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Old 19-11-2006, 04:33   #1
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"Glycol" Anti-Freeze

Glycol Anti-Freeze:
The two most common compounds found in antifreeze and de-icing solutions are ethylene glycol and propylene glycol - both clear liquids - with colourants, rust & corrosion inhibitors, detergents, foam inhibitors, lubricants, ,and other (proprietary) additives.

Note: Colour does not indicate anything general about an anti-freeze, excepting a particular manufacturer's coding system.

Besides decreasing the temperature at which your coolant will freeze, anti-freeze is also used to raise the temperature at which your coolant will boil.

Note: All coolants must be diluted with water, at the proper ratios, and should not be used full-strength. Full-strength antifreeze actually has a lower freeze point than when mixed with water.

Ethylene glycol is toxic & sometimes fatal - Exposure to Ethylene glycol can damage the kidneys, heart, and nervous system. Ethylene glycol has a sweet taste, and accidental poisoning in children and pets is a danger.

Propylene glycol is essentially non-toxic, and generally regarded as safe for use in food. However, tests show it can be a strong skin irritant. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) on Propylene Glycol warn to avoid skin contact as it is systemic and can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage
See an example MSDS: http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/P6928.htm
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Old 19-11-2006, 04:55   #2
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Gord, I think this analysis falls short on the danger of ingesting ethylene glycol. A teaspoon or less can be fatal in adults. This is why it's very important to keep you foods and refrigerated items clear of this substance. (Learned from Richard Kollman's book)
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Old 19-11-2006, 05:47   #3
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Thanks - edited for clarity.
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Old 19-11-2006, 11:31   #4
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Which if Propylene Glycol is a skin irritant, what must it be like internally. Especially for ones like me that are super sensitive blokes.
Propylene Glycol gets used in more day to day items than we realise. Items that we put on and in our bodies. From sampoos and soaps to toothpastes and very common in some foods and many many food additives.
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Old 19-11-2006, 20:00   #5
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This has lots of info.................._/)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propylene_glycol
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Old 20-11-2006, 06:05   #6
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Good link, Del.
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Old 20-11-2006, 11:18   #7
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In the water industry, we always consider both ethylene and propylene glycol to be poisonous, as one might replace the other, depending on something as simple as which one is the most economical at any one time. Therefore anything with either in it must be separated from a water system with the highest level of backflow preventer. One is fatal most of the time, while the other is an allergen only to one in a hundred. It is still Russian Roulette.

Use the propylene whenever it is needed, but assume it is always the more poisonous ethylene when you encounter it.
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Old 20-11-2006, 13:09   #8
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I'm sure that the anti freezi I just put into my new Westerbeke to Winterize indicated "not to dilute"? I dont have the bottle with me, did I misunderstand you Gord?
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Old 20-11-2006, 13:58   #9
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Island Mike, Gord is correct, although you may have purchased "pre-diluted" coolant/antifreeze.
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Old 20-11-2006, 18:32   #10
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There are a few engine manufacturers that have a "make specific" anti-freeze. Actually coolant additive is the better term to use. The additive is both an anti-freeze/anti-boil, plus anti-corrosive agents, cleaning agents, lubricants ad so on. Perkins has there very own. I really don't know if the additives really are that "specific" special, but I do know that the spec'd additives are damn expensive. So I run my engine on just a plain good additive for cast iron diesel engines. Which is about $50.00 worth of concentrate. Where as the specific Perkins was $70.00 for a dilute 4ltr and I needed three 4ltrs. ouch.
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Old 20-11-2006, 19:46   #11
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Gord-
I don't know if there are trade association specs or otherwise, but from what I've seen in the US, "Note: Colour does not indicate anything general about an anti-freeze, excepting a particular manufacturer's coding system."

Color does seem meaningful here. Blue and green are used for conventional e.glycol products. Orange or orange-ish indicates the new ones that are supposed to be less toxic and last longer--i.e. Halvoline--which are now debated as dissolving engine head gaskets and other problems, depending on who you believe.

And perhaps most important, PINK is only used for the biodegradeable stuff used to winterize plumbing and RV systems (and boats!<G>) it is not suitable as engine coolant or for use in high heat. IIRC the pink stuff is also used in hydronic heating systems, better known as "radiant heat" in houses.

We never have red AF, that's reserved for transmission or power steering fluids here. Again, dunno if there are any "rules" but that's the way I've always seen them.
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Old 20-11-2006, 21:48   #12
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Mix and match...

I notice that some anti freeze/anticorrosives say on the label that you should not mix them with other or old stuff.
Is this true or are they just trying to sell more?
What might happen if I did mix them?
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Old 20-11-2006, 22:54   #13
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Yes it is correct that you should not mix. Firstly, it has nothing to do with the Glycol. And secondly, don't panic, you are not going to have an explosion or see the coolant start bubling away or smoke or desolve you block into sludge.
It is the additives that make up the coolant product that becomes the issue. There are many different "brew"s. Each manufacturer has there own "secret mix of herbs and spices". Most additives are a chemical or metal compound. Zinc for instance is a very common metal compound. There is a fine balance between many of these additives doing a job and hindering the reason tehy were placed in the brew in the first place. And in some circumstances, they can react with other agents either cancelling each other out or creating a compleatly new chemical. So to safe guard manufacturers of coolant products, they simply state not to mix.
As a coolant has aged, certain components that make up the brew will have done there job and will have expired. Pooring new coolant additives in will upset the balance of the components.
So yes it is safer to once every year or two, drain the coolant and refresh with new. This will ensure your coolant pump is well lubricated, your anti-corrosion compounds are doing their job, the compounds that stop cavitation errosion are doing their job, the wetting agents that ensure a good bond of water against metal to transfer heat is in good balance, the anti-frothing agents are not errrr...frothing and the man that makes the coolant additives has a plate of food on the table and a roof over his head ;-)
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Old 21-11-2006, 02:01   #14
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Coolant Color and its Significance by Dave Turcotte
(Technical Director,The Valvoline Company)
http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/overh...e_Mag_53_g.pdf

The Color of Antifreeze
Filter Manufacturers Council Technical Service Bulletin 05-2
www.filtercouncil.org/techdata/tsbs/05-2.pdf
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