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Old 12th October 2008, 08:13 PM   #1
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Default removing enamel from magnet wire

any suggestions for removing enamel from magnet wire without scraping the wire???

On larger stuff i have always used sandpaper to clean the enamel off the ends for connection. maybe not the best method but it works.

Recently i had to repair a vintage guitar pickup that had some very very fine magnet wire. I had to scrap the wire and use an emery board which was very precarious as there wasn't much of the wire left to get to.

Is there a safe and easy way to chemically clean the enamel off??


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Old 12th October 2008, 08:20 PM   #2
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For thin guage I use a bic lighter flame to turn the end of the wire red hot, burning off the enamel. Then pull it through a #0000 steel wool a few times to make it shiny copper again. I then tin it with flux core slobber and an iron. For heavier gauge I use a propane torch then steel wool.

For upwards of #30 AWG the flame will melt the wire back into a ball, eating up the wire, Perhaps a chemical dip in agressive paint stripper like "Polystrippa" would do it.
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Old 12th October 2008, 08:33 PM   #3
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Use a mild kind of solder grease like “Purine” for pre tinning. Works pretty well. After tinning, clean with alcohol.

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Old 12th October 2008, 11:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by rcavictim
For upwards of #30 AWG the flame will melt the wire back into a ball, eating up the wire, Perhaps a chemical dip in agressive paint stripper like "Polystrippa" would do it.
Solders with more active, but not acid flux like Kester "88" will eat the enamel right off #30 and smaller dia. wire without harming it

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Old 12th October 2008, 11:42 PM   #5
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One more secret from good old Dr. Wavebourn: aspirin. I put a wire on a tablet and press it by tip of hot soldering iron.
Attention: vary bad and harmful smell, don't inhale it, use vented camera or an open air!
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Old 13th October 2008, 12:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Chemistry
Aspirin is an acetyl derivative of salicylic acid that is a white, crystalline, weakly acidic substance, with melting point 135°C.
Salicylic acid is a weak acid, and very little of it is ionized in the stomach after oral administration.
One weak acid we normally can find at home or at nearby foodshop is Vinegar.

Another similar substance to Salicylic acid, Aspirin, is Acetic Acid ( Ättiksyra )
This is, like Vinegar, a liquid related to food use and can be easily found.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspirin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetic_acid

I think it is well worth to try Vinager/Acetic_acid. If Salicylic acid works.
We can start with a water mix, diluted concentration, if it is too strong.
Of course we also have the weak acid in Lemon fruits, Citrus Acid.

---------------------------

The typical for chemical used for cleaning, is that they disolve something. Makes one solution of it.
Making this something possible to remove.
Quote:
Vinegar. Cleaning uses

White vinegar often is used as a natural household cleaning agent. With most such uses dilution with water is recommended for safety, reduced risk of damaging certain surfaces, and budgetary reasons. It is especially useful for cleaning mineral deposits found on glass, inside a coffee maker, or other smooth surfaces.

Vinegar is an excellent solvent for cleaning epoxy resin and epoxy hardener. It will even clean epoxy that is starting to harden. Care should be taken not to allow contact with the eyes (if such contact occurs, the eyes should be flushed immediately and persistently with warm water) or skin (the affected skin area should be washed thoroughly after use). See household chemicals.

Vinegar also is very good to clean off chewing gum stains from clothes; usually normal cleaning products are not capable of cleaning off chewing gum, so rubbing with vinegar before the machine wash should do the trick.

Vinegar is effective in removing rust from metals and for cleaning ice-skate blades.
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Old 13th October 2008, 01:20 AM   #7
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From wikipedia:

Magnet wire:
Magnet wire insulating films use (in order of increasing temperature range) polyurethane, polyamide, polyester, polyester-polyimide, polyamide-polyimide (or amide-imide), and polyimide.

Enameled wire:
The core material is copper, coated with a thin layer of a polyurethane, polyamide, or polyester etc resin - the so-called "enamel".
For ease of manufacturing inductive components like transformers and inductors, most new enameled wire has enamel that acts as a flux when burnt during soldering. This means that the electrical connections at the ends can be made without stripping off the insulation first. Older enameled copper wire is normally not like this, and requires sandpapering or scraping to remove the insulation before soldering.
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So what we are looking for is something that can disolve:
- Polyester .... and those Plastic materials, but does not attack copper.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aceton#Uses
Acetone as Cleaning fluid.
Acetone
... is often the primary (or only) component in nail polish remover. Ethyl acetate, another organic solvent, is sometimes used as well.
Acetone is also used as a superglue remover.
It can be used for thinning and cleaning fiberglass resins and epoxies.
It is a strong solvent for most plastics and synthetic fibres.
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Old 13th October 2008, 08:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by lineup
Quote:

Vinegar is effective in removing rust from metals and for cleaning ice-skate blades.
Cola does as well

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Old 13th October 2008, 08:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by lineup
From wikipedia:
For ease of manufacturing inductive components like transformers and inductors, most new enameled wire has enamel that acts as a flux when burnt during soldering. This means that the electrical connections at the ends can be made without stripping off the insulation first. Older enameled copper wire is normally not like this, and requires sandpapering or scraping to remove the insulation before soldering.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Actaully, this was from a guitar pick up from the 60's so it may not have been new wire! But good to know.
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Old 13th October 2008, 08:42 PM   #10
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hehe. Coca-Cola
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonated_water
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonic_acid

Carbonic Acid is a weak acid.
Being one acid it will attack some Metal Oxides. Like rust, Ferrite Oxide.
Evenso probably Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor = MOS FET
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosfet

Also will effect, irritate your stomach. If you drink too much Carbonated Water.
Quote:
Carbonic acid (ancient name acid of air or aerial acid) has the formula H2CO3. It is also a name sometimes given to solutions of carbon dioxide in water, which contain small amounts of H2CO3. The salts of carbonic acids are called bicarbonates (or hydrogencarbonates) and carbonates. It is a weak acid.
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