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Why are CD jewel cases so brittle?

Why are CD jewel cases so brittle?

CD jewel cases are made of hard plastic, and their brittleness can be attributed to the nature of these materials and the manufacturing process. Here are some reasons why CD jewel cases can be brittle:

  1. Material Composition: The plastic used in CD jewel cases is rigid and can become brittle over time. These materials are chosen for their clarity, affordability, and ease of molding but may lack the flexibility and impact resistance of other plastics.
  2. Additives and Stabilizers: Manufacturers may add various chemicals, stabilizers, and additives to improve the properties of the plastic, such as UV resistance and impact strength. However, the aging process and exposure to environmental factors can still contribute to brittleness over time.
  3. Exposure to Light and Heat: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light and heat can accelerate the degradation of plastic materials, making them more prone to becoming brittle. This is a common issue for items stored in direct sunlight or near heat sources.
  4. Aging and Environmental Factors: CD jewel cases can age and degrade due to environmental factors such as temperature fluctuations, humidity, and exposure to air. Over time, the plastic may undergo changes in its molecular structure, leading to increased brittleness.
  5. Molding Process: The molding process used in the production of CD jewel cases involves heating the plastic and molding it into shape. If not done with precise control over temperature and cooling, the resulting plastic structure may have increased brittleness.
  6. Physical Stress: Rough handling, dropping, or flexing of the CD jewel case can contribute to its brittleness. Over time, these physical stresses may lead to micro-cracks in the plastic, further reducing its overall strength.

While CD jewel cases are known for their brittleness, they are still widely used due to their affordability, transparency, and standardized design. Alternatives such as cardboard sleeves or eco-friendly packaging have been introduced to address environmental concerns and offer alternatives to traditional plastic jewel cases. The slim disc CD space saving storage system offers a perfect solution for the long term storage of music CD titles, whilst saving a lot of space and preserving all of the original inserts and artwork.

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