Environmental and shipping specifications for LTO tape cartridges

There are specific operating, storage, and shipping specifications for LTO tape cartridges.

Before you use an LTO tape cartridge, acclimate it to the operating environment for 24 hours or the amount of time necessary to prevent condensation in the drive. The time varies depending on the environmental extremes to which the cartridge was exposed.

The best storage container for the cartridges (until they are opened) is the original shipping container. The plastic wrapping prevents dirt from accumulating on the cartridges and partially protects them from humidity changes.

Attention: Depending on how many drives you have installed in the frame of a TS3500 tape library, the temperature inside the frame might be as high as 5°C (9°F) above the temperature outside the frame. To ensure continued reliability of your media, be sure to take this temperature difference into account when you set up the environment around your library.

When you ship a cartridge, place it in its jewel case or in a sealed, moisture-proof bag to protect it from moisture, contaminants, and physical damage. Ship the cartridge in a shipping container that has enough packing material to cushion the cartridge and prevent it from moving within the container.

Table 1 gives the environment for operating, storing, and shipping LTO tape cartridges.

Table 1. Environment for operating, storing, and shipping the LTO tape cartridges
Environmental Specifications
Environmental Factor Operating Operational Storage1 Archival Storage2 Shipping
Temperature 10 to 45°C

(50 to 113°F)

16 to 32°C

(61 to 90°F)

16 to 25°C

(61 to 77°F)

-23 to 49°C

(-9 to 120°F)

Relative humidity (noncondensing) 10 to 80% 20 to 80% 20 to 50% 5 to 80%
Maximum wet bulb temperature 26°C








Magnetic field Stray magnetic field at any point on tape not to exceed 50 oersteds (4000 ampere/meter).
  1. Operational storage equals less than 6 months.
  2. Archival storage equals greater than 6 months.