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Hygroscopic properties of magnetic recording tape

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1 Author(s)
E. Cuddihy ; Propulsion and Materials Research, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Relative humidity has been recognized as an important environmental factor in many head-tape interface phenomena such as headwear, friction, staining, and tape shed. Accordingly, the relative humidity is usually specified in many applications of tape use, especially when tape recorders are enclosed in hermetically sealed cases. Normally, the relative humidity is believed regulated by humidification of the fill gas to the specification relative humidity. However, this study demonstrates that the internal relative humidity in a sealed case is completely controlled by the time-dependence of the hygroscopic properties of the pack of magnetic recording tape. Procedures for the humidity conditioning of sealed cases must be established on the basis of the tapes' hygroscopic properties, and not on humidification of the fill gas. Without taking the tape into account, the final, stabilized, relative humidity can be significantly different from the specification requirement. Additionally, this same study finds differences in the hygroscopic properties of the same brand of tape, which apparently results from aging, and which may have significance on the long-term humidity-regulating behavior in a sealed case, and on the occurrence of head-tape interface phenomena from the long-term use of the tape. This article presents results on the basic hygroscopic properties of tape, its humidity-regulating behavior in a sealed case, and includes a theoretical commentary on the relative humidity dependence of head-wear by tape.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Magnetics  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 2 )