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I've been thinking about building a new viv sometime soon and was wondering if paint thinner(denatured alcohol) could be used instead of toluene, as I haven't found toluene anywhere in my area. Would I be able to use this or would there be some chemicals left in my viv due to its impurities?
 

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Paint thinner and alcohol are two diferent things. What do you want to use it for? Toluene is used for thinning silicone, xylene will also work ive heard, thinner or alcohol will not.
 

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i wouldnt use that paint stripper. the naptha would worry me. your talking about something that not only affects the nervous system, but is quite irritating topically as well. the acetic acid is also powerfully corrosive and can cause a number of problems that can be fatal in both humans and animals.

Hazardous Components (Chemical Name) CAS # Concentration

1.Light aliphatic solvent naphtha (petroleum) 64742-89-8 15.0 -40.0 %
2. Acetic acid, ethyl ester {Ethyl acetate} 141-78-6 15.0 -40.0 %
3. Petroleum Hydrocarbons 64742-95-6 10.0 -30.0 %
4. 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene {Pseudocumene} 95-63-6 7.0 -13.0 %
5. Xylene (mixed isomers) {Benzene, dimethyl-} 1330-20-7 1.0 -5.0 %


both toluene and xylene are derived from benzene. the difference is simply that toluene has a single methyl group in the first position and xylene has 2 methyl groups in the 1,2 /1,3 /or 1,4 positions.

they both should evaporate leaving minimal residuals behind.

xylene is available at most hardware stores

james
 

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Xylene too is banned by the people's republic of california.

Any of these things are incredibly nasty solvents that cause all sorts of problems with prolonged and repeated exposure. The "pure" versions definately evaporate and outgas much sooner than the mutilated versions allowed by CARB, but EVENTUALLY they do outgas.

If you've got access to the nastier chems, by all means use them -they are much more effective solvents than the adulterated versions
 

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Xylene too is banned by the people's republic of california.

Any of these things are incredibly nasty solvents that cause all sorts of problems with prolonged and repeated exposure. The "pure" versions definately evaporate and outgas much sooner than the mutilated versions allowed by CARB, but EVENTUALLY they do outgas.

If you've got access to the nastier chems, by all means use them -they are much more effective solvents than the adulterated versions
I have found it (xylene/toluene) here at Dixieline and a local hardware store in Ramona.....
 

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Xylene too is banned by the people's republic of california.

Any of these things are incredibly nasty solvents that cause all sorts of problems with prolonged and repeated exposure. The "pure" versions definately evaporate and outgas much sooner than the mutilated versions allowed by CARB, but EVENTUALLY they do outgas.

If you've got access to the nastier chems, by all means use them -they are much more effective solvents than the adulterated versions
The reason some places have banned them is due to the improper disposal of the solvents along with the long term risks they can pose to people... (see for example http://oehha.ca.gov/water/phg/pdf/xylen_c.pdf)

Not only do those chemicals present a risk for things like neurotoxicity but they can interfere with DNA.

If your going to use these materials you really need to make sure that you take the proper precautions during the use and subsequent outgassing.

Ed
 

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Can someone explain the purpose of thinning the silicone? I've seen it mentioned around here a lot recently but I can't seem to figure out why this is the latest fad.

Also how "thin" do you want it? Thin enough that you can brush it onto a background with a paintbrush instead of smearing with a gloved finger? I mean if it's too thin won't it pool into the cracks and recesses?

I ask because I've got a fix-all for the thinning issue that doesn't involve hazardous materials,VOC's, or otherwise anything nasty, I just need to know what properties/uses you are going for to see if it's worth bothering to investigate.
 

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Can someone explain the purpose of thinning the silicone? I've seen it mentioned around here a lot recently but I can't seem to figure out why this is the latest fad.

Also how "thin" do you want it? Thin enough that you can brush it onto a background with a paintbrush instead of smearing with a gloved finger? I mean if it's too thin won't it pool into the cracks and recesses?

I ask because I've got a fix-all for the thinning issue that doesn't involve hazardous materials,VOC's, or otherwise anything nasty, I just need to know what properties/uses you are going for to see if it's worth bothering to investigate.
I'm puzzled as well;... So don't leave us hanging...

Ed
 

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Sorry bout' this :eek: I did it on my build, and people liked the end result, so they want to use the same method. I definitely didnt come up with it though, I just seemed to make it popular. I keep telling peole it isnt neccessary, and that I only did it because I had hard to reach places on my background. Thinning it made application with a paintbrush possible, and gave me a longer working time before adding peat to the surface. There is a long discussion in my thread about how toluene is the only thinning agent that should be used because of its molecular composition... Also that proper precautions should be used when exposed to it. People dont read all +50 pages though so some things are missed. Cant blaim em' either lol
 

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Yea toluene is some nasty stuff. I've worked with it before as a thinner for silicone dyes for use in an air-brush. The organic vapor mask was almost not enough. Yuck.

I'll need to do a bit more testing but so far the preliminary tests of my theory seem to be holding well. Basically it involves extending the polymer chain rather than using a solvent. Main thing is I want to make sure that the final matrix's properties are still capable of meeting our needs. Adhesion, flexibility, etc...
 

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My take on thinning silicone is this:

First, it makes the "wet" silicon much easier to control. Second, I never got worthwhile results pressing peat/ coco into uncured silicon to make the results practical/ good looking, thinning the silicon and incorporating the fiber into the slurry solved this issue (doesn't work so well trying to mix fiber into unthinned silicon)

Toulene does seem to dissolve cured silicon which is at least somewhat problematic in an aquarium or at least the solvent releases the adhesive attachment. This does make clean up less problematic too though.

It's really not a good idea to do though, the fumes really are that nasty.
 

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Sorry bout' this :eek: I did it on my build, and people liked the end result, so they want to use the same method. I definitely didnt come up with it though, I just seemed to make it popular. I keep telling peole it isnt neccessary, and that I only did it because I had hard to reach places on my background. Thinning it made application with a paintbrush possible, and gave me a longer working time before adding peat to the surface. There is a long discussion in my thread about how toluene is the only thinning agent that should be used because of its molecular composition... Also that proper precautions should be used when exposed to it. People dont read all +50 pages though so some things are missed. Cant blaim em' either lol
some of us reread the 50+ pages to get back up to speed...and enjoyed it all over again. The cautions on the use of Toluene is significant, so people are looking for a SAFE alternative to it. Epoxy is even more difficult to work with because of the "open" time with which to use it. Personally, although I was able to buy a gallon of the toluene, I'm scared to death to use it!!
 
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