App. Note 1 - Electronic Equipment
What is Stabilant 22?
Stabilant 222 is an initially non-conductive block polymer
which when used in a thin film between metal contacts becomes conductive
under the effect of an electrical field. This occurs at an electric field
gradient such that the material will remain non-conductive between adjacent
contacts in a multiple pin environment. In addition, Stabilant 22
exhibits surfactant action, as well as lubrication ability providing a
single component resident solution to virtually all contact problems.
When applied to electromechanical contacts, Stabilant 22 can provide
the connection reliability of a soldered joint without bonding the contact
Where can Stabilant 22 be used?
Stabilant 22 can be used in all types of connectors, at frequencies
from to DC to several gigahertz, on faders or potentiometers, or in non-inductive
(non-arcing) power-interrupt switches. The number of uses are almost limitless.
Is Stabilant 22 just another contact cleaner?
No, Stabilant 22 is a resident potentially electrically-active
material which through a synergistic combination of effects enhances
conductivity within a contact without causing leakage between adjacent
contacts. Thus large quantities of the material do not have to be "hosed"
on, as is the case with cleaners.
Is Stabilant 22 cost effective?
As Stabilant 22 can be quickly applied to all contacts and connectors
in a system, the often difficult diagnostic determination as to which one
of many contacts are erratic, can often be eliminated. This can significantly
reduce service time in the field and in many cases eliminates the need
to return boards for shop service or remanufacturing. As any service manager
knows, the diagnosis of electronic problems, especially where intermittent
failures are concerned, is often much more difficult than the actual part
replacement; as well as requiring service personnel of exceptional caliber.
In many cases the use of Stabilants can thus increase the efficiency of
existing staff as well as allowing many connector harness related problems
to be handled at a much lower cost.
Many of our users have reported savings of from $250 to $3000 as a result
of using $3 to $5 of the material. In many electronic applications demodulation
(detection) of RF signals in connectors exhibiting thin-film rectification
effects can either reduce the signal-to-noise ratio or introduce artifacts
which can disrupt data flow. Stabilants can cure these problems.
While Stabilants have demonstrated that they can cut the cost
of both shop and field maintenance; their use in the manufacturing of electronic
systems can speed up production as well as reducing rejections.
How does Stabilant 22 work?
Contact failure is rarely caused by a single factor. Thus, treatments
that solve only one problem don't necessarily offer a reliable long term
For example, cleaners do not prevent the re-entry of contaminants or the
reformation of contaminant films; nor do they offer any lubrication. They
must be used each time a connector gets dirty. Lubricants in themselves
are rarely cleaners. Corrosion inhibitors are neither cleaners nor lubricants
and are often specific to one type of metal or plating. Unsaturated oils
used as contact treatments can cross-link under the influence of elastomer
or thermoset plastic curing agents and accelerants.
While resident in the connector, Stabilant 22 performs several
concurrent functions. Its very presence in the contact gap will prevent
the entry of outside contaminants. It has sufficient surfactant action
to lift surface contaminants and hold them in suspension. In cases where
corrosion products are present Stabilant 22 will penetrate them
and prevent rectification effects. Due to its high dielectric constant
it will act to form a capacitative layer which is in parallel with whatever
residual resistance exists in the contact increasing the passage of AC
signals. Given sufficient DC bias within the gaps of the contact the thin
film of Stabilant will "switch", conducting by quantum tunneling, and thus
limit the resistance of the contact to a serviceable level.
In what forms is Stabilant available?
The Stabilants are available in several forms. As a concentrate
(Stabilant 22), an isopropyl alcohol-diluted form (Stabilant
22A), and an ethyl alcohol diluted form (Stabilant 22E). For
example, a given size container of Stabilant 22A will cost about
one-fifth the amount of a container of Stabilant 22 as it contains
only one-fifth the amount of the concentrate. Another form of packaging
is available. Stabilant 22S packages the concentrate such that it
occupies one-fifth the volume of an otherwise empty container. This allows
the end-user to add his own diluant, and thus saves the added costs of
shipping the diluant (e.g.: isopropyl alcohol), as well as allowing the
end-user to use an alternate diluant such as one of the Freon-based solvents.
In addition a 0.5 ml vial of Stabilant 22A is available for manufacturers
to include with plug-in circuit boards
What is the difference in use of these materials?
Stabilant 22 is most useful where the connections are out in
the open - such as card-edge connectors or where the lubricating properties
of the material are useful -such as an aid to installing microprocessor
IC's or on switches. Where the connections are not too easy to get at or
where the user wishes to apply the material to something such as a socketed
IC (without removing the IC from its socket), it is easier to use the alcohol
diluted form (Stabilant 22A or Stabilant 22E). The alcohol
diluant serves ONLY to carry the concentrate into the connector.
What packaging is available?
Many manufacturers make large volume purchases, diluting the material
for specific applicators used on their production lines. We can supply
the concentrate (Stabilant 22), in 0.5 mL, 15mL, 5OmL, lOOmL, 25OmL,
5OOmL and 1 Liter bottles. The dilute (Stabilant 22A or[Stabilant
22E the latter which is available in a limited number of bottle sizes
except on special order]) are available in 5OmL, lOOmL, 25OmL and 5OOmL
containers. We do not have a 1 liter container of the dilute as 500 mL
is the largest size bottle that can be shipped by air (in single or multiple
packages) without additional restrictions. We maintain our stock in depth
and ship most orders the next day that they are received. ( On large quantities
, more time may be required) For companies which want to use the material
as a stock store item, we can produce custom labels with your part or stock
number. The 15 mL sizes are in dropper bottles, and these are available
on request for the 50 mL sizes as well.
