Acetone Application
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Morning all!  So I recently acquired 21 RMC Maple Leafs dates 1988-2000 at a good price.  Including 4 of the 1997 issue which is nice.  Anyhow, aside from the 2000 issue coins in the original mint packaging, it appears the rest have sat in their pvc flips since the time they were purchased originally.  I haven't sat down and checked to see if there's any signs of pvc damage to the coins yet in detail but thinking a good acetone application wouldn't be a bad idea anyhow before transferring them to safer storage.

My main question is, I was thinking of the whole multiple bowls of acetone process for soak/swirl, rinsing dip, etc...followed by refreshing the acetone itself to make sure no impurities get applied to the next coin....what are your all thoughts on using a WaterPik for the acetone?  Clearly you'd have to secure your workspace for the spray and capture all of it that comes off the coin but if you're not needing a long soak then it's a pressure washing technique that gets you the non-abrasive agitation that may be necessary.  Assuming you could control the spray better there may even be less waste of acetone but that's not really the concern.

Anyhow, just something I was wondering about recently.  Cheers!

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Usually a waterpic will have plastic parts in it that will be attacked by the acetone (and may deposit dissolved plastic on your coins.)

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35 minutes ago, Conder101 said:

Usually a waterpic will have plastic parts in it that will be attacked by the acetone (and may deposit dissolved plastic on your coins.)

That was also my first thought.

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1 hour ago, Conder101 said:

Usually a waterpic will have plastic parts in it that will be attacked by the acetone (and may deposit dissolved plastic on your coins.)

Brilliant! I'd only kicked around the idea gently but that's a wonderful point. Thanks!

So if I were to pursue this further I'd have to find something similar in nature with only metal/glass from reservoir to tip. I wonder if there's any pneumatic items that fit that category...like an airbrush kit that doesn't run through tubing....hmm.

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43 minutes ago, Just Bob said:

Or, for a bit more pressure:

Try these

I mean...buillion coins are big but they ain't side of the house big.  hm

I was thinking an airbrush kit like this one but I've never used an airbrush gun and not really sure on the proper setup (though it seems easy enough).  I think @Revenant has experience in tabletop gaming which would probably mean painting miniatures.  If he ever used an airbrush kit for the process maybe he can chime in on using one to spray acetone.

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15 minutes ago, CRAWTOMATIC said:

I think @Revenant has experience in tabletop gaming which would probably mean painting miniatures.  If he ever used an airbrush kit for the process maybe he can chime in on using one to spray acetone.

Yeah but I never painted my own minis. :)

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13 minutes ago, MAULEMALL said:

hm atomizing acetone..... Sounds good to me

Kind of depends on how much you're using and in how well ventilated a space. If he only cleans a couple of coins at time and doesn't spray it into his face or into an open flame he'll probably be fine. You're not going to spray enough of it on a couple of coins to form a significant vapor cloud - although I guess it's possible he could end up missing some eyebrows depending on how he does it. I wouldn't do it for very long and I'd have the place well ventilated, and I'd recommend wearing eye protection, and maybe medical gloves.

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37 minutes ago, Revenant said:

Kind of depends on how much you're using and in how well ventilated a space. If he only cleans a couple of coins at time and doesn't spray it into his face or into an open flame he'll probably be fine. You're not going to spray enough of it on a couple of coins to form a significant vapor cloud - although I guess it's possible he could end up missing some eyebrows depending on how he does it. I wouldn't do it for very long and I'd have the place well ventilated, and I'd recommend wearing eye protection, and maybe medical gloves.

At this point it's more a thought experiment into conservation.  But yeah, some kind of half mask respirator (which I have onhand already), full goggles rather than safety glasses, gloves, and a "box" of sorts to control the mist/spray and collect the discharge.  I don't think the airbrush tip would need to be the fine gauge unless you really need to "dig away" at some pvc so the misting should be minimal.

But now that I'm in the rabbit hole....ultrasonic cleaners can be had for under $100 and require much less.  Any luck with those from the guys here?  Recommended or no for coins?  Nevermind, bad idea.

