What is the long-term effects of storing materials in consumer electronics in a vacuum? Ie, plastics, electronic circuits and optical glasses?
First time I lost a draft . Here it goes again:
Solids and liquids in vacuum will slowly erode due to sublimation. The molecules of the material have a kinetic energy distribution the tail of which has enough energy to propel the molecule into the vacuum . Long term the material will become eroded and if in a closed container the vacuum will also deteriorate and become a gas of the molecules that evaporated.
To get specific time values one has to know temperatures, magnitude of vacuum and materials.
Handwaving estimates: the time is very long: thermos flasks may be spoiled by breakage but I have not seen an eroded one, so glass is ok. The old kind of light bulbs could last for 30 years, their wire filaments OK. Also the space debris of last century are still there clogging the space ways.
Outgassing of solvents and oil/grease is probably more of an issue on realistic timescales than sublimation.
Some types of capacitors are notorious for failing in vacuum and anything with moving parts is going to need the grease replacing with some solid lubricant like Molybdenum disulfide or graphite.
If you need to operate the equipment the biggest issue is cooling. With no convection you need to actively cool electronics and often pot the entire circuit board in an epoxy.
Finally there is equipment that actually relies on air pressure. Hard disk drives use aerodynamics to float the heads above the disk and have problems above about 10,000ft