In industrial environments, the buildup of substances such as grease, oil, dust, paint, lubricants, rust, minerals, fats, proteins and clay can be highly detrimental to machinery and precautions must be taken to ensure that vital components are kept free from such residue. Degreasers, consequently, play a critical role in proper maintenance routines, as they prevent the breakdown of equipment caused by contamination and help significantly lower repair costs. Comprised of a combination of surfactants (compounds that reduce the surface tension between two liquids or between a liquid and a solid), sequestering agents and alkaline builders, most degreasers operate on the same chemical principle. A long hydrophobic chain at one end of the molecule is attracted to oil and grease while the hydrophilic end is attracted to water. The hydrophobic molecules surround the oil particles and dislodge it from water allowing the surface to be rinsed clean of hazardous contaminants.
Depending on the kind of contaminant that you are trying to remove, there are many options available on the market today that can help you rid your parts of harmful impurities. Today’s degreasers are formulated to tackle both inorganic and organic soils, or a mixture of both. Organic soils include, but are not limited to, fat, grease, protein, mold, yeast, bacteria and petroleum. Inorganic soils consist of rust, scale, minerals, clay, silt, sand and hard water deposits. Soils that consists of both inorganic and organic materials are often the most difficult to remove and, in the past, have necessitated the use of a highly concentrated, solvent-based formula. However, advances in surfactant technology have resulted in the development of environmentally friendly degreasers, such as the ones below, that are safe to use and just as effective. Lets uncover the dirt on these degreasers!
The utilization of rubber dates as far back as 1770, when, presumably, English scientist, Joseph Priestly, discovered that it could be used to “rub” away the marks left by pencils. During those times, rubber was derived naturally from a milky liquid (latex) produced under the bark of the “cahuchu” (or rubber tree) in tropical regions of South America. Used by the indigenous peoples of the Americas to make bouncy balls, waterproof handmade buckets, pails, clothes, shoes and more, the use of this naturally occurring substance soon became widespread. During World War II, the demand for rubber in the United States began to outweigh the available supply due to the country’s separation from its sources in the Pacific. As a result, the American government began to look toward the development of synthetic alternatives to meet this growing need. Between 1941 and 1945, synthetic rubber production increased from 8,000 to 820,000 tons. Today, there are approximately twenty varieties of synthetic rubbers being manufactured throughout the world including acrylic, isoprene, polysulfide, nitrile, butadiene, butyl and silicone.
How rubber is used in today’s ever evolving world, depends largely on the physical and chemical properties of the material. The fact that rubber can be either hard or soft, significantly increases its functionality and range of applications. Hard rubber is used on the rigid outer surface of your vehicle’s tires. It’s strength, water and heat resistance benefits make it an ideal material for tire production. On the other hand, flexible, butyl rubber, is used on the inner portion of tires, as its airtight properties trap gases so tires stay inflated longer. Soft rubber is also used in the manufacturing of mats, protective gloves, adhesives and paints, while harder rubbers are utilized in the production of rigid inflatable boats, roofing membranes and flooring.
Perhaps one of the most innovative applications of rubber in recent times involves the development of a product called Rubber In A Can. Used to fill in, and seal, cracks, leaks and small holes, rubber in a can comes in an easy to spray aerosol canister. This black, rubberized liquid, creates a tight rubber surface drying to a flexible, rubberized watertight coating that will not crack, peel or chip in either hot or cold temperatures. Long lasting and durable, spray rubber in a can may be used on gutters, duct work, pvc pips, cars, weld joints, wheel wells, truck beds, foundations, gas tanks, driveways, HVAC equipment and more. This flexible liquid rubber can be painted once dry and will adhere to any metal, concrete/asphalt, or rigid plastic surface. To use, shake well and apply to a clean, dry surface (temperature should be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit). Hold the can 10-15 inches away from the surface, applying multiple coats. For optimal performance benefits, do not overspray as thick coats may take longer to dry and can result in dripping or sagging of vertical surfaces. After each use, invert can and spray one quick burst to clear nozzle.
