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Old 01-28-2009, 11:07 AM   #1
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Need to tint Xylene based sealer - Help!?


As the result of a string of errors (which I'm sure I will someday consider humorous ), I need to tint a sealant (before applying it). The sealant is an 'oil' based aggregate sealer - Specifically, it is thinned with Xylene.

So, I need to find a paint/dye/tint/ink/whatever that I can use to tint this sealer. I tried both the best local painters' supply store and Pearl Art supplies, and at neither place could anyone suggest anything which would work. I do know that any tint with a mineral spirits or naphtha base will not work (it separates and will not blend with the sealant), so I assume I could not simply use a tube of oil paint (or ... could I?).

These days so much is water-based, and Xylene is such nasty stuff that I'm having a tough time finding anything. Even one 'universal' tint at Pearl was water-based (?). It may be that a benzene- or toluene-thinned product would also work, does anyone even know that?

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd very much appreciate learning an actual brand for which I could look. If not, what 'category' should I hunt? I picked up a tube of printing ink at Pearl simply because it was one of the few solvent-based items I could find there. I contacted the manufacturer of the sealer, and 'any Xylene-based tint' was all they could suggest.

Thanks in advance, I very much appreciate any help.

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Old 01-28-2009, 09:58 PM   #2
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Need to tint Xylene based sealer - Help!?


"Mixol" brand tints should work for you. They're available through woodworking suppliers.

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Old 01-28-2009, 10:17 PM   #3
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Need to tint Xylene based sealer - Help!?


Epoxy based paints will typically have a xylene base, so you should look at the places in your yellow pages listed under "industrial coatings". If that company sells a toluene thinned epoxy paint, and thins it to the customer's preferred colour, that tint should work on your xylene based sealer. (Often, however, epoxy paints only come pretinted in certain colours.)

The paint colourants in a paint tinting machine have a glycerine base. Glycerine is equally soluble in water and mineral spirits, so that the same colourants can be used to tint both oil based and latex paints. You can buy glycerine at any pharmacy. It would be worth the $3 or so to see if glycerine mixes with xylene. Just add some food coloring to the glycerine and mix it with the xylene. You'll be able to tell if they're miscible by whether you end up with a coloured liquid and a clear liquid in the mixing container or one liquid with half the colour density of the original, but twice the volume.

Xylene is chemically very similar to toluene. Everyone knows what a benzene ring is; it's an aromatic hydrocarbon with six carbons in a hexagonal ring. Each such carbon atom has one hydrogen atom bonded to it. If you replace one of those hydrogens with a methyl group, then you have toluene. If you replace two of those hydrogen atoms with methyl groups, then you have xylene.

"Lacquer thinner" is typically about 70 percent toluene. It would seem apparant then that lacquer has a toluene base. Because of the similarity between toluene and xylene, anything soluble in one would be soluble in the other. So, I'd also check out any furniture or woodworking stores that sell or use lacquer. You could use any colourant used to colour lacquer to tint toluene. In fact, you should be able to use a tinted lacquer to provide some colour in your xylene based sealant. Try to find out if there are any heavily tinted lacquers available and who makes them. Then see if you can get some of the colourants used to colour those lacquers. Those same colourants should work in your xylene based sealer. Even adding a heavily tinted lacquer to your sealer would add colour, but the lacquer may interfere with film formation of the sealer. Just adding the colourant for the lacquer shouldn't tho.
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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 01-28-2009 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:28 PM   #4
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Need to tint Xylene based sealer - Help!?


Uhhh....yeah....what Nestor said. Mixol tints lacquer.....and damn near anything else
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:26 AM   #5
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Need to tint Xylene based sealer - Help!?


Thanks guys! I had wondered whether toluene- or benzene-based stuff would be close enough to work ...

Not only are the Mixol and other info/suggestions welcome, but I even learned a yummy new word from Nestor ('miscible').

rbf, I hope y'all's recovery on the coast continues apace - I spent my childhood summers in Pass Christian, and Kristina scrubbed one of my oldest friends literally down to his slab in Ocean Springs. (I remember when, not having heard from him afterward, I checked his address on Google Earth and found nuthin' but a bare slab - A scary, chilling moment.)
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:49 PM   #6
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Need to tint Xylene based sealer - Help!?


