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CA Accelerator

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accooper

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OK, once again I come asking a question about CA. Please remember that a week ago I didn't even know what that was.

Here goes:

What is CA Accelerator? How do you use it? Would it be something my wife would love for me to spray in the house? Are the fumes killers? Will it work with any brand of CA?

Thanks for all the help.

Andrew From Texas
 

kjohnson

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It's a catalyst that causes the CA to set faster. Normally I use it with thick or medium CA to get fillets to set before the glue has a chance to drip or run.

I will put the CA down the joint, then spray on a little accelerator. I used to use the little pump bottles, but recently have switched over to aerosol cans to prevent the dreaded stream that soaks everything.

It's stinky, and I wouldn't want to be in a closed room with the fumes for an extended period. Should work with any brand of CA since they are basically all the same chemical component, with some brands having fewer impurities.


kj
 

mjennings

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Also be aware that Accelerator makes the CA joint more brittle. It's great for taking up big structures like large glider wings, but on critical bonds keep the accelerator far away. Also the accelerator makes the CA put off more heat as it cures, the ultra thin stuff will let out a tiny puff of smoke from the heat.
 

MarkII

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See my comments in this post.

Joints bonded with BSI Maxi Cure that has been hardened with Insta-Set are much harder, bond stronger and remain tougher then they are when the Maxi Cure is allowed to air-cure, in my experience. Nothing brittle about them.

I can't say whether or not the same is true when Insta-Set is applied to Insta-Cure+ (their gap-filling CA), because I never use it on that. Water-thin, or "fast" CA (BSI's Insta-Cure, for example) doesn't need any accelerator.

I am not familiar with other brands of CA accelerator, but BSI Insta-Set comes in a pump spray bottle (like Windex) and it has a pleasant, sweet smell. (BSI says that it smells like strawberries.) It has the same consistency as water but has a very slight oily, or glycerin, feel to it. It dries quickly, though, and doesn't leave any residue behind. I usually get the joint good and wet with it (two or three pumps of the spray will do that), wait a few seconds, and then wipe off the excess with a paper towel. It has no effect on primer or paint that is applied over it.

MarkII
 
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accooper

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I wonder where that can be purchased. I have go to three hobby shops here in San Antonio and none of them carries CA accelerators.

Andrew In Texas
 

jadebox

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A slight misting of water (or your breath) is an effective accelerator for CA.

-- Roger
 

JAL3

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I wonder where that can be purchased. I have go to three hobby shops here in San Antonio and none of them carries CA accelerators.

Andrew In Texas
Hobbytown USA

Rebel Hobby

Michaels

Hobby Lobby

I have bought it in SA location of each. I suspect you dealt with people who have a job but no idea what their products do.
 
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accooper

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Usually neither I nor the salesman know what I want. I tried to buy some styrene at Hobby Lobby yesterday and really confused the poor lady.

Andrew
 

MarkII

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A slight misting of water (or your breath) is an effective accelerator for CA.

-- Roger
In theory, yes, but I tried that (using my breath) once, and it didn't have any effect on the CA. Since I mainly use Maxi Cure on unfinished paper tubes, I'm a little reluctant to hit them with a water mist. OK, so why is using Insta-Cure OK, then? Isn't it mostly water? The answer is, probably, and I don't know why it seems to be OK; for some reason it doesn't act like plain water, though. It dries more rapidly, for instance, but I don't detect any alcohol in it. BTW, I bought an 8 oz. refill bottle of Insta-Set two years ago, and it is still more than half full.

MarkII
 

jadebox

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In theory, yes.
Commercial accelerants are mostly acetone with an organic compound like Toluidine added. But, water works. You can also add a little baking soda to the water which makes it a bit more effective.

-- Roger
 

Micromeister

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Ditto Rogers post: Most of the currently available major brands, USA Gold, Zap, etc. will work with water or water/baking soda in a pinch. most have very nice Accelerators with mist applicator bottles.

AC: it's also easy to obtain both CA's and accelerators from on-line Hobby stores as well. Tower Hobbies just has a very nice sale on CA's, tips, debonder, accelerators and other accessories. I've also seen ads for different brands on many of the on-line sights. I used to buy all my CA locally but now I can buy on-line (including shipping) and get a better deal on the larger 4oz and up sizes through the on-line stores. That could just be my area but it's sure worth checking out once you become familer with the products and know what your looking for;)
 

JoeG

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way back in the early days of CA we used to make an accelerator mixture of water and baking power. We liked to think it worked well but it really didn't do nearly as well as the present day accelerators.

