Removing foam....

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by smokinmad, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Was working on something one day that had foam insulation. I wanted to clean the devise, so I grabbed a can of Brake Cleaner and sprayed it on the crud. Worked great on the crud, but to my horror, it Melted the Foam.  However, it turns the foam into a sticky, gooey, mess. The goo does scrape off easy tho. If I was going to take a flame to finish cleaning the foam off my Fridge, it might make the burn easier. My thought is, the flame would have to melt the foam,{if you didn't spray it with brake cleaner], before it would burn off, which would run down. The Goo does dry when the brake cleaner evaporates, which I think would burn easier. Just DON'T TRY THIS IN YOUR GARAGE.   MY DISCLAIMER, I have not tried this and I don't have anything to try it on. SOOOOOO, if you decide to try it, do maybe say, a small door, first. Maybe I need to change my location first. lol  IF You Try it, Lets Us Know How it Works. If its a nightmare, SORRY.  I just haven't read yet where anyone has tried this AND if I find something to try it on I will let YA'LL KNOW.        What is your thought DaveOmak? You seem to be a very knowledgeable man, when it comes to building Smokers.                                                                           
  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I came to see.... thought I was getting the axe here.
  3. Nope, my wife wont let me play with an
  4. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When I was removing the foam from my smoker, I tried about a half dozen different solvents. None of them even made a dent. Never thought of using brake cleaner. Just make sure you scrape off as much as you can, and give the remainder a thorough going over with a blow torch. And yes, do not try it indoors.
  5. sigmo

    sigmo Smoking Fanatic

    Brake cleaner, heated to a certain temp, breaks down into some sort of nerve gas! DO NOT mess with this stuff and heat or flame! Let me see if I can find you a link to a horror story about it that I saw on a motorcycle website. Very very very dangerous stuff!

    Phoned in.
  6. sigmo

    sigmo Smoking Fanatic

    I removed the link.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  7. sigmo

    sigmo Smoking Fanatic

    Not sure if a link is allowed in this case. Just do a web search for phosgene and brake cleaner. Lots of chlorinated solvents can decompose at higher temperatures and form dangerous substances. Some brake cleaner contains chlorinated solvents.

    Just be careful. That's the main thing. We tend to take a lot of these chemicals for granted because they're sold over the counter. But that doesn't mean they can't be dangerous under the right circumstances.

    We were always warned about soldering on Teflon insulated wire because that can supposedly create phosgene, and there were also warnings about some of the Freon type refrigerants and heat. It was even said that smoking near those compounds was dangerous because if some of the gas got drawn in through the cherry on the cigarette, it would be heated and create the nerve gas!

    Phoned in.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sigmo...  Great safety note.....   I found the article......  Brake Cleaner and Phosgene Gas

                              .... click on to enlarge.......

    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    SmokinMad, morning.....   I listen to all the very knowledgeable members on the forum and try to remember what they teach me....    Beats school, learning from friends....    Thanks for the compliment...    

  10. Dave, Morning to you to..... When I was 17, I couldn't wait to "Get Out Of School".  What I learned is, we "Never Get Out of School". lol  And if you've stopped "learning", your in Trouble.    I learned at a young age, that listening to folks Older than me, was a GOOD way to learn.

  11. Sigmo..      Thank You...  Didn't know... I learned something today.  However, when I get started on some projects, I Could Use Some NERVE GAS, LOL.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SmokinMad                 
  12. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Try acetone. I know it will pretty much make most styrene foams just basically disappear.
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It really depends upon the type of foam as there are different types over the years. I am no chemist but..... as a teenager I would always go over to my Dad's plant and use Methyl Ethyel Keytone, Probably spelled it wrong, but most just call it MEK. That stuff is amazing are cleaning anything polymer based. I mean you could spill a drop on a car hood and the next day when you wiped it off it was metal.

    It was a title chemical and had to be signed for at that time. There was a lot of it around for parts cleaning. Thats where I would start my search.

    Best suggestion is to ask a chemist. I just checked Webpedia has a page on MEK.

    'Course a knife then a wire wheel buffer would probably be as easy if you are not set up for the MEK
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  14. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I had polyurethane foam in mine. I used MEK, acetone, paint thinner, gasoline, and everything else I could think of. None of it did any good, although the MEK did soften it a little for the first 1/2" or so. But not enough to be really usefull.

    Nope, you just have to resign yourself to that crow bar and heavy-duty paint scraper, and get 'er done.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  15. MEK was the go to solution in the jet engine world...when we found out how bad it was for you, we banned the use of it in the USAF..and then sold it all to the Saudi's. lol. the good ol' days of maintenance with MEK and Carcinogenic lubricatin grease..hahaa. days of working with no face masks or PPE. yeh thats the good stuff.
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Don't use MEK..... It's bad stuff....... Dave

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