Edited by CRAWTOMATIC
redaction

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I have been airbrushing for over ten years, although I've never thought about using one of my brushes for this lol.  The one you linked is junk and the acetone would eat it up.  This Iwata is the cheapest brush I would even consider trying https://www.ebay.com/itm/Iwata-Neo-N4500-Gravity-Feed-Dual-Action-Airbrush-Set-N-4500-Iwata-madea/113738142423?epid=1105559923&hash=item1a7b5252d7:g:2vYAAOSwoQpcs1~U  and to be fair I wouldn't try it at all.  I would just use some glass containers and rinse each off in that.

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3 hours ago, CRAWTOMATIC said:

I mean...buillion coins are big but they ain't side of the house big.  hm

Actually, my post was tongue-in-cheek. I just forgot to add the smiley.

But, if you ever do need to spray the side of your house, now you know. :wink:

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3 hours ago, Revenant said:

Kind of depends on how much you're using and in how well ventilated a space. If he only cleans a couple of coins at time and doesn't spray it into his face or into an open flame he'll probably be fine. You're not going to spray enough of it on a couple of coins to form a significant vapor cloud - although I guess it's possible he could end up missing some eyebrows depending on how he does it. I wouldn't do it for very long and I'd have the place well ventilated, and I'd recommend wearing eye protection, and maybe medical gloves.

It's a bad idea. Acetone is better used as a soak. 

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You're gonna to shoot your eye out kid !

Spraying acetone sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Also be aware what a static spark could do.

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The acetone squeeze bottle that Maulemall mentioned is good for the flowing rinse I like to use after an acetone soak or a distilled water rinse.

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On 5/14/2019 at 11:25 PM, Conder101 said:

The acetone squeeze bottle that Maulemall mentioned is good for the flowing rinse I like to use after an acetone soak or a distilled water rinse.

We used them for cleaning titanium spar rotor blades.. They handled acetone as well as MEK very well...

 

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Acetone does not evaporate very quickly. Acetone and distilled water don't mix. You could use isopropyl alcohol to rinse the acetone, and then use distilled water to rinse the isopropyl alcohol. Care must be taken to use an isopropyl alcohol that does not leave a residue. I use Walmart's 91% solution with 9% distilled water, then place the coin in an ultrasonic cleaner. Replace the distilled water solution immediately if you notice debris in the solution as solid debris or suspended dust may scratch the coin while the ultrasonic cleaner agitates. 

You will find an ultrasonic cleaner at Home Depot for under $40. 

If you use chemical gloves to protect your hands from the acetone, residue will be transferred to the coin if you handle it. 

Always photograph your restored coins before sending them for grading since any residue may only appear with high definition photos.

Repeat while residue still appears on the coin.

Take pictures before you attempt any restoration to make sure that any residue detected was not already present.

(I highly recommend the NCS Conservation service.)

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Acetone evaporates VERY quickly, and water and acetone are 100% miscible.  In chem labs acetone is commonly used to dry the glassware after washing  because the water instantly is absorbed into it and dispersed and then carried off as the acetone rapidly evaporates.  Very useful for drying flasks and other glass equipment that have narrow or constricted openings that would take a long time to air dry.

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I dropped the idea of submersive ultrasonic cleaners due to the agitation involved.  I'd imagine it would cause friction/rub/etc....

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11 hours ago, Conder101 said:

Acetone evaporates VERY quickly, and water and acetone are 100% miscible.  In chem labs acetone is commonly used to dry the glassware after washing  because the water instantly is absorbed into it and dispersed and then carried off as the acetone rapidly evaporates.  Very useful for drying flasks and other glass equipment that have narrow or constricted openings that would take a long time to air dry.

Hi Total Newbie, No, you have acetone confused with alcohol. Acetone is volatile, however, it evaporates very slowly. Isopropyl alcohol, which evaporates very quickly and is used as a drying agent, is miscible in both acetone and distilled water. Acetone and water don't mix well, similar to gasoline and water.

4 hours ago, CRAWTOMATIC said:

I dropped the idea of submersive ultrasonic cleaners due to the agitation involved.  I'd imagine it would cause friction/rub/etc....

