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Neil Wyatt27/07/2019 16:44:22
17321 forum posts
690 photos
77 articles

A reader has been in touch to ask me to remind readers of MEW that acetone has allow a low flashpoint and small amounts can easily lead to burns.



Edited By JasonB on 27/07/2019 16:46:05

Robert Atkinson 227/07/2019 17:20:44
546 forum posts
21 photos

Ordering quanties of it can also get you on a security watch list.


not done it yet27/07/2019 17:26:03
4149 forum posts
15 photos

Cleaning off nail varnish at the time? While lighting a fag?

We used copious amounts in the laboratory for drying glassware - rinsed more than once and then dried with a compressed air line. We were more careful when supplies were short and we swapped to using methanol.

old mart27/07/2019 19:13:27
1216 forum posts
115 photos

When I was working, we had two polypropylene 30 litre tanks of acetone for first and second rinsing of aircraft sub assemblies which were tested with Skydrol hydraulic fluid. Skydrol in a phosphate ester fluid which is non flammable and used extensively in commercial aircraft. It is not a pleasant substance to work with.

We never had a fire when I worked there, if the stuff had ignited, running away was the only option.

ChrisB27/07/2019 19:52:52
460 forum posts
175 photos

Had a close shave with acetone at work, a sheetmetal worker was working on an engine thrust reverser grinding rivet stems. For some reason he had a plastic cup with acetone without a lid next to him. While grinding sparks flew into the cup and caught fire - he panicked and in trying to put out the fire ( which was small and confined to the cup) he kicked the cup and created a mini fireball under the wing! We were lucky the tanks had just been closed that same morning.. I wouldn't be here writing about this were they still open.

Nicholas Farr27/07/2019 20:58:24
2113 forum posts
1025 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 27/07/2019 17:26:03:

Cleaning off nail varnish at the time? While lighting a fag?

We used copious amounts in the laboratory for drying glassware - rinsed more than once and then dried with a compressed air line. We were more careful when supplies were short and we swapped to using methanol.

Hi, methanol, is that the one which burns with a shallow and almost transparent flame. This was another one of those chemicals used by the company I used to work for years ago. It was the only stuff to remove the resins that they used, from our spanners etc. when fixing the pumps, pipework and valves, had some in a ice cream tub once with some pump bits having a soak and a spark from the other side of the workshop must have found its way over, didn't realise it was burning till I noticed the whole rim of the tub slowly sinking down as methanol burns pretty hot. The company did once use acetone in their labs, but outlawed it on some health grounds.

Regards Nick.

Jon Lawes27/07/2019 21:20:08
349 forum posts

Loads of aircraft engineers on this forum, I think we gravitate to this hobby.

Vic27/07/2019 21:21:09
2431 forum posts
12 photos

I replace the inserts in my Ten Pin Bowling balls as needed and after trimming with a knife they are smoothed off with Acetone. My last bottle is nearly empty so if anyone knows of a good source let me know. I suspect it will be an eBay job.

Robert Atkinson 227/07/2019 21:26:18
546 forum posts
21 photos

Yes, pure methanol burns with a flame that is invisible in daylight. There is a video taken form a helicopter out there of a crashed tanker truck be sprayed with water by firefighters, suddnely the firefighters fall over for no apparent reason. The video then switches to the thermal camera image which shows a huge fireball.
MEK and Toluene are other solvents with fire hazards. Thy can be ignited by static generated by cleaning with a cloth.

Robert G8RPI.

Robert Atkinson 227/07/2019 21:46:14
546 forum posts
21 photos

Fatal Acetone accident safety video

Nigel Graham 227/07/2019 21:58:50
503 forum posts

Used to use acetone regularly at work, because it will dissolve uncured synthetic resins (' Araldite ' and the like). It won't touch the cured resin.

Apart from tool-cleaning, and degreasing the work-pieces, it was necessary when we glued together stacks of individual parts, in jigs with large compression-screws.

Acetone was the only solvent to my knowledge at least, and the only one we used anyway, that would clean off the adhesive oozing from the compressed joints, whilst not harming anything; and with due care, it is relatively safe to handle in the modest amounts we used. (Lots of ventilation, suitable gloves and of course no ignition sources nearby.)

pgk pgk27/07/2019 22:07:11
1628 forum posts
286 photos

Lidl regularly have their all purpose thinner on sale. It's mostly acetone and Mrs begged some as nail varnish remover.

Metalhacker27/07/2019 22:50:58
71 forum posts

You can buy 1 litre bottles of acetone in any french supermarket or diy store. Freely available there!

Barrie Lever27/07/2019 23:03:37
336 forum posts
3 photos

Don't get a downer on Acetone, as solvents go it is one of the safest there is, it is one of the few solvents allowed for general use in California.

However it does ignite easily.

If you intend to use acetone, read up it's characteristics not just from SDS sheets.


Ian Johnson 128/07/2019 00:01:04
234 forum posts
68 photos

Yep! go to Lidl (UK) for your Acetone, I bought a 1 litre tin of the stuff the other week, Lot better than buying the little bottles of expensive nail varnish remover.


colin wilkinson28/07/2019 07:16:19
59 forum posts

Nobody has mentioned adding it to petrol to increase mpg. Lots of info on web. I added two stroke to my old diesel, 300cc to 60lt of diesel , definitely ran smoother and quieter with small increase in mpg. Could not see any improvement with a few cc of Acetone but others have. Supposed to reduce surface tension in droplets from injectors , giving better combustion. Colin

Blue Heeler28/07/2019 08:48:35
189 forum posts

Not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but you can buy it in 4L containers in any hardware store in Australia.

Sandgrounder28/07/2019 09:16:12
187 forum posts
6 photos

I've used quite a bit of acetone in the past fitting out a GRP boat, one thing I've noticed now that I don't use it very often is that the polythene containers can deteriorate and start splitting after a year or so, but not as I would have thought at the bottom which is contact with the liquid, but the top in contact with the vapour.

Blue Heeler28/07/2019 09:28:50
189 forum posts

^ I've noticed the same.

Geoff Theasby28/07/2019 09:54:43
603 forum posts
16 photos

Acetone is readily available here in UK, in particular from the Ladysave chain, as nail varnish remover.

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