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what is? Isopropyl Alcohol

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dave parnham12/08/2017 16:16:22
147 forum posts
11 photos

It is used apparently for wiping excess superglue off the covering when installing furry hinges........but what is it? And where do you purchase it.

Also any commonly used alternatives used instead.

Many thanks

john stones 112/08/2017 16:42:47
9565 forum posts
1428 photos

A solvent/cleaner

Don Fry12/08/2017 17:02:09
2498 forum posts
30 photos

ISO propyl alcohol is also known as propan2ol. It just means the OH, alcohol bit, is attached to the middle carbon of the three carbon chain rather than the end carbon as in propanol, or propan1ol.

It is used by the bio diesel folk. Can get it on E Bay, buy the high purity type, 99%.

It's the solvent of choice for thinning epoxy. You will get a load of drivel that you can use meths, etc. But you will find that while it works, it inhibits chain polymerisation, resulting in a shorter chain, and lower tensile strength.

A poison like all alcohols, treat and handle as you would meths.

Colin Bernard12/08/2017 17:20:28
427 forum posts
69 photos
You can get it at Maplins and it's a good general purpose cleaner for getting rid of grease e.g. finger marks. Use for cleaning pc boards too
FastFlyer Smyth12/08/2017 18:33:28
301 forum posts
10 photos

Always test on a small area before use. It can be harmful to certain surfaces/plastics.

Ask me how I know.

Trevor12/08/2017 18:50:40
272 forum posts
33 photos

I use surgical spirit, simply because it was easily available when I wanted an alcohol-based solvent. I've no idea how it compares with the higher grade products mentioned above though.

Martin Harris12/08/2017 22:39:35
7631 forum posts
189 photos

I've used meths many times for such jobs as fuel proofing and non structural glass fibre work in a hurry with thinned 5 or 30 minute epoxy but haven't really been sure about the effect on strength. Don's post seems pretty authoritive - why? Because I've read his profile!

If you haven't seen this thread, perhaps now would be a good time to have a peep...

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 13/08/2017 09:03:48

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator12/08/2017 22:56:26
15336 forum posts
1409 photos

Acetone will also remove excess CA - you can buy it in pretty well any pharmacy.


PETER BRUCE - Eastchurch Gap12/08/2017 23:31:18
742 forum posts
106 photos

Use it on my telescope mirror for "very occasional" cleaning as it leaves no residues on the mirror. Although not model related you will see why you need a good quality clean mirror to capture the photons of light which have traveled so many light years to get here... Enjoy. Regards Peter

Piers Bowlan13/08/2017 05:15:38
1250 forum posts
36 photos

Wow, really very impressive Peter, thanks for that ( expensive hobby too, - makes model flying look cheap!)

Dave Bran13/08/2017 06:09:50
1892 forum posts
5 photos

I use it to limit the adhesion of double sided taped wheels while the foam tyres are forced on, then left while it evaporates.

AND........... seconds in Google (other search engines are available) produced numerous purchase opportunities

Peter Miller13/08/2017 08:20:18
9117 forum posts
1048 photos
10 articles

Chemists are only allowed to sell 50mil bottles of acetone. They used to sell 500 mil bottles. This was after some types where going to use it for nefarious purposes.

Then I looked on ebay and the first listing was for a gallon of the stuff.

I ordered 500 mil and it arrived by Royal Mail!!

Later supplies have come by carrier.

I was also amazed to see that you can buy Ether on Ebay. Considering how hard it is to buy diesel fuel that is pretty amazing.

The Wright Stuff14/08/2017 08:31:30
1205 forum posts
225 photos

Sorry if this is obvious, but I'll say it anyway. Be very careful with acetone, it is MUCH more aggressive as a solvent than isopropyl alcohol (IPA) or indeed any of the other solvents. There are quite a few coverings / paint jobs where IPA is fine to use but acetone will attack very very quickly.

As always, test before use, but do not assume that acetone is an like-for-like substitute for IPA because it is not.

I work with both semiconductors and optics, in a clean room where cleanliness of the bits we are working on is vital. Generally, we use IPA, resorting to acetone only for really stubborn cleaning jobs (it can even attack coatings on glass optics).

