Brittle plastic

Ed C. edcross at
Wed Sep 2 14:39:51 CDT 2020

Same issue with many Atari's ST/E, the plastic becomes super fragile.

On Wed, Sep 2, 2020 at 9:11 PM Rico Pajarola via cctalk <
cctalk at> wrote:

> I have a friend who is a Materials Science Technologist and specializes in
> injection molded plastics. So... basically the same thing that's in
> computer cases (even though he doesn't deal with computer cases). I grilled
> him at length on this topic, and he insisted that the brittleness with age
> (and UV light) is expected and irreversible. Basically, the plastic
> softeners are off-gassing, and there's no way to put them back in.
> I'm still hoping for a happier second opinion, though I'm not holding my
> breath.
> In my experience, brittleness varies wildly and goes from "no big deal" to
> "crumbles if you blow at it", even for otherwise identical machines. I
> recently acquired a Japanese Ultra 1 clone, and the back was smashed in
> shipping, and crumbled into a thousand pieces not even large enough to glue
> back together. Luckily the front only had a single crack that could be
> glued back together.
> On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 9:38 AM Tom Hunter via cctalk <
> cctalk at>
> wrote:
> > Today I was working on a very nice 1995 vintage SPARCstation LX with
> > and QIC-150 tape drive (3 lunchbox type units). I was trying to install a
> > newer version of NetBSD on it than was already installed. The stack of 3
> > units was stored in a museum grade glass display cabinet. Sadly all 3
> units
> > have a small degree of yellowing but more importantly the plastic cases
> > have become very brittle and bits just break off with minimal mechanical
> > strain.
> >
> > Is there any process to reverse the brittleness which could be used to
> > preserve the cases?
> >
> > Thanks
> > Tom Hunter
> >

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