Mineral Spirits

Definition - What does Mineral Spirits mean?

Mineral spirits are a type of chemical substance that is a liquid hydrocarbon solvent mixture of aliphatic and alicyclic petroleum-based compounds. Mineral spirits are used as a key ingredient in paint and varnish products used to coat metal surfaces to prevent corrosion.

Corrosionpedia explains Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits are formed by the molecular interaction via distillation of paraffin (aliphatic) and cyclo-propane (alicyclic) with aromatic compounds. Mineral spirits are used in primarily three common types - type I, II and III.

Type II is the most commonly used in corrosion preventative applications. It has been treated to remove aromatic solvents, making it ideal for manufacturing oil-based paint and thinners.

Mineral spirits are also grouped in three classes. Class 1 is characterized by a high flashpoint with a low volatility rating. Class 2 is characterized by a lower flashpoint temperature. Class 3 has the highest volatility with the lowest flashpoint of the three classes.

Pure mineral spirits are used for stripping paint and other substances. At these concentrations, they are highly corrosive and should be used carefully.

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