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Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)
Jul 26, 2017

MEK is an effective and common solvent and is used in processes involving gumsresinscellulose acetate and nitrocellulose coatings and in vinyl films. For this reason it finds use in the manufacture of plastics, textiles, in the production of paraffin wax, and in household products such as lacquervarnishes, paint remover, a denaturing agent for denatured alcoholglues, and as a cleaning agent. It has similar solvent properties toacetone but boils at a higher temperature and has a significantly slower 

evaporation rate. Butanone is also used in dry erase markers as the solvent of the erasable dye.

As a plastic welding agent

As MEK dissolves polystyrene and many other plastics, it is sold as "model cement" for use in connecting parts of scale model kits. Though often considered an adhesive, it is actually functioning as a welding agent in this context.

Other uses

MEK is the precursor to methyl ethyl ketone peroxide, which is a catalyst for some polymerization reactions such as crosslinking of unsaturated polyester resins.


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