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Best chemical/solvent paint prep?


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#1 jumpinjivinjoe

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 09:41 PM

For paint prep on steel I always wire-wheel the metal and spray it with brake cleaner before painting.

I am wondering what you all prefer when it comes to the chemical degreasing aspect. Brake cleaner, acetone, Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK), acids, etc.?

I heard acetone and MEK can leave very slight oil residues (since it's distilled from petroleum).
And as for acids; obviously acid salts can compromise paint.
For these reasons I use brake cleaner.

Why am I searching for another degreaser? Because chlorinated brake cleaners make acetone and MEK look nice, especially considering it decomposes into phosgene which 1ppm is hazardous. But alas, brake cleaner works sooo good and leaves no residue!

Is there anything better than brake cleaner?

Do the non-chlorinated (supposedly healthier) brake cleaners work as well as the chlorinated kind?

What do you use and why?


#2 AvishaiW

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 10:08 PM

I use brake cleaner for degreasing (don't know if it is chlorinated or non chlorinated), but for pre painting preparation I do not see a reason why not to use aceton or even paint thinner. The paints contain solvent of the same type so it should work.

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#3 PTsideshow

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 04:05 AM

Here is the paper on using brake cleaner and its effects PDF download
MEK is probably one of the most miss understood solvents. It is listed and considered as an irrantant causing irritation to the eyes and nose of humans, but serious health effects in animals have been seen only at very high levels. When inhaled, these effects included birth defects. In 2005 EPA concluded that potential exposures to butanone emitted from industrial processes may not reasonably be anticipated to cause human health or environmental problems. Emissions of MEK will continue to be regulated as a volatile organic compound. Check the MSDS of any of the solvents you use for n-hexane, this chemical can cause nerve damage

Acetone is one of the least toxic of the ketones, that is why it is still used as the nail polish remover of choice.

Denatured alcohol other than the additives that are added to make it toxic(undrinkable) is the least toxic

Isopropyl alcohol/rubbing alcohol is low toxicity but contains varing per centages of water.

Two general solvents that you should limit your exposure to are Turpentine and Citrus oil, Limonene, D Limone, Citrus turps and a host of trade names.
Turpentine can cause allergies, kidney and bladder damage, skin rash with repeated exposure. The odorless paint thinner would be a better choice.

The Citrus oil etc.is a registered pesticide by the EPA inhalation of vapors at moderate levels caused liver damage and death in the test animals.
The American Industrial Hygiene Assoc. set a workplace environmental exposure level at 30 partsper million. They are more restrictive than turpentine 100PPM, Acetone 500ppm, MEK 200ppm

The bottom line is get the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for all the solvents you use in your shop or studio. Take the proper safety steps when in use solvent safe gloves at a minimum, and respirator for long term exposure during use.

Here are some books dealing with chemicals in the book reviews forum

The following 3 books are now the standard texts used in the college art classes for material safety. There are newer additions if you deal with arts or crafts you should have or at least read one of these books. Because what you don't know can kill you!

Health Hazards Manual for Artist

Artist Beware

The Artist’s complete Health and Safety Guide

I use the acetone, Isopropyl alcohol/rubbing alcohol and MEK along with the odorless paint thinner.

glen

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All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

#4 macbruce

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 06:13 AM

I don't know if you have a blaster or not but I just thought I'd throw this out there, It's a great alternative to sand.....www.armex.com

#5 warrent

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 06:53 AM

Brake cleaner is the last resort I would use, nasty stuff and expensive. Yes it dries fast and all that. Just wiping with paint thinner or using it straight in the paint gun to wash works just as well. Shouldn't be that greasy after wiring brushing that you need anything stronger.
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#6 jumpinjivinjoe

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 10:18 AM

That is some good safety information! Who would a thought citrus oil would be so bad.

I am turning 20 this Month, so I really value my health and I don't want any problems later on as a result of the solvents I use.

