my collection, opened all double- and triple/quadruple CD-boxes and removed all the similar foam rubber inserts. They're useless anyway.
Didn't encounter more "bad cases", but some inserts had discolored already and felt sticky on the surface. Would be a matter of time before they'd have turned into cd-fungus too.

Did anyone else encounter cd-horrors like this?
Also, how about cd's that suddenly become unplayable? Happened to me with one of my first CD's, an expensive purchase it was, too. Grieg's Peer Gynt Suites with Karajan on DG. The cd looks perfectly normal, no discoloration, but when I feed it to any cd-player, I only hear horrible distorted noise. The dreaded cd-rot? I tried some more cd's from the same era, DG and other brands, but they played fine. Weird.

RE: Foam Rubber CD Box Inserts: The Silent Killers?

Good lord... I feel you pain. I have ten years of CDs in storage 5000 miles away for the last 9 years and now you have me worried! I was hoping they would be around for when we finally stopped hoping about the globe...

Naupilus

RE: Foam Rubber CD Box Inserts: The Silent Killers?

A very similar thing has happened to more of my CDs than I can recall, though in my case the foam inserts simply crumble to dust when touched. None has shown the type of sticky deposit you describe and luckily the CDs are unaffected.

And yes - what exactly was their purpose in the first place?

JKH

RE: Foam Rubber CD Box Inserts: The Silent Killers?

Well it's even worse if you have LPs - they're more difficult to wash (yes I know there are record cleaning machines). A while back I took out my Philips box of Brendel's Beethoven concertos (I usually play the Vox versions) and the foam plastic spacer had turned into a fine grit and entered some of the record sleeves. Fortunately all my other boxed sets, mostly EMI have cardboard spacers! Now I'll check my CD boxes.

 I had some "bronzed" Cds some years ago which were replaced without question by the factory in Blackburn but I don't know what happens now as I think the factory has gone. A few days ago I took out a non bronzed Cd which refused to play. Are we going to witness the self-destruction of old CDs?

RE: Foam Rubber CD Box Inserts: The Silent Killers?

CDs have expiration date (unfortunately never mentioned on the product) and they are expendable. Most unfortunately! Enjoy them as long as they last...

Parla

RE: Foam Rubber CD Box Inserts: The Silent Killers?

But 78s will still be there and perhaps even my LPs.....

RE: Foam Rubber CD Box Inserts: The Silent Killers?

I luckily read an article about these foam rubber inserts maybe 20 years ago and promptly went through my collection of box sets and pulled the inserts out.I seem to recall that most of them were Decca,DG,Archive,and Philips(Polygram)sets.Don`t remember off hand any EMI or RCA.

RE: Foam Rubber CD Box Inserts: The Silent Killers?

I have just opened Complete Mozart Edition Symphonies 21-41 422 502 2. The foam Rubber spacers have turned to a sticky glue like substance. I am just checking my other multiple sets and have confirmed that they are all in the same state of decomposition. Yuk...

RE: Foam Rubber CD Box Inserts: The Silent Killers?

I luckily read an article about these foam rubber insulation inserts maybe 20 years ago and promptly went through my collection of box sets and pulled the inserts out.I seem to recall that most of them were Decca,DG,Archive,and Philips(Polygram)sets.Don`t remember off hand any EMI or RCA.

RE: Foam Rubber CD Box Inserts: The Silent Killers?

Ditto here.  Just discovered this last night.  Spent a few hours going through my CD collection.

Box Sets of DG, London/Decca/Phillips from the 80's and 90's seem to  be affected.

Ironical that only the most expensive Box Sets have this foam infestation.

it appears that the foam deterioration comes in different stages or form - from dry flaky crumbles to sticky residue on the label side.

The sticky residue apparently undergoes some kind of reaction with the label surface and will not come off !  Any ideas to remove this ?

The CDs seem to play fine as only the label side is affected.  

As to the mortality of CD's I do remember in the days when they were first available that a lifespan of 100 years was claimed !  The wonderment of a laser etched Aluminum layer sandwiched in polycarbonate ! 

 

 

 

I just discovered that foam

I just discovered that foam insert deterioration has ruined the label sides of approximately 450 of my classical and opera CDs. I am completely devastated. I tried to remove the sticky orangish residue from three of the CDs using some Windex, but all it did was remove the labels, leaving most of the thick gooey foam residue on the CDs. Does anyone know how to completely remove the foam residue without destroying the entire CD in the process? I acquired my CD collection (including 150 operas) when I was rich enough to do so. Now I am old and poor and cannot afford to replace the damaged CDs. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you. 

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