Removing Cured Epoxy Compounds
By Jack Hardman
|> By warming the epoxy, you are going to soften it some.|
> Once you have chemically softened it, it should be able
> to be removed easily. Maybe some of our chemical engineers
> on this page will be able to tell us which solvents should
> work best with epoxy, and where to get them.
To the best of my knowledge, cured epoxy compounds are never easily dissolved or removed, although there are some solvents which help a lot. Methylene Chloride is well known to soften cured epoxy, but it doesn't really dissolve it. It softens the material and makes it much easier to remove it mechanically. Unfortunately, the solvent does not penetrate very deeply, so this can become a slow iterative process.
Heat can help, but aggravates the problem of methylene chloride's high volatility. I would try to immerse the part in the solvent, and put a tight fitting lid on the container to retard the rate of evaporation. Occasional mild agitation should also help.
If you have no convenient access to methylene chloride, you can probably still buy a formulated solvent sold under the trade name "Eposolve 299". This is actually a blend of several solvents having a synergistic effect on one another. I have been away from the business for several years now, but at the time, it was as good a solvent for cured epoxy as the lab knew of. It's probably still available from HARDMAN Industries in Belleville, New Jersey 07109, tel: 201-759-3000. Best wishes for the new year!
Note: Methylene Chloride is dangerous to use. DO NOT
breathe the vapors! Also, do not use near open flames.
While it is not flammable as such, it will decompose
and leave behind a strong acid to take its toll.
(Message sent Thu 2 Jan 1997, 19:15:55 GMT, from time zone GMT.)