Procedure for Separation of Wax from Synthetic Track Material

Michael "Mick" Peterson, Ph.D.

Preliminary, for comment and testing.  If you make use of this procedure you agree to provide any additions or enhancements as needed in return for using the procedure.

Funding for this work was from a donation from:
Martin Collins Surfaces & Footings LLC

All work should be done with proper ventilation (preferably in a chemical hood) and proper personal protective equipment must be used.  At a minimum safety glasses and solvent resistant gloves should be used at all times.  If performing any or all of the processing outdoors ensure proper containment of waste solvent.

Sample Size Separate an approximately 300 g sample of the material.  Remove any large rubber material (more than 1 cm in any direction) and set aside
Dry material Place material in a flat dry pan, a minimum of 10 cm (4 inch) in diameter.  Place in an oven at 38 degrees C (100 degrees F) for at least 12 hours or until the mass of the container has stabilized.
Separate samples Weight three 500 ml beakers.  Separate material into three samples of approximately 100g into 500 ml glass beakers.  Weigh dried samples to nearest 0.1g  and record on the data attached sheet.
Solvent Add  250 ml of solvent to each of the samples.  The solvents include paint grade lacquer thinner, xylene (MSDS Link) and acetone (MSDS link1 & MSDS link2).  To be determined.
Ultrasonic Place 500 ml beaker into an ultrasonic bath for 2 hours. 
Arrange physical separation system Weigh and record mass of 6 micron filter paper.  Place filter paper in a funnel over a flask suitable for collection of solvent
Decant Decant solvent from track material, using the physical separation apparatus to ensure that none of the fine material is lost in the separation.  
Repeat solvent wash For wax based tracks the solvent wash should be repeated with use of the ultrasonic bath. When the petroleum based washes are used. 
Volatilize solvent The volatilization of the solvent is performed on the samples based on the solvent used.  Xylene requires 12 hours in a 38 degrees C (100 degrees F), acetone at room temperature for a minimum of 12 hours, lacquer thinner requires 24 hours at room temperature.  Complete volatilization can be ensured based on monitoring of mass change. 
Weigh Weight three samples.   Subtract mass of beaker and dry sample from initial sample weight.   If the mass of three samples is within 0.2% then the sample procedure is OK.