Yes, if you were to leave the ultrasonic cleaner unattended, you could do damage that may appear only on a high resolution photograph. Ultrasonic cleaners are commonly used to clean jewelry, though for proof coins, I use the cleaner for only a few seconds initially depending on the debris to be removed. Usually, filmy haze is completely dissolved in isopropyl alcohol, so the only consideration is possible debris and suspended dust.

Often, some organic material and debris on a coin is not sufficient to result in a drop in grade, so you will have to remove the film yourself if appearance can be improved.

With the ultrasonic cleaner turned on, you can suspend the coin using silicone tipped tweezers or forceps, though the coin must not have any isopropyl alcohol on it at this stage. I scratched a coin with the tip of otherwise silicone coated tweezers once, so I was motivated to determine that the hard plastic coated basket of the ultrasonic cleaner is not capable of scratching the coin while the cleaner agitates. If you do see a faint outline of the basket left on the coin, it is due to suspended solids or dust while the cleaner was left unattended.

I use a clean, dust free coin flip to maneuver the coin into the basket sitting in a clean sink. If the coin is in a capsule, I expose one surface of the capsule, place the basket on top my hand holding the capsule, then carefully turn the basket and coin right side up. I apply the isopropyl alcohol liberally to the surface of the coin. I place the basket in the ultrasonic cleaner filled with distilled water. Agitate the coin for a few seconds. Remove the basket and dump the water. Dry the sink with a cloth followed by a lint free cloth. Place the basket in the sink. Air dry the surface coin and the basket with a manual pneumatic bulb. Use the outsides of a clean flip to slide underneath and firmly grasp the coin and remove the coin from basket. Use a cloth and then a lint free cloth in succession to dry off the basket. Use a cloth and then a lint free cloth in succession to dry the sink. Place the reverse of the coin back in the basket and repeat until thoroughly dry. Once thoroughly dry, return the coin to a clean flip or capsule.

Repeat process if photos still reveal debris. Place reverse side of coin upright in basket, if necessary. Use longer time setting on ultrasonic cleaner if necessary and prudent.

When taking photos, use a number of light sources since what initially appears to be debris may actually be defects in the mirrored surface of the coin.

This is an example of a slightly fragmented mirrored coin surface that would be a mistake to restore:

IMG_0701X2.thumb.jpg.223d8b644f44af75a3d6f0a61fd00777.jpgIMG_0703X2.thumb.jpg.0124cacec000eae7ad53d09b189c89c7.jpg

This is an example of debris and an organic film on a coin:

273677937_beforeultrasound(3)2821273-0141978ColombiaHummingBird002X.thumb.jpg.9c1f9c08c6557bb6f52997e69ba14a43.jpg

I discontinued with the ultrasonic process once I left a scratch with the tip of aforementioned tweezers (upward from left tail feathers):

IMG_0908X2.thumb.JPG.710f25532712e4987174bdae1c11206a.JPG

Edited by Miguel del Rio

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1 hour ago, Miguel del Rio said:

Hi Total Newbie, No, you have acetone confused with alcohol. Acetone is volatile, however, it evaporates very slowly. Isopropyl alcohol, which evaporates very quickly and is used as a drying agent, is miscible in both acetone and distilled water. Acetone and water don't mix well, similar to gasoline and water.

Yes, if you were to leave the ultrasonic cleaner unattended, you could do damage that may appear only on a high resolution photograph. Ultrasonic cleaners are commonly used to clean jewelry, though for proof coins, I use the cleaner for only a few seconds initially depending on the debris to be removed. Usually, filmy haze is completely dissolved in isopropyl alcohol, so the only consideration is possible debris and suspended dust.

Often, some organic material and debris on a coin is not sufficient to result in a drop in grade, so you will have to remove the film yourself if appearance can be improved.

With the ultrasonic cleaner turned on, you can suspend the coin using silicone tipped tweezers or forceps, though the coin must not have any isopropyl alcohol on it at this stage. I scratched a coin with the tip of otherwise silicone coated tweezers once, so I was motivated to determine that the hard plastic coated basket of the ultrasonic cleaner is not capable of scratching the coin while the cleaner agitates. If you do see a faint outline of the basket left on the coin, it is due to suspended solids or dust while the cleaner was left unattended.

