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Solvent for hardened epoxy resin?


#1

Hello

Does anyone know of a solvent for hardened epoxy resin that won’t
damage silver? I’ve a nasty feeling there isn’t anything as my son
(materials science engineer) hasn’t sent me an answer! I made a
necklet using leather fixed to it’s custom-designed, handmade silver
fastening with epoxy and now the customer has changed her mind about
the length. It is 18" now she wants 16". Short of cutting it off and
drilling out the leather and expoxy I can’t see how I could do it
without having to remake the silver fastening which I am reluctant to
do.

Any ideas gratefully received.

Collette (UK)


#2
hort of cutting it off and drilling out the leather and expoxy I
can't see how I could do it 

You can get the epoxy out by soaking it in Attack, read the
directions on the container and follow all the safety directions, use
it outside.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#3

Hello Collette, you can use a product called “attack” from any tool
supply. Or, for about a tenth the price you can soak it in paint
stripper for the same results.

Have fun.
tom arnold


#4

M.E.K. - one can usually get it at a paint store. it’s icy cold so
don’t let it contact your skin, put piece in a closed glass vessel
and let it soak (as you would for removing pitch). then remove,
rinse, and air dry (M.E.K. is the abbreviation of methyl ethyl ketone
by the way)…

rer


#5

Collette, try warm water for about 20 minutes. That should loosen it
so you can pull the leather apart from the clasp. Don’t put the
whole necklace in the water. Just put the end that you want to come
apart. And if that fails, put some ammonia into the water and try
again. I refurbish costume jewelry and this always loosens all the
glues and resins. Another thing will work is white vinegar and water.

Veva Bailey


#6

Epoxies start to fail at around the boiling point of water, so what
yo can do is dip one end into boiling water and after a couple of
mins it should be possible to pull apart.

The other option is to find a resin supply house and get some
"Epy-solve" it’s an acetone based solvent and so isn’t a nice thing
to have around.

Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.
Little Gems.
http://tjlittlegems.com


#7
Does anyone know of a solvent for hardened epoxy resin that won't
damage silver? 

The only useful solvent that I know of is methylene chloride, easily
obtained as paint stripper. Try soaking a piece of scrap silver
overnight to see if it’s affected.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#8

Hi Collette,

I think I can help. I am a gemcutter who uses a variety of
adhesives, including cyanoacrylates (Super Glue) and various epoxy
resins every day.

The super glue adhesives will all break down in acetone over a
period of a few hours. They will also break down in denatured
alcohol, usually overnight.

The two-part epoxies are pretty tough, and you didn’t mention a
brand.

There are variations in the chemical formulas and some of them are
VERY resistant, but all will break down with mehtylene chloride,
which is the main ingredient in commercial paint strippers. This
chemical is VERY toxic and should be used with adquate ventilation
like a hood or outside, away from pets and children. If you get it in
your eyes it can blind you and it is a carcinigen. With proper
respect, it is safe to use, as, after all, paint stripper is used
every day.

Just pour some in a glass container and drop whatever you have in it,
let sit overnight and it will be free. If you have one of the newer
and very powerful epoxies, gently warming the solution on a hot plate
until it boils (very low temp is required) will break the bond
quickly, although you may need to add more stripper as it boils
away. I’ve been doing this almost every day for almost 40 years and
I’m still here…oh, and it won’t hurt your silver.

Good luck!
Wayne Emery
www.thelittlecameras.com


#9
M.E.K. is the abbreviation of methyl ethyl ketone by the way.. 

Methylene chloride, not Methyl ethyl ketone, is the solvent for
epoxies. MEK doesn’t work so well. Heating is simpler though, if the
piece can take it.

Peter


#10

Hi Collette,

I have used heat to remove posts in pearls and rubber or leather
thong from sockets and over the years have got more daring. As long
as the metal part can be quickly heated to about 200*C+ without
directly heating the heat-sensitive part then the glue will soften
enough to pull apart. The heat must run through the metal and soften
the glue.

Hold the heat-sensitive part in your fingers about 1mm away from the
metal. Heat the metal without burning your fingers and and try
pulling the leather out. You may need strong tweezers or a creative
method to grip the metal while pulling…if it won’t budge then
quickly heat some more and try again.

