MEK sans P

I was in the hardware store the other day looking for styrene and noticed a can of Methyl Ethyl Keytone, not MEKP but simply MEK, without the Peroxide. Its stated use was to clean up or thin either Epoxy or Polyester Resin. It surprised me as I've never come across it before. Has anyone here ever used the stuff? I was going to buy a can, but since I find MEKP to be one the worlds most hideous concoctions, I wasn't to motivated to dance with its sister...........However, I would like to know more about it.

The extra oxygen molecule makes a lot of difference.

BUT!? Is it an alternative to either Styrene or Acetone?

It's a type of solvent that could be used instead of acetone for cleanup on poly. I don't think you're going to use styrene monomor for cleanup, and I'd be surprised if you found it in a hardware store. I'd ask my resin manufacturer before I thinned anything with MEK.

I am not a chemist. What is your goal?  MEK is a nasty solvent. It will suck up into your hands very very fast.......

I'm doing the RR epoxy with no solvents.....No solvents.


From mild to wild....IPA ,DNA,  acetone , MEK...Wear gloves..It's all bad for your skin.....


MEK is one of the milder solvents which is why you can buy it in a hardware store.  That’s not to say it’s good for you … none of the solvents are … mostly used for clean up and paint thinning for solvent based paints.  That extra oxygen in MEKP that Mike mentioned is a triple bond (most peroxides are) … which makes that oxygen easily dropped which is what creates the reaction.  When you put some Hydrogen Peroxide on a cut it foams.  HP is H2O2 … essentially water with an extra oxygen and the foaming is that extra oxygen dropping and reacting.

i'm with Ray on this one. it's nice only having to use THIS stuff to clean my hands from glassing...

MEK is some bad ass stuff, great paint stripper.

99% skin saturation,, is not good for you


Mild,, I think not!

In the chemical world … mild … really mild.  There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of industrial solvents the mildest ones are sold to the public … acetone, MEK, denatured alcohol, xylene … couple others.  We have ones here that require special containment because they’ll eat steel drums.  Seriously … I wouldn’t suggest treating these mild ones without respect but you should see some of what’s out there.

I agree

Thanks all. Without more information, I didn’t, and don’t, have any plans to use this stuff. That’s one reason for the post. The label stated that it was a thinner, so I was thinking it might be an alternative to styrene, apparently not. I found a website that rated hazardous chemicals and it placed MEK as more hazardous than most while ranking Acetone as less than most. Evidently it transports other nasties through the skin even more effectively than acetone. As much as I hate gloves, I use them religiously.  Unfortunately, that has not always been the case. In the early 70s I glassed a 50 foot mahogany planked offshore fishing boat at Kewalo Basin in Honolulu. We used epoxy, relatively new at the time, with very heavy cloth. I think it must have been Dynel. Working upside down attempting to squeegee the honey thick epoxy into the Dynel and stapling every few feet with copper staples to keep the cloth in place was a total nightmare. I remember taking a break and literally pouring a half gallon can of acetone over my head to clean up. Yes I was fearless, young and stupid. Now that I’m approaching 60, I’d like to think I’m more thoughtful and certain things scare me more, others less. I’m no longer afraid that the cute girl next door will laugh at my big ears, but things like Methyl Ethyl Keytone scare me too death.