I use a clean, dust free coin flip to maneuver the coin into the basket sitting in a clean sink. If the coin is in a capsule, I expose one surface of the capsule, place the basket on top my hand holding the capsule, then carefully turn the basket and coin right side up. I apply the isopropyl alcohol liberally to the surface of the coin. I place the basket in the ultrasonic cleaner filled with distilled water. Agitate the coin for a few seconds. Remove the basket and dump the water. Dry the sink with a cloth followed by a lint free cloth. Place the basket in the sink. Air dry the surface coin and the basket with a manual pneumatic bulb. Use the outsides of a clean flip to slide underneath and firmly grasp the coin and remove the coin from basket. Use a cloth and then a lint free cloth in succession to dry off the basket. Use a cloth and then a lint free cloth in succession to dry the sink. Place the reverse of the coin back in the basket and repeat until thoroughly dry. Once thoroughly dry, return the coin to a clean flip or capsule.

Repeat process if photos still reveal debris. Place reverse side of coin upright in basket, if necessary. Use longer time setting on ultrasonic cleaner if necessary and prudent.

When taking photos, use a number of light sources since what initially appears to be debris may actually be defects in the mirrored surface of the coin.

This is an example of a slightly fragmented mirrored coin surface that would be a mistake to restore:

IMG_0701X2.thumb.jpg.223d8b644f44af75a3d6f0a61fd00777.jpgIMG_0703X2.thumb.jpg.0124cacec000eae7ad53d09b189c89c7.jpg

This is an example of debris and an organic film on a coin:

273677937_beforeultrasound(3)2821273-0141978ColombiaHummingBird002X.thumb.jpg.9c1f9c08c6557bb6f52997e69ba14a43.jpg

I discontinued with the ultrasonic process once I left a scratch with the tip of aforementioned tweezers (upward from left tail feathers):

IMG_0908X2.thumb.JPG.710f25532712e4987174bdae1c11206a.JPG

Chemicals with evaporation rate of 3.0 (three time the evaporation of normal butyl acetate), such as acetone (5.6), hexane (8.3), or methyl ethyl ketone or MEK (3.8) are classified as 'fast evaporating.'

Edited by rrantique
The boiling point of acetone is 132.8 degrees fahrenheit. Most rubbing alcohol is made out of isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol. Both evaporate at about the same temperature at 180 degrees fahrenheit.

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3 hours ago, rrantique said:

Chemicals with evaporation rate of 3.0 (three time the evaporation of normal butyl acetate), such as acetone (5.6), hexane (8.3), or methyl ethyl ketone or MEK (3.8) are classified as 'fast evaporating.'

That may be, however, I haven't had the time to waist for acetone to slowly evaporate and to see how much residue the acetone solution leaves on a coin. (In the time it takes for the acetone to evaporate, more surface residue may be dissolved into the acetone solution.)

Edited by Miguel del Rio

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I got a thumb print on this coin as it fell from my fingers on to the linoleum floor:

IMG_0390X2.jpg.8541d7da10c73e61d08a1ec69b6ff395.jpg

I quickly doused the coin in acetone. I knew the evaporation rate of acetone was far less than isopropyl alcohol, but I still waited for a few moments anyway. Finally, I splashed the coin with isopropyl alcohol, then, using Butyl II gloves to protect by hands while manipulating the coin, I placed the coin into another glass bowl having distilled water. I saw that the coin still had a slick acetone residue, so I repeated a couple of times more, first dousing and soaking the coin in fresh isopropyl alcohol, then rinsing the coin in a bowl with clean distilled water.

Little did I realized that I was not finished, as this photograph shows.

The Butyl II gloves are still tacky. They protected my hands, though not without transferring residue to the coin.

Edited by Miguel del Rio

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6 hours ago, Miguel del Rio said:

That may be, however, I haven't had the time to waist for acetone to slowly evaporate and to see how much residue the acetone solution leaves on a coin. (In the time it takes for the acetone to evaporate, more surface residue may be dissolved into the acetone solution.)

doh! The boiling point of acetone is 132.8 degrees fahrenheit. Most rubbing alcohol is made out of isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol. Both evaporate at about the same temperature at 180 degrees fahrenheit.

