Methyl ethyl ketone
A colorless liquid Solvent with an acetone-like odor. Methyl ethyl ketone, or MEK, is used as a solvent for Cellulose nitrate lacquers, vinyl films, acrylic coatings, inks, and alkyd ( Glyptal) resins. It is also used as a component in paint removers and dry cleaning fluids. MEK does not dissolve Cellulose acetate or most waxes.
Synonyms and Related Terms
2-butanone; MEK; ethyl methyl ketone; ethylmethyl ketone; 2-oxobutane; methyl acetone; methylethyl ketone
- Flammable. Flash point = -9C Dangerous fire risk. Explosive in limits air 2-10%.
- Toxic by inhalation.
- Skin contact causes dermatitis.
- Ingestion causes vomiting and abdominal pain.
- Flinn Scientific: SDS
Physical and Chemical Properties
Miscible with water, ethanol, ether, benzene and oils.
|Melting Point||-86.4 C|
|Molecular Weight||mol. wt.= 72.12|
|Boiling Point||79.6 C|
Resources and Citations
- R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966 Comment: acts well on cellulose acetate
- Reed Kay, The Painter's Guide To Studio Methods and Materials, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983
- Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
- Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993 Comment: does not dissolve cellulose acetate and most waxes
- Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
- Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
- The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 6149; ref. index=1.379
- The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
- CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index=1.377