What is MEK?
MEK stands for methyl ethyl ketone. This chemical is a colorless liquid that is generally soluble in water. It is extremely volatile, and because of its nature, it is typically only used in industrial and commercial situations. This chemical has similar properties as acetone, a very common solvent. However, it is hasher than acetone by nature. While acetone is very effective as a solvent, MEKs are even more effective in certain situations because of their volatile and harsh nature.
What are MEK solvents used for?
MEK solvents are used industrially and commercially for many different manufacturing and production processes of many different products. Some examples include:
- Industrial solvent: stripes and cleans uncured and cured resins
- Cleaning agent: due to its naturally volatile composition, it is naturally corrosive, thus making it a strong degreaser. It can be used to remove paint, adhesives, grease, and glue
- Petrochemical plastics: can be used as a chemical hardener in the production of resins and synthetic rubber
- Paints, dyes, glue: it evaporates slowly, unlike acetone. This makes it ideal for paints, lacquers, and even dry-erase markers
- Curing agent: used in the production of fiberglass and plastic by curing unsaturated polyester resins and plastics
- Bonding and manufacturing: used to weld plastics together and can also dissolve certain plastics
MEK solvents have many versatile uses and can be found in many different industries.
Are MEK solvents safe?
These chemicals are extremely volatile, making them very flammable. Additionally, they can be harmful to humans, like many other chemicals. There is the possibility of nose, throat, skin, and eye irritation from the fumes and from contact with the chemical. When exposed to constant high concentrations of this chemical, it can cause fainting and dizziness. However, all of these irritations and hazards can be prevented through proper protection equipment, including eye goggles, gloves, and face shields.
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