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Alcohol in the wood finishing

Alcohol by the definition is the organic chemical that containing hydroxyl group (OH). According to the this term so there are a many alcohol according with the amount of carbon chains which bind the hydroxyl group. But in the chemical trading the alcohol refer to ethanol, the alcohol which has 2 carbon in its molecule compound (C2H5OH).
Alcohol is made from the fermentation reaction from the hydrocarbons compound by the help of yeast. Alcohol formed from fermentation reaction from fruit (cherry, grape, etc.) and hydrocarbon seed (rice, wheat, etc.) are also mostly used as food or drink. Beer and wine are well known as beverages that contain alcohol. There are also many alcoholic food and beverages are found in every region in the world, each has the uniqueness taste and name.
Alcoholic beverages and food can result to drunk and causing health problem when it is consumed overdoses. Since that it is sold and traded with a tight regulation. The alcohol in the food industries is subjected of high by taxes to regulate its distribution.

Alcohol in the wood finishing industry

Alcohol in the wood finishing industry is widely used as solvent or material to make thinner. Alcohol is solvent with relatively inexpensive, then it is sometime used as filler in the mixture of paint thinner to reduce the price. It can be made from the fermentation of molasses or other  material that contain high hydrocarbon compound. Alcohol for industrial purposes is sold at cheaper price than the alcohol for the food and beverage industry. Alcohol for the food industry should be more hygienic and also subjected to the high taxes. Therefore, the common alcohol is add with some toxic compound to prevent it be used for food industry. This material is known as the denatured alcohol that can be sold in the lower price since it does not to pay high tax. 

The physical properties of alcohols
Density                                                 : 0.789 g / cm
Boiling point                                         : 171-174 F
Flash Point                                           : 61 F
Evaporation rate                                  : 2.0 (compared with Butyl Acetate)

The uses of alcohol (denatured alcohol) in the wood finishing industry is quite lot. It has low price so it is added to the lacquer thinner to reduce the price. Alcohol has a relatively low solubility to the lacquer, so it can not be too much in the lacquer thinner. Too much alcohol will reduce the quality of the lacquer thinner.
Alcohol is widely used to dissolve the shellac. Traditionally, the shellac is sold in the flake form. Shellac will last longer if stored in the solid (flakes) form. The flakes of shellac are needed to be dissolved in alcohol to form liquid, when it is used in the finishing process.
Alcohol is also widely used as a thinner to make stain. The organic pigments are highly soluble in the alcohol. The N.G.R. (non grain raising) stain is dye pigment that is dissolved in alcohol. Alcohol is also dissolving each other in perfectly mixed with water. Since that it is also mostly used as a thinner for water based wood stain.
Alcohol is also used to make pad stain. Pad stain is a special stain that designed to be applied on the clear coating by padding. Alcohol as a solvent can dissolve the stain, but only slightly dissolve the lacquer. The pad stain can be applied with padding on the sealer or lacquer without too stick to the clear coating. Pad stain can be padded to coloring the clear coating with an easier control. The pad stain color still can be reduce and highlight if necessary. 

The things to be considered in the uses of alcohol.
  • Alcohol should be handled carefully
Alcohol is a flammable material. There are many research is held to develop the  uses alcohol as  a fuel. This material should be handled carefully. The alcohol liquid and vapor should be kept away from fire.  The room to storage the alcohol must be equipped with the safety standards equipment for flammable chemicals.
  • Use alcohol according to its purposes.
The alcohol for industrial finishing purposes probably the same compound with the alcohol used in the food industry, but it is not suppose to be consumed. The alcohol for food industry has to fulfill the hygienist standard. The alcohol for paint industrial should be used just for solvent and thinner and need to be treated as the other solvent. Always use the standard safety equipment such as: glove, masker and eye protector when dealing with this material.

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