It is interesting that one of the major ingredients of both the accelerator and the debonder is acetone.

To respond to the original question, accelerator is not necessary to use at all. The CA will cure eventually on it's own. Sometimes it really speeds things along on a contaminated surface though.

Any store that carries the major brands like Bob Smith Industries (often it has the store's own name on it), Pacer (Zap), or Mercury (made and packaged in the USA) should have a lot of different visciosities and applications along with accelerator and debonder.

I carry all of the above.

Plus there are folks like me who really don't have time to wait the ten or fifteen seconds it takes for the adhesive to cure :)
 
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kjohnson

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I wonder where that can be purchased. I have go to three hobby shops here in San Antonio and none of them carries CA accelerators.

Andrew In Texas
HobbyTown USA on Austin Highway should have it. By the CA bottles will be some brown plastic pump srpays. If they don't have it out, definitely talk to someone in the store.

kj
 

dwinings

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OK, once again I come asking a question about CA. Please remember that a week ago I didn't even know what that was.

Here goes:

What is CA Accelerator? How do you use it? Would it be something my wife would love for me to spray in the house? Are the fumes killers? Will it work with any brand of CA?

Thanks for all the help.

Andrew From Texas
Formaldehyde is the active ingredient in CA accelerants. A very light mist is all you need. Probably not. The fumes are pretty nasty, and yes they generally will.

Dan
 

dwinings

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No, a spray containing formaldehyde would be very dangerous. Commercial CA accelerators use an amine disolved in acetone.

http://www.google.com/search?q=cyanoacrylate+accelerator+msds

-- Roger
I'm a biologist and I know formaldehyde when I smell it. All the types of CA accelerators I have used used formaldehyde. I was even told by a commercial producer of CA that formaldehyde was the "active" incrediant in accelerators. Perhaps they have changed the formulation of current accelerators probably because all the press it has gotten. True it has been a while since I bought any, but the bottle I have in my range box is definately formaldehyde. It only takes a tiny bit.
 

jadebox

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I'm a biologist and I know formaldehyde when I smell it.
Formaldehyde isn't listed on the MSDS sheets for any CA accelerator I can find online. And, I can't any reference to formaldehyde being used as a CA accelerator.

It's probably just a coincidence that CA accelerators smell like formaldehyde. After all, model rocket motors aren't actually made from rotten eggs. :)

-- Roger
 

JAL3

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HobbyTown USA on Austin Highway should have it. By the CA bottles will be some brown plastic pump srpays. If they don't have it out, definitely talk to someone in the store.

kj
They did earlier today but they've moved most of their inventory over to the new store. The place looked mostly cleaned out.
 

accooper

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I think I remember you saying that the flying area was modest. How can you fly those big rockets then? Must be a lot of praying.

See you Saturday.

Andrew
 

JAL3

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I think I remember you saying that the flying area was modest. How can you fly those big rockets then? Must be a lot of praying.

See you Saturday.

Andrew
Bigger rockets on smaller motors => more possibilities.

I've lost more very small rockets on Bs and Cs there than I have MPR on D, E and F.

Mostly its a matter of starting small and seeing how YOUR rocket behaves with the power options you choose then making and informed guess as to whether you want to take a chance.

I lost my PeeWee on an A8-0/1/26-2 combination.
I've flown my 38mm Cinco on Hs several times and it always comes back.

You'll develop a feel for things.
 

accooper

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Here lately I have been building larger LP rockets than ever before. My son liked the small 13mm rocket engine rockets. Too hard for these old eyes to see.

I have just about finished my first ever rear ejection rocket. My wife came up with the name "Breaking Wind", it won't be ready to fly till next month.

See ya Saturday

Andrew
 

kjohnson

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They did earlier today but they've moved most of their inventory over to the new store. The place looked mostly cleaned out.
New store? Where's it at? I will have to find it when I visit the folks next month.
 

JAL3

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New store? Where's it at? I will have to find it when I visit the folks next month.
Its supposed to be next to the Northern Tool and Supply at Loop 410 and Vance Jackson.
 

accooper

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OK, if you put CA in the fridge to make it last longer, do you have to allow it to return to room temp before you use it?

Andrew From Texas
 

RangerStl

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That usually helps. The problem is getting moisture in the CA from the air. If you open it cold and air gets sucked in there, moisture will condense.

That is what participates in the crosslinking and makes it solidify in the bottle.
 
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