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Difference Between Acetone and Lacquer Thinner

There are various solvents, each with different properties and uses. Factors such as the strength of the solvent, intended use, speed of evaporation and material to be used on should be considered before choosing a solvent. While one may be stronger, another may be weaker, due to the variations. Some examples of solvents include mineral spirits, turpentine, naphtha, acetone, alcohol, lacquer thinner, and methylene chloride.

 

What is Acetone?

This is a volatile, colorless as well as a flammable liquid. It is the smallest and simplest ketone and is miscible with water. It is used as a solvent, consumed as acetone cyanohydrin as well as a precursor to methyl methacrylate. As a solvent, it dissolves synthetic fibers as well as plastics, while also acting as a thinner for polyester resin. It is also used in varnishes and paints as one of the volatile ingredients. In the pharmaceutical industry, it’s used as a solvent and as a denaturant in denatured alcohol. It is also used in the beauty industry as a nail polish remover, superglue remover and skin adhesive remover on artificial hair.

 

What is Lacquer Thinner?

This is a mixture of solvents used to dissolve plastics and resins. They are frequently present in acetone, ethers and alkyl esters. It is highly flammable and emits harmful fumes, and also has a strong odor. It is used as a thinner in lacquer based paints, removing ink and adhesive residue on metals and other surfaces as well as cleaning spray guns. Due to its toxicity, odor, and flammability, it is not recommended for home use.

 

Similarities between Acetone and Lacquer Thinner

  • Both are used as solvents
  • Both are flammable
  • Both exhibit some level of toxicity

 

Differences between Acetone and Lacquer Thinner

Uses

Among the various uses of acetone include dissolving synthetic fibers as well as plastics, while also acting as a thinner for polyester resin. It is also used in varnishes and paints as one of the volatile ingredients. In the pharmaceutical industry, it’s used as a solvent and as a denaturant in denatured alcohol. It is also used in the beauty industry as a nail polish remover, superglue remover and skin adhesive remover on artificial hair. On the other hand, lacquer thinner is used as a thinner in lacquer based paints, removing ink and adhesive residue on metals and other surfaces as well as cleaning spray guns.

Evaporation rate

While acetone has a higher evaporation rate, lacquer thinner has a lower evaporation rate.

Cost

Acetone is harder to find and is more expensive. On the other hand, lacquer thinner is Is easier to find and is less expensive.

Summary of Acetone vs. Lacquer Thinner

 

Summary of Acetone vs. Lacquer Thinner

The importance of acetone and paint thinner cannot be overlooked. Care should, however, be taken when handling these items as they can be toxic.

 

Tabitha Njogu

Tabitha graduated from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce, whereby she specialized in Finance. She has had the pleasure of working with various organizations and garnered expertise in business management, business administration, accounting, finance operations, and digital marketing.

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References :


[0]Image credit: https://sco.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sample_of_Acetone.jpg

[1]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fhke/225332730

[2]Sward. Paint Testing Manual: Physical and Chemical Examination of Paints, Varnishes, Lacquers, and Colors Volume 500 of ASTM special technical publication. ASTM International Publishers, 1972. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=5SkErD0t5S4C&pg=PA147&dq=difference+between+acetone+and+lacquer+thinner&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwia2svb4YviAhWByoUKHejdCe8Q6AEILTAB#v=onepage&q=difference%20between%20acetone%20and%20lacquer%20thinner&f=false

[3]Ted Moores. Kayakcraft: Fine Woodstrip Kayak Construction. Wooden boat book. WoodenBoat Books, 1999. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=KlbM8d1S19AC&pg=PA111&dq=difference+between+acetone+and+lacquer+thinner&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwia2svb4YviAhWByoUKHejdCe8Q6AEIMzAC#v=onepage&q=difference%20between%20acetone%20and%20lacquer%20thinner&f=false

[4]NPCS Board of Consultants & Engineers. Manufacture of Thinners & Solvents (Properties, Uses, Production, Formulation with Machinery Details): Solvents for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Book of Solvents, Solvents for Production and Purification, How to start Solvents manufacturing business, How to start Solvents business, Manufacture ... Niir Project Consultancy Services, 2017 https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=boB3DQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=difference+between+acetone+and+lacquer+thinner&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwia2svb4YviAhWByoUKHejdCe8Q6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=difference%20between%20acetone%20and%20lacquer%20thinner&f=false

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