 

P.S. Miguel do what ever you want with your coins.  I was just showing that Acetone will evaporate quicker (ie lower boiling point than Isopropyl alcohol).(thumbsu

Edited by rrantique

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Used to use acetone to work on a motor yacht ,ChrisCraft 52 ft, to help dry the planking to do repairs..  I miss that boat especially on Memorial day weekend.

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12 hours ago, Miguel del Rio said:

Hi Total Newbie, No, you have acetone confused with alcohol. Acetone is volatile, however, it evaporates very slowly. Isopropyl alcohol, which evaporates very quickly and is used as a drying agent, is miscible in both acetone and distilled water. Acetone and water don't mix well, similar to gasoline and water.

Don't be confused by that "Total newbie" label, I know what I am talking about. (I do have a degree in chemistry)  At room temperature without added heat and in still air acetone evaporates roughly twice as fast as isopropanol.  With a little heat or moving air the evaporation rate of acetone is nearly 5 times as fast.  And acetone and water mix completely and easily, and they stay mixed in solution, they do not separate.  Ethanol and Isopropanol do as well.  That is why it is very hard to get any of them to a purity greater than 95%, they will absorb water vapor directly from the air.

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3 hours ago, Conder101 said:

Don't be confused by that "Total newbie" label, I know what I am talking about. (I do have a degree in chemistry)  At room temperature without added heat and in still air acetone evaporates roughly twice as fast as isopropanol.  With a little heat or moving air the evaporation rate of acetone is nearly 5 times as fast.  And acetone and water mix completely and easily, and they stay mixed in solution, they do not separate.  Ethanol and Isopropanol do as well.  That is why it is very hard to get any of them to a purity greater than 95%, they will absorb water vapor directly from the air.

I agree 100%. 

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14 hours ago, Conder101 said:

Don't be confused by that "Total newbie" label, I know what I am talking about. (I do have a degree in chemistry)  At room temperature without added heat and in still air acetone evaporates roughly twice as fast as isopropanol.  With a little heat or moving air the evaporation rate of acetone is nearly 5 times as fast.  And acetone and water mix completely and easily, and they stay mixed in solution, they do not separate.  Ethanol and Isopropanol do as well.  That is why it is very hard to get any of them to a purity greater than 95%, they will absorb water vapor directly from the air.

I can see that you have never tried mixing these solvents on the surface of a coin.

Low surface tension of acetone prevents the mixing with water on the coin surface.

Acetone forms an even layer covering the coin surfaces, while water beads, rendering water effectively immiscible with acetone on the surface of the coin for human life spans.

See http://ptfaculty.gordonstate.edu/lgoodroad/SUMMER 2011/Chem 1212/chem 1212 chapter 11 solutions[1].pdf

Isopropyl alcohol and distilled water bead and slide off the coin surfaces, leaving far less of these solvents to evaporate as compared to acetone. 

The residue left behind from acetone and isopropanol is also an issue, regardless of the the source of the residue, whether the residue is already present in solution or whether the solvent dissolves any additional residue from organic debris on the coin surfaces.

Evaporating distilled water from the coin surfaces leaves no residue.

Edited by Miguel del Rio

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On 5/25/2019 at 9:27 PM, rrantique said:

doh! The boiling point of acetone is 132.8 degrees fahrenheit. Most rubbing alcohol is made out of isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol. Both evaporate at about the same temperature at 180 degrees fahrenheit.

 

P.S. Miguel do what ever you want with your coins.  I was just showing that Acetone will evaporate quicker (ie lower boiling point than Isopropyl alcohol).(thumbsu

Acetone will completely cover the coin surfaces. Much more acetone must be evaporated than water or alcohol, which bead and slide-off the coin.

Residue is also an issue, whether the residue is in solution with the acetone as an impurity or the additional residue dissolves from organic debris on the coin as the solution evaporates.

Distilled water leaves no residue.

Edited by Miguel del Rio
correct property description

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