So it sounds like Oderless Paint Thinner/Mineral Spirits and Acetone are the best way to go?

I like MEK better than Acetone because it dries a little slower than acetone (but still fast), therefore has time to work. But seeing it's safety threshold is 200 ppm as opposed to acetones 500 ppm. I think I will stop using that. A person who works in industrial safety says they always call MEK as "Methyl Ethyl Death"

I have not used much Paint Thinner/Mineral Spirits. How does it compare to Acetone? Do they leave any residue?



PS.
Yes I have a blaster. But regardless of the media used that stuff goes EVERYWHERE since I do it outside and don't have a booth.

#7 PTsideshow

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 12:53 PM

VM&P naptha Varnish makers and painters solvent is 300ppm is another one to use. Orderless thinner has the aromatic hydrocarbons removed, there are the part that cause most of the health problems. Make sure that what ever you are using doesn't contain n-hexane as it is a highly toxic nervous system toxin. If it contains n-heptane it is ok as the heptanes are low toxicity and a good substitute for other fast drying solvents.

Mineral Spirits and stoddard solvent is around 100ppm, mineral Spirits and odorless thinner are not the same item. After 911 and the change in the way chemicals are sold in the USA . Heptane is hard to come by straight or pure in quanities that a home studio or shop can purchase. As it is used in any number of consumer products. Fuel line anti freeze, Rubber cement thinner, octane booster etc RC car fuel cleaner for the nitro fuel removal.

As to the question about it use here is the MSDS for the non chlorinated Brakleen brand I use download PDF

Carb & choke cleaner for the cleaner, part number is A7000 you have to pick part number in the drop down and then type in the number in the box above, then click on the 4 color diamonds to bring up the MSDS. This opens a PDF widow with an old 2007 MSDS when they still were using propane as a propelant and not carbon dioxide. but in reading through the whole thing it mentions acetone.

Federal laws states they must provide an MSDS for each product, but they don't have to reveal any "trade secret" ingredients. Or they don't have to make it easy to get to the MSDS.Posted Image

What ever you choose to use, wear the proper safety equipment. As you have probably noticed that most of the solvents dry your skin out and will crack it with prolonged and repeat exposure. Good quality nitrile or other chemical proof gloves and a proper organic solvent rated respirator. are a minimum.
here is a link to a respirator thread.

glen

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All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

#8 crquack

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 08:32 PM

I use acetone a lot. It realy depends on how much degreasing you need. I find this varies with paint. Acetone does leave a residue and my impression is that it has got worse recently (coincidentally I was going to post about it today - I am wondering about cutting costs during production or whatever other reasons there are for this. Either way, the most recent can of acetone leaves a lot of oily residue).

Some paints (e.g. a Pebeo pen) will not go on after only acetone. Thus if I need a proper degrease (with a good waterbreak test as a proof) I always use a two stage procedure:

1) Acetone or Varsol to remove the worst of the grease, dirt, old paint, whatever.
2) Zep Heavy Duty cleaner followed by warm water rinse followed by cold distiled water rinse.

The interesting part is that such procedure has to be done close to the process that follows, i.e. you cannot do this the day before and expect a clean part the next day. Why, I do not know. I found that even doing step 1 one day and step 2 the next day was not satisfactory.

#9 jumpinjivinjoe

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 07:35 PM

Yeah, I wear a good OV respirator and nitrile gloves. Before I found out about brake cleaner, I used a lot of naphtha (also use it my backpacking stove and zippo).

I will definitely keep an eye out for hexane. I will take a look at the MSDS for the solvents I use.

I think I will switch over to non-chlorinated brake cleaner. Don't have to worry about phosgene.

#10 Tony Mertens

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 07:26 AM

Definately do not use that break cleaner to clean anything prior to welding. I think it was PT who posted a link a while back as to the hazards of that. The guy nearly died. I hand out that story in the TIG classes I teach.




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