Drying Wet Deck Core with Acetone - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 10-07-2007
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Drying Wet Deck Core with Acetone

Hi,

I was reading in a Don Casey book that you can dry up a small portion of wet core by drilling shallow holes and dumping in acetone. The acetone should combine with the water and evaporate. But it says to use caution as acetone is highly flamable. I was wondering if anyone has done this or tried this method and how it worked out. Thanks!
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I've never tried acetone, but I have seen denatured alcohol used. Not a chemist so I don't completely understand how it works, but I've seen it work in electronics. Don't know why it wouldn't work on wood or other material.
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Never tried it or seen it done. I would be a bit nervous about trying it, as the acetone breaks down the resins in the fibreglass. I imagine that when it mixes with the water it stabilises and is no longer antagonistic, but I would worry that not all of the acetone got mixed with water and that it was in there slowly weakening the glass...the denatured alcohol sounds like a better bet...
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well acetone evaporates really quickly so it would dry hopefully before damaging the glass or epoxy.
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The theory is that the acetone displaces the water and then rapidly evaporates, leaving the area dry and clean. What Don Casey is describing is using the acetone to dry the area after reaming out the wet core via the "drill and fill" method. Mr. Casey's book aside, this job abides no short cuts. If it's a small area, by all means use acetone before injecting thickened epoxy - but you HAVE to remove all of the wet core first and acetone won't do that by itself. Tenting a heat lamp can also work.

If it's a larger area, remove the skin, recore and reglass.
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BTW, the acetone is rather dangerous, being quite flammable... so if you're going to try this route... be very careful to ventilate the area well. I would think that alcohol would be safer than acetone, as it is far less agressive and far less likely to attack the fiberglass.
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Old 10-07-2007
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I tried it briefly with an area of damp plywood before deciding that the better plan was just to remove and replace the wood involved. It did rapidly make an obvious difference in the dampness, and dried rather quickly, but the fumes remained for a while despite having arranged careful ventilation so I went on to plan B.
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What is considered a small enough area to use this or the alcohol approach with? Also anyone done anything else to dry core material with out removing the core? Thanks!
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The real problem is that it is very hard to accellerate drying out the core material. Even using Acetone or Alcohol isn't going to help unless the acetone/alcohol can get to the soaked areas... and unless you're planningon drilling lots of holes, you'll still have areas of core that is still damp/wet even after quite some time. Doing it properly, using heat and vacuum will help get rid of the deeper moisture, but still requires time.
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SD,

So if I drill holes in the area 1.5 inches apart or whatever is specified in the Don Casey book. I take out the damaged material with allen wrench on the drill or bent nail and vaccum it out, then I can dry it with alcohol. But the question is how much time will be required to dry it do you think?
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