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Any liquid (usually) that dissolves another compound (solute) to form a homogeneous solution. Solvents are characterized by their polarity, evaporation rate and composition. Water is the most common solvent and it is strongly polar. Hydrocarbon solvents such as Hexane, Mineral spirits, and aromatics (Benzene, Toluene, Xylene) are nonpolar. Other organic solvents, such as Acetone, Ethanol, Turpentine, Chloroform, and Carbon disulfide are less polar. Many solvents are volatile and some are flammable and toxic.
Resources and Citations
- R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966 - contains tables and charts comparing properties of pure solvents (pp. 202-205, 207, 208).
- Alan Phenix, 'The Swelling of Artists' Paints in Organic Solvents, Part 1 and Part 2', JAIC 41(1), 2002. -contains substantial information on the properties of solvent mixtures. (pp. 43-90).
- R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
- G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 742
- 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
- Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
- Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
- Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
- The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
- AMOL reCollections Glossary -http://amol.org.au/recollections/7/c/htm