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Author Topic: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?  (Read 7247 times)

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Offline SheldonC

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2017, 01:06:06 am »


I also use ipa, which is readily available from a local electronics store here in Australia.

Almost 100%!
  I'm reminded by this post that ethyl alcohol (what you find in your best cognacs & single malts) is/was manufactured by BP Chemicals, who never advertised it as 100% pure, because the product is hydrophyllic - i.e. it readily absorbs water, even the moisture in the atmosphere.  If I remember correctly, they sold it as "99.5% pure", because they either couldn't guarantee they could remove all the water or they knew that anything that came out of their distillery @ 100% purity would absorb moisture before it reached the end user.  I expect other alcohols (such as methyl or isopropyl) have a similar propensity for water absorption

Offline SheldonC

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2017, 01:35:50 am »
When I said "hydrophilic", I suspect I should have said "hygroscopic"; mea culpa.

Online austinbob

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2017, 08:16:36 am »
Here's some data I posted earlier in this thread - just a reminder.
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=37820.msg448703#msg448703

Cheers
 :beers:
Size matters - especially if you don't have a lot of space - and N gauge is the answer!

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Offline RichardBattersby

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2017, 09:35:46 am »
This is likely to be a stupid question, but, presumably by buying a lower concentration, we're less likely to see damage to the aforementioned plastics and paint?

Also, can anyone repost the plastics list with examples of where they would be found in our modelling world? E.g loco body = PVC, bogies = styrene etc. As I've absolutely no idea what is made from which plastic.
 :thankyousign:
Richard
Askham Battersby MKII - NE/Midland Modular Layout

"We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing."

Online austinbob

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2017, 09:45:11 am »
Not a silly question Richard. 70% IPA is just as dodgy as neat IPA (if there is such a thing) IPA is hygroscopic which means it absorbs water, even from the atmosphere. I believe it stops absorbing water between 60% and 70% concentration. So even 'neat' IPA is likely to lose some of its concentration on contact with the atmosphere.
As for your second question, I don't know what sort of plastics are used in models, maybe someone else can help with that. However I think damage to paint is much more likely than damage to most plastics.
 :beers:
Size matters - especially if you don't have a lot of space - and N gauge is the answer!

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Offline RichardBattersby

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #35 on: July 20, 2017, 09:53:58 am »
Perfect, thank you! :)
Richard
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Offline Webbo

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2017, 08:44:19 am »
The latest issue of the MRH contains the following article on track cleaning:

http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/31348?page=3#comment-305058

In a nutshell it claims that polar solvents including IPA (and water) leave a residue on the track that encourages electrical arcing and the build up of black oxides on the track. According to the article, non-polar solvents are less prone to causing this problem. I've not heard of this idea before. Does anyone out there have any comments on this or have any other references to it? It seems to me that IPA and water should evaporate completely and not leave any residues aside from the dirt that has not been mopped up by the cleaning pad.

Is this fake news or should we be paying attention?

Webbo

Online Bealman

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2017, 08:58:28 am »
Fake news. Absolute rubbish.

As you know, Ian, IPA evaporates almost as soon as it is put onto a surface.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Online weave

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2017, 09:10:27 am »
Thank you and phew! Was getting bit worried there.

Cheers weave  :beers:

PS No one contradict Bealman .......Please.

Offline Webbo

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2017, 09:15:44 am »
Certainly, my suspicion too, George.

On the other hand, how about placing pyramids on the track to clean it?

Webbo

Offline kirky

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2017, 09:16:41 am »
Recently, whilst exhibiting Northallerton over a weekend, we had good reason to keep the track and wheels clean!
Undoubtedly cleaning the track with IPA is the most successful method we have found.
I fear however, that the track just gets dirty again because of what it picks up from the wheels. We take the time to clean loco wheels but we have never yet cleaned wagon or coach wheels. We just dont have time for that. We probably run in excess of thirty trains on Northallerton probably with an average of about 100 wheels per train (12 units with 8 wheels each).  Thats three thousand wheels to clean! 
Im afraid I'm convinced that dirty wagon and coach wheels are the main culprit of dirty track. Nothing to do with polar bears getting drunk on IPA  :laugh3:

Cheers
Kirky
Northallerton is making its next appearance in the August 2018 edition of Raiway Modeller

and in real life at RailEx NE North Shields, 28th/29th July 2018.
And then at our very own Cleveland Model Railway Club exhibition, Redcar College, Corporation Road, Redcar 4/5 August 2018.

Layout: Northallerton: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=1671.msg16930#msg16930

www.northallertonngauge.co.uk

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Online Bealman

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #41 on: October 28, 2017, 09:34:14 am »
 :laughabovepost:

Thanks mate. I tend to agree, especially with plastic wheels. They end up with a coating of dirt, which needs cleaning off with a toothpick.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline PaulCheffus

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #42 on: October 28, 2017, 10:25:46 am »
:laughabovepost:

Thanks mate. I tend to agree, especially with plastic wheels. They end up with a coating of dirt, which needs cleaning off with a toothpick.

Hi

I changed all my wheels to metal a few years ago and the track gets nowhere near as dirty as it did before. I've also found regular running keeps everything clean with very little need to clean the track.

Cheers

Paul

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #43 on: October 28, 2017, 10:36:53 am »
Thanks  Paul.

I am a strong believer in running trains, and run em often.

It does keep the track clean.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline railsquid

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Re: Track cleaning - Is IPA less than ideal?
« Reply #44 on: October 28, 2017, 10:47:53 am »
Certainly, my suspicion too, George.

On the other hand, how about placing pyramids on the track to clean it?
That would just sharpen the track?
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

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