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Subject: Solvents for epoxy

Solvents for epoxy

From: Stephen Koob <koobs>
Date: Monday, December 2, 1996
This is in reply to Mark Vine's query on solvents for epoxy resins
such as Epotek 301-2.

In my opinion, the best solvent for epoxy adhesives is
dichloromethane (CH2Cl2), the pure solvent.  I do not like to use
the aqueous forms in prolonged contact with glass.

Use all necessary safety precautions: gloves, fume hood.  This
solvent is extremely volatile, so you should always use it in a
closed container. Lidded plastic containers made of polypropylene
are ideal, but double bagging polyethylene bags is also serviceable.
The join to be taken apart can be wrapped with cotton and the cotton
liberally wetted with solvent. Soaking is also recommended, but it
does require a lot of solvent; however the solvent will not harm the
glass.  Tie the bags closed and cushion the object to prevent
further damage.  If a lidded plastic container is used, you will
need to work out some type of cushioning inside, and be sure to lift
a corner of the lid every few seconds to release the build up of
pressure.  (This only needs to be done for the first few minutes,
but if you don't, the lid will blow off).

The epoxy should swell to a gel-like state within 2 hours for thin
joins; 8 hours or longer for thick (1 cm) joins.  Brush residues off
with a solvent proof brush and clean solvent, and give a final rinse
with acetone.

Stephen Koob
Department of Conservation and Scientific Research
Freer Gallery of Art
Smithsonian Institution
Washington DC 20560
202-357-4880 x276

                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:52
                Distributed: Wednesday, December 4, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-52-003
Received on Monday, 2 December, 1996

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