What is Dipropylene Glycol Methyl Ether?
Dipropylene glycol methyl ether, which has a chemical formula of C7H16O3, is an organic hydrophilic solvent that has a diverse range of uses. The compound itself consists of an ether group (an oxygen atom bonded to two alkyl groups) and a hydroxyl group (an oxygen atom that is bonded to a hydrogen atom). When sold commercially, the solvent itself will generally consist of a mixture of four isomers of the compound.
Typical Uses of the Solvents
The solvent has a mild odor typical of ether solvents and is generally used in:
- Brake fluids
Some relevant examples of the applications of the solvent include:
- Paint removers
- Multi-surface cleaners
- Metal cleaners
The chemical is also the primary solvent of silk-based printing inks. Other physical properties of the solvent include a low viscosity and low surface tension, which are essential properties for solvents used as cleaners.
Benefits of Dipropylene Glycol Methyl Ether
Because of its hydrophilic properties, the solvent mixes very well with water, making it the perfect coupling agent for industrial and commercial processes involving water, like fabric dyeing and industrial cleaning. The hydrophilic nature of the solvent also prevents coagulation from occurring due to the emulsion of hydrophobic water-based solvents. Dipropylene glycol methyl ether is a unique solvent in that it has fewer volatile properties compared to other glycol ethers, such as propylene glycol methyl ether. The solvent is considered to be a less volatile alternative to the latter solvent. Another property that differentiates this solvent from other glycol ether solvents is its intermediate evaporating rate, which allows for a larger range of uses in specific solvent systems.
What Are the Health Hazards?
Though dipropylene glycol methyl ether is classified as a chemical with low concern, there are still some associated health hazards. The chemical is classified as an irritant, meaning that it can cause eye irritation or even respiratory irritation if inhaled. The chemical is a combustible liquid, meaning that it is flammable and should be kept away from strong oxidizers, as it may produce an explosive reaction if combined. The ether can also be absorbed through the skin, so steps need to be taken to prevent contact.
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