contact spray ingredient(s)

Discussion in 'Electronic Components' started by clicliclic, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. clicliclic

    clicliclic Guest

    Hi,

    what is the active ingredient for the removal of oxide and sulfide
    layers that is found in standard contact cleaning sprays? If you put
    some spray some onto white paper it will leave oily stains of a
    reddish color.

    Fifty years ago such an orange or red oily liquid used to be available
    in small bottles, and just a small droplet was applied to a contact to
    be cleaned.

    Is the active ingredient an organic liquid of red color, or perhaps a
    solid red chemical dissolved in an organic solvent? What is its name
    or chemical formula?

    Tia, Martin.
    clicliclic, Apr 14, 2005
    #1
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  2. clicliclic

    Dave Platt Guest

    In article <>,
    clicliclic <> wrote:

    >what is the active ingredient for the removal of oxide and sulfide
    >layers that is found in standard contact cleaning sprays? If you put
    >some spray some onto white paper it will leave oily stains of a
    >reddish color.
    >
    >Fifty years ago such an orange or red oily liquid used to be available
    >in small bottles, and just a small droplet was applied to a contact to
    >be cleaned.


    Something of this sort is still available. It used to be called by
    the brand name of Cramolin (I believe this was made in Germany), and
    the Caig Laboratories company now makes a similar product under the
    brand name of DeOxIt.

    >Is the active ingredient an organic liquid of red color, or perhaps a
    >solid red chemical dissolved in an organic solvent? What is its name
    >or chemical formula?


    The MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) I've looked at for the Caig
    products are somewhat unrevealing. The active ingredients are
    proprietary / trade secret and are not specifically described.

    According to one USENET posting I've seen in rec.antiques.radio+phono,
    it is possible that one of the active ingredients is oleic acid. "As
    to the anti-oxidant qualities of Oleic acid, it has been used for
    years in metal-finishing as a cleaner. It is the active ingredient in
    well-known brass-clock cleaning compounds (though "tempered" with
    acetone), and in several other similar applications."

    Another posting states that

    As Peter pointed out (which I had forgotten), oleic acid is the main
    ingredient in clock-cleaning formulas that have been in use for a
    very long time. Since acetone doesn't dissolve oxides, that pretty
    much leaves the oleic acid as the active ingredient.

    I've been curious for years about Cramolin's (DeOxit's) composition.
    The MSDS doesn't list it, but somewhere years ago I read that it was
    oleic acid. And I found a 1930 trademark registration for the
    original German product, under the name Gramolin, described as a
    treatment for motor commutators. It's not much of a stretch to get
    "Gramolin" from "Gramme" (DC machines were sometimes referred to as
    Gramme machines) and "olin" from "olein," some of the derivatives of
    oleic acid.

    http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed/eclectic/kings/acidum-olei.html gives a
    description of oleic acid, and mentions that in the (impure) form in
    which it's often manufactured it's a dark, reddish-yellow or
    brownish-red oil. Once fully purified it's colorless.

    So, it would not be surprising if the sprays to which you are
    referring are a mixture of somewhat-purified oleic acid, with solvents
    (e.g. various alcohols) and propellants (propane and/or carbon
    dioxide).

    --
    Dave Platt <> AE6EO
    Hosting the Jade Warrior home page: http://www.radagast.org/jade-warrior
    I do _not_ wish to receive unsolicited commercial email, and I will
    boycott any company which has the gall to send me such ads!
    Dave Platt, Apr 14, 2005
    #2
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  3. clicliclic

    Dave Platt Guest

    >So, it would not be surprising if the sprays to which you are
    >referring are a mixture of somewhat-purified oleic acid, with solvents
    >(e.g. various alcohols) and propellants (propane and/or carbon
    >dioxide).


    And, as a followup... it looks as if it wouldn't be difficult or
    expensive to experiment with this stuff to see if it's the real thing.
    After a few minutes of searching on Google I see one supplier selling
    oleic acid for under $14/gallon (purity not stated), and another
    selling laboratory-grade for $24 per pint or $95 per gallon.

    One could make a lot of contact cleaner with a gallon of this stuff :)

    --
    Dave Platt <> AE6EO
    Hosting the Jade Warrior home page: http://www.radagast.org/jade-warrior
    I do _not_ wish to receive unsolicited commercial email, and I will
    boycott any company which has the gall to send me such ads!
    Dave Platt, Apr 14, 2005
    #3
  4. Dave Platt wrote:
    >
    > >So, it would not be surprising if the sprays to which you are
    > >referring are a mixture of somewhat-purified oleic acid, with solvents
    > >(e.g. various alcohols) and propellants (propane and/or carbon
    > >dioxide).

    >
    > And, as a followup... it looks as if it wouldn't be difficult or
    > expensive to experiment with this stuff to see if it's the real thing.
    > After a few minutes of searching on Google I see one supplier selling
    > oleic acid for under $14/gallon (purity not stated), and another
    > selling laboratory-grade for $24 per pint or $95 per gallon.
    >
    > One could make a lot of contact cleaner with a gallon of this stuff :)
    >
    > --
    > Dave Platt



    And do a lot of damage to parts if the mix is wrong. There have
    been a number of cheap knockoff contact cleaners that damaged plastics,
    washed away the carbon track on pots and caused arcing in switches.

