What Type of Plastic Should I Pick to Store My Cards?
If you're a trading card collector, you know that proper storage is key to keeping your cards in good condition. But with so many different types of plastics on the market, it can be hard to know which one is best for your cards. That said, in your hunt for the perfect storage solution for your trading card hobby, you may have come across the term "acid-free." "Acid-free" is a term that gets thrown around a lot when it comes to trading card storage, but what does it actually mean?
What Does "Acid-Free" Mean?
Simply put, "acid-free" means that a material does not contain any acidic compounds. This is important for storage because acids can cause deterioration and discolouration over time.
While the terms that are more appropriate for storage solutions include "inert" and "stable," the term "acid-free" came into popularity in the 1990s when old cards had yellowed and destroyed various relics. As such, "acid-free" became a term that marketers use to describe stable storage solutions.
What Type of Plastic Should I Pick?
So, with that being said, which plastics should I use to store my trading card? Here are a few to think about:
Polypropylene is a strong, lightweight plastic that is resistant to both heat and moisture. It's often used to make food containers, but it's also a great option for storing trading cards. Polypropylene is clear, so it won't damage your cards, and it's durable enough to protect them from damage.
Acrylic is a clear plastic that is similar to polypropylene, but it is more brittle and can scratch more easily. However, it is still a good option for storing trading cards. Acrylic is less likely to warp than polypropylene, so it's a good choice if you live in a humid climate.
PVC is a strong, flexible plastic that is often used to make piping. It's also a good choice for storing trading cards. PVC is clear, and it's flexible, so it won't crack or break if your cards are bent. However, some PVCs have some added chemicals to them to make them more flexible, but they can also damage archival materials. So, either be wary of the PVC you're working with or avoid PVC entirely.
PET is a strong, lightweight plastic that is resistant to both heat and moisture. It's often used to make water bottles, but it's also a great option for storing trading cards. PET is clear, so it won't damage your cards, and it's durable enough to protect them from damage.
Which plastic you choose for storing your trading cards depends on your personal preferences. If you want clear plastic that won't damage your cards, polypropylene or acrylic are good choices. If you're looking for a durable plastic that can withstand some bending, PVC is a good option. And if you want a lightweight plastic that is resistant to moisture and heat, PET is a good choice. Either way, carefully understand your needs and make your decision!
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