FYI: Polyethylene vs. Polypropylene

#1 Posted by Mr. Ubiquitous (1032 posts) - - Show Bio

Why polyethylene rather than polyproylene?

In an attempt to answer the many inquiries about this subject, I offer the following responses.

Polyethylene is inert, translucent and creates a lower static charge than polypropylene, and those are the three main characteristics which make it a superior archival or storage material. An inert substance, according to chemists, is not readily reactive with other elements, in that it cannot produce other chemical compounds. In other words, molds, mildews, and discolorations will not occur with an inert substance, so there's no way a polyethylene sleeve can damage your collectible, nor can damage readily occur to it. Polypropylene is also inert, but that's where the similarities end.

The translucent nature of polyethylene prohibits a the greater amount of light than the transparent polypropylene. Light can be particularly harmful to collectibles, especially magazines, comics, books, photographs, artwork or any kind of cover or jacket that has color and/or photos or illustrations. By inhibiting the overall amount of harmful light that actaully makes its way to your collectible, the risk of fading is minimized.

The lower static charge produced by polyethylene as opposed to the higher charge emitted by polypropylene means that polyethylene will attract much less dirt, dust and other foreign, organic elements. And it is those elements which produce damage to collectibles.

Polyethylene is more flexible than polypropylene. By contrast, polypropylene is stiff and hard, while polyethylene is soft and pliable. The relatively rough surface of polypropylne has the potential to produce scratches to the surfaces of collectibles while the ptoential for scratching by polyethylene sleeves is minimal.

Many of the polypropylene sleeves are less than 2 mil. Many of the sleeves being sold on the internet and by hobby and comic shops are very flimsy and range from .5 mil to 2 mil. The majority of commercially-available polypropylene sleeves are 1 to 1.5 mil. Our polyethylene sleeves are 2 mil and 3 mil, respectively.

In more chemistry-speak, propylene (CH3CH:CH2) is is a sub-stratum of ethylene. Ethylene is the purest form of the base chemical and thus the purer better of the two. Consider this example: Suppose you were looking for the perfect gene to clone a tough guy. Now, would you rather have the genes from the son of a tough guy or fom the original tough guy, in this case, the son's father? Obviously, you want the purest tough guy genes, so you would go with the father. Polyethylene is like the father; polypropylene is like the son. See definitions below.

Due to its rigitity, polypropylene sleeves are more prone to tear, especially at the seams. Try this experiment if you don't believe this. Take an ordinary piece of writing paper (rigid) and a common paper towel (pliable). Try to gently tear each one. The paper tears readily, while you have to give the towel a little more of a tug to tear it. It actually kind of resists tearing by having some flexibility. The same principle applies for propylene vs. ethylene. The ethylene base provides more "give" and thus stronger seams and less likelyhood of tearing.

A good deal of polypropylene is imported. Much of it is imported from China, while our polyethylene sleeves are manufactured in the United States of America. There is one dealer who advertises "Made in the USA" who sells sleeves that say "Product of China" right on the package. I don't want to devolve into politics or have this become a discussion of global economics, so I'll just make the statement and let you decide which is more appropriate for you.

Polyethylene costs more. Simple logic dictates that it should be a superior product and it is. It costs more because it is a product of higher purity (100% Virgin) in addition to the advantages already presented, and will outlast and outperform any derivative product. Polyethylene provides better protection for both the short and long term.

#2 Posted by Mr. Ubiquitous (1032 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh, sorry...I forgot, there are no true comic book COLLECTORS on this site, that care about such things, my bad...

#3 Posted by Mr. Ubiquitous (1032 posts) - - Show Bio

Warlock360 says:

"Polyethylene"

;)

#4 Posted by warlock360 (27979 posts) - - Show Bio

Polyethylene

#5 Posted by the creator (8559 posts) - - Show Bio

There is more than one true collector on this site - and I hope you picked that up from your previuos postings on storage issues.

#6 Posted by Mr. Ubiquitous (1032 posts) - - Show Bio

The_Creator says:

"There is more than one true collector on this site - and I hope you picked that up from your previuos postings on storage issues."

O.K.

you and whom else? True, YOU have commented and shown interest in such subjects...but I ask you, who else 1 maybe 2 others?

I hypothesize, that 90% of the members on this site (yes, 90%) are NOT true comic book COLLECTORS...and are more 'dabblers' in the genre. Add to that opinion, such 'comic interest' for most here, is created by film, and video game, endeavors...

