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UMR_Engnr
July 25, 2007, 12:57
Is there a source of information somewhere that details when to use which solvent. When would you use MEK instead of acetone? When to use alchohol? When not to use a certain chemical? Etc.

Or is it all just based on experience and passed from person to person?

ALL FAL
July 26, 2007, 02:28
Osha might have something, Your question is more of a common sense thing, and varies from each different application or need. Hope that helps.:biggrin:

brownknees
July 26, 2007, 08:49
This got me thinking, so I went net surfing for the information.

I found a gazillion sites, tables & lists of how bad for you solvents are, and a bunch of "we'll sell you solvents" sites, but nothing like a list of what to use when.

Surprising really. I guess a lot of it is based on experience after all.

Bentley8
July 26, 2007, 23:07
I'm a chemist with about 20 years experience. There is some information in tables here and there that do break down the relative polarity of many solvents, which can be helpful, provided you know the polarity of what you are trying to dissolve. It's the relationship between the two that is important. It's also a good idea to keep safety in mind, too. Many solvents are pretty bad on living things and should be used with care.

Is there anything in particular you are trying to dissolve?

brownknees
July 27, 2007, 08:26
Further digging has revealed a kind of "what not to use" table.
Basically it's a listing of what materials shouold be used (or not used) to store variious solvents.
It's not as clear-cut as use/don't use, more like "this will last 5 minutes & the other will last 6 months" type of thing. It relates mostly to plastics, but if that's any help I'll copy & post it for you.

A word of caution, based on expereience.

Don't mix solvents, looking fo that "perfect" combo. A technician I know did this some years a go & they spontaneously combusted:skull: It was quite spectacular, and heated the stainless container to the point of softening the top with a clear flame we couldn't see. Enough heat was released that the (small) room was heated to over 120 degrees before the thing went out of it's own accord.:sad:

UMR_Engnr
July 27, 2007, 10:58
Currently, I am trying to dissolve the crappy finish paint on my Enfield Ishy before I refinish it. Finger nail polish remover worked on a small section so I don't believe full strength acetone should have a problem.

The original question was posed because I don't have any experience with using solvents, cleaners, etc. and I was wanting a resource to learn more, without having to constantly as for advice.

If it is all kind of based off experience, I'll just keep working on getting the experience. Thanks for the help.

ggiilliiee
July 27, 2007, 11:12
worked 5 years in a pharmaceutical lab doin 1000 gal reactions
most are listed in MSDS...or a merc index ..stay away from mek it will do bad things to ya ..

and never ever toss a 20 kilo chunk of metallic sodium into the river ...he he...boooooooom

chromestarhustler
July 27, 2007, 13:41
well i work with mek mpk acetone, enviroclean, and 98 percent isoprop alky at work. the chem to use is based on what your trying to remove, and residue it leaves behind. and gillie anything that cleans grease oil old paint etc real well the worse it is for you. usually the better it works the worse it is for you. like alky works ok, but doesnt dry real quick so it leaves a residue. mek is great for surface prep right before paint, but like all the others(some faster than others) it absorbs into your skin on contact, and makes its way into your liver. bore cleaners are just as bad.

acetone is a paint remover. but usually leaves a residue that need to be cleaned before continuing on.

material safety data sheets has the info you seek.

Diomed
July 28, 2007, 14:58
Originally posted by brownknees
Don't mix solvents, looking fo that "perfect" combo. A technician I know did this some years a go & they spontaneously combusted:skull: It was quite spectacular, and heated the stainless container to the point of softening the top with a clear flame we couldn't see. Enough heat was released that the (small) room was heated to over 120 degrees before the thing went out of it's own accord.:sad: Say, you wouldn't happen to remember just what those solvents were, would you? :angel:

brownknees
July 28, 2007, 15:51
Yes.:rofl:

Diomed
July 28, 2007, 15:57
Share? :smile:

brownknees
July 28, 2007, 16:17
Check your PM....not in front of the kiddiewinks:rolleyes:

Qbdss
July 31, 2007, 00:07
Might try looking in the CRC book. I used this reference book in college during chemistry class (mostly organic chem). This reference is simply amazing. I believe there are CRC books for different disciplines (chemistrly, physics, engineering), but I might be mistaken. I haven't used one of these for over 20 years.

crcksht
July 31, 2007, 09:54
Always use the least toxic solvent which gets the job done. I always try alcohols first like ethanol or methyl alcohol in that order. I never use any solvents indoors.

