Vinyl records have been around for more than a century and have managed to retain their popularity despite the emergence of digital formats. These classic music players are often called “vinyl” or “records,” but what exactly are they made of? Many people assume that vinyl records are made of some sort of wax, but in reality, they are made of plastic.
Let’s find out more about it and explore the materials used to create vinyl records.
What is vinyl?
Before we get into the specifics of vinyl records, let’s first talk about vinyl as a material. Vinyl, also known as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), is a type of plastic that is used to make a variety of products, including pipes, cables, flooring, and more. PVC is a thermoplastic material, meaning it becomes soft and pliable when heated and hard when cooled. This property makes it easy to mold into various shapes.
How are vinyl records made?
Vinyl records are made by cutting grooves into a master disc, which is then used to create a metal stamper. The stamper is then used to press the grooves onto a blank vinyl disc. The vinyl is heated and pressed between the stampers, creating a finished record. The process is similar to pressing a seal on a wax envelope. Once the vinyl cools, it becomes hard and retains the grooves imprinted onto it.
What type of plastic is used to make vinyl records?
As mentioned earlier, vinyl records are made from PVC, a type of plastic.But, not all PVC is created equal. The PVC used to make vinyl records is a specific formulation that is optimized for its acoustic properties. It is designed to produce high-quality sound while remaining durable and long-lasting.
The formulation of PVC used to make vinyl records typically includes other materials, such as plasticizers and stabilizers. Plasticizers are added to make the vinyl more pliable and easier to press into the grooves, while stabilizers help the vinyl withstand heat and prevent it from breaking down over time. It is important to store vinyl records properly. NeoOnline has one of the high quality vinyl record storage boxes.
Why use vinyl for records?
Vinyl records have a warm, analog sound that many music lovers prefer over digital formats. The grooves cut into the vinyl capture the subtle nuances of the music, producing a unique sound that cannot be replicated by digital technology. Vinyl records provide an experience that digital music cannot replicate. The act of physically placing a record on a turntable and dropping the needle onto the grooves can be a deeply satisfying experience for many people.
While vinyl records are indeed made of plastic, they are a unique and beloved format for music that has stood the test of time. Despite the rise of digital music, vinyl records have remained popular among audiophiles and music enthusiasts, with many claiming that the warm, analog sound of vinyl is superior to digital sound.
The popularity of vinyl records in the UK has seen a resurgence, with many artists releasing their music on vinyl alongside digital formats. Vinyl records also have a certain aesthetic appeal. The artwork and packaging of vinyl records often feature larger artwork and additional information compared to digital releases, making them a popular choice for collectors.