    --
    Former professional electron wrangler.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
    Michael A. Terrell, Apr 15, 2005
    #4
  5. "clicliclic" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi,
    >
    > what is the active ingredient for the removal of oxide and sulfide
    > layers that is found in standard contact cleaning sprays? If you put
    > some spray some onto white paper it will leave oily stains of a
    > reddish color.
    >
    > Fifty years ago such an orange or red oily liquid used to be available
    > in small bottles, and just a small droplet was applied to a contact to
    > be cleaned.
    >
    > Is the active ingredient an organic liquid of red color, or perhaps a
    > solid red chemical dissolved in an organic solvent? What is its name
    > or chemical formula?


    Some of the stuff I bought is labeled residue free and I found that it
    doesn't leave any residue. I think it's made by CAIG Labs.

    > Tia, Martin.
    Watson A.Name - \Watt Sun, the Dark Remover\, Apr 15, 2005
    #5
  6. clicliclic

    clicliclic Guest

    (Dave Platt) wrote in message news:<>...
    > >So, it would not be surprising if the sprays to which you are
    > >referring are a mixture of somewhat-purified oleic acid, with solvents
    > >(e.g. various alcohols) and propellants (propane and/or carbon
    > >dioxide).

    >
    > And, as a followup... it looks as if it wouldn't be difficult or
    > expensive to experiment with this stuff to see if it's the real thing.
    > After a few minutes of searching on Google I see one supplier selling
    > oleic acid for under $14/gallon (purity not stated), and another
    > selling laboratory-grade for $24 per pint or $95 per gallon.
    >
    > One could make a lot of contact cleaner with a gallon of this stuff :)


    This is a lot of information and pointers! A liquid organic acid that
    comes in different shades of orange, red, and brown fits my
    observations and memories, and makes a lot sense besides.

    According to my chemistry references, oleic acid, C18O2H34, has a
    linear carbon chain of 18 atoms with one double bond in the very
    middle and a COOH group at
    one end. No wonder it looked oily with that chain length.

    The Cramolin brand name nowadays seems to apply to a whole number
    cleaning agents (solvents, detergents, lubricants), only one of them
    being "Cramolin
    Contaclean" (this too is formulated as a spray, I saw no other). The
    German MSDS (Sicherheitsdatenblatt) of "Cramolin Contaclean" doesn't
    disclose any active
    ingredient(s) either. The solvents are unremarkable:
    dimethyl-propyl-methane and 2-propanol. The propellant is CO2. They
    also state a solvent content of 84.3% and a solid content of 6.5%.

    The other day I had a spray can of "Kontakt 60" (which appears to be
    the major brand of this kind of thing in Germany) that had started to
    leak at the bottom seal. This also left a residue: a solidified puddle
    of sticky brown goo that still allowed the bottle to be removed from
    the shelf with moderate force. So either oleic acid polymerizes to
    some extent (after all it does have a double bond) or there is some
    other ingredient in addition. Anyway, the goo might help to contain
    the oxide residues and keep them out of a contact's way. The goo did
    readily dissolve in alcohol (i.e. ethanol).

    I emptied the remaining contents of the can into a bottle and the
    color of "Kontakt 60" turned out a much diluted wine red.

    Martin.
    clicliclic, Apr 15, 2005
    #6
  7. clicliclic <> wrote (in
    <>) about 'contact spray
    ingredient(s)', on Fri, 15 Apr 2005:
    > So either oleic acid polymerizes to some extent (after all it does
    >have a double bond)


    I think it oxidizes rather than polymerizes. It's a derivative of a
    'semi-drying oil', although not a very marked one.
    --
    Regards, John Woodgate, OOO - Own Opinions Only.
    There are two sides to every question, except
    'What is a Moebius strip?'
    http://www.jmwa.demon.co.uk Also see http://www.isce.org.uk
    John Woodgate, Apr 15, 2005
    #7
  8. clicliclic

    clicliclic Guest

    John Woodgate <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > clicliclic <> wrote (in
    > <>) about 'contact spray
    > ingredient(s)', on Fri, 15 Apr 2005:
    > > So either oleic acid polymerizes to some extent (after all it does
    > >have a double bond)

    >
    > I think it oxidizes rather than polymerizes. It's a derivative of a
    > 'semi-drying oil', although not a very marked one.


    Thanks for pointing out the possible relation with the drying of
    linseed oil (used for oil paints and as varnish) and similar oils.
    However, although (semi-)drying oils harden through oxidization, the
    actual mechanism is polymerization through the addition of -O-O-
    oxygen bridges between formerly doubly bound atoms on different carbon
    chains.

    Linseed oil is essentially an ester of glycerine with linoleic acid
    (C18O2H32) and linolenic acid (C18O2H30), which differ from oleic acid
    (the suspected contact spray agent) by possessing two and three double
    bonds, respectively, rather than just one. Oleic acid should therefore
    be much harder to (oxidize and) polymerize.

    I am no chemist, and all this is taken from my reference on organic
    chemistry!

    Martin.
    clicliclic, Apr 16, 2005
    #8
  9. clicliclic <> wrote (in
    <>) about 'contact spray
    ingredient(s)', on Sat, 16 Apr 2005:

    >Oleic acid should therefore be much harder to (oxidize and) polymerize.


    Yes, oxidation comes first, and it IS slow. So polymerization is even
    slower.
    >
    >I am no chemist, and all this is taken from my reference on organic
    >chemistry!


    You're doing OK so far.
    --
    Regards, John Woodgate, OOO - Own Opinions Only.
    There are two sides to every question, except
    'What is a Moebius strip?'
    http://www.jmwa.demon.co.uk Also see http://www.isce.org.uk
    John Woodgate, Apr 16, 2005
    #9
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