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Re: [APD] This darned silicone!

After posting, I remembered an older discussion on this topic and another product I had heard about. Took me a while to track down the website since the links had changed ove rhte last few years.
This product is marketed specifically for helping with the removal of cured silicone sealant. I'm not sure where you can buy it it might come only in gallon size or larger, industrial, quantities.
I have not used it and cannot attest to it's applicability for your situation. It still sounds like a lot of hard work, However, it has an interesting MSDS and does not contain the petroleum/hydrocarbonn nasties. This link is not a current MSDS -- you have to contact the manufacturer for one of those:
See also:
Stick to it,
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The Aquatic Gardeners Association Convention is OPEN for REGISTRATION!
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----- Original Message ----
From: S. Hieber <shieber at yahoo_com>
To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
Sent: Monday, August 7, 2006 7:53:45 AM
Subject: Re: [APD] This darned silicone!

There isn't much that works as a great solvent for this tenacious material. Generally, strong solvents will soften it but really dissolve it.

3M makes a blended solvent product called "General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner, part # 051135-08984" which some have reported as practical, although 3M's stated usability for this product to remove silicone, among other things, might not be referring the cured rubberlike adhesive but other silicone products. Still, it might be worth trying if you can find it. It contains xylene, toluene, benzene, ethybenzene -- very nasty stuff dictating the use to of special gloves, apron, and positive-pressure ventilation mask and vacuum ventilation of the work area and possibly up-to-date medical insurance coverage. My understanding is that much elbow grease will still be required.

I believe that, along similar lines, acetone would merely provide a medium for floating the debris mechanically removed from the glass.  
Things that others have suggested to soften cured silicone, cause it to swell and soften and become more gooey so that it might be it easier to mechanically remove are naphtha,  lacquer thinner and other such highly aromatic petroleum distillates solvents. If there is plastic involved, expect the solvents to work more thoroughly on them than the silicone.

Chloroform is said to dissolved cured silicone -- not thoroughly and very slowly -- although I don't have any info how easy the dissolved material is to clean up and certain very special working conditions would have to be used to ensure safety.

For the time and money involved, replacing the panels might be cheaper and easier.

Good luck, and be sure to let us know how things work out,

* * * * * * * * * 
The Aquatic Gardeners Association Convention is OPEN for REGISTRATION!
at http://www.aquatic-gardeners.org/convention.html 

----- Original Message ----
From: Mike Smith <chainsawmike at msn_com>
To: aquatic-plants <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
Sent: Sunday, August 6, 2006 9:49:28 PM
Subject: [APD] This darned silicone!

Hello all,

              Recently acquired another 125 gallon tank. I was very excited as I have yet to design and build the stand for the 125 I have now. ( new house, new fish room, new stands! ) I will now design and build an over/under stand for them.

               This was how I felt this morning. Now I am angry.

               In a previous life, right up until yesterday, the 125 served as a sump for a 210 gallon reef. The four bulkheads will serve some, as yet undecided purpose, or will be plugged. This is not the problem.

               The problem arises from the fact that at each end of the tank, there were acrylic sheets siliconed  on to the glass to facilitate the sump operations.

               After much work, the sheets were removed. The silicone was not however. Even with much scrubbing and the use of more than a dozen single edged razor blades, there remains the ghost of the silicone.

               I have read in the archives that acetone will remove the silicone, and someone said that steel wool and scrubbing powder will work as well. These methods were in reference to removing silicone from the bottom edges of the tank in preparation to reseal a leaker.

               My silicone is in the viewing area of the glass. I am unwilling to try the steel wool method. I am wondering if the acetone leaves any trace of its presence behind.

               Basically, I need to remove what seems like the thinnest ( untouchable by even brand new razors ) film of silicone from the glass. Suggestions Please.
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