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Author Topic: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol  (Read 613 times)

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Offline newportnobby

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2017, 09:43:09 am »

IPA is more effective than many solvents such as white spirit, meths and many of the proprietary track cleaners because it leaves almost no residue after it has evaporated. I find the best way to use it is to dampen a clean cloth with it and wipe along the track. Alternatively use a tidy track (from woodland scenics) with the soft grey pads moistened with IPA and rubbed along the track. You'll be amazed at how much muck you see on the cloth or pads after just one application.


Like Bob, I use IPA (99%) with a WS track cleaner although I use the brown pads to apply the IPA, leave for a few minutes for it to evaporate then use the grey pads as a final wipe. I find the good running that ensues will last for at least 3 months (the layout is in my conservatory). It has no effect on the Peco track sleepers and, used with a pipe cleaner, is good for running between point blades.
As others have said, do not get it on model paintwork!

Offline NeilWhite

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2017, 09:52:34 am »
For some of us Isopropyl Alcohol is also available from the local hardware store (e.g. Bunnings in Australia) - with the solvents and stuff in or near the paint department:

https://www.bunnings.com.au/diggers-125ml-isopropyl-cleaning-alcohol_p1564443


Maybe also at Bunnings (and other hardware stores?) in the UK. It really is not hard to get hold of.

Neil
 

Offline Bealman

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2017, 10:26:03 am »
Thanks, Neil. For Aussie readers the bottle in my pic came from Jaycar.  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline austinbob

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2017, 11:27:33 am »
Some interesting information regarding IPA and its effects on plastics
Apparently IPA has no effect on (unpainted)..

Low and High density Polyethylene
Polypropylene
Polystyrene
PTFE
PVC


It has a minor effect on ABS

It has a severe effect on Polycarbonate.

Painted plastic surfaces may be subject to crazing or paint removal, depending on length of exposure and type of paint.

Apparently IPA is hygroscopic which means it absorbs water from the atmosphere or other sources. It stops absorbing water when the concentration is about 65% IPA. So those of you who are buying more expensive concentrated IPA may be wasting your time as it rapidly absorbs moisture.

All this info seems to be from credible sources of chemical manufacturers etc.

Of course this doesn't really change anything in terms of track cleaning but I thought it might be interesting to post.
 :beers:
Size matters - especially if you don't have a lot of space - and N gauge is the answer!

Bob Austin

Offline escafeld

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2017, 12:06:36 pm »
If IPA can cause issues with painted surfaces, has anybody who has painted the rail sides had any problem using IPA?

Offline The Q

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2017, 12:18:29 pm »
Some interesting information regarding IPA and its effects on plastics
Apparently IPA has no effect on (unpainted)..

Low and High density Polyethylene
Polypropylene
Polystyrene
PTFE
PVC


It has a minor effect on ABS

It has a severe effect on Polycarbonate.

Painted plastic surfaces may be subject to crazing or paint removal, depending on length of exposure and type of paint.

Apparently IPA is hygroscopic which means it absorbs water from the atmosphere or other sources. It stops absorbing water when the concentration is about 65% IPA. So those of you who are buying more expensive concentrated IPA may be wasting your time as it rapidly absorbs moisture.

All this info seems to be from credible sources of chemical manufacturers etc.

Of course this doesn't really change anything in terms of track cleaning but I thought it might be interesting to post.
 :beers:

 useful info, but if you don't lose IPA by evaporation then the IPA is not lost, it's just a lower concentration with more water in it, SO you 1 ltr of IPA becomes, eventually  with no evaporation or use, 1.35Ltr of IPA inc water...

Offline Belly

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2017, 12:42:40 pm »
For the Aussies,

A better purchase can be found at Coles or Woolworths; Bunnings is expensive.  If I've managed to upload the photo correctly the product on the left is from Coles or Woolworths while the "Diggers" product is from Bunnings.




Furthermore, this is what I've found very good to clean rails:

 


Well, I hoped that worked.

Cheers,

Geoff

Offline newportnobby

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2017, 01:45:28 pm »
If IPA can cause issues with painted surfaces, has anybody who has painted the rail sides had any problem using IPA?


It doesn't seem to remove the Railmatch sleeper grime I've sprayed my track with but, and with apologies to those who have seen it before, this is what a small droplet did to a coach roof..........


Online njee20

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2017, 02:30:47 pm »
I also spilled a drop on the roof of a Farish Voyager, I wiped it instantly, and the paper was rather red. Luckily no damage done, but I'd certainly be cautious with any volume of it.

Offline Karhedron

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2017, 02:47:47 pm »
If IPA can cause issues with painted surfaces, has anybody who has painted the rail sides had any problem using IPA?

That is why I do not apply it directly to the track but only to the bit of scrap I am using to clean the tracks. That way it stays on the rail head and does not get onto the painted bits. A little goes a long way. ;)
Well, that's just not good enough. Some fount of all knowledge you are!  :no:  ;)

Offline texhorse

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2017, 06:35:26 pm »
Wow, did I surely start something here!

Thank you everyone for your comments on here.  I have a lot more information than this time yesterday, including safety advice.

I will go over the whole layout in the next few days and see if there's an improvement.  My main bugbears are on the point blades, so a pipette full should work fine.  I've also got the Woodland Scenics Tidy Track system, so I'll use it on those pads as well.

Great stuff!

Andy
UK
Montrose and Highland Railroad



Offline austinbob

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2017, 06:39:12 pm »
Good luck. Hope it all works well for you.
 :beers:
Size matters - especially if you don't have a lot of space - and N gauge is the answer!

Bob Austin

Offline newportnobby

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2017, 08:10:59 pm »
I've also got the Woodland Scenics Tidy Track system, so I'll use it on those pads as well.


I wouldn't recommend the cleaner you get with the Tidy Track kit as I've found that does leave a greasy residue. It caused my Blue Pullman to spin up and my IPA was used to save the day.

Offline austinbob

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2017, 08:19:31 pm »
I've also got the Woodland Scenics Tidy Track system, so I'll use it on those pads as well.


I wouldn't recommend the cleaner you get with the Tidy Track kit as I've found that does leave a greasy residue. It caused my Blue Pullman to spin up and my IPA was used to save the day.
Absolutely right NN. Completely useless unless you scrub the muck off afterwards. And why bother when IPA works so well.
I'm surprised Woodland Scenics supply their own inferior cleaner.
  :beers:
Size matters - especially if you don't have a lot of space - and N gauge is the answer!

Bob Austin

Offline austinbob

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Re: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2017, 09:02:26 pm »
OK I take some of that back. The Woodland Scenic stuff is labelled as non toxic and having no effect on scenic stuff. You definitely can't say that for IPA. Woodland Scenic have to take account for the health and safety of their customers. My apologies to them.
It may not be as effective as IPA but it's our risk to use a more dangerous alternative cleaner.
Size matters - especially if you don't have a lot of space - and N gauge is the answer!

Bob Austin

 

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