Vinyl records have been around for almost a century now, and while they may have gone through some ups and downs in popularity, their charm remains unparalleled. If you’ve ever looked closely at a vinyl record, you may have noticed that the centre label is different from the rest of the record’s surface. This is because the centre label paper is baked in a kiln to remove moisture. In this blog post, we’ll explore why this process is necessary and how it changes the colours of the label paper.
Records are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a type of plastic that can be moulded into various shapes. To create a vinyl record, a heated PVC compound is pressed between two metal plates, forming a flat disc. The disc is then trimmed to the desired size and shape, and the grooves are cut into the surface. The label is then applied to the centre of the disc.
The label paper used for vinyl records is typically made of a blend of wood pulp and cotton fibers, which are more absorbent than other types of paper. This means that if the label paper contains any moisture, it can cause the record to warp or distort during the manufacturing process. To prevent this, the label paper is baked in a kiln to remove any moisture and make it more stable.
During the baking process, the label paper is exposed to high temperatures for a short period of time. This causes the moisture to evaporate, leaving the paper dry and stable. However, the high temperature can also cause the paper to change colour. This is because the heat can break down the fibers in the paper and cause them to oxidize, giving the paper a yellowish or brownish hue.
The colour change caused by the baking process is not always consistent, and it can vary depending on the type of paper used and the temperature and duration of the baking. Some labels may turn a deep amber colour, while others may remain relatively unchanged. In some cases, labels may even have a slight greenish tint.
Despite the colour change, the baking process is essential for ensuring that the label paper is stable and won’t cause any problems during the record manufacturing process. It’s a small but important step in creating a high-quality vinyl record that will last for years to come.
In conclusion, the baking process used to remove moisture from vinyl record centre label paper is a crucial step in the manufacturing process. While it can cause the paper to change colour, it ensures that the label is stable and won’t cause any problems during the manufacturing process.
If you’re a vinyl record enthusiast, take a closer look at your collection and appreciate the small but important details that make each record unique.