HELP! I spilled a huge amount of CA on my brand new Bob Selman actuator!!! :( - RC Groups
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Jan 07, 2003, 08:45 PM
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flytowner's Avatar

HELP! I spilled a huge amount of CA on my brand new Bob Selman actuator!!! :(

It was a terrible accident! I was trying to add a tiny drop of CA to the chassis of one of my brand new Bob Selman actuators for some bracing on my Micro DuskStik and basically the bottle somehow pressurized and when I went to lay my drop it POURED out all over it! It will not even move! Is there some sort of solvent I can use to get rid of the CA without destroying the actuator and plastic chassis? To make matters worse, I was trying to "pick" away some of the CA and a chunk of dried up CA pulled both of the leads off of the actuator!

I'm so depressed, angry, and desparate! These little guys aren't cheap and I think I just ruined it...

...a very sad, flytowner...

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Jan 07, 2003, 09:19 PM
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drliu's Avatar
Try soaking it for at least 30 minutes in a few mL of nitromethane. That will dissolve the CA. It may or may not harm the actuator (my guess is it won't but I'm not sure), but you don't have much to lose at this point since it's useless to you as is.

Jan 07, 2003, 11:06 PM
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flytowner's Avatar

I've been working it and I've gotten it to move (the control horns) fairly well but it's still binding. Where would I find some nitromethane? What about paint thinner or nail polish remover?

Jan 08, 2003, 12:30 AM
Registered User

The typical solvent for CyanoAcrylate is acetone. In it's "pure" state, it can be purchased at auto parts stores and other places. Also, there is a super glue remover available which contains acetone in a gel medium -- probably the best choice for your needs. And, there is "nail polish remover", which contains acetone and oils.

I don't know if acetone will affect any parts of the Selman actuators, but it is a very active solvent, so you should test it first on the plastic frame to be sure it doesn't melt it. I would just try to free-up the points where the magnet frame pivots in the coil core. Don't worry about the CA in the coil.

Once again, what do you have to lose!

Jan 08, 2003, 01:07 AM
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flytowner's Avatar
Thanks guys! I was able to free up the actuator fairly well by using nail polish remover. My problem is now trying to locate the ends of the coil wire as they broke off under a glob of CA. Wish me luck!
Jan 08, 2003, 02:01 AM
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mcu-electric's Avatar
I did the same thing yesterday, bottle tipped on its side and managed to empty a good half bottle leaving a rather huge chunk of 'hard material' in an otherwise important tool =) I had a bottle of acetone about 2 feet away and never thought to try it.

Matthew J. Currie
Jan 08, 2003, 05:57 AM
Sticky Shepherd
Graham Stabler's Avatar
I broke the wires to my actuator and managed to find the end that comes from the centre of the coil using a magnifying glass. I couldn't find the other end so I just made one, I picked at the coil and broke one of the windings on the outside then tested to see which end I should use with my multimeter. The resistance will be a little different but who's counting.

Jan 08, 2003, 08:03 PM
Living Room Aviator
drliu's Avatar
Purely as a geeky chemistry aside, acetone will dissolve many kinds of plastic. Nitromethane will eat (typically more slowly) fewer types of plastic. Acetone is a fairly common household solvent that you can buy at a hardware store. Nitromethane is harder to get, though I noticed that some CA debonder bottles are nitromethane.

A micro-sized syringe filled with nitromethane is one of the most useful tools you can have if you do a lot of sub-micro scale carbon fiber construction.

Jan 09, 2003, 01:04 AM
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flytowner's Avatar
Things have gone down hill... The acetone has somehow re-activated the stickiness of the CA if that's possible. Now it's binding terribly and I still cannot locate the ends of the coil wires. I'm so frustrated with this!!! Is their any way to discect the Selman actuator without destroying it? Does Bob Selman read these posts? Any ideas? I really don't want to give up but I've already spent several hours (4-5 hours!) trying to save it and need to move on to other things.

During all of this picking at the CA chunks, etc. I've managed to break off both of the control horn arms as well. Well, guys I've given up on this one and just ordered another set from DWE. Unfortunately, they are on back-order again!

I can't believe I destroyed that beautiful actuator. The one that I do have working and rigged to the rudder has so much more power than the regular old actuators. Can't wait until the day that I get this Micro-DuskStik back in the air. It's gonna be a cruiser.