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Old 19 March 2007, 13:39   #1
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MEK on hypalon

From searching here and my own limited experience, one is to use MEK to clean hypalon tubes. For now ignore all the other possible cleaners. A retailer just sold me a hyp canoe and said to NOT use MEK, but to use toluene. His reasoning is that when you rub MEK on hyp, you don't get any color on the rag, and w/ toluene you do, so use toluene. Am I missing something here, like neurons? Why would you want to clean w/ something that dissolves you hypalon? Unconfuse mehere. thanks. john
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Old 19 March 2007, 15:24   #2
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Use cheap cellulose thinners. Get it from your auto refinishing shop. MEK evapourates almost as fast as you can apply it. It's fek all use for cleaning. Toluene... now there's a can of worms to open.
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Old 19 March 2007, 16:11   #3
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We have cleaned many hypalon tubes with soap and water followed by a "solvent wipe". We have used MEK, toluene and laquer thinner for this process. Each has their own characteristics. Yes, MEK evaporates very quickly and toluene is very toxic. In my opinion, any of these solvents will work for cleaning purposes. I would not use varsol or turpentine since they can have traces of oil in them.

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Old 19 March 2007, 21:01   #4
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simple green and a scrub brush

I use Simple Green, its pretty mild and needs some elbow grease but doesn't seem to bother the tubes. I also used a relatively new Turtle Wax protectorant on the tubes can't remember exactly what it is called but it worked really well. I have a bottle in the bilge of the boat and will post up what it is called when I climb up and look. It did make the tubes look very nice and lasted quite a while. Just spray on and wipe around.
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Old 20 March 2007, 00:41   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jklingel View Post
Am I missing something here, like neurons?
If you use either, especially in your garage, you will be missing neurons. Both are pretty nasty solvents (physiologically speaking.) Both would also be quite effective for wiping down tubes (depending on the soiling you want to take off, of course. They'll work well on oils and greases and such, not so well on water soluble stuff.)

Both MEK and Toluene will dissolve or soften the hypalon (which is why you'll find both in various hypalon adhesives - promotes good penetration.) They are both reasonably slow, though, needing an amount of time to soften the material to a noticeable degree. A quick wipe with a rag followed by time for evaporation should not bother the tubes at all. The reason for using something that softens the hypalon is to get stuff out of the pores of the material.

I would agree, however that Simple Green (or other non-solvent cleaner) would be a better first choice; solvent should be a last choice.

Luck;

jky
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Old 21 March 2007, 10:10   #6
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Whatever you use, you want to avoid using an products with silicone in them as that will hinder any future tube repairs should you need any - I'd be very cautious when using car cleaning products for this reason.

I found a great product recommended through Fred's RIB Blog on the Ribcraft website http://www.ribcraftusa.com/blog/maintenance/ called Aurora Speed Clean. It works amazingly well - I was shocked just how well it worked with no fumes or harsh chemicals. It literally restored my tubes to brand new.

I've used both MEK and Tolulene to clean the tubes as well - both are used by RIB manufacturers as a solvent for cleaning excess glue off the tubes, so I'm sure in moderation both are fine. I've been told though, to never use acetone!
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Old 22 March 2007, 00:25   #7
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Aurora

Thanks all for the info. I have had no problems w/ MEK (outside only) but am concerned w/ any product that you can "wipe on and see color on the rag", as the gent in question said happens w/ toluene. I'm not interested in experimenting w/ it on my boat; his, sure! I'll have to look up that Aurora product if I ever get to use my freaking boat enough to get it grungy. ITMT, 303 seems to be doing well, and has in the past on a vinyl and another hyp boat. cheers. j
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Old 22 March 2007, 11:22   #8
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303 Aerospace Protectant is pretty good stuff. Seems to wash off when running or rinsing, though, which means reapplication after every trip. Assuming you go to the trouble of doing that (I gave up a while ago.)

Their cleaner product, I am less imppressed by.

jky
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Old 22 March 2007, 11:48   #9
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Aurora also make a protectant called PolyGard. It is easy to apply and does not contain any silicone. No problems with gluing after application on either hypalon or PVC. It dries to a flexible wax-like appearance, but is not slippery like wax. I think current pricing is about $15 Cdn. per bottle.
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Old 22 March 2007, 14:16   #10
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Polyguard is great stuff - really makes the tubes look good. The only down side is once you've applied it you have to keep it up. I noticed that it can get a white chalky appearence if you don't reapply at least once per year. But, that's not really that big of an inconveniece - just part of the spring commissioning like bottom painting.
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