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Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)

Last updated: November 1, 2019

What Does Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) Mean?

Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) is a colorless, organic liquid chemical substance that contains a carbonyl group. It is non-reactive and used to manufacture surface treating solvents.

Methyl ethyl ketone may also be known as ethyl methyl ketone, methyl acetone or 2-butanone.


Corrosionpedia Explains Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)

Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) is soluble in water and is commonly used as an industrial solvent. It is a strong degreaser and used to remove resins, adhesives, coatings and other substances from metallic surfaces. MEK is used industrially when a metallic surface requires surface treatment to prevent corrosion. It is used to remove old coatings that may have become eroded or otherwise unsatisfactory. Once the old coating is completely removed, the surface can then be cleaned and a new coating may be applied. It is also used in professional paint shops to thin acrylics and lacquers.

MEK is highly volatile and evaporates quickly. It is poisonous so extreme care should be taken when handling.


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