n.a form of degradation affecting magnetic tape, resulting from the deterioration of the binder and characterized by the deposit of a gummy residue on the tape heads during playbackHaynes, Kaid, and Rand 1996, 52Boyle reports that the ideal storage condition for videotape is a temperature between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit and a 30 to 35 percent relative humidity. This lower humidity prevents hydrolysis and the chemical deterioration of the binder.Paton 1998, 195It is now understood that tape hydrolysis, or “sticky shed syndrome,” as it is commonly known, is caused by absorption of moisture by the binder, resulting in binder failure.NARA 2016aSticky Shed Syndrome (SSS): Sticky shed is a problem unique to magnetic tape; it is caused by the chemical breakdown of the magnetic tape binder and/or backing layer of the tape. As the binder/backing absorb moisture from the surroundings, they become sticky and often shed brown residue to equipment. During playback the tape may squeal and bind, which can damage both tapes and equipment. This process is also referred to as binder hydrolysis.Harvey and Mahard 2020, 233High humidity can promote binder hydrolysis, a chemical reaction in which the binder (typically polyurethane) absorbs ambient moisture and becomes soft and sticky. In moderate cases, this may cause the tape to chatter or squeal when played. In more severe cases, it may cause the magnetic layer to pull away from the tape base (a condition commonly referred to as “sticky shed syndrome”) and clog playback equipment with a gummy residue that can lead to a significant loss of high frequencies.