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Old 27 October 2008, 15:49   #1
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Substitute MEK Solvent

Hello
I cant seam to find MEK or Tolulene locally to do some repair work on my boat!
Is there any other Solvent I can use to replace the Mek, like Acetone or Xilene?

Regards Fernando
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Old 27 October 2008, 16:06   #2
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Have a look at paint thinners from car accessory shops. There are loads of different types - just read the labels.
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Old 27 October 2008, 16:10   #3
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if it's a bombard you're repairing use acetone, it works really week to soften and open up the pores ready for gluing
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Old 27 October 2008, 16:58   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ribraff View Post
if it's a bombard you're repairing use acetone, it works really week to soften and open up the pores ready for gluing
Yes it is and I am using original Zodiac Glue!
I have a very large variety of thinners and solvent at work, and have found acetone and xilene, just wonderind if the substituting acetone for Mek will affect in the boonding strength?

Around here Mek seems to have been substituted for acetone because of its price( twice as much)
Regards Fernando
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Old 28 October 2008, 13:12   #5
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price is nothing if you want a good and safe bonding
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Old 28 October 2008, 15:41   #6
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price is nothing if you want a good and safe bonding
My problem isnt the price, Just cant find it any were! Unless i want 200l drum!
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Old 28 October 2008, 18:15   #7
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MEK is otherwise known as Methyl Ethyl Ketone. Acetone is a similar molecule, basically it is one carbon atom shorter. However, just because it is nearly the same does not mean it will have similar properties. For example H20 (water) is safe to drink but would you dare substitute H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) in your whisky?

Toluene is completely different to MEK and I suspect that it does not do the same job. Xylene is similar to Toluene but again it might have different properties in certain applications.

I don't know if it is OK to use these substitutes. All I am saying is don't assume that they are interchangeable just because they are all "solvents", have similar names, are clear liquids and smell a bit fruity.
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Old 28 October 2008, 23:52   #8
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Originally Posted by TangoTango View Post
MEK is otherwise known as Methyl Ethyl Ketone. Acetone is a similar molecule, basically it is one carbon atom shorter. However, just because it is nearly the same does not mean it will have similar properties.
Actually, in this case, as is the usual case with organic molecule families they will indeed have "similar properties". Both Acetone (aka propanone) and MEK (aka butanone) are both ketones; Acetone is the simplest ketone and, as noted above, MEK is the next ketone up from acetone. Without looking up the properties, its a pretty safe bet that acetone has a lower density, a lower viscosity and a lower evaporation point than MEK but will act similarly as solvents. MEK may be the recommended solvent for this particular application as it will not evaporate quite so rapidly.

In other words - you should be fine with acetone if MEK was recommended. Just test an inconspicuous area first with a small amount on a cloth and make sure it's not too aggressive.

But, as noted, it can be very different for inorganic compounds that have apparently similar formulae.
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