Custom labeling has been provided for many manufacturers who wish to
assign their own stock control number, or to distributors who wish to market
the product under their own logo. Obviously this requires purchase in of
the product in suitable quantities.
Is it available in a spray can?
No. Why waste the material? We would like to think we are environmentally
responsible and safety conscious. This ruled out the use of either a chlorofluorocarbon
or highly inflammable mixture of butane and propane as a propellant.
In addition even Stabilant 22A for example, has only about 71200th
the solvent impact as conventional contact cleaning solvents, over a three
year time span. As Stabilant 22 contains no solvent it has absolutely minimal
environmental impact and is, therefore, becoming the treatment of choice
for many service organizations!
Just how much should be used?
Normally, a final film thickness of from 0.5 to 2 mils of the concentrate
is all that it necessary. In other words, you want just enough to fill
up the interstices between the contact's faces. When using Stabilant
22A, or Stabilant 22E, use enough so that once the isopropyl
alcohol (or ethyl alcohol), evaporates the desired 0.5 to 2 mil film of
In applications to moving surfaces, such as in slip-rings or potentiometers,
film thickness should be minimized to the point where "hydroplaning" won't
What is the 15mL service kit?
This was made up at the request of several manufacturers who wanted
a standard kit that they could issue to their service personnel. It consists
of a 15 ml dropper bottle of Stabilant 22A and some applicators,
all in a small capped cardboard tube that can be tossed into a tool box
without damage. As noted, we can provide these kits with special labels
when large volume orders are involved.
How can I be sure that Stabilant works?
The best way to find out just how well it works is to try it out; that's
why we have samples available. Almost every service shop or manufacturer
has equipment available where the switches or connectors have become erratic
over the years. Use Stabilant 22/22A/22E on them and satisfy yourself.
A word of caution. Don't try to evaluate Stabilant 22's performance
on brand new connectors. Instead, use it on connectors that are corroded,
or dirty or just plain unreliable. We are sure that any organization dealing
with electronics will have at least one piece of unreliable equipment on
which the Stabilants can be tested!
What is the effect of Stabilant in audio equipment?
Generally it makes a audible reduction in the "grain" of the sound,
where a lot of connections are involved such as in a recording studio,
the sound is usually much more open and clean sounding, with a noticeable
improvement in signal to noise ratio. The material is especially effective
on Schadow and similar switches, as well as on plastic element or wirewound
faders. We have been told of many cases where older consoles have been
improved to the point where they are back on line, and even some where
they sounded better than their replacements!
What is the effect of Stabilant in video and CATV equipment?
In video applications, the pedestal level is usually improved; often
there is a noticeable improvement in detail indicating that the signal's
rise time is also shortened. In CATV applications the use of Stabilants
can cut customer complaints, speed field service, and reduce RF leakage
What is the effect of Stabilant when used in computers?
The effect of the Stabilants in computers, is to reduce the
number of times the system locks-up or crashes, Sometimes it even eliminates
non-software crashes completely. The material can be used on card-edge
connectors, socketed IC's and in the peripheral connectors such as IEE-488A,
RS-232C, & Parallel ports. Its use in LANs can often mean major reductions
in service costs as well as cutting re-transmissions due to parity errors.
What is the effect of Stabilant when used in test gear?
Used on socketed IC's, photo-isolators, rotary/push-button/slide switches
and on any connectors, the net effect is to virtually eliminate intermittent
problems. With IEEE- 488A bus controlled equipment it reduces the potential
for system lock-ups.
Can Stabilant be used on robotic equipment?
Yes, not only can it be used on the circuit cards, but often older
robotic equipment suffers from erratic contacts in the connections between
the electronics section and the actuator part of the equipment even though
most of these connectors are of the environmentally sealed type. Shielding
case covers are often used to prevent electrical interference from welding
equipment and the like. Stabilant 22 is frequently used to ensure
that the covers make electrical contact with the case.
What about Stabilant in avionics navigation equipment and similar applications?
Stabilants have been used in the maintenance of ILS, DME, VORTAC,
Loran C, both conventional and digital radar systems in both mobile (seaborne
& airborne) or fixed facility operations in addition to use on HF,
VHF, and UHF communications equipment.
Has Stabilant been used in mobile communications or paging?
Yes, not only is it being used by a number of police forces in servicing
their communications equipment it is being used by industry as well.
Is Stabilant hazardous to use?
Stabilants have very low oral toxicity. Under normal workplace
conditions no skin sensitization effects have been noted. In the undiluted
form, it is non-flammable although if heated above 200° Celsius the
decomposition products would burn. And Stabilants are environmentally
Can Stabilant be used by untrained personnel?
Thousands of applications of the consumer version of Stabilant 22
have been made over a period of several years now without any reported
What is the best way to apply Stabilant to a contact?
The 15ml (and the 50 mL) container have "dropper" type caps that allows
22A to be applied directly to such components as socketed IC's, switches,
connectors, etc. Some end users prefer to use industrial syrettes to apply
the material. Camel's hair brushes can be used to brush it on card-edge
connectors or they could be dipped into the dilute material. Most metering-type
liquid dispensing systems can be used as well.
Does the action of Stabilant deteriorate with age?
In some field trial applications lasting over fifteen years Stabilant
22 has shown no sign of reduced effectiveness. With a high molecular
weight and a very low vapor pressure, little is lost by evaporation. Unlike
some other contact protection oils, Stabilant 22 will not cross-link
when exposed to free-machining materials such as high-sulfur brass, or
when used on contacts where agents used to promote crosslinking of thermosets
or elastomers are present in the environment or in the actual connector
components. Unlike non-saturated oils, Stabilant 22 does not "varnish".