Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) has a wide variety of uses, from serving as a disinfectant for minor wounds to cleaning a variety of objects and surfaces in industrial settings. In this entry, we focus on the latter area of use, providing three examples of IPA solvent uses in industrial settings. The class of IPA we’re discussing is industrial grade IPA, whose purity exceeds 99%. This level of IPA density is generally unnecessary for commercial and residential IPA applications.
- Cleaning General Surfaces
IPA solvent uses include cleaning general surfaces. Types of metal and coated surfaces routinely found in industrial settings are generally unreactive to IPA. However, the cleaner is known to tarnish varnishes and ruin the erasability of dry erase boards.
Varnish and material coating dry erase boards aren’t common in industrial work areas, but IPA’s deleterious effect on these surfaces — an effect that depends partly on the purity of IPA — serve as notice that the compatibility of a material with IPA should be check before the cleaning operation commences.
- Cleaning Electronic Components
IPA solvent uses also involve cleaning electronic parts. The list is long, with some of the more popular IPA-cleaned electronic parts and apparatuses being contact pins in ROM cartridges,
magnetic tape, disk heads for legacy floppy disk drives, computer screens, optical disc drive lasers for CDs and DVDs, and IC packages.
What method of IPA deployment should be used to clean these and other components? The answer largely depends on the geometry of a component and where it’s situated in proximity to surrounding components. Due to aerosol particles’ ability to distribute evenly across intricate spatial configurations, IPA in aerosol form is optimal for parts that have complex geometries or are surrounded by parts that make them difficult to access.
- Minimizing Solvent Waste
From an industrial user’s standpoint, a potential drawback of IPA solvent uses is the fire hazard they entail. High-purity IPA has an an open cup flashpoint of 11.7°C (53.1°F; 284.8 K) and a closed cup flashpoint of 13°C (55°F).
IPA solutions can be diluted with water and made less flammable. But when it comes to solvent disposal, this isn’t quite the point. Rather, the high evaporation rate of IPA helps it evaporate before it enters the waste trap, especially when high-purity IPA is deployed as aerosol, or in the form of wipes. A potential benefit of IPA solvent use is reduced chemical waste disposal cost.
Suppliers for IPA Solvent
If your organization needs industrial IPA solutions for IPA solvent uses, Ecolink has them. We provide different purities of IPA across several IPA-based solutions, offering both stock solutions and custom formulations designed for your unique needs. Before you buy, we’ll send a sample of your stock or custom IPA product so you can test it out.
To get started on selecting a solution for IPA solvent uses, please call us today at (800) 563-1305, or send us an email through our contact form. We look forward to supplying solutions for your industrial, business-critical cleaning operations!