Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer Application Notes from R.A.L. Audio
R.A.L. Audio Services
    Shop by Brand (click here) What Goes In... Comes Out!
What Goes In... Comes Out!
Search for Stabilant products. Advanced Search

Call us Toll Free at 866-455-3997

 Home  Recording  Rental  Modifications  Installation  Leasing  Policies  Contact  About  Login  

Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer Application Notes

App. Note 11 - Recording Studios

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 recording studio equipment?

Stabilant 22 can be used wherever electrical contacts are used, whether this is in connectors, or in switches. In recording studio applications the number of places where Stabilant 22, 22A, or 22E, can be employed, are almost too numerous to list. When an entire audio mixer is treated (including socketed ICs and card-edge connectors) it is not unusual to find that the distortion and signal-to-noise figures are improved substantially, as well as increasing the reliability of the mixer itself.

Many consoles employ "ITT-Schadow" type switches; these can be serviced very quickly using Stabilant 22A, by first flushing them out with isopropyl alcohol and then injecting the switch with Stabilant 22A.

Computer-controlled mixers often suffer from erratic operation or crashes. Stabilants 22, 22A, or 22E, can often cure these problems.

Microphonics in connectors can be especially troublesome in portable equipment Stabilant 22A, or 22E will stop this.

In critical Audio work involving long signal runs, Stabilant 22 on the XLR connector will not only cut noise, but will, in many cases, improve the sound by stopping high-order harmonic distortion caused by thin-film rectification effects. In patch bays, Stabilant is recommended for ring, tip, and sleeve plugs and jacks. Unlike some of the other protective oils which will cross-link (varnish) under the effects of the free sulfur in the brass, Stabilant 22 is chemically stable and therefore, need not be periodically cleaned off and replaced.

In recording equipment, the connections to the playback heads can be a source of distortion and noise. Stabilant 22A (or 22E) can be applied to the connectors to eliminate these problems.

RF interference can also be a problem in recording, especially with the number of illegal RF power amplifiers being used with CB's. With the passage of time, connectors often build up thin films that act as crude rectifiers. This source of RF interference can often be eliminated by using Stabilant 22.

Stabilant 22 can also be used in mastering equipment. Often feedback type cutters suffer because of inexplicable glitches that can be traced to poor connections in the feedback signal leads. Distortion or lead-capacitance-induced phase shift (because of unexpected resistance in a contact) will do much to eliminate the benefits of a feed-back type cutter, and can actually cause supersonic oscillation in the system.

Stabilant 22 on the contacts is a cure.

Why should we use Stabilant over less expensive alternatives?

We grant 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! Taking an example from the broadcast industry, Video switchers which had to be serviced every two to three weeks are now running for months at a time without service! And in location recording where industrial pollutants can sometimes pose problems, consider that the Stabilants are used in process-control computers to keep them operating reliably in high-contaminant-level environments such as metal-refining. Many end users tell us that whenever they tear-down a piece of equipment for any service reason whatsoever, they treat all the contacts with Stabilant 22, 22A, or 22E, simply because they have found that they never have to worry about connector-caused problems again!

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. The first is as a concentrate called Stabilant 22. It is also made as an isopropyl alcohol-diluted form called Stabilant 22A. Another is diluted with ethyl alcohol, and is named 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 costs of shipping the diluant 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 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, such as Stabilant 22A. Here, the isopropyl alcohol diluant serves only to carry the concentrate into the connector.

Is it available in a spray can?

No, 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, 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, if only for appearances sake.

A further consideration is the fact that chlorofluorocarbon (CFC's) or hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC's) propellants are no longer generally used in spray cans. Often, highly inflammable mixture of Butane and Propane being substituted. 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 O.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 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 of reasonable dimensions that they could issue to their field service personnel. It consists of a 15mL container of Stabilant 22A and some Q-tips (TM) as applicators, a in a small capped tube. The applicators are reusable.

Why would anyone want to buy quantities of the concentrate?

It is obvious why 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, but in recording studios, many maintenance engineers have found that the material cuts their service costs so much that it is more economical to purchase Stabilant 22 in the larger container sizes rather that run any risk being without the material. The number 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 air and marine 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 studio 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.

Can I use Stabilant 22 in other equipment?

Yes, it can be used in test equipment, cameras, just about everywhere there's a low-voltage signal or control connection. For example, 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.

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.

Is the material hazardous?

Stabilant 22 has caused no skin reactions in tests. In the undiluted form, non-flammable, although if its temperature is raised above 200' C the decomposition products will burn. If orally ingested in small amounts it will cause bowel looseness while ingestion of amounts in the range of 100 ml of the concentrate could cause systemic failure. Stabilant 22 has an LD50 of about 5 grams per kilogram body weight.

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

The 15ml and the 50 mL containers have "dropper" type caps, that allow Stabilant 22A (or 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 diluted material.

We can also supply sources for manual or electrical batching applicators. Where a large number of IC's have to be treated use of one of these devices will speed up the job and insure that no material is wasted..

Does the action of Stabilant 22, 22A or 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.

How long has Stabilant 22 been in use?

Stabilant 22 has been used in the Audio industry since 1983. It was licensed for sale as TWEEK(TM) in consumer equipment where the number of satisfied customers runs to the tens of thousands. (TWEEK was a trademark of Sumiko Inc.)

Revision 3

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.

 Contact Us 
Shopping Cart more
  View detailed Shopping Cart contents.0 items
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.
Product Categories
 Audio Services
 Used Equipment
 Stabilant 22
 Accessories - Misc.

 Bass Management
 Cable / Wire /

 Cases / Racks /

 Consoles & Mixers
 Digital Audio
 Direct Boxes / DI's
 DJ Stuff
 Guitars / Basses
 Guitar / Bass

 Headphone Amplifiers


 Power Amplifiers
 Power Supplies /

 Replacement Parts
 Rigging / Safety

 Signal Distribution
 Signal Processors
 Speakers / Monitors
 Speaker Management
 Splitters &

 Stage Lighting /

 Studio Lighting
 Sync's / Clocks /

 Tape Recorders
 Test Equipment
View All Specials
View Latest Additions
View All Products By:
Category or Manufacturer
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.

Get Adobe Reader All prices in US dollars.
Sales tax will be added to all purchases delivered in California.
Prices, products, and specifications subject to change without notice.
All trademarks and registered trademarks are owned by their respective companies.
We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express