Note also that meths is primarily ethanol ('ordinary' alcohol), so as a solvent and a cleaner works very similarly to IPA. The main difference is the purple dye that is added to indicate that it is toxic due to the added 5% methanol (to prevent people from drinking it, thus allowing it to be sold without alcohol tax). This can leave a white residue upon drying, so it's better to use IPA where possible.

Edited By The Wright Stuff on 14/08/2017 08:33:52

bert baker14/08/2017 09:57:41
1153 forum posts
247 photos

I've Seen isopropanol if it's the same stuff used with dry ice to freeze down the irons used on horses to make the white numbers often seen on them,

Cuban814/08/2017 11:10:13
1992 forum posts
3 photos
On the subject of meths, I've noticed that new bottles of the stuff smell very different to what I used to buy. The old meths smell that you associate with Mamod engines and spirit burners is gone. My old bottle of meths says it contains Methanol but the new one says contains Ethanol. The new bottles work just the same, but I'm curious as to why the formula has been changed.
Alan Gorham_14/08/2017 11:16:45
465 forum posts
44 photos

Methylated Spirits was always mainly ethanol, I understood that the colour and small amount of other chemicals was to make it unappealing to drink by alcoholics.

It may be that these other ingredients have changed...

Don Fry14/08/2017 13:00:31
2498 forum posts
30 photos

Funny enough, the French equivalent of meths is "alcool a brûlée", comes in 90% and 100% versions. Now the French don't have many hang ups about alcohol, little duty on it, and sure enough, just looked at my bottle of 90 %, and it is alcohol, (ethanol). No additives it appears. Euro labelled, and no poison warning. Ethanol is the only alcohol not considered poisonous enough to have no label warning. But don't quote me on the last, I'm very rusty and never knew much about food/poison labelling.

And Peter, if ever in France, all supermarkets sell such useful things, including litre bottles of acetone, and fuming hydrochloric acid.

Health and safety in France is more towards the don't be stupid attitude, rather than guard against any harm that besets the United Kingdom.

I live in a village, ex inland port, with wharves and deep water. No warnings, deep water etc. No life belts.

Geoff Sleath14/08/2017 13:24:46
2662 forum posts
199 photos
Posted by Don Fry on 14/08/2017 13:00:31:

Health and safety in France is more towards the don't be stupid attitude, rather than guard against any harm that besets the United Kingdom.

I live in a village, ex inland port, with wharves and deep water. No warnings, deep water etc. No life belts.

That's certainly true. I remember, some years ago walking across the Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct. It's about 4 metres wide and very high in the middle with no guards whatsoever. I'm afraid I wouldn't dare now However life belts are handy where there's deep water. Accidents do happen even to people who aren't being stupid.

We used to use a Trangia meths stove for cycle camping and always took an aluminium Sig bottle full of meths to France (we carried it in our cabin luggage! Those were the days) but soon discovered that French alcool worked just as well and readily available.

I had a gallon of acetone which came indirectly from a local firm which made high quality competition fibre glass kayaks and was what they used for thinning epoxy and I used it for the same purpose. (My friend knew the owner. It wasn't pinched btw). Acetone is used in nail polish remover so you can use that as a (expensive) substitute.


Cuban814/08/2017 13:33:32
1992 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by Alan Gorham_ on 14/08/2017 11:16:45:

Methylated Spirits was always mainly ethanol, I understood that the colour and small amount of other chemicals was to make it unappealing to drink by alcoholics.

It may be that these other ingredients have changed...

Whatever they've changed, I must admit that the repellent odour that characterised Meths has been replaced with something that TBH (and please don't misunderstand me) is actually not particularly unpleasant at all. Not a good move.

MattyB14/08/2017 15:36:52
1789 forum posts
27 photos

IPA (IsopPropyl Alcohol, not the beer!) is readily available from Amazon very cheaply. It's great stuff, far better than meths (no residue left behind) and has lots of uses around the house. I have just got into mountain biking, and along with the specialists degreasers is the solvent of choice for cleaning various bicycle components. Amazing how easy it is to buy online in large quantities, though.

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