Resistivity Of Solvents

Question:  I was re-reading some old Products Finishing magazines and saw your response to R.


 I was re-reading some old Products Finishing magazines and saw your response to R. L., in the May 2000 edition, regarding a chart of the resistivity of solvents. You will find this in the Langs Handbook of Chemistry. My copy is the 14th edition and the table is found on 8.162 “Conductivity of various solutions.”

My first reference choice was the Rubber Bible (Handbook of Chemistry and Physics), and if its not found there I default to my good old standby, Langs, for unusual chemical or physical tables. I was made aware of this resource years after graduation by a chemist many decades my senior while working in the pharmaceutical industry. It’s odd that they never told us of this text in school, even today when I talk with newly graduated chemists I ask if they know of the Langs handbook. I usually get a blank stare and the answer, "No." This book and the Merck Handbook of Chemicals and Drugs are great addition to any chemical library. L.K.


Thanks for writing, L. K. I’m glad to hear that someone else saves old issues of Products Finishing. In my archives I have every issue from October 1979, (the first one in which my column, Coating Clinic, appeared) to the present. The question by R. L. was, “Where can I find a chart for the resistivity of solvents?”

My Answer was: “Now you’ve done it R. L. You’ve really upset me. Here I sit, the World’s Greatest Paint Consultant, and I don’t have a table showing the resistivity of solvents. I don’t mean to whine about it but I’ve searched for one in my vast archives including Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook and the hernia-producing CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. All for naught. It was a character-building experience.”

When I had a real job with the company formerly known as Westinghouse, I had a table showing resistivity of solvents hanging on my office wall, alongside the viscosity conversion table. The good news is, I remember who gave it to me. The bad news is he is either retired, dead or both. However, he did work for a spray equipment manufacturer. Ask yours, I’ll bet he can get you one. Your paint company and solvent supplier will also be able to provide you with a table of solvent resistivities.