Melting Temperature of CD-R?

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Thread: Melting Temperature of CD-R?

  1. #1
    Catfish gameboy1234's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002

    Melting Temperature of CD-R?

    Hey all you extreme sharky dudes, here's a weird question for ya:

    What temperature does a CD-R melt at? Example: I put some valueable data (like, oh, say taxes) on a CD-R and store it in a fire-safe. How hot does it have to get before my data is toast (no pun intended)?

    My old recollection is that "vinyl melts before paper burns." But that's for floppies and DAT, where the surface recorded on is a vinyl with a ferro-oxide coating. A fire safe is not good to store these in, because it's designed to keep temperatures below the combustion point of paper (451 deg. F), and floppies will melt way before that.

    So I'm curious if anyone has updated data on CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RW, CD+RW and DVD-whatnot that you kids use to store all your illegal music on these days. A little research on my part reveals that CD-+RWs have an especially low melting point, because they are designed to be melted by a laser in the burner, but I haven't found yet what this temerpature really is.

  2. #2
    Crash Test Dummy SkyDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Upstate New York
    According to Imation, the laser in a CD burner heats the dye layer up to about 200C (424F). But a laser is quite different than the heat of a fire. The laser penetrates the transparent layers of the disc without creating much heat there, while a fire would heat everything evenly. The laser would also be instantaneous heat while the fire would obviously sustain the high temperature. As your testing probably confirmed, I'd suspect the plastic in the disc wouldn't tolerate heat very well.

    Because pretty much every common backup medium is susceptible to heat damage in the event of a fire, it's a common practice in the business world to keep copies of important data backups off-site.

  3. #3
    Reef Shark ampleworks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Ohio, USA
    I thought about doing a logical test of this in my oven but it may not be very healthy...angry woman with a big frying pan...if you catch my drift!

  4. #4
    Tiger Shark Clete2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Columbia, SC, USA
    Might not want to do that, ampleworks. If it's anything like microwaving, I heard it releases toxic fumes.

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