Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer Application Notes from R.A.L. Audio
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Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer Application Notes

App. Note 7 - Computing & Peripherals

What is Stabilant 22?

Stabilant 22 is an initially non-conductive block polymer that under the effect of an electrical field and/or when used in a very narrow gap between metal contacts, becomes conductive. The electric field gradient at which this occurs is set so that the material will remain non-conductive between adjacent contacts in a multiple pin environment.

Thus, when applied to electromechanical contacts, Stabilant 22 provides the connection reliability of a soldered joint without bonding the contact surfaces together.

While Stabilant 22 exhibits surfactant action, it is not sold as a contact cleaner. Equally, it exhibits quite good lubricating properties, but is not sold as a contact lubricant. Its métier is in its active properties when used in a connection and the other properties should be regarded as a bonus.

Where can it be used?

Stabilant 22 can be used wherever electrical contacts are used, whether this is in connectors, or in switches. For example, one common use is to improve the connection reliability of socketed IC's in computers.

Why should we use Stabilant over less expensive alternatives?

Granted that the material itself is expensive, however it is unique in having a very long useful life once in place. Unlike other so-called contact treatments, Stabilant 22 will not cross-link (becoming varnish-like) under the action of sulfur based curing agents in elastomers, cutting oil residues, or the sulfur-bearing free-machining metal alloys used in some contacts. In most types of service work, the cost of the down-time involved in removing and replacing a board will be much greater than the cost of the Stabilant used to treat the board. Here what is important is that not only will the proper board treatment cure existing contact problems, it will prevent others from occurring, thus eliminating the necessity of repeating the treatment at a later date!

In other words, why do a job more than once?

In what forms is Stabilant available?

Stabilant 22 is packaged in 15mL, 5OmL, lOOmL, 25OmL, 5OOmL and 1 Liter containers. Stabilant 22 is available in several forms: Normally it is used as a concentrate (Stabilant 22), and as an isopropyl alcohol diluted form called Stabilant 22A. It can also be supplied diluted with ethanol as Stabilant 22E. Because of the 4:1 dilution, a given size container of Stabilant 22A will cost about one-fifth the amount of a container of Stabilant 22 for it has only one-fifth the amount of the concentrate in it. A type of packaging is available for industrial-bulk users. 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 saves the added costs of shipping alcohol, as well as allowing the end-user to use an alternate diluant such as one of the other solvents used in electronics .

What is the difference in use of the Stabilants?

The concentrate, Stabilant 22 is most useful where the connections are out in the open such as the card-type connections. 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. The isopropyl alcohol diluant serves only to carry the concentrate into the connector.

Is it available in a spray can?

Not at present. During the initial stages of our market research we did provide spray-cans of the material, but the users found that in most cases it did not speed the application of the Stabilants enough to offset the added cost of the material that was wasted. The spray can generate left a film of excess material that had to be cleaned up if only for appearances sake.

A further consideration is the fact that because of their degradation of the ozone-layer chlorofluorocarbon propellants are no longer generally used in spray cans, a highly inflammable mixture of butane and propane often being substituted. An alternate would have been one of the HCFC's. They are less of a pollutant, but even they have problems. Remember, very little Stabilant 22 is necessary to treat a contact, so why waste it?

Is Stabilant just another contact cleaner?

No, it is important to remember that Stabilant 22 is an electrically active material which 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.

Just how much should be used?

Normally, a final film thickness of from 0.5 to 1 mils of the concentrate is all that is necessary. In other words you want just enough to fill up the interstices between the contact's faces. Where you're using Stabilant 22A, you'll have to use enough so that once the isopropyl alcohol evaporates the desired 0.5 to 1 mil film of Stabilant 22 remains.

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 15mL container of Stabilant 22A and some applicators, all in a small capped tube. The applicators are reusable.

Why would anyone want to buy a half-liter of the concentrate?

Many manufacturers make large volume purchases, diluting the material for specific applicators used on their production lines.

Many end users have found that the material cuts their service costs so much that is more economical to purchase Stabilant 22 in the larger container sizes rather than run any risk of being without the material. The number of uses tends to increase users discover the large number of problems that can be solved by the material. On user routinely applies it to the flashlight switches and batteries it issues to its security guards and has reported that the number of requests for replacement units has dropped appreciably.

How can I be sure that the material works?

We could cite the fact that Stabilant 22 is used by many hospitals on their bio-medical electronics to improve reliability of the equipment where lives are at in the balance, we could cite the use of Stabilant 22 by many broadcasting networks to achieve the last measure of reliability in critical network switching applications, we could cite its use in navigational aids, or we could cite the years of use in the audio field where even consumers found the material easy to use and its results impressive, but we still feel that 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 22A on them for a quick turnaround test, or use the material in field service and satisfy yourself.

What is the effect in computers?

The effect of Stabilant 22 in Computers is to reduce or eliminate the number of times the system locks-up or crashes, sometimes it even eliminates non-software crashes completely.

What is the effect of the material when used in test gear?

When used on socketed IC's, photo-couplers/isolators, rotary, push button, or slide switches, or even on BNC connectors, the net effect is usually to make the proper operation of the equipment less erratic, and in the case of IEEE-488A buss-controlled equipment, to cut down on the potential for system lock-ups.

Can the material 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. Here Stabilant 22 is ideal.

Is the material hazardous?

Stabilant 22 has caused no skin reactions in tests, and is, in the undiluted for non-flammable, although if raised past its decomposition temperature of 200' C it will support combustion. If orally ingested in small quantities it will cause bowel looseness while large quantities, (100 ml of the concentrate) could lead to systemic collapse. Stabilant 22 has an LD50 of about 5 grams per kilogram body weight.

Can it be used by untrained personnel?

The consumer version of Stabilant 22 which is sold as TWEEK(TM), has been used for several years now without problems.

What is the best way to apply it to a contact?

The 15mL container has a "dropper" type cap that allows Stabilant 22A to be applied directly to such components as socketed IC's, switches, connectors, etc. Some end-users prefer to buy larger quantities and use industrial syrettes to apply the material onto connections. Camel's hair or sable brushes can be used to brush it on card-edge connectors. Cards can also have their edge connectors dipped into the dilute material.

Does the action of Stabilant 22/22A/22E deteriorate with age?

Stabilants have been in some field trial applications for over fifteen years now without showing any sign of reduced effectiveness. The material has a high molecular weight and a very low vapor pressure, thus it is not prone to evaporation.

Once again let us emphasize the point that unlike some other contact treatments containing oils, Stabilant 22 will not cross-link when exposed to certain materials such as high sulfur brass, or when used on contacts where cross-link promoting agents are present in the environment. This phenomena of "varnishing" does not occur with Stabilant 22/22A or 22E.

Revision 5

Stabilants are a product of Dayton Wright research & development and are made in Canada

NSCM/Cage Code - NATO Supply Code 38948

15 mL of S22A has NATO Part # 5999-21-900-6937

The Stabilants are patented in Canada - 1987; US Patent number 4696832. World-wide patents pending. Because the patents cover contacts treated with the material, a Point-of-sale License is granted with each sale of the material.


Stabilant, Stabilant 22, and product type variations thereof are Trade Marks of D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd.

Copyright 2003 - D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd. This note may be reproduced or copied, provided its content is not altered. The term "contact enhancer", 1983 Wright Electroacoustics.

NOTICE: This Application Note is based on customer-supplied information, and D.W. Electrochemicals is publishing it for information purposes only. In the event of a conflict between the instructions supplied by the manufacturer of the equipment on which the Stabilant material was used, and the service procedure employed by our customer, we recommend that the manufacturer be contacted to make sure that warranties will not be voided by the procedures.

While to our knowledge the information is accurate, prospective users of the material should determine the suitability of the Stabilant materials for their application by running their own tests. Neither D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd., their distributors, or their dealers assume any responsibility or liability for damages to equipment and/or any consequent damages, howsoever caused, based on the use of this information.

Stabilant, Stabilant 22, and product type variations thereof are Trade Marks of D.W Electrochemicals Ltd.

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Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

We carry the complete line of Stabilant products. Looking for something not listed here? Please contact us.
Stabilant 22
1. Electronic Equipment
2. Computer cards
3. Schadow switches
4. Mic connectors
5. RTS & Dual plug patch bays
6. Biomedical Electronics
7. Computing & Peripherals
8. Cable TV
9. Robotics
10. Environmental Impact
11. Recording studios
12. Broadcast equipment
13. Mobile Radio
14. Educational computing
15. Stereo systems
16. Aid to IC insertion
17. Navigational equipment
18. Card edge conn. problems
19. Complex process control
20. Automotive service
21. Gold plating/solder alloy
22. Very high humidity
23. High current thermal runaway
24. Car stereo systems
25. Plastic element pots.
26. Farm machinery & trucks
27. Model & hobby
28. RF case seals
29. Outdoor environments
30. Computer crashes
31. Relays & switches
32. Silicone problems
33. Tin-plated contacts
34. Solder flux & resin residue
35. Post application color tinting
36. Aircraft connectors w/ flurosilicones
37. Avoiding unsafe solvents
38. S22 R&D Design Goals
39. Stabilant use on PLCC's
40. Sensor problem solution
41. Repair of flood damage
42. Marine electrical & electronics
43. All Cameras & Video Equipment
44. SCSI removable SCA drives, caddies & connections
45. Home Theater & Computer Connectors

Some of these application notes are repetitive of material in other application notes. We realize this. But some were written as a reference to a contact problem in a particular field or application.

NOTICE: This data has been supplied for information purposes only. While to our knowledge it is accurate, users should determine the suitability of the material for their application by running their own tests. Neither R.A.L. Audio Services, D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd., their distributors, or their dealers assume any responsibility or liability for damages to equipment and/or consequent damages, howsoever caused, based on the use of this information.
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Stabilant 22
Over the years, Stabilant 22 has been highly parsed in publications that target a wide range of electronics applications including:
* Andrew Marshall's Audio Ideas Guide
* BYTE Magazine (7 articles)
* Windows Magazine
* Q.S.T. Amateur Radio
* Model Railroads (2 articles)
* Motor Magazine
Stabilant 22
1. MSDS - Stabilant 22
2. General Information
4. MSDS - Stabilant 22A
5. MSDS - Stabilant 22E
9. MSDS - Stabilant 22L
20. Military Applications
21. Elastomer Compatibility
22. Effectiveness of Stabilants
24. Connector Harmonic Distortion
39. Signal rise time

There are gaps in the sequence numbers below because some Technical Note s were written by the manufacturer for specific companies and are confidential.

NOTICE: This data has been supplied for information purposes only. While to our knowledge it is accurate, users should determine the suitability of the material for their application by running their own tests. Neither R.A.L. Audio Services, D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd., their distributors, or their dealers assume any responsibility or liability for damages to equipment and/or consequent damages, howsoever caused, based on the use of this information.
Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

We carry the complete line of Stabilant products. Looking for something not listed here? Please contact us.

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