[AMRadio] A WD-40 Story

Mike Sawyer w3slk at verizon.net
Tue Apr 23 17:34:03 EDT 2013

Any petroleum based product and water/moisture is going to emulsify and
congeal. Solvents like carbon tetrachloride were used because of their rapid
evaporative rate. This day and age, solvents like methanol and ethanol,
which are hydrophoric, are good candidates. Ethanol seems to be aggressive
towards rubber/butyl. Even 70% isopranol will be fine to evaporate off any
moisture. Remember the WD stands for 'Water Displacement.' Not water
Just my grid currents worth.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "JAMES HANLON" <knjhanlon at msn.com>
To: "AMradio" <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 4:13 PM
Subject: [AMRadio] A WD-40 Story

Some 30 years or more ago Homestead Air Force Base in Florida was hit by a
major hurricane, and the telephone exchange there, a Crossbar type, was
flooded.  Bell System folk from all over arrived to help recover the
exchange, and they sprayed the Crossbar Switches down with WD-40, reasoning
that since it was a Water Displacement product it would drive the water out
of the magnet coils, and the mechanical switching levers and contacts of the
Crossbar Switches.  It did and the exchange recovered and came back to
life - for a few months.  Then as the WD-40 dried and congealed, the
switching mechanism and contacts gummed up with the residual heavy
hydrocarbons of the WD-40 and the exchange was destroyed.

And that's why I do not use WD-40 on electrical contacts.

Jim Hanlon, W8KGI, Bell Labs Electromechanical Switching Device Laboratory,
1970 through 1989.

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