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Thermal Protection

The Cold Hard Facts:

Tape manufatucers' guidlines for proper tape handling strongly recommend storing and transporting tapes in a controlled environment, and not allowing tapes to reach hot or cold temperature extremes.  If tapes are temporarily held in hot or cold temperatures, it is critical to allow the tapes to acclimate to the proper operating temperature prior to loading them in a tape drive.  

An independent lab compared the performance of two containers in extremely hot and cold conditions to see if either container provided any measurable thermal protection.  The test involved allowing containers to be fully acclimated to room temperature, and then placing them inside a pre-heated test chamber (132F).  They again brought the containers to room temperature, and then placed them inside a pre-cooled test chamber (-20F).  The lab measured the amount of time it took for the temperature inside the containers to reach the same temperature as the heated or cooled test chamber.

The containers tested were:

  • XpresspaX Single-tray Container
  • Perm-a-store Turtle 20

The results show that XpresspaX and Turtle containers performed similarly in both hot and cold extremes, providing little additional protection from thermal fluctuations beyond two hours.  Temperatures measured inside XpresspaX and Turtle containers reach the same temperatures outside the container in about two hours.  The fact is, unless containers are designed and manufactured using temperature-protecting insulating materials, it is impossible for the container to provide any long-term (more than 2 hours) measurable protection from extreme temperature fluctuations.  

Contrary to claims made by Turtle, their double-wall container design DOES NOT provide any measurable thermal protection over time.