Are DeoxIT® Products Conductive?
I recently read on the Boatanchors Mail List (restoration of vintage radio gear) a claim that DeoxIT® is "conductive." It stated that "The DeoxIT® caused a short on the phenolic wafer switch between a connecting tab carrying 175V plate supply to the bandswitch AND the mounting screw which is grounded."
Please provide any information concerning the role that solder flux may have played; along with the necessary specifications and applications information for using DeoxIT® on live electrical circuits or circuits that are energized after application.
DeoxIT® is NOT conductive, however, phenolic is composed of multiple layers of material and readily absorbs liquid. As a result, any product that contains a conductive material should not be used. Most manufactures include alcohol in their contact cleaners, lubricants and preservatives (even very small percentages), and alcohol will cause short circuits.
DeoxIT®, DeoxIT® GOLD, DeoxIT® SHIELD, DeoxIT® FaderLube liquids are completely non-conductive, and neither the 100% liquids or the 5% spray versions contain alcohol or any other conductive constituents.
Warnings should be issued cautioning technicians from using any contact cleaners containing alcohol. This is one of the most common misuses of contact cleaners.
Also, the use of silicone in any type of contact cleaning solutions should be avoided because it can be detrimental to the long-term performance of the contact or switch because it will degrade phenolics and plastics over time.
DeoxIT ® is used for many applications including telephone switching systems that contain phenolic materials. Care should be taken to reduce exposure of any materials, including DeoxIT ® to phenolic materials due to its porosity.
Even superior phenolics over long periods of time degrade, and thereby more easily absorb any materials, whether it be DeoxIT ® or any other product. To prevent this from happening, we offer many applicators to assist the technician in applying our products to the metal surfaces directly without concern with over-spray on to the phenolic materials.
If a spray version is required due to inaccessibility of a contact area, we recommend our DeoxIT ® (D100S-2) 100% spray, which contains no solvent. This version reduces potential over-spray by confining the product to a controlled area without migration of solvent.
The DeoxIT ® 100% solution is safe for use on energized circuits, as is our new non-flammable DeoxIT ® DN5 (DN5MS-15) spray.
Our most popular DeoxIT ® D5 (D5S-6; flush - slow dry) is not recommended for energized circuits due to the fact that it contains a flammable solvent. We always recommend turning equipment off prior to application, and waiting two minutes before turning the equipment back on.
This caution is due to the brief flammability of the solvent, not the conductivity of the solvent. If the energized system arcs, it could cause a flash, thus causing damage to relay contacts, power contacts, commutators, etc.
Finally, DeoxIT ® spray is not recommended for rosin flux removal.