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Author: Subject: How to get Methyl Ethyl Ketone (Butanone) in California or suitable alternative?
UncleJoe1985
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[*] posted on 22-11-2016 at 03:05
How to get Methyl Ethyl Ketone (Butanone) in California or suitable alternative?


Anyone know how to get MEK so I can try to fuse a head phone band that snapped? This is for expensive 7.1 surround headphones.

I'm in California and I can't find MEK anywhere since the ban. I can't order online either since most retailers are aware of the ban. :(

If I can't get MEK, then what could be some alternatives for dissolving hard, thermoset plastics so that they can be joined?

I don't understand what's so bad about MEK?
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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 22-11-2016 at 03:31


DCM might work ?
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UncleJoe1985
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[*] posted on 22-11-2016 at 04:03


The advantage of MEK is that it's much less volatile than acetone, so it has more time to penetrate. In that regard, CH2Cl2 is even worse than acetone, so I doubt it's a suitable replacement.

Code:
boiling point (C) vapor pressure (kPa) acetone: 56.1 30.6 @25C MEK: 79.6 10.4 @20C DCM: 39.6 57.3 @25C


Did you try joining plastic using DCM yourself? I tried soaking the broken joint in acetone for 10 minutes and hoped that it would penetrate and make the plastic gooey, but it didn't at all. Maybe volatility doesn't matter and only a different solvant will work.

I'd be willing to give DCM a try, if I can find it. Unfortunately, it seems quite unpopular too these days.
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[*] posted on 22-11-2016 at 04:21


Plumbers PVC cement contains a significant amount of MEK -- at least around here it does. You could try distilling that. (And if it does not contain MEK then it quite likely contains something else that will do the job.)



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[*] posted on 22-11-2016 at 06:34


If acetone did nothing to the plastic, MEK won't either.
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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 22-11-2016 at 06:44


Yes, I first used DCM (unknowingly) as a kid in glues for model airplanes. It works really well. Also melts the plastic very efficiently if you put too much...
Then, when I got more into chemistry I used it as a solvent for extractions. Of course, by then I had recognized the smell.

I think the last repair I did with DCM was on a toothbrush to show off :)

I cant be certain that it would work on your plastic though. I dont think any of the plastics I used it on were thermoset / resins.

j_sum's comment made me think that around here THF is used in PVC glues. I might be mistaken but I think I also encountered it in paint strippers.
That might be agressive enough for your needs but I suspect it'll be even harder to find :-/
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[*] posted on 22-11-2016 at 07:24


Yes, PVC and ABS cements contain THF.

Oakey Regular Clear Cement, as formulated for California, contains:
Methyl ethyl ketone 25-40%
Cyclohexanone 10-25%
THF 10-25%
Acetone 5-15%
Polyvinyl chloride 5-15%

The Medium Clear Cement is:
THF 30-50%
Acetone 10-25%
Methyl ethyl ketone 10-25%
Polyvinyl chloride 12-20%
Cyclohexanone 10-20%
Fumed Silica 5 1-5%

The ABS Cement is:
Methyl ethyl ketone 30-60%
ABS 15-40%
Acetone 10-30%

The PVC and ABS they dissolve in the cement is a bit annoying if you aren't using it to glue those exact materials.

Only a little 2-butanone/MEK is needed for this purpose, so you can order that from Elemental Scientific for $5.99 (plus shipping) for 4 oz.

You can also get 30 mL pure THF on eBay for $9 shipped.

[Edited on 22-11-2016 by careysub]




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[*] posted on 22-11-2016 at 16:13


Instead of MEK, I've used a mixture of acetone and toluene (I don't remember the exact ratio, but it was around 5:1) for solvent welding ABS plastic. The more toluene there is, the longer it takes to cure.



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[*] posted on 24-11-2016 at 05:57


I buy my Methyl Ethyl Ketone (2-butanone) at Canadian Tire, 1 L is 12 or 14$.
Want some?




