How is a CD made?
Step One - The Glass Master
First, a precise copy of the source material, called
a glass master is made. A glass disc is coated with
a thin layer of light-reactive material. A laser etches
pits representing 1s and 0s into this layer, to create
a master version of the CD.
Step Two - The Stampers
The glass master is too fragile to be used directly
in the replication process. Instead, it acts as a mold
to create several more durable metal stampers, which
are then attached to injection molding machines.
Step Three - Molding
Transparent plastic, called polycarbonate, is injected
into a mold that has the stamper on one side and a smooth
surface on the other. The stamper side of the mold imprints
data pits into the plastic.
Step Four - Reflective Material
The polycarbonate material is transparent, so even
though the data pits have been imprinted, a layer of
reflective material must be applied behind them so that
a laser can read them. A thin layer of metal, usually
aluminum, is applied to the back side of the disc to
create the necessary reflective surface.
Step Five - Lacquering
The reflective layer is then protected with a coat
of acrylic lacquer, which is cured by ultraviolet light.
Step Six - Labeling
A face label is silk-screened onto the cured lacquer
in inks cured by ultraviolet light to create the finished
product. For more details of our labeling and artwork
options please click here.