#7 Posted by Walkingstone (10723 posts) - - Show Bio

Well I collect comics and I found this post enlightening, but then I'm also working towards being a comic creator too, so I guess I would.

#8 Posted by Mr. Ubiquitous (1032 posts) - - Show Bio

Walkingstone says:

"Well I collect comics and I found this post enlightening, but then I'm also working towards being a comic creator too, so I guess I would."
;)
#9 Posted by Walkingstone (10723 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh and I use polyethylene to protect my comics ;P

#10 Posted by Liverwurst (881 posts) - - Show Bio

Mr. Ubiquitous says:

"The_Creator says:
"There is more than one true collector on this site - and I hope you picked that up from your previuos postings on storage issues."

O.K.

you and whom else? True, YOU have commented and shown interest in such subjects...but I ask you, who else 1 maybe 2 others?

I hypothesize, that 90% of the members on this site (yes, 90%) are NOT true comic book COLLECTORS...and are more 'dabblers' in the genre. Add to that opinion, such 'comic interest' for most here, is created by film, and video game, endeavors...

"

Just because people are not collectors or have only a passing interest does not mean they have any less of a right to be on this site then anyone else. In addition you seem to be ignoring the people who just like to read comics.

P.S: Not trying to start a fight here.

#11 Posted by G-Man (30368 posts) - - Show Bio

So what category would I fall into? I've been reading and buying comics for over 20 years. I buy about 20-25 comics each week (you can figure out my comic allowance at today's cover prices). I used to get the bags and boards and special boxes. But ya know what? I don't bag my comics anymore. I even have a bunch in the (shudder) garage. I have a lot of comics. I've donated a bunch in the past. I keep some in my classroom for kids to read if they finish their work or a test early. I just don't have the time or space to properly store them. Bottom line, I read them to enjoy them. The chances of actually making money off of comics isn't too likely. I do have a bunch of CGC comics but that's as far as I'll go nowadays to make sure they remain in mint condition. I'm just not that into keeping them "mint." So I don't know if that means I'm not a "collector" or not.

Staff
#12 Posted by the creator (8559 posts) - - Show Bio

G-Man says:

"So what category would I fall into? I've been reading and *buying* comics for over 20 years. I buy about 20-25 comics each week (you can figure out my comic allowance at today's cover prices). I used to get the bags and boards and special boxes. But ya know what? I don't bag my comics anymore. I even have a bunch in the (*shudder*) garage. I have a lot of comics. I've donated a bunch in the past. I keep some in my classroom for kids to read if they finish their work or a test early. I just don't have the time or space to properly store them. Bottom line, I read them to enjoy them. The chances of actually making money off of comics isn't too likely. I do have a bunch of CGC comics but that's as far as I'll go nowadays to make sure they remain in mint condition. I'm just not that into keeping them "mint." So I don't know if that means I'm not a "collector" or not."

I think that what you said is exactly to the point.

Many people don't protect all their comics simply because many of them will never gain any substantial increase in value - so why protect them. If you keep them safe and take them out to read occasionally that should be enough as the enjoyment is in the reading.

#13 Posted by Walkingstone (10723 posts) - - Show Bio

I like to protect mine simply because I like to know in a few years time when I come back and want to read them they'll be in good condition. I do collect, I'll admit it, but I'm not avid. I just like to know that what I have is going to stay nice.

#14 Posted by CanadianWolverine (417 posts) - - Show Bio

Really good original post, very informative. Thanks for that Mr U.

I am glad I am not a "true" collector. Screw that, its boring. I am almost tempted to do like Kevin Smith has said he will do sometimes "After I am done reading, I just rip that shit up." I'm pretty sure my lil'girl will rip the pages out of some stuff for some fun, so I try not to get up tight about it, gotta look at it like I am glad she is taking an interest in my comics! ;)

I never really understood leaving toys in their packaging either - take em out and play with them already! C'mon, live a little. Or perhaps you like living in a museum exhibit. Oh well, what's fun for one may not be for everyone. shrug

#15 Posted by Mr. Ubiquitous (1032 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, the reality i've come to understand, is that the collectors on say a site like the CGC boards, are much more 'my' type collector, than most at the Vine. I'm a fairly serious Silver Age and Bronze Age HIGH grade, collector, so my opinions, and views, of the hobby may be divergent from many (younger) collectors on this site.

