Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is an essential compound that comes in many options and is used for a variety of applications ranging from industrial to medical. It’s offered in various grades and dilution levels, it does not leave residue behind, and evaporates quickly. IPA is also safe to use on a variety of surfaces including plastics. Often, IPA is mixed with deionized water (DI Water), ranging from 1% to 99%.
For this article, we’ll focus on 99% IPA and how it’s used in industries all over the world.
- Industrial Cleaner – 99% IPA is an aggressive cleaning solvent, perfect for a variety of industrial applications. It is suitable for removing inks, permanent marker, stickers/adhesives, stains, grease, and grime. It’s used for wiping down and scrubbing various surfaces and equipment such as machinery, work benches, windows, parts, and components.
- Pre-Fusion Pipe Cleaning – Wipes saturated with 99% isopropyl alcohol are popular for cleaning the fusion zone prior to electrofusion welding. They are ideal for removing debris, dirt, oxides, and other contaminants from HDPE pipes. High levels of IPA are fast drying / evaporate quickly, making it suitable for this process.
- Coating – Isopropyl alcohol plays a major role in coating different products all around the world. This is most commonly in the form of 99% IPA. 99% IPA can help produce and disperse various polymers. It also serves as a diluent for resins and paints. A number of intermediates can be made from it, including acetone and glycerol. It’s also used to coat and keep windows frost-free as a thawing agent.
- Cleaning Electronics – Due to its fast-drying properties, highly concentrated isopropyl alcohol is a “must-have” for cleaning electronics. It can be used to safely clean and degrease things like cables, keypads, LCDs, fiber optics, and much more. The move to an increasingly digital world has made this compound one of the more important cleaning chemicals used. And it also plays a vital role in the modern manufacturing of semiconductors.
- Pharmaceutical Applications Another reason isopropyl alcohol is one of the go-to laboratory chemicals is that it is used to manufacture medicines. It is also used to decontaminate reactors and to make, purify, and analyze various compounds. This compound is also at the heart of running different lab analyses. And it is needed to synthesize amino acids and polypeptides.
- Automotive Applications 99% isopropyl alcohol has a number of different uses in the automotive industry. It’s commonly used in automotive manufacturing and repair for various surface preparation tasks such as cleaning surfaces before paint is applied. Since high concentrations of IPA are an effective cleaning solvent, it’s also perfect for removing paint, ink, grime, and certain adhesives. Additionally, car detailers use this compound to strip wax from vehicles before attempting any kind of painting or polishing. And it often goes into windshield washes to help solubilize the water.
- Molecular Biology Isopropyl alcohol has proven itself to be very useful in molecular biology. Specifically, the 99% dilution level of IPA helps researchers to prepare different samples for specific molecular reactions, including nucleotide sequencing. The compound can also help to concentrate and purify DNA samples. In this way, it has changed the face of molecular biology forever.
- Medical Applications In the medical community, isopropyl alcohol is considered a staple compound. That is because it’s highly effective for cleaning different surfaces and sterilizing equipment. Highly concentrated 99% IPA is preferred for applications that require quick evaporation with no residue left behind after applications so that tools and surfaces can be used a short time after being wiped down. The 99% concentration level can also be applied directly to skin as long as it is a medical grade alcohol.
- Personal Care Isopropyl alcohol also plays a major role in the personal care industry. That’s because it goes into assorted bath products, lotions, cosmetics, hand sanitizers, and more. This compound is particularly useful for making nail polishes and cleaning nails.
Choosing the Correct Level of IPA
Here at Blue Thunder Technologies, we have solvents and chemicals for just about any application including those mentioned above. To see how we can offer a customized solution for your specific needs, contact us today