What is MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone)?
Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) is a colorless, liquid chemical substance that is used in many industrial production processes. It is a natural solvent, making it a key component in many different chemical mixes and surface treatments. MEK is one of Alliance Chemical’s most popular liquid solvents!
It is also referred to as Butanone or 2-Butanone, and while it is a particularly effective solvent itself, MEK is soluble in alcohol and water. It is a liquid ketone with no color, and a sharp odor similar to acetone. In fact, MEK and acetone share similar chemical compounds. MEK is favored for its strength over acetone, as it boils at a higher temperature and has a slower evaporation rate. It has a boiling point of 175.4°F (79.64°C), a molar mass of 72.11 g/mol, and a molecular density of 0.8049 g/mL. While MEK is a predominantly manufactured chemical used for industrial purposes, it can also be found in trace amounts in nature.
Battle Of The Solvents!
MEK VS. Acetone
MEK or Methyl Ethyl Ketone is stronger than Acetone, because it has a slower evaporation rate and boils at a higher temperature.
These differences are why MEK can be a stronger cleaning agent than acetone.
Unlike Acetone, MEK forms an azeotrope with water, which means that methyl ethyl ketone and water mix together to form a constant boiling point that cannot be affected by distillation.
Benefits Of MEK
Strong solvent: MEK is a strong solvent and is able to dissolve a wide range of materials, including resins, gums, and cellulose acetate. This makes it an effective cleaning agent and a useful component in many manufacturing processes.
Low toxicity: Compared to many other industrial solvents, MEK is relatively low in toxicity. It has a low potential for skin irritation and is not classified as a carcinogen.
Low viscosity: MEK has a low viscosity, which makes it easy to apply and helps it penetrate surfaces quickly. This makes it useful for a variety of applications, including as a thinner for paints and coatings.
High flash point: MEK has a high flash point, meaning it requires a high temperature to ignite. This makes it safer to use and transport than many other solvents.
Versatility: MEK is a versatile solvent that can be used in a wide range of industries, including paint and coatings, pharmaceuticals, and printing inks.
Overall, MEK is an effective and useful solvent with a number of benefits that make it an attractive choice for many industrial and commercial applications.