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Glossary of solvents and related terms used in various industries

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Term Definition

A chloroalkane. This colourless, sweet-smelling liquid was produced industrially in large quantities for use as a solvent. It is regulated by the Montreal Protocol as an ozone depleting substance and its use is being rapidly phased out.

Other names: methyl chloroform, chlorothene, Solvent 111, Genklene. CAS 71-55-6. Molecular formula C2H3Cl3 or CH3CCl3 Molar mass 133.40 g/mol Appearance Colorless liquid Density 1.32 g/cm3 Melting point -33 °C, 240 K, -27 °F Boiling point 74 °C, 347 K, 165 °F Solubility in water Insoluble in water


Acetone is the organic compound with the formula OC(CH3)2. This colorless, mobile, flammable liquid is the simplest example of the ketones.

Acetone is used as an organic solvent, an ingredient in many lacquer thinner compounds and adhering liquids; used to remove lacquer adhered knife-cut stencils and lacquer type blockout from screen fabrics.


Adhesive or glue is a compound in a liquid or semi-liquid state that can glue items together. Adhesives can be made from either natural or synthetic sources. Some adhesives are very strong, and very important in modern construction and other industries.


Alcohol is one of the most useful of solvents, both for organic and inorganic substances, but especially the former. It dissolves balsams, essential oils, esters, fatty acids, hydrocarbons, resins, soaps, sugars, most vegetable alkaloids, and a large number of pharmaceutical drugs such as acetanilide, camphor, chloralamide, phenacetin, and phenazone.

The fixed oils and fats are but sparingly soluble in alcohol, a notable exception, however, being castor oil, which is readily dissolved. As regards inorganic substances, alcohol dissolves the hydroxides of the alkali metals, but not the carbonates. Ammonium chloride, and indeed most of the chlorides which are readily soluble in water, are dissolved by alcohol.

Atmospheric pressure

Unit of pressure equivalent to 760 torr (mm Hg).


A liquid mixture of two or more substances that boils at constant temperature. The mixture cannot be separated by normal distillation, but can be redistilled and reused in its azeotropic form.

Boil up

The point at which reflux begins in the head of the still. The head temperature will rise rapidly as this occurs.


Cleaner for solvent based inks, adhesives and UV coatings.

CeramClean Solv-It™ has been specifically developed using scientific technology for deep cleaning action on "extra tough" solvent based inks, adhesives and UV coatings.

CeramClean Solv-It™ is an excellent aid to use in the press room, ink kitchen, and for general maintenance. Expect fast results for cleaning your anilox rolls, machine parts and floor areas.


A fraction of the distillate collected.


A low-odor, high speed washout solvent for use in WashOff units.

Cyrel® Cylosol is Dupont's development in flexographic plate washout solvent technology. Although it provides the same balanced washout and drying performance of Optisol, Cylosol’s pleasant unobtrusive odor will be like a breath of fresh air in your plate room.

Not only does Cylosol do an excellent job as a photopolymer washout solvent, but digital LAMs layers, capping layers and release layers all dissolve quickly and completely, resulting in reduced processor sludging.

Cyrel® Cylosol operates at a lower temperature than other solvents and can be used in all flexographic processors with minimal washout adjustments. In addition, Cylosol can be efficiently recovered in existing distillation units and requires no re­balancing after distillation.


The sample in the pot flask to be distilled.


The final product collected after distillation.


Distillation is the process of heating a liquid until it boils, capturing and cooling the resultant hot vapors, and collecting the condensed vapors. Mankind has applied the principles of distillation for thousands of years.


A non-chlorinated/non-fluorinated safety solvent designed for degreasing mechanical equipment, tools, machine parts, etc. Formulated with a controlled evaporation rate to stay on surface longer and reduce condensation. Evaporates residue free with no rinsing required. Barrier treated containers.


A measure of the ability of the distillation column to separate compounds. This is usually referred to in theoretical plates.

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