Although the particular details might seem complex and highly convoluted, it's necessary that you have a basic understanding of what your storage media is made of. If you know exactly what is inside your storage media and what makes it work the way it does, you would also have a better appreciation of the proper handling necessary to maintain its utility.
The HP LTO 6 cartridge, in particular, has some unique aspects that have not been previously utilized in earlier versions of the Linear Tape Open (LTO) Ultrium technology. This current version has actually been produced with two different materials. Hence, you can either purchase one that utilizes Metal Particle or Barium Ferrite technology.
What Do LTO 6 Metal Particle Cartridges Have To Offer?
Basically, Metal Particle technology consists of metal particles that are suspended on a base film. Actually, when making the tape, a coat of durable, flexible polyurethane-type paint is applied onto the base film. The metal particles are contained within this coating.
The metal particles, as well as various other additives, play the most crucial role in an LTO tape's function of reading and writing data. Such particles have physical appearances of needle shapes and they are made of an iron-cobalt alloy. Furthermore, they possess enhanced magnetic capabilities, which is crucial in the data read-write process.
Understanding this underlying magnetic characteristic of the core components of your tape, you would then realize why it wouldn't be advisable to store it on top of electronic equipment such as televisions and radiators. Obviously, such electronic equipment would potentially distort the inherent magnetic qualities of metal participles within a tape.
Various other components are added on to the tape to ensure stability of the miniature components, as well as to safeguard against effects of normal use. This includes surface-passivating of metal particles to ensure chemical stability, apart from application of a protective back coat on the base film's reverse side, in order to control friction.
What LTO 6 Barium Ferrite Cartridges Have To Offer
The general make-up of the Barium Ferrite (BaFe) cartridge is largely similar to the Metal Particle cartridge. You still have magnetic particles that are suspended within a coating, which is applied to a base film. The key difference, however, is the fact that BaFe is used here instead of an iron-cobalt alloy.
The reason why this new alternative was deemed viable in LTO technology is due to the smaller size of BaFe particles compared to iron-cobalt particles. Considering that you can only fit a finite number of particles onto the base film, having much smaller metal particles means that you would have the ability to fit in so many more particles.
Since the data capacity of a cartridge would largely depend on the quantity of metal particles on it, there would also be a greater potential of higher capacities in this case. Therefore, it's very likely that future LTO cartridge versions would involve BaFe as the base material, rather than iron-cobalt.
This basic understanding of your tape cartridge should help you understand why you need to keep your storage device within proper conditions, which is necessary in ensuring that component materials don't disintegrate.
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