dissolving cured epoxy

I have an Inconel 600 plate sample mounted in epoxy (for metallographic
examination), however I learned too late that my boss wants SEM images
of some features on the plate. I'm looking for a solvent that can
dissolve the cured epoxy while not harming the Inconel sample. Of
course I Googled it before I posted here, and the only real hit I got
was some DIY website that said hot MEK will dissolve cured epoxy. Is
this claim accurate? Also, what are the hazards associated with
heating MEK, aside from the volatility/noxious fumes? Is there any
risk of it reacting unfavorably with the Inconel or the epoxy?
Thank you in advance.
Reply to
brian stahl
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Crosslinked epoxy is really not soluble but solvent may plasticize it and remove it. Check the MSDS on MEK and run in area where fumes can disipate and not catch fire. I would think a paint remover with methylene chloride might work. There are still fumes but heat is not needed. Frank
Reply to
Frank Logullo
Google "epoxy solvent" and this is what you get:
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These products worked well for me.
Al
Reply to
Al
Dear Brian,
As already posted by the colleagues, cured epoxy does not dissolve. However, as manufacturer and user of adhesives and coatings, I used to clean my samples and remove cured epoxy with the following mixture : ether (such as methoxypropanol) / aromatic (such as xylene) / ketonic (such as acetone or MEK) Etching for some minutes at room temperature ; then remove the plasticized and softened epoxy with a spatula. It comes very easily, but it depends whether your epoxy is based is aromatic or aliphatic.
Hope this helps.
Nicolas DELFAU
"brian stahl" a écrit dans le message de news: snipped-for-privacy@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
Reply to
Nicolas DELFAU
if you're after getting the sample out of the mount, this is what I do. scribe some notches on the back of the mount (make sure they surround your sample and run from one end of the mount to the other. Then drop it in liquid nitrogen for a few minutes, pull it out, and stick it in some vice grips. You can either then squeeze the vice grip and break the mount, or stick a flathead screwdriver into the notches and tap on the back with rubber mallets. You should be very careful though so as not to ruin your good finish ( if you have one) -srvclapton
Reply to
srvclapton
Thank you all for your advice. I was considering using liquid nitrogen to mechanically remove the epoxy, but there are some fine diameter holes in the plate that I am interested in that would still be filled with epoxy. Anyways, I explained the situation to the boss and he said don't bother with the SEM.
Reply to
brian stahl
nitrogen
I have had very good experience doing exactly what you propose with epoxy mounted specimens. Methylene Chloride or Trichloroethylene soaked overnight will do the trick. Usually after a couple hours the epoxy will soften and swell that you can physically remove the specimen and resoak in solvent to get the rest of the epoxy.
Reply to
ceraboy

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