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Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer Application Notes

App. Note 20 - Automotive Service

What is Stabilant 22?

Stabilant 22 is an initially non-conductive block polymer that when used in a thin film within contacts switches to a conductive state under the effect of the electrical field. The field gradient at which this occurs is set such that the material will remain non-conductive between adjacent contacts in a multiple pin connector environment.

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

Contacts are generally the weakest link in any piece of electrical-electronic equipment whether it be an electronic ignition module, an automotive computer, power door locks, or even headlights. The use of Stabilant 22 or its isopropanol-diluted form Stabilant 22A, will make contacts from 10 to 100 times more reliable, eliminating costly callbacks and ensuring customer satisfaction.

Can't Stabilants be used on an automobile?

Sure, for example electronic ignition systems can benefit from its use. Both the main power connectors as well as the individual sensor connections can b treated with the Stabilants. Often a "sensor malfunction" error message on a diagnostic computer occur because of a faulty connection to the sensor. We're sure that if you service this type of equipment then you've replaced sensors only to have the same error message re-occur. In cases where a heavy grease has been used to t and waterproof the connection this should be removed with kerosene, isopropyl alcohol and/or cleaner before applying the Stabilant.

Can Stabilants be used on instrument clusters?

Malfunctioning lights or instruments on/in an instrument cluster are often caused b poor contacts, and this can be cured by the use of the Stabilants. Uncoupling the Tab TM type connectors sometimes breaks the wire where it is crimped to the connector, especially in older cars. You can use Stabilant 22a to penetrate the connector without having to uncouple it by applying a couple of drops to the coupled-up connector, it will "wick" into the contacts by itself.

What about fuses?

While the new blade type fuses are more reliable than the older 3AG/AGC types, the use of the Stabilants will reduce the possibility of fuse contact heating which ca cause an fuse to blow below its rated current on a circuit that is O.K.

Is it useful on dome lights and courtesy lights?

Again its good practice to use Stabilants when replacing dome and courtesy lights. Ignition switch lights are often quite difficult to get to, and the time involved in changing a light in an older car often makes it a job where the cost of the work is not appreciated by the customer.

Do heater & air conditioning controls, thermostats and electric motor switches pose any problems?

Caution should be used when using Stabilants on any switch contacts which switch an inductive load. A good rule of thumb is, if there's enough inductive kick to make the switch spark- don't use the Stabilants as the -material would break down under the heat of the spark! However it is OK to use the Stabilants in the wiring harness connectors in these circuits.

What about electric rear-view mirrors

The tab connectors inside the doors are susceptible to contamination from some of the oil/wax rust-preventative sprays. Usually a drop of Stabilant 22a per contact is all that's needed to restore reliability.

Is it useful on solenoid door & trunk Locks, and power windows?

The same problem as above occurs with solenoid-operated lock mechanisms. Some cars rely on the hinge/door latch to provide a ground return for these circuits (which is why on many older cars the power windows only work perfectly when the doors are open and on the "detent") and it may be necessary to run a separate ground wire to restore proper function.

Can Stabilants be used on horn circuits?

Nobody likes servicing these because of the possibility of recurring problems. Use Stabilant 22 to prevent having to do the job all over a second time.

It seems obvious that it might be used on tail lights, parking lights and headlights!

Although the current through the contacts is usually high enough to burn-off the contamination on contacts in these circuits, there is often a voltage drop that causes the connectors to over-heat. A little salt contamination with this high-heat condition hastens the corrosion process. Use Stabilant 22 to stop this and increase the lighting level by the elimination of these undesirable voltage drops. Don't forget to treat the external Tab-Type connectors on the headlight relays. (Don't use it on the relay contacts if there's any sign of sparking when they open!)

Can it be used door activated switches?

Everyone has run across automobiles where the dome-lights don't function when the doors are opened. Stabilants on the switch connectors will usually cure these problems.

Is the material used on radios, cassette decks & speakers?

It's tough when stereo speakers start to go out of balance because often it's not the fault of the radio or power amplifier, but the interconnects or speaker leads. Several hundred thousand dollars of the Stabilant concentrate is used each year in the home audio industry just to ensure reliability and reduce distortion.

