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Intercept Technology Solves ESD and Other Problems in CD's

By Keith Donaldson
Engineered Materials, Inc.

Engineered Materials, Inc. has been conducting extensive research on CD's and their mode of breakdown. We have discovered through our research, and review of research done in the field, that there are 4 primary modes of CD breakdown. They include, as your article correctly stated, ESD. The other three are Ozone, mold (biological threats to CD's has only recently come to the forefront) and UV light.

ESD is an issue in CD breakdown that people have not addressed. Our testing indicates that voltage as low as 3000 volts can cause damage. The level that we found will consistently breakdown a CD is a direct discharge of 12,700 volts -- this produces consistent and repeatable failures in the CD's.

Observing CD's with damage it is possible to see "holes" in the Aluminum layer. We conducted SEM analysis of these "holes" and found that the Aluminum was still present, only the Aluminum had oxidized at that particular spot. Aluminum oxide in very thin films is basically clear, eliminating the bounce back frame of reference. This oxidation can occur from ESD damage, as well as from ozone attack.

Testing done in the UK has estimated the life span of an average CD-R to be no more than 3 to 5 years under good storage conditions.

We have devoted time and energy to determining how CD's breakdown in order to best determine how to protect them from this type of damage. Once the failure mechanisms are understood, a protective system can be developed. We have developed products utilizing the Static Intercept (TM) and Corrosion Intercept (TM) Technologies to provide protection against all 4 modes of failure. The Intercept Technology was developed and patented worldwide by Lucent Technologies Bell Labs. Intercept provides permanent, humidity independent ESD protection along with long term, non contaminating, non-volatile corrosion protection. The Intercept Technology also provides passive protection against molds and mildew.

The products developed for CD protection include a jewel case injection molded insert, a Corrosion Intercept PET sleeve and SIF 2000 bags for long term protection. All products use the Lucent patented technology providing protection against:

(1) ESD
(2) Mold
(3) Ozone
(4) UV light degradation

More information on the products and the technology can be found at

Keith Donaldson
Engineered Materials, Inc.


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