On Labor Day we take “time time off” to honor the contributions of many hardworking Americans. Although Labor Day may be rooted in lofty ideals, for many, it serves as a day to chip away at unfinished home improvement projects, much like “Tim the Toolman Taylor”. The projects that you were going to complete, when summer was on the horizon, are now staring you dead in the face. And as if you didn’t already feel inadequate enough, you now have Pinterest to thank for all of the “inspiring” DIY ideas that your wife has pinned to your Lazy Boy recliner. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered. Here are some great “tools” to help you get started and rest easy this holiday weekend.
The Table Saw
Although table saws have become a subject of concern in recent years, due to the number of injuries resulting from their use, they are still, undoubtedly, one of the most powerful pieces of equipment available for DIY aspirers. The most versatile and productive of all woodworking machines, this single tool can rip, cross-cut, miter-cut, square, dado, rabbet, and even apply shapes to edges of wood stock. Table saws can be used to cut sheet plastic, aluminum, melamine and even tile. It is important, however, that you understand which blade to use, as dull, or unbefitting blades, can compromise your safety on the job and the quality of your work. Consider the materials that the blade will be used to cut and what type of saw it will be used in. As a general rule, blades with more teeth result in a smoother cut, and blades with fewer teeth remove material faster. In addition, the size of the gullet, tooth configuration and hook angle factor are all critical components of selecting the appropriate blade for your job. Be sure to keep the area you are working in clean and free from dust. Allowing debris to build up around your saw is hazardous and should be avoided. Products, such as GlideCote, by Bostik, feature a unique technology that drastically reduces sliding friction and eliminates surface “hang ups” on table saws while repelling dust, dirt and moisture. Furthermore, riving knives, when properly adjusted, greatly reduce the possibility of kickback, which is the most common injury resulting from the use of table saws. Located behind the blade, the riving knife holds the saw kerf open and prevents the stock from closing in on the blade and binding.
The Adjustable Wrench
Also recommended for DIY “enthusiasts” is an adjustable wrench, sometimes referred to as the “irreplaceable wrench” due to its tremendous versatility. Adjustable wrenches may be used for a multitude of home improvement projects, as they have an modifiable “jaw” that can accommodate nuts and bolts of various sizes. Engineered to move in only one direction, the adjustable wrench limits the amount of stress placed on the screw that sits just below the head of the wrench. Due to the wrench’s slightly offset head, loosening and tightening is also easier. Adjustable wrenches come in three different varieties; the crescent wrench, perhaps, being the most common. These wrenches are available in multiple sizes and work well on pipes, faucets, bike and vehicle repairs. The monkey wrench is ideal for bathroom and kitchen home repairs, such as toilet seats, drains, the kitchen sink, garbage disposal and showers. Its long handle allows users to apply their weight to the wrench, unquestionably tightening objects into place. The final type of wrench is referred to as a pipe, or “Stilson”, wrench. These wrenches are typically used to tighten or loosen pipe joints. They have a self-tightening adjustment that makes them ideal for use on both small and large pipes.
Spray adhesives disperse in fine droplets to provide a thin, uniform bonding surface. They can be used as a substitute for hot glue, tape and other adhesives in projects ranging from wallpaper borders to the making and decoration of furniture. Spray adhesives boast varying degrees of adhesive strength, so one must first consider the application of these products before making a purchase for their project. Some spray adhesives are designed for use with only one or two materials, while others can bond to a variety of surfaces. Drywall tinted adhesive, for example, is used to attach plastic corner beads to drywall, while rubber and vinyl spray adhesives are formulated to adhere to leather, laminate, wood, rubber, and plastic products. To use, prepare the work surface in advance by making sure that the area is free of dirt, oil or moisture. Next, protect yourself and the surrounding areas and make sure that there is adequate ventilation, as spray adhesives emit fine particles that can be inhaled. Apply a thin strip of the adhesive to a test area before using and read instructions completely. Once tested, spray light, even, coats to the entire surface. Be sure to hold the can upright and spray from a recommended distance of approximately 1/2 foot for optimum coverage.