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Having recently opened a new bottle of Salter's Mek Pak I've discovered it does not appear to work as well as the older bottle, it also smells totally different ?  Perhaps the formulation has been changed, I've resorted to using an old bottle of Butanone in the meantime...........

 

Anyone else have issues ? 

 

TIA

 

 

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In my experience the formulations have almost constantly changed - possibly not just Mekpak but also look alike versions.

 

The "problems" probably relate to environmental issues and perceived risks to the users should he decided to douse himself rather than his models with the product or to spend his leisure time inhaling said solvents rather than sticking things together.  ( and while it may not seem so, I do not belittle the safety issues in handing these and similar solvents.)

 

 

Over time I have seen Mekpak and similar solvent based glues contain (MEK - Methyl Ethyl Ketone - hence the MEK bit), Methylene Dichloride and Carbon Tetrachloride (both now under a bit of a cloud due to potential carcinogenic effects ( as was MEK at one stage), Ethyl Acetate or similar (the time when solvents smelled of pear drops and back to MEK, which has a better bill of health than many other options.  In all cases I doubt if the solvents used were pure (as in +95% of the above compounds.)  I have detected whiffs of Toluene and Xylene in some compositions.  

 

Today competitors offer what might be called "light" solvents whose grip is light and may take time to take full effect, through to aggressive where an over enthusiastic use may melt the mouldings. 

 

So has the composition changed?

 

Quite probably. depending when and from whom you purchased your Mekpak (or similar)

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I've long since given up with Mekpak, a litre of Butanone is only about £8.50 delivered, I found it cheaper and more effective, it just needs decanting into old Mek bottles to make it easier to handle.

 

Peter

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In my experience the formulations have almost constantly changed - possibly not just Mekpak but also look alike versions.

 

The "problems" probably relate to environmental issues and perceived risks to the users should he decided to douse himself rather than his models with the product or to spend his leisure time inhaling said solvents rather than sticking things together.  ( and while it may not seem so, I do not belittle the safety issues in handing these and similar solvents.)

 

 

Over time I have seen Mekpak and similar solvent based glues contain (MEK - Methyl Ethyl Ketone - hence the MEK bit), Methylene Dichloride and Carbon Tetrachloride (both now under a bit of a cloud due to potential carcinogenic effects ( as was MEK at one stage), Ethyl Acetate or similar (the time when solvents smelled of pear drops and back to MEK, which has a better bill of health than many other options.  In all cases I doubt if the solvents used were pure (as in +95% of the above compounds.)  I have detected whiffs of Toluene and Xylene in some compositions.  

 

Today competitors offer what might be called "light" solvents whose grip is light and may take time to take full effect, through to aggressive where an over enthusiastic use may melt the mouldings. 

 

So has the composition changed?

 

Quite probably. depending when and from whom you purchased your Mekpak (or similar)

I mentioned Evo's Pipe weld to my local model shop (which I had only recently seen for sale). I was a little surprised when the assistant replied that it was useful because MEK had changed, no longer using MEK as you described. He went in to further detail which I cannot remember.

Pipe weld is thicker & more suitable for larger areas. It seems to be more of a glue than a solvent than MEK but it does melt the plastic just a little & holds plasticard together very nicely though.

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I mentioned Evo's Pipe weld to my local model shop (which I had only recently seen for sale). I was a little surprised when the assistant replied that it was useful because MEK had changed, no longer using MEK as you described. He went in to further detail which I cannot remember.

Pipe weld is thicker & more suitable for larger areas. It seems to be more of a glue than a solvent than MEK but it does melt the plastic just a little & holds plasticard together very nicely though.

For a thinner solvent try plumbers pipe cleaner rather than the pipe weld, it's mostly MEK and is available over the counter at your local plumbers supplies at about the same price.

 

I've been using it for over 20 years now and it's never failed me.

 

Phil T. 

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  • 1 year later...

I've long since given up with Mekpak, a litre of Butanone is only about £8.50 delivered, I found it cheaper and more effective, it just needs decanting into old Mek bottles to make it easier to handle.

 

Peter

Hi,

I just found this when searching for MEK etc and according to various science-based places Butanone is MEK, just another name for it. So I am confused, any clarification would be appreciated.

Thanks

David

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Having recently opened a new bottle of Salter's Mek Pak I've discovered it does not appear to work as well as the older bottle, it also smells totally different ? Perhaps the formulation has been changed, I've resorted to using an old bottle of Butanone in the meantime...........

 

Anyone else have issues ?

 

TIA

Slater’s changed the formula many years ago and openly admit so. It’s no longer MEK

 

Dave

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Having recently opened a new bottle of Salter's Mek Pak I've discovered it does not appear to work as well as the older bottle, 

 

As Dave mentioned it has changed.

 

My workbench now has MekPak, Butanone, d-Limonene and Plasweld (I think I got the latter when I was shopping and couldn't get MekPak). d-Limonene is gentler and doesn't have such a detrimental effect on thin plasticard. Butanone is methyl-ethyl-ketone (it has the classic ketone aroma) which is what I think MekPak used to be in the old days, and works better than modern MekPak on ABS. MekPak has a different aroma - not sure what its chemistry is these days.

 

Generally my usage is:

MekPak -       thick styrene (>10thou) - structural work 

d-Limonene - thin styrene (<=10thou) - overlays

Butanone -     C&L plastic sleepers, and I'll give it a try on plastics that MekPak doesn't like. 

Plasweld  -     when I run out of MekPak.

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