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Subject: Source for Naphtha sought

Source for Naphtha sought

From: Tom James Braun <tom.braun>
Date: Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Maya Dresner <dresner [at] tamuseum__com> writes

>I am looking for suppliers of naphtha solvent. For many years I have
>used BDH, but for some unknown reason it's not possible to trade
>with them any more in Israel. Can you offer any suggestions for
alternative suppliers?

I cannot really answer your question Maya, but it raises an
interesting question that we have been grappling with lately, as I
think the name naphtha may have fallen out of use with some U.S.
manufacturers.  I think Naphtha as Americans know it was a cocktail
of various solvents that were a product of a specific hydrocarbon
cracking and distillation process, but I wonder if the cracking and
distillation processes have changed.  My boss was trying to buy some
naphtha and was having a hard time.  After looking into it, the
conclusion I came up with is the following:

Naphtha is an archaic name for what today is called petroleum
benzine, but also formerly known as petroleum ether or benzine.  It
is similar to what is commonly called VM&P Naphtha but Naphtha is
more volatile, lower in density, has a lower boiling range, and a
lower flash point (it is more flammable).  It is composed mainly of
methane hydrocarbons such as pentenes and hexanes.  I do not think
this is what you are looking for, as it evaporates quite quickly and
has a very strong odor.

I think what you are looking for is VM&P Naphtha (Varnish makers and
painters naphtha) which itself is an archaic name for a blend of
hydrocarbon solvents.  It is also known as ligroin, mineral spirits,
Stoddard solvent, petroleum spirits, refined solvent naphtha,
benzoline, and canadol.  It is similar to what is commonly called
Naphtha but VM&P naphtha is higher in density, has a higher boiling
range, and a higher flash point (less flammable).

Of course there are differences between usage of these terms in the
U.S., the U.K., and elsewhere in the world.  Can anyone help clarify
or add to this?

Tom Braun
Objects Conservator
Daniels Objects Conservation Laboratory
Minnesota Historical Society

                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:34
                 Distributed: Saturday, January 6, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-20-34-001
Received on Tuesday, 26 December, 2006

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