The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?  (Read 12217 times)

Offline Bill.D.Katt.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 179
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« on: 08/11/2010 05:18:11 »
More specifically, is the product "Dust off," good to use on the hardware of a computer to remove the dust?


 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #1 on: 08/11/2010 08:14:17 »
More specifically, is the product "Dust off," good to use on the hardware of a computer to remove the dust?

The definitive answer is maybe  :D

An accumulation of dust on the electronics of a computer is really only harmful in one respect. It impedes the flow of air. Reduced air flow can lead to overheating which can result in premature failure of electronic components.

However, high velocity air can also produce significant amounts of static charge which, depending on the circuitry, can generate very high voltages. High voltages can also result in premature failure of electronic components.
 

Offline peppercorn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1466
    • View Profile
    • solar
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #2 on: 08/11/2010 10:30:55 »
On a related note I'm always amazed how PC power-supplies continue to function for years when they are absolutely clogged with dust (and in the cases of some places I've worked, also oil/grease, unidentifiable sticky crap!).

I fairly regularly use a hand brush to get the worst of the muck out of the home PCs - Of course this isn't a completely hazard free job for the amateur, so I am not advocating this unless you're an electrical engineer (High voltage caps, etc should not be messed with!).
 

Offline maffsolo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #3 on: 08/11/2010 13:40:11 »
Almost by the book...
Power down at the supply and keep the ac cord connected to assure a ground.
Permit the machine to rest for about 15 to 20 min.
 Reduce the causes of static electricity, there is a procedure that you can apply for this on the net.
Anti static wrist strap is great.
Air blasting the dust in spurts avoid continuous air flow.
MAYBE is correct Definitely NO is correct and the better measure too.

After all, the one thing to remember is by air blowing you also can blow electrically conductive debris on an area of the electronics that need not be there.

This is avoided by using a small vacuum, fashioned with a small brush a half inch flexable tubing, I prefer clear tygon tubing and a crap trap, if you want to save the dust bunnies for inspection if needed, especially if you are looking for the Mama's Diamond
Wear an antistatic bunny suit and a wrist strap.

Spray the brush with a silicone lube, e.g.... tuner cleaner or contact cleaner to reduce static charge accumulation and keep the vacuum tube at a reasonable distance away from the hardware.

I found this to be a bore, for the last ten years, opening up the same machine I took the machine out to my boardwalk and broken all the rules! I used an air compressor set at 25 PSI and cleaned it brought it back in  the house hooked it back up
made sure the fans were free wheeling let it rest a bit to assure no moisture anywhere cause by the compressed air.
It still running...

Closed circuits usually are less susceptible to an electro-static differential damage it is the lonely IC sitting mid air with their conductive legs exposed is at more risk.
« Last Edit: 08/11/2010 13:56:38 by maffsolo »
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #4 on: 08/11/2010 17:58:48 »
I should confess I have resorted to an air gun hooked up to a compressor on occasion  :D

BTW - I seem to remember hearing something about a company refusing to work on a PC because it was so contaminated with residue from cigarette smoke, or did I make it up?
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8125
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #5 on: 08/11/2010 19:30:17 »
Quote
Despite the name "canned air," the cans actually contain gases that are much easier to compress into liquids, such as difluoroethane, trifluoroethane, or tetrafluoroethane. Hydrocarbons, like butane, were often used in the past, but their flammability forced manufacturers to use fluorocarbons.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_duster

The can can (sic) spray a liquid which is freezing. (the ultra cold temperatures could cause components to crack, the liquid is an organic solvent which could damage some plastcs].

I use a manual puffer / blower ... 



squeezing the rubber bulb produces a jet of air from the nozzle.
« Last Edit: 08/11/2010 19:45:02 by RD »
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #6 on: 08/11/2010 22:31:39 »
I use a manual puffer / blower ... 



squeezing the rubber bulb produces a jet of air from the nozzle.

It may also have application in the treatment of hemorrhoids.
 

Offline maffsolo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #7 on: 09/11/2010 01:08:12 »
I use a manual puffer / blower ...



squeezing the rubber bulb produces a jet of air from the nozzle.

It may also have application in the treatment of hemorrhoids.

Oh I thought of something only used during a certain period of/in time.
----------
Probably it may be the safest approach to cleaning the dust bunnies, a little time consuming.
I Always have sneezing fits using any air blasts indoors, if I do not follow with a small vacuum.
----------
RD not to disagree since anything can happen when messing with extreme temperature changes.
I have used Free-z-it to detect an erratic behavior of a circuit, instead of applying heat.
Pin pointed the IC and replaced it for a fix.
----------
A quick blow from the aerosol, not concentrated on any component is like running your finger quickly of a candle flame.
-------------
Geezer the refusal on working