Chain O-ring WD-40 exposure effects study and results

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by klm4755, May 25, 2008.

  1. klm4755

    klm4755 Been here awhile

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    Oddometer:
    577
    Enclosed is a study to examine the effects of Chain link O-ring exposure to various solvent, cleaners, and lubrications. Many “home grown” solutions exist as to the best method to clean and lube an O-ring type chain. Most popular is the usage of WD-40. The intent of this study is to determine if WD-40 and other commonly used chemicals are detrimental to the chains o-ring and it’s function. The study will consist of 4 parts:
    1. Test set-up and controls
    2. Short term continuous exposure results. Short term will be defined as 24 hours
    3. Long term continuous exposure results. Long term evaluations will occur at regular intervals (monthly?) till a conclusion can be reached.
    4. Study conclusion.

    Part 1

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    Start all projects by reviewing relevant data related to the mod/topic

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    The source of the O-rings. DID master link from a 520 type chain.

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    extract the 8x O-rings for the study

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    set up an exam area. Did consider weighing the O-rings, but sold my gram scale when completed college......Hehehe Good times!

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    Evaluate, measure and record the dimensions. This case inner diameter with an adjustable ball gage. Dimensions are use to check for O-ring swelling.

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    check dia of ball gage. Inner dia = .227 inch

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    outer diameter =.356 inch

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    thickness = .073 inch

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    record dimensions

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    macro view of O-ring

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    O-ring side view

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    The 7x Fluids to evaluate

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    The container list: 1. WD-40, 2. Kerosine, 3. Gasoline, 4. LPS-3, 5. DOT 4 brake fluid, 6. PJ1 Chain lube, 7. Gumout carb cleaner

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    adding the fluids to the cavities

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    ready for O-ring insertion

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    Mark date and install O-rings

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    wrap-up container and store in garage.

    Part 2
    After 24 hours the O-rings were removed and examined visually for signs of distress. Quick comparison of all O-rings with the control O-ring some signs of swelling.
    Each O-ring was squeezed and released to evaluate the elasticity and for signs of brittleness.

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    O-rings after 24 hours

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    removing the WD-40 exposed O-ring

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    WD-40 exposed O-ring ready to dry and evaluate

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    WD-40 exposed O-ring optical enhanced examination. Looks A-ok

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    measure thickness of WD-40 exposed O-ring

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    measure outer diameter of WD-40 exposed O-ring

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    WD-40 on left air exposed control on right

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    detail results of review on form

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    Repeat steps for Kerosene (Kerosene on left, air on right)

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    Repeat steps for Gasoline (Gasoline on left, air on right)

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    squeeze test for elasticity evaluation

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    Repeat steps for LPS-3 (LPS-3 on left, air on right)

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    Repeat steps for Brake Fluid (Brake fluid on left, air on right)

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    Repeat steps for PJ1chain lube (PJ1on left, air on right)

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    last sample....Grandama is still looking for her pill box....hehehe

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    Repeat steps for carb cleaner (carb cleaner on left, air on right)

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    Table of results
    Conclusion of short term exposure:
    1. Carb cleaner and Gasoline samples swelled to significant sizes. Definitely not recommended to use these fluids to clean an O-ring type chain. The carb cleaner exposed O-ring increased in diameter by 29%! The gasoline exposed O-ring increased in diameter by 11%.
    2. WD-40, and Kerosene seem to have negligible to no effect on the O-rings (+/-1%)
    3. Brake fluid, and PJ1 chain lube seem to have a negligible to small effect on the O-ring’s size.

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    Ready to ride
    Keithm
    #1
    bcbullet and DreamCatcher like this.
  2. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    Interesting. I think I'll stick with kerosene for chain-cleaning. :thumb
    #2
  3. JDLuke

    JDLuke Ravening for delight

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    What's next? Going to determine once and for all which oil is best, putting an end to all those threads? :lol3

    Nice work!
    #3
  4. deaconjones

    deaconjones Been here awhile

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    Ahhh,,,,Science!
    #4
  5. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    Nice..

    I'm surprised brake fluid didn't destroy the o-rings..
    #5
  6. fallzboater

    fallzboater Kiss My Shiny Metal Ass

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    You could actually test elasticity and/or tensile strength with some wire and weights. Might be intersting.

    I love your digital mic!
    #6
  7. VStromTom

    VStromTom Long timer

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    Oh yea! Well, well, well.......WD-40 doesn't work, plus if you smell it or touch it your manhood will come off in your hand next time you whiz.

    But, nice report and good work.
    #7
  8. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    Very cool - thanks!
    #8
  9. Wallowa

    Wallowa Long timer

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    Rubber or silicon o-ring or ??? material? All o-rings are not created alike..maybe I missed it in your test...
    #9
  10. klm4755

    klm4755 Been here awhile

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    Wallowa,
    The O-rings were from manufacture DID and were from spare master links (what I had available). I do not know their material composition. I assume some type of rubber compound and that all vendors O-rings would be fairly material consistant. If you can tell me a (simple) way to test the spare O-ring to determine it's compound let me know and/or perhaps other members will chime in.
    Keithm
    #10
  11. Wallowa

    Wallowa Long timer

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    No I don't but a number of years [20] ago the o-rings I used to use in my profession went to silicon from rubber...silicon lasts a lot longer and less UV damage..that is why I asked..just curiosity..you are correct I will bet that all o-ring chain manuf use the same material and I will also bet it is silicon..

    Good job on test...but you have WAY too much spare time!:lol3
    #11
  12. FriedDuck

    FriedDuck Why die all tensed up?

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    Nice work! Here's the stuff/technique I use on my chains. Works like a charm.

    I've never had problems with WD40, but feared that some of it might slip past an errant o-ring and work it's magic on the grease within.

    I'm looking forward to the long-term test. Some of those o-rings are going to be begging for mercy!

    Jeff
    #12
  13. Doghouse_Riley

    Doghouse_Riley Wannabe Adventure Tourer

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    You forgot to test with ATF.:waysad
    #13
  14. DaFoole

    DaFoole Pacific Avenger...

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    Nice work. But what about olive oil???

    :lol3


    :freaky
    #14
  15. Dirtgeek

    Dirtgeek Guest

    awesome! you get an

    A+:freaky

    al
    #15
  16. Wallace

    Wallace Seat belt tight babe?

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    Good stuff..............Thanks.:thumb
    #16
  17. bonox

    bonox Tryin Hard

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    since it's mostly like thin motor oil and me and every other chap in the world with an automated chain oiler runs it (scott say that their fluid is basically ATF), that hardly seems important.
    #17
  18. Doghouse_Riley

    Doghouse_Riley Wannabe Adventure Tourer

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    You could say the same about kerosene since chain manufacturers recommend it for cleaning o-ring chains.:dunno

    Nevertheless, interesting experiment. Thanks for for sharing the results.:thumb
    #18
  19. bonox

    bonox Tryin Hard

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    and the results he had proved why
    #19
  20. Tigertracks

    Tigertracks Press On

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    I always used ATF ( Automatic Transmission Fluid ) in my Scottoiler on my Triumph. Stood to reason because ATF is specifically designed to keep rubber
    pliable and in good condition inside the transmission.

    It did a nice job of keeping the chain very clean.

    It is light weight so it also kept the back wheel nice and filty.....
    very Macho ....

    I do not have a Scottoiler on my current Trumpet ... but I do wipe the chain down with ATF ( and still use some spray on stuff )

    Another oiler system may be in cards.
    #20