What about batteries and starter lugs or terminals?

While it is an unusual application, many automotive electricians prefer to "seat" the battery connections using Stabilant 22 rather than petroleum jelly or electrical grease. A much better contact results. They then apply grease over the coupled connections to prevent battery-acid corrosion.

Can Stabilants be used on voltage regulators and alternators/generators?

Again, Stabilant 22 is very useful on these devices contacts. Often alternators with bolt-on voltage regulators suffer because of their close proximity to the exhaust manifold, additional heating due to localized contact problems can lead to erratic regulation or premature failure of the voltage regulator. Stabilant 22/22a applied to the lug type and-tab type connectors can result in better regulation and will help prevent dead or dying batteries due to insufficient charging current from the alternator or generator.

Isn't it expensive to use?

Not when you consider the time it saves! How long does it take you to take off a door panel to get to the contacts inside, or pull an instrument cluster for that matter? Have you timed the removal and replacement of a headlight lately? There are about 900 drops in a 15mL Service kit of Stabilant 22a and each drop could save you 5 minutes.

In what forms is it available?

The Stabilants are packaged in 5 mL, 15mL, 5OmL, lOOmL, 25OmL and 500mL containers for both the Concentrate (Stabilant 22) and isopropyl alcohol diluted (Stabilant 22A) versions. Because of the 4:1 dilution of the latter, it will generally cost about 1/4 the amount of the concentrate, although, obviously, it is the concentrate that does the job. The isopropanol is just there as a solvent to "carry" the concentrate into place, once its there the isopropanol evaporates In the case of the ethyl alcohol diluted form, (Stabilant 22E), a more limited size of containers is presently offered.

What is the difference in usage of the different forms?

Not very much, you have to remember, the alcohol is only a carrier solvent, in either case about a 1/2 mil thick film of the concentrate on the metal connector is all that's required. Therefore, on open easily accessible contacts a small amount of concentrate applied with a swab is enough. For connected contacts, or faster application you can "flood" the connector with the dilute Stabilant 22A or Stabilant 22E and actually use less of the concentrate that it contains.

Is it available in a spray can?

No, for the reason that users found that they were wasting 60% to 70% of the material on overspray. And why mess around with chlorofluorocarbon propellants?

Is Stabilant just another contact cleaner?

No, Stabilant 22 is an electrically active material which enhances conductivity within a contact without causing electrical leakage between adjacent contacts. Thus largo quantities of the material do not have to be "hosed on" as is the case with cleaners. Stabilant 22 does have a detergent action but it is not sold as a cleaner, just as it has a good lubricant action but is not sold as a lubricant.

Just how much should be used?

Normally, a film thickness of about 0.5 to 1 mils of the concentrate is more than enough. In other words, you want just enough to fill up the minute gaps within the contacts. Where Stabilant 22A or Stabilant 22E, is used, be sure to allow for the evaporation of the alcohol which forms 4/5th's of the volume.

Is the material hazardous?

No skin reactions have ever been observed. In the undiluted form at room temperature it is non-flammable, however if the temperature of the material is raised above 200'C the resulting decomposition products will support combustion.

In the United States, none of the Stabilants are subject to the TSCA (Toxic Substance Control Act) nor are they reportable under SARA Title Ill. Because even the use of Stabilant 22A or Stabilant 22E, will result in a factorial reduction in the Solvent Burden/Year over that of conventional electronic cleaning solvent treatments, the Stabilants are the treatment of choice for many environmentally conscious agencies!

Can it be used by untrained personnel?

Many thousands of applications of the consumer audio version of Stabilant 22 (as TWEEK(TM)) have been made since 1983 without problems.

Do the action of the Stabilants deteriorate with age?

It has been in use is field applications in excess of twelve 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 losses to evaporation. Unlike some other contact protection oils, Stabilant 22 will not cross-link when exposed to certain material such as high sulfur (free-machining) brass alloys or in contact with elastomers containing ultra-accelerators, curing agents or other cross-linking agents. Thus the phenomenon of "varnishing", so common with some of the oil-based protective films will not occur with the Stabilants.

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.

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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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