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[*] posted on 24-11-2016 at 09:30


CareySub-

Could you take a look at the contents of PVC and CPVC CLEANERS, rather than CEMENTS?

Or point out your source for the % content given above?

These cleaners are usually available with a dye to show inspectors that cleaning was done, but some are available without dye as well. I assume they are a similar solvent to the cements, as they seem to be dissolving a bit of the surface




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[*] posted on 24-11-2016 at 11:18


Uh sometimes the finish for sailboat hulls has significant amounts of MEK mixed with MEKP
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[*] posted on 24-11-2016 at 12:08


Quote: Originally posted by Bert  
CareySub-

Could you take a look at the contents of PVC and CPVC CLEANERS, rather than CEMENTS?

Or point out your source for the % content given above?


Here are the products I find listed for sale in California:

Oatey Purple Primer for CPVC, PVC
SDS Product code 1402EP
Acetone 25-40
Cyclohexanone 25-40%
THF 15-30%
Methyl ethyl ketone 15-30%

Oatey Clear Cleaner
30795
Product code 1400C
Methyl Ethyl Ketone 40 – 70%
Acetone 40 - 70%

Oatey Purple Primer Cleaner
30769
Product code 1401E
Acetone 70-100
Cyclohexanone 1-5

Oatey Clear PVC Primer
60465
SDS Product code 7402E
Acetone 30-60%
Cyclohexanone 15-40%
THF 10-30%
Methyl ethyl ketone 10-30%

Oatey Clear Primer
30751
SDS Product code 1402E
Acetone 30-60%
Cyclohexanone 15-40%
THF 10-30%
Methyl ethyl ketone 10-30%

To find out what Oatey has for sale I looked up the Oatey products at a California Home Depot store, then looked up the product codes in the Oatey site SDS finder, looking at the US listed SDS's.

The first two listed is the most interesting and actually the most widely available it seems.


[Edited on 24-11-2016 by careysub]




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[*] posted on 17-1-2017 at 01:24


OK, I've tried Oatey all purpose cement and it didn't do any better than epoxy or super glue. I even soaked a piece of the plastic in it for an hour and it didn't soften up.

But I did find the solution: 3D printing! I just got an ANET A8 and used it to print some reinforcements and it works almost like new. Earlier, I was using Locktite self fusing repair wrap, but it wasn't rigid enough.

This gives me a lot of ideas. Imagine 3D printing industrial chemical apparatus like fractional distillation columns. Maybe not, since ABS is hardly chemical resistent, it will have to be lined with something that is like PTFE (which can't be 3D printed because it decomposes).

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[*] posted on 17-1-2017 at 01:38


I see you found your solution, but for futher reference; chloroform works like a charm. It soaks into the plastic fast and then takes quite long to cure giving the plastic the chance to fuse.


[Edited on 17-1-2017 by Tsjerk]
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[*] posted on 9-1-2021 at 15:41


If i bubble methyl chloride through acetone would i produce MEK?
I know methyl chloride react with benzene to make toluene and much cheaper than the iodide
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[*] posted on 9-1-2021 at 15:47


Quote: Originally posted by Fluorite  
If i bubble methyl chloride through acetone would i produce MEK?
I know methyl chloride react with benzene to make toluene and much cheaper than the iodide


There's a huge difference between methylation of aliphatic compounds and the Fiedel-Crafts alkylation. Please look into those two before asking such simple stuff.
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[*] posted on 9-1-2021 at 21:17


Two notes. If the plastic didn't soften in oatey products then it is likely PE.
Although it is possible to soften PE with solvents it isn't very effective for bonding.
A heat gun would work better.

Also there are PTFE 3d filaments, but they aren't straight PTFE.
They have to be used with good ventilation due to off-gassing.
But FEP is more commonly available.

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[*] posted on 10-1-2021 at 13:53


new Swamp cooler spiders USED to come with MEK to glue them together. Dial brand.



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[*] posted on 10-1-2021 at 15:13


California sounds like another EU.

Can you ban it? If yes, it shall be banned.
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