The heat needs to be fierce and fast - fast enough to soften the
glue so that the pieces are pulled apart before too much heat can
permeate into the heat-sensitive part. The metal will need
cleaning/repolishing afterwards…for example a pearl with a
glued-in post topped by a 2mm eye; the eye will be momentarily red
hot by touching the bottom of the flame to the eye while my fingers
are 2mm away holding the pearl. I wait a moment for the heat to run
down the post and then pull and twist. Thongs glued into sockets are
easier because there is more exposed metal to heat up. If you are
bold enough the socket will literally pop off on it’s own! If you
can sacrifice 2" of leather and provided you can heat your silver
then this is the perfect opportunity to use heat.

There are many instances where the metal cannot be heated and for me
the alternative method is drilling/burring out the socket or post as
you fear! Burring out the residue is needed after the heating method
anyway so there is little difference going straight to
drilling/burring.

I am eager to be convinced that solvents can be quicker and/or less
problematic.

Alastair


#11

In previous posts I mentioned that a product called ATTACK works the
best on just about any glues that I’ve used in the past. If you go
to the Orchid archives you will find a ton of info. on this subject.
I haven’t had any problems with this product ever, and you can get it
from Stuller or most other tools suppliers, but it’s great!

Hope this helps!
Steve Cowan
Arista Designs
www.aristadesigns.net


#12
M.E.K. - one can usually get it at a paint store. 

MEK is available at many hardware stores as well.

Dave


#13
Epoxies start to fail at around the boiling point of water, so
what yo can do is dip one end into boiling water and after a couple
of mins it should be possible to pull apart. 

That’s certainly worth a try, though it depends on the epoxy.
Notably, the “five-minute” epoxies will usually soften in boiling
water. Most regular epoxies won’t.

The other option is to find a resin supply house and get some
"Epy-solve" it's an acetone based solvent and so isn't a nice
thing to have around. 

That’s a new one to me. Do you have more Google and
Bing searches come up with only one reference, this message.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#14
M.E.K. - one can usually get it at a paint store 

This is a common point of confusion. MEK won’t work. Methylene
chloride is what you want.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#15
That's a new one to me. Do you have more Google and
Bing searches come up with only one reference, this message. 

That would be because they changed the product name! They (West
System) now call them “Cleaner 850 and Cleaner 855”, and although
they don’t actually dissolve cured epoxy they do cause it to crumble,
you end with stuff that resembles sugar. Very volatile so you will
need to seal it in a glass jar or PET bottle (doesn’t seem to affect
this plastic). So long as there is good contact between the resin and
the solvent an overnight soaking should do the job. It won’t affect
silver, being as it’s (IIRC) acetone based, various other proprietary
thing are added (it smells different to acetone, more “fruity” is how
I’d describe it, BTW not a good idea to sniff it as it will kill your
liver!).

Took me a few minutes to find the new product name, but I knew where
to start the search… [grin]

Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.
Little Gems.
http://tjlittlegems.com


#16

Thank you all for your suggestions. The epoxy I used is the stronger
two part stuff so I’ll be trying the paint stripper suggestion
first. If that fails I’ll look for the specialised products that have
been referred to but I’m pretty confident that the paint stripper
should do the trick. The necklace comes back to me on Friday evening
so I shall be prepared.

Thanks again for your help.
Collette (UK)


#17
That would be because they changed the product name! They (West
System) now call them "Cleaner 850 and Cleaner 855", and although
they don't actually dissolve cured epoxy they do cause it to
crumble, you end with stuff that resembles sugar. 

It may be available only in the UK? Do you consider it safer than
Attack (methylene chloride)?

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#18

Collette,

I would suggest Methylene Chloride, available as paint stripper or
carburetor cleaner. Its available as Attack from some jewelry
suppliers. Follow the instructions closely.

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Henderson, NV


#19

Collette,

The epoxy resin solvent you need is called “Attack”, sold here in the
US, which I think is MEK. Good with many stones, including pearls, I
believe. Really a life-saver (not the candy or life-saving float).

Jay Whaley


#20

Jay,

The epoxy resin solvent you need is called "Attack", sold here in
the US, which I think is MEK. 

Attack is methylene chloride, not MEK.
Same ingredient as in paint stripper.

Wayne Emery
The Gemcutter
www.thelittlecameras.com