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Evaporation rate can be useful in evaluating the health and fire hazards of a material. For example, a substance with a high evaporation rate will readily form a vapor which can be inhaled or explode.|
Evaporation rates generally have an inverse relationship to boiling points; i.e. the higher the boiling point, the lower the rate of evaporation.
The general reference material for evaporation rates is n-butyl acetate (commonly abbreviated BuAc) which has the chemical structure shown below. Whenever a relative evaporation rate is given, the reference material must be stated.
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The relative evaporation rate of butyl acetate is 1.0. Other materials are then classified as:
(BuAc = 1.0)
|Fast||> 3.0|| Methyl Ethyl Ketone = 3.8|
Acetone = 5.6
Hexane = 8.3.
|Medium||0.8 to 3.0||95% Ethyl Alcohol = 1.4|
Naphtha = 1.4
|Slow||< 0.8||Xylene = 0.6|
Isobutyl Alcohol = 0.6
Water = 0.3
Mineral Spirits = 0.1
We are not aware of a specific number for the absolute evaporation rate (i.e. in mass/time units) of butyl acetate. Presumably, such a number would depend on myriad variables such as temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, air flow, viscosity etc. The ASTM has developed a standard test method, D3539-87(2004) Standard Test Methods for Evaporation Rates of Volatile Liquids by Shell Thin-Film Evaporometer. We don't own a copy so we can't give you a synopsis of the variables involved.
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Disclaimer: The information contained herein is believed to be true and accurate, however ILPI makes no guarantees concerning the veracity of any statement. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. ILPI strongly encourages the reader to consult the appropriate local, state and federal agencies concerning the matters discussed herein.