Eastman offers efficient, non-HAP replacement for MEK solvents

A staple industrial cleaner and solvent for coatings, MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) is currently in short supply, according to industry analysts. To help meet market demand for MEK replacements, Eastman Chemical Company offers Eastman MPK (methyl propyl ketone), its low-density, non-HAP solvent for coatings and industrial cleaning and surface preparation applications. For coatings formulators looking to achieve further VOC (volatile organic compounds) reductions and faster solvent evaporation, a blend of Eastman MPK and methyl acetate is an ideal replacement for MEK in a wide array of coatings formulations.

A technical tip, including reformulation tables, on effectively replacing MEK with Eastman MPK and MPK/methyl acetate blends can be found on Eastman’s performance solvent website at www.performancesolvents.com.

“Eastman is committed to offering the coatings industry cost-competitive, high quality materials and top-notch reformulation assistance,” says Ranae Anderson, senior technical service representative, Eastman Chemical Company. “With the added production efficiencies, performance and environmental benefits that Eastman MPK provides, it is an excellent replacement for MEK.”

In Cleaning Applications
In a variety of cleaning applications (i.e. metal degreasing, ink remover, industrial cleaning fluids), MPK has directly replaced MEK for those end-users seeking to achieve a balance between performance and environmental compliance; because of its strong solvency power, readily biodegradable status and higher flash point versus that of MEK.

Eastman MPK can replace MEK in hand wipes used for the surface preparation of military and commercial aircraft. MPK effectively removes soils, hydraulic oils, sealants and other contaminants from aircraft surfaces, ensuring proper bonding of industrial coatings. It can also be used to clean industrial paint guns. A non-HAP solvent, MPK helps aerospace manufacturers meet stringent NESHAP regulations without sacrificing performance.

“MPK is a cost-effective cleaner because it evaporates more slowly than MEK,” says Anderson. “With MPK, more of the solvent stays in wipes during cleaning.”

For Coatings Formulations
Compatible in most coatings formulations, Eastman MPK dissolves readily with an array of resins, including acrylics, polyesters, epoxies, vinyls and alkyds. Its high solvency, low density and medium evaporation rate make it a particularly good choice for high-solids resins and coatings formulations requiring a low VOC content. MPK can also be used in printing inks and vinyl coated fabrics, and as a thinning agent for lacquers.

Reduce VOC Emissions
To further reduce VOCs and achieve faster evaporation, Eastman MPK can be blended with Eastman methyl acetate, a non-VOC, active solvent. The blend creates faster dry-to-touch for increased product turnaround. With its low MIR (maximum incremental reactivity) value, the blend can also help formulators of aerosol coatings meet California’s MIR guidelines.

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