Info on two commonly used but very dangerous solvents. I wouldn't use them.

MEK (http://www.hvchemical.com/msds/mek.htm)

Trichloroethylene (http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/T4940.htm)

UMR_Engnr
August 01, 2007, 10:34
MEK does sound like bad stuff. I bought some but I will probably only use it to dilute Gun Kote if needed. I am planning on using full strength acetone to clean up my rifle, but so far plain old finger nail polish has worked well.

NoNotAgain
August 01, 2007, 18:14
Originally posted by UMR_Engnr
MEK does sound like bad stuff. I bought some but I will probably only use it to dilute Gun Kote if needed. I am planning on using full strength acetone to clean up my rifle, but so far plain old finger nail polish has worked well.

If you can gain access to some ESD plastic bags or sheeting wrap your rifle in paper towels and wet the towels with acetone, then wrap in ESD wrap to keep the acetone from evaporating as fast.

Why ESD bags you ask? Due to the chance of static electricity from regular household plastic bags creating a static spark around high vapor pressure solvents is a quick way to meet both your insurance man and the local fire department.

Acetone is not considered a HAP (hazardous air pollutant) by the EPA even though the vapor pressure (266mm) is very high as it is used a hand wipe solvent where MEK is banned for industrial hand wipe applications.

Within the aerospace industry all kinds of nasty solvents are used. Acetone and IPA are replacing MEK for many hand wipe applications with the exception of cleaning prior to bonding.

If you are worried about a solvent leaving a residue perform a two cloth wipe. Wipe with a dampened solvent cloth and before the solvent evaporates wipe with a dry cloth.

UMR_Engnr
August 02, 2007, 10:07
Great advice NoNotAgain. I never thought of using ESD bags. I don't have any large enough for my barreled action, but I have some that will fit small parts.

I did just try to clean my Enfield Ishapore last night with acetone, and was amazed at how fast it evaporates. It wouldn't even stay on the rifle long enough to do any good.

I need some stain/paint remover for a stock I am redoing, so I was going to see if that would remove the cruddy paint on my rifle. I believe it is a semi-paste formula, so hopefully it will stay on the rifle longer.

danimal
August 02, 2007, 19:23
SIMPLE GREEN... not as dangerous as most solvents but it will cut most anything

pjc
August 06, 2007, 12:36
I found on the Hoppes #9 site NOT to use a bore solvent that contains ammonia on a chrome plated bore. Reason is that if a void in the chrome exists the solvent may get through to the copper plating substrate and eventually may cause the chrome to lift.

BTW, PVC pipe cleaner solvent (the clear stuff) removes cosmoline completely from wood as well as cleaning any oils or residual oil/solvents from a bore or other metal. Strong stuff!

Orion 762
August 08, 2007, 02:18
I've had good luck with "lacquer thinner". It's not quite as mean as MEK, and it has lower vapor pressure than acetone (evaporates slower).

I think that lacquer thinner is actually a mix of toluene, acetone, and MEK in a unique "blend".

My "experimental" list - in order of increasing aggressiveness - is:

1. WD-40 or "goo gone"
2. paint thinner or lighter fluid
3. isopropyl alcohol
4. gasoline/brake cleaner/carb cleaner
5. trisodium phosphate (TSP) on not water
6. (4) above used in an ultrasonic cleaner setup
7. acetone
8. lacquer thinner
9. MEK
10. Grit blast with ALOX

Wear gloves and goggles!

Orion 762

Slick
August 11, 2007, 05:53
I like 91% Alcohol best for cleaning a surface to paint.

I once had a BAD case of "athlete's foot" that I'd fought for a long time and finally poured about 2 inches of MEK into a dishpan... I dunked my feet for a couple minutes and that shit was LONG gone. :]

Slick
August 11, 2007, 06:04
I like 91% Alcohol best for cleaning a surface to paint.

I once had a BAD case of "athlete's foot" that I'd fought for a long time and finally poured about 2 inches of MEK into a dishpan... I dunked my feet for a couple minutes and that shit was LONG gone. :]