Author Topic: The black goo from hell. Help me solve a puzzle, please!  (Read 221 times)

Offline lloydsp

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The black goo from hell. Help me solve a puzzle, please!
« on: January 04, 2023, 20:49:31 pm »
Today, I set-to cleaning a little Ingersol Rand air-piloted shuttle valve used to control a small 1/2-ton pneumatic press.  I've cleaned and repaired these things dozens of times.

But this time, I was greeted by GLOBS of black goo, as thick as HOT road tar, and blacker than anything I've ever seen -- WAY blacker than tar.  It was blacker than the darkest printer's ink!  And, I couldn't get it off of anything.

I tried mineral spirits, gasoline, acetone, and even plain engine oil.  NOTHING touched it.  I was covered with the stuff.  It stains everything.  I couldn't get it off the part or off of me.  So, in a panic, I grabbed a squirt of GoJo hand cleaner.

That didn't get me exactly clean but it did tend to get most of the gunk off.  So... a clue.  I broke out a bottle of detergent spray surface cleaner.  That did an even better job, but still not 'clean'.  Then, some straight Greased Lightning, no dilution.

It cleaned everything nicely, except under my fingernails, and got all the smutch off the part, as well.  So, now...

What the HECK is that goo?  Have you ever seen it, dealt with it, identified it?  A clue is that the O-rings on the valve's shuttle are NOT deteriorated.  The shuttle was just stuck in this gunk.

Help me solve this puzzle, please.  A clue is that Greased Lightning's main cleaning ingredient is plain-old LYE (sodium hydroxide).  That would tend to indicate that the goo is of animal or vegetable origin, but I'm unaware of any such 'greases' that are completely insoluble in petroleum solvents.

Lloyd
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Offline dave benson

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Re: The black goo from hell. Help me solve a puzzle, please!
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2023, 21:43:31 pm »
Lloyd
I’ve had a bear of a time cleaning moly “O” ring grease of components and me.
It’s not affected by acids so much, maybe this is why the alkali worked.
For valves like that I use brake assembly grease where one of the benefits is
that it provides controlled swell and elasticity to rubber bushings and seals.

Dave

Offline lloydsp

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Re: The black goo from hell. Help me solve a puzzle, please!
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2023, 22:02:26 pm »
Dave,
Yes.  Thanks.  I use the specified silicone grease that IR cites as the one to use.  Shucks... a little 1oz tube has lasted me years!

But the 'goo' has me confused.  I've not encountered such a substance in all the time I've been doing pneumatics, and it was NOT in the air lines, the trigger valve, the air passages in the shuttle valve, or the exit filter... ONLY on the spool and in it's bore, proper!  Go fig!

Lloyd
"Pyro for Fun and Profit for More Than Fifty Years"

Offline EddyCurrent

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Re: The black goo from hell. Help me solve a puzzle, please!
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2023, 22:57:16 pm »
In 1975 I worked with a man called Bob Gibbons, we used try and catch him out with questions such as , "what is the diameter of the earth" his response was, do you want the diameter at the poles or the equator ?
Anyway, he said that if you want to find a solvent for something, do not under estimate the power of spit.
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Offline Bob La Londe

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Re: The black goo from hell. Help me solve a puzzle, please!
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2023, 01:23:58 am »
Well, lie and spit do come from the same orifice. 
Getting started on CNC?  In or passing through my area?
If I have the time I'll be glad to show you a little in my shop. 

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