Looking 4...

From: pete_at_dunnington.u-net.com <(pete_at_dunnington.u-net.com)>
Date: Sat Jan 4 05:37:00 2003

On Jan 4, 10:06, Philip Pemberton wrote:
> Tothwolf wrote:

> > MEK = Methyl Ethyl Ketone (C4H8O)? Is it actually obtainable for most
> > folks? I thought it was regulated since it is so toxic and dangerous?
> > Personally, I think I'd take safety precautions while working with the
> > stuff...
> I've heard of it being used to nuke potting compound. Should work on an
> but it'll probably rip up the screenprint on the caphat at the same time.
> don't have any MEK, nor do I want any - a bit of hacking (in the literal
> sense) with a craft knife/Dremel should get the caphat off.

MEK is indeed methyl ethyl ketone, aka butanone. It's not particularly
toxic, nor particularly dangerous -- very roughly on a par with iso-propyl
alcohol, and less dangerous than some solvents that have been mentioned on
this list for use on plastics. It's used industrially to "weld" ABS and
PVC, as a cleaner in the printing industry, as a degreasing agent, to clean
equipment used for plastic foam (including cans of the expanding urethane
foam filler used in the building industry), and as a constituent of some
plastic glues. It will dissolve most ink and some paints. Like IPA,
acetone (nail varnish remover), methylated sprit, etc, it's fairly

It will attack a lot of plastics, but not most epoxies (once properly
cured) or "waxy" plastics like polythene. The effect on potting compund
will depend on the compound, but it will make some types of RTV (Room
Temperature Vulcanising compound) "silicone" swell and eventually make some
types crumbly. BTW, the acetic acid given off by curing RTV is rated as
10-50 times more toxic than MEK :-)

Pete						Peter Turnbull
						Network Manager
						University of York
Received on Sat Jan 04 2003 - 05:37:00 GMT

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