Definition - What does Acetone mean?

Acetone is an organic compound with chemical formula (CH3)2CO. It is commonly used as a solvent for cleaning the surface of metals for metallographic examination. It is a colorless and flammable liquid.

After corrosion testing acetone is used to clean the cross section of the specimen for surface examination of coating. Cleaning is done by immersing the specimen in the acetone solution where the surface particles are removed.

Corrosionpedia explains Acetone

Proper surface preparation of metal is a vital step in creating a proper bonding during the metal coating process. Many surfaces may look clean to the naked eye, but microscopic examination may reveal surface contaminants.

Several layers of contaminants may be present on a surface. General contaminants include:

  • Dust
  • Dirt
  • Loose particles
  • Surface oils
  • Grease

Beneath this lies a layer that is firmly attached to the surface. This can be composed of rust, oxide films or other additives. These contaminants create problems while forming a strong bond, which is why surface preparation is such an important step in the coating process.

Acetone is capable of dissolving these contaminants from the surface of any metal. It cleans and prepares metallic surfaces prior to sandblasting, coating or corrosion protection.

Solvents are normally used to remove undesirable material from metal and alloy surfaces. Benefits of using acetone as a solvent include:

  • Low toxicity
  • Safer to use
  • Easily evaporates
  • Inexpensive
  • Less regulated
  • Water soluble
  • Effective

This makes acetone an ideal choice as solvent. However, acetone is flammable, so it must be handled carefully.

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