My comments about the lack of 'collectors' at this site as I see them, is most likely driven by the fact that when COMIC related threads are started, there is nary a response. If its not him vs. her, ect... or "hey man, civil war was the bomb" the community here just isn't 'into' the type of collector habits I have, or am used to talking about.

Lastly, and MY opinion only, if you don't buy/read/have interest...in Golden, Silver, and Bronze age comics, well...I don't know if you can be called a "collector' or 'enthusiest' of this hobby. If its $$$ that prevents so, I completely understand, but there are alternatives to buying originals, and thus allows one to read the stories from those eras. Also, If one has no interst in a comic books -register, cut, color hues, corners, paper quality, staple placement, and overall integrity...I also personally don't think you understand the nuances of what being a comic book 'collector' (my opinion) truly is, not at least by the definition I use for it. I personally find these things fascinating, important, and an integral part of this hobby, but then again, am a high grade collector, so I need to.

Ultimately, I belong to many boards associated with my two passions, comics, and cars, so I have no issue with different protocols on individual sites. This type of 'comic talk' I can get in heaps at say the CGC forums, dialBforblog (awesome comic site), John Byrnerobotics, and more...so my specified interests in this hobby are taken care of on other sites obviously. I guess I just find this site disappointing that its not more of a COMIC board, and that angst comes through in posts i'll make, from time to time...

oh, well....to each their own!

#16 Posted by Walkingstone (10723 posts) - - Show Bio

I think this is more of a site for people who love the characters than the actual hobby of collecting. I collect but only newer things, I'm not so interested in the Silver and Bronze age stuff, it's just a bit too far back for me. So, despite caring, I'm not defined as a collector by your standards. Which is fine, because I love what I do, and I'm passionate about the writing, the art and the feel of my books.

#17 Posted by Liverwurst (881 posts) - - Show Bio

It's called Comic Vine, not Comic Collecter Vine.

#18 Posted by Walkingstone (10723 posts) - - Show Bio

Liverwurst says:

"It's called Comic Vine, not Comic Collecter Vine."

Very well put

#19 Posted by Mr. Ubiquitous (1032 posts) - - Show Bio

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...based on reading a myriad of posts, it's more like, Comicwhine....

:)

#20 Posted by Walkingstone (10723 posts) - - Show Bio

Mr. Ubiquitous says:

"Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...based on reading a myriad of posts, it's more like, Comic*whine*....:)"

:P So funny, I forgot to laugh ;)

#21 Posted by crazy spidey (3489 posts) - - Show Bio

Mr. Ubiquitous says:

"Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...based on reading a myriad of posts, it's more like, Comic*whine*.... :)"

u can stop with the smiley faces, no ones laughing with u :)

#22 Posted by CanadianWolverine (417 posts) - - Show Bio

crazy spidey says:

"Mr. Ubiquitous says:
"Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...based on reading a myriad of posts, it's more like, Comic*whine*.... :)"

u can stop with the smiley faces, no ones laughing with u :)"

They are just laughing at you, 'crazy' (how appropriate) spidey, for being such a dumb ass with regards to conveying tone in text enviroment ;)

I like the other ages of comics as well, I just try to seek out volumes in graphic novel form to read, not collect. As long as I get the sweet stories and visuals, I don't much care if its from a new printing or a scan that is presented on a webpage.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate collectors like I appreciate a museum, sometimes you need that original mint copy you have to make the scans and re-prints so we all get to read the story again. Its when I think of collectors who might have a vault like at the end of 'Indiana And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark' that scare me, that to me seems like it might as well be turned to dust and unreadable already sniff :(
Post Edited:2007-09-27 13:38:56

#23 Posted by Queso6p4 (1430 posts) - - Show Bio

@Walkingstone said:

I like to protect mine simply because I like to know in a few years time when I come back and want to read them they'll be in good condition. I do collect, I'll admit it, but I'm not avid. I just like to know that what I have is going to stay nice.

This is my perspective as well. I do bag, board, and box all of my comics just so I can enjoy them in all of their glory x # of years in the future. I don't have any graded but do read (mostly reprints) ones from the "nostalgic ages", as I call them. It's just neat having an ongoing chronicle of comic history that you can go back to at any time. It's also very rewarding to whip out comics with friends and show them the original inspiration for some of the movie ideas and what have you that they're more familiar with.

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