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Solvent Attack

Definition - What does Solvent Attack mean?

A solvent attack is a type of material degradation process that dissolves molecules by introducing a solvent to a material to break the bonds of the material's atoms. A solvent attack can greatly reduce the mechanical properties of a material.

Corrosionpedia explains Solvent Attack

A solvent attack is a very common threat to polymers. Certain liquids, such as lubricants, can act as a solvent when they come into contact with polymers. Care must be taken so that the polymers used for an application are not brought into contact with liquids that can dissolve them.

Although generally considered a process with negative effects, a solvent attack can be used beneficially. Materials that have been joined together with epoxy or polyester can be broken apart by using a solvent if desired.

The extent to which a solvent attack degrades a material can be reduced by limiting the time that the solvent is in contact with the material, the temperature at which the solvent and the material are in contact and the concentration of the solvent.

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