OT - MEK residue

I've used MEK frequently as a solvent to "weld" styrene for models. Now I want to use it to join some styrene panels that will serve as dividers in an aquarium. Not model railroading, but I figure this group has a lot of expertise with the stuff.

Reading the MSDS, I can find nothing about any harmful residues, or any warning not to use it to mend food containers.

I do see that it is 100% volatile and if spilled has a half life of 1-10 days, presumably depending on quantity.

So my conclusion is that if I let the panels age for a week or two after joining them, there will be no problem.

If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know (hopefully with references to the appropriate documents). I'd hate to poison my fish.

And my apologies if anyone is offended by this off-topic question.

Reply to
Larry Blanchard
Loading thread data ...


Just make sure you work in a _well_ ventilated area -- outdoors if possible. MEK damage to your brain and other sensitive bits is cumulative. And yes, I would wait a week or so before putting the panels into the aquarium.

Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir

Right, the plastic will absorb some of the solvent (called "swelling") and it will take some time to desorb. Placing the parts in a warm place will speed up the process (not an oven, just not the garage in winter). A good clue is to wait until you cannot smell any residue around the parts.

Reply to
David B. Redmond

J.T. Baker SAF-T-DATA(tm) Ratings (Provided here for your convenience)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Health Rating: 2 - Moderate Flammability Rating: 4 - Extreme (Flammable) Reactivity Rating: 2 - Moderate Contact Rating: 2 - Moderate Lab Protective Equip: GOGGLES; LAB COAT; VENT HOOD; PROPER GLOVES; CLASS B EXTINGUISHER Storage Color Code: Red (Flammable)

Toxicological Data: Oral rat LD50: 2737 mg/kg; inhalation rat LC50: 23,500 mg/m3/8-hr; skin rabbit LD50: 6480 mg/kg;

That's a lot of exposure. Use plenty of ventilation and wear gloves and goggles, but don't be paranoid.

The danger of flash fire is much greater than the danger of chemical exposure.

Reply to
Cheery Littlebottom

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the plastic used in aquariums either plexiglas or llexan . If so, MEK does NOT work well on either one. You CAN get special cement for plex, check at a plumbing supply store. The solvent used for ABS plastic pipe may be a better choice (and since it's intended for plumbing, probobly less toxicity issues as well).


-- snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net

formatting link
snipped-for-privacy@yahoogroups.com moderator: snipped-for-privacy@yahoogroups.com moderator: snipped-for-privacy@yahoogroups.com co-moderator: snipped-for-privacy@Yahoogroups.com
formatting link

Reply to

See the quote from my original post above? Note the word "styrene"?

And the panels, once joined, will be fastened to the glass (not plastic) aquarium sides and floor with aquarium silicone caulk.

Thanks to all who responded to my off-topic question. Seems like it's safe to do what I'd planned as long as I wait for outgassing to complete.

Reply to
Larry Blanchard

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.