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thcmeds (Materials) (OP)
13 Nov 04 15:23

   Does butane dissolve PVC?  If so, what kind of plastic do they use for the storage tank in a disposable lighter?  Do any plastics have a high resistance to butane?  Also what are the common constituents of butane sold as lighter fluid and what is the difference with more expensive/filtered brands?  I am interested in this for medical reasons, glad to hear
Helpful Member!  phex (Chemical)
14 Nov 04 1:08
according to this chart, it has a good resistance (will not be effected by butane)

khan101 (Petroleum)
15 Nov 04 10:29
I hardly doubt that. Most of the cheap versions of butane lighters (for smokers) are made of PVC and plastics. Isn't it?
Helpful Member!  jte (Mechanical)
15 Nov 04 13:27

I agree that butane lighters are made from plastics, but check a few more sources for PVC. I'd recommend the Harrington Plastics site at which indicates that PVC is unsuitable for butane service.

dkf (Mechanical)
17 Nov 04 12:15
Butane lighters contain mixtures of n-butane, iso-butane and a fraction of propane to adjust vapour pressure of the mixture. Believe if there are other components, they are present only as impurities and in the ppm level. I´ve seen lighter vessels being made of nylons and acetals, a decade ago. I do not have updated info but doubt lighter components being made out of PVC.


jsummerfield (Electrical)
19 Nov 04 16:25
I doubt that the lighter is PVC.  Low pressure natural gas is sometimes gathered in PVC piping.


thcmeds (Materials) (OP)
19 Nov 04 22:40
thanks everyone for the great leads, I'd tend to believe the second link - that butane is unsuitable for use w/PVC.  There are also mercaptans in typical butane right?
Helpful Member!  epoisses (Chemical)
23 Nov 04 8:42
Depends what butane; the butane used for lighters and other small-scale use is normally hydrotreated very severely, mainly because of use for deodorants.
naks (Computer)
7 Dec 04 0:16
Corrosion/reaction appears to depend on the type of PVC, actually.  Found info originally at (butane is kind of cut off at the bottom of one page, but you can make out an 'R') for recommended, or acceptable, exposure of PVC Type 1 to butane.  Checked some other sites and Type 1 PVC seems to be an industry standard and resistant to many corrosive materials.

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