Nestor says in part " Everyone knows what a benzene ring is;"

To tell you the truth,I had NO clue!
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:18 PM   #7
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Need to tint Xylene based sealer - Help!?




This is a benzene ring. It has 6 carbon atoms in the shape of a hexagon with one hydrogen atom bonded to each carbon atom.

The red dots are the carbon atoms and the yellow dots are the hydrogen atoms.

Note that there are alternating single and double bonds between each alternating pair of carbon atoms. So, each carbon atom has makes 4 bonds with the atoms around it, just like in CO2 (O=C=O) and methane:

......H
......|
H - C - H
......|
......H

and acetylene gas:


Carbon always forms four bonds with the atoms around it.

Chemists have a "short hand" way of drawing benzene as a hexagon with alternating single and double lines between the corners. Just like in the drawing below:



This is toluene. It's a benzene ring with one of the hydrogen atoms replaced with a methyl group. (This drawing uses that "short hand" version of drawing the benzene ring as a hexagon with alternating single and double lines connecting the corners. Note that there's a carbon atom at each corner and it's also bonded to a hydrogen atom for a total of 4 bonds. The hydrogen atoms aren't shown in this kind of short hand.)

Toluene is the principle component in lacquer thinner. Lacquer thinner is typically about 70 to 75 percent toluene.





This is xylene. It's a benzene ring with TWO of the hydrogens replaced with methyl groups:

There is only one kind of toluene, but there are three different kinds of xylene, depending on where those methyl groups are with respect to one another.

So, toluene and xylene are closely related to each other.

It's not reasonable to say that benzene, toluene and xylene are all closely related to each other because benzene is also the starting chemical to other families of chemicals as well.

For example, if instead of replacing one of the hydrogen atoms with a methyl group (as in toluene), we replace one of the hydrogens in the benzene ring with a hydroxyl group (-OH), we get into a completely different class of chemicals called "phenols".


This is a "phenol". And, there are different kinds of phenols, all based on that basic benzene ring.

In the 1800's, the structure of benzene was a mystery, just like crop circles and UFO's are today. Back then, there were no crop circles and no space aliens to make lights in the sky so scientists beat their heads against the problem of figuring out the structure of benzene. It took them a long time to do it, too.

When they did figure it out, they were surprised carbon atoms would arrange themselves in such an unexpected way.

In 1985, three chemists working together discovered that carbon atoms will arrange themselves into three dimensional benzene rings called "buckyballs" and "buckytubes". Buckyballs have 60 carbon atoms in them, and a "bucky nanotube" is essentially a buckyball stretched out into a tubular shape. Buckyballs are hollow and Buckytubes are empty inside. Those scientists won the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry because Buckyballs and Buckytubes held tremendous potential in the fields of nanotechnology and electronics.

Buckyballs and Buckytubes were named after Buckminister Fuller, the inventor of the geodesic dome.





These are both geodesic spheres. Carbon atoms have been discovered to form three dimensional structures similar to these. Who'da thunk it?
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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 01-31-2009 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 02-07-2009, 12:41 PM   #8
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Need to tint Xylene based sealer - Help!?


rbf, I hope y'all's recovery on the coast continues apace - I spent my childhood summers in Pass Christian, and Kristina scrubbed one of my oldest friends literally down to his slab in Ocean Springs. (I remember when, not having heard from him afterward, I checked his address on Google Earth and found nuthin' but a bare slab - A scary, chilling moment.)[/quote]

Thanks, miami, sorry I missed this earlier...got lost in Nestor's chemistry lesson Yeah, Katrina left lots of bare slabs here, but we're putting it all back together slowly but surely, in spite of all the bureaucratic hang ups....."dayum guvmint" would serve us all better sometimes if they'd just get the heck out of the way! Took over two years just to get new elevation codes and start restoration of water and sewer service in many areas...... Gonna be a long haul yet, but there's visible progress every day......life is good!
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:36 PM   #9
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Need to tint Xylene based sealer - Help!?


Miami - Was this concrete that you needed the tinted sealer for? Where you able to successfully do it? I have sealed stained concrete floors that are orange. yicks. I was looking for a more of a brown. The only idea anyone seems to have is either grind off this stuff, or try laying a tinted sealer over it. I'm looking for ideas and suggestions. Thanks! Louie

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