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

App. Note 8 - CATV Applications

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 are a bonus.

What are its uses in CATV equipment?

Stabilant 22 can be used wherever electrical contacts are used, whether this is in connectors, or in switches. In cable equipment its most frequent use is in the co-axial connections on the Main Line/Distribution amplifiers such as the Lindsey Equipment -Models 10-40 and 961 or on the case joints in the Jerrold units. By eliminating the effects of corroded connections, it restores service in much less time than conventional methods. In many cases it eliminates the need to replace line amplifiers having badly corroded connectors. On case joints it eliminates the need for the cleaning and metal scraping of the joint as well as the need for the over-tightening that often strips the case screws. Because Stabilant 22's use in a contact enhances the performance of that contact beyond that of an equivalent new contact, the performance improvements are often dramatic. We have been told that it makes the quality of the signal at the end of a long series of amplifiers more nearly equal that of the beginning of the chain!

In head-end equipment the improvement often obtained in color accuracy and signal to noise ratio even with brand new equipment, is sufficient justification for the material's use!

The Stabilant's performance in subscriber taps and in splices is one of improving the reliability of the connections, thus eliminating many costly service calls and improving customer satisfaction.

Stabilant 22 is also a preferred contact treatment in TV Security systems. Many installations are not easy to service, and because of the nature of the use of the system many customers are extremely critical of any erratic operation of these systems. We have been told that there is often a marked improvement in the quality of the picture and that details are much easier to see!

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 time involved in removing and replacing an amplifier, will be much greater than the cost of the Stabilant used to treat the connectors. Here, what is important is that not only will proper connector treatment cure existing contact problems, it will prevent others from occurring thus eliminating the necessity of repeating the treatment at a later date! Amplifiers which had to be serviced every two to three weeks, are now running for months at a time without service. The increase in customer satisfaction has been considerable! In other words, why should you have the expense of doing a job more than once?

In addition, as Stabilant is one of the very few alternatives to repeated use of environmentally unfriendly solvent-cleaning, it is not subject the increasing restrictions that are being placed on the use of solvents.

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;. As a concentrate (Stabilant 22), as an isopropyl alcohol-diluted form (called Stabilant 22A) and as an ethanol diluted form (called 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. Another 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 cost of shipping isopropyl alcohol, as well as allowing the end-user to use an alternate diluant such as trichloroethylene, or even 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 exposed RF connectors. 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 22E) The alcohol diluant serves only to carry the concentrate into the connector. Stabilant 22 can also be used as an insertion lubricant for multiple-pin IC's. Stabilant 22A (or 22E) can be used to service amplifier case problems in the field, as it will often penetrate the joint without having to loosen the case screws.

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 ease the application of the material, it wasted many times the amount that actually got on the contact areas, and generally left a film of excess material that had to be cleaned up for appearances sake.

A further consideration is the fact that chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellants are no longer being used in spray cans and even the HCFC's are being phased out. Sometimes, a highly inflammable mixture of Butane and Propane is often being substituted. Remember, very little Stabilant 22 is necessary to treat 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 (or 22E), you'll have to use enough so that once the isopropyl alcohol evaporates the desired a 0.25 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 of reasonable dimensions that they could issue to their field service personnel. consists of a 15mL container of Stabilant 22A and some soft-tipped applicators, all in a small capped tube. The applicators are reusable.

Why would anyone want to buy quantities of the concentrate?

Many manufacturers and larger cable companies prefer to make large volume purchases, diluting the material and issuing it, as required, for specific field service requirements.

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 diversity of different applications tends to increase as users discover the large number of problems that can be solved by the material.

How can I be sure that the material works?

Quite apart from the fact that Stabilant 22 has passed a number of stringent field tests before being issued a NATO/CAGE supply code number, we could cite the fact that Stabilant 22 is used by many hospitals on their biomedical electronics to improve reliability of the equipment where lives are 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 (or 22E) on them for a quick turnaround test, or use the material in field service and satisfy yourself.

Will it work on UHF equipment?

Stabilant 22 is being used at satellite communication frequencies on waveguide flanges up to 5 gHz and co-ax connectors as well, so yes, it will operate on UHF equipment and at UHF frequencies.

Can I use Stabilant 22 on connectors and switches in other equipment?

Of course. As we indicated, many end-users start out by trying it out on erratic test equipment. Audio/RF Function and Signal generators, distortion, spectrum. and waveform analyzers, reflectance equipment, Oscilloscopes, Vector Scopes; all types of test gear can be made more reliable using the material. One note of caution though; because Stabilant 22/22A/22E switches to the conductive state under applied electric field gradients (in the open) of from 9,000 to 13,000 volts per inch, don't use it on high voltage connectors. As a rule-of-thumb, it can be used on circuits of under 100 volts with impunity. Where higher voltages are involved it may be necessary to calculate the electric field gradient across the insulating surface to determine if the material can be used. If however, the material can be applied ONLY to the contacts, and no excess is used, it can be used at much higher voltages.

When used on socketed IC's, photo-couplers/isolators, rotary, push button (such as the ITT Schadow # FE switch), 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-488 bus-controlled equipment, to cut down on the potential for system lock-ups. The effect of Stabilant 22 in Computers is to reduce the number of times the system locks-up or crashes, sometimes it even eliminates non-software crashes completely. On equipment using internal microprocessor control, Stabilant 22/22A/22E has an obvious use on socketed IC's, card-edge connectors, and both parallel (Centronics Standard) and Serial (RS-232C etc.) Ports.

Is the material hazardous?

Stabilant 22 has caused no skin reactions in tests, and is, in the undiluted form, is non-flammable, although if its temperature is raised above 200' C the decomposition products would burn. If orally ingested in small amounts it will cause bowel looseness while ingestion of amounts in the order of 100 ml of the concentrate could lead to systemic collapse! Stabilant 22 has an LD50 of about 5 grams per kilogram body weight. No skin reaction has been noted in tests, save that Stabilant's detergency can remove skin oils under conditions of constant exposure, increasing the skin's susceptibility to chafing. Stabilant 22A is diluted with isopropyl alcohol (Stabilant 22E with ethanol) so the safety precautions appropriate to these materials is advises. A MSDS sheet is available; to obtain it request Tech Notes # 1, #4, and #5. (In French refer to Tech Note 3#, #6, & #7) For other diluants, there is an appropriate MSDS.

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

The 15mL and 50 mL containers have a "dropper" type caps that allow Stabilant 22A /22E 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. If Stabilant 22 is used as an IC insertion aid, a small piece of conductive foam epoxied to the inside of a flat tin can be saturated with Stabilant 22 and the IC pins thrust into the foam to coat them.

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

Stabilants have been in some field trial applications for over fifteen years 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, on connectors having bodies made of elastomers or thermosetting resins containing accelerants or curing agents, or when used on contacts where these cross-link promoting agents are present in the environment. The phenomena of "varnishing" does not occur with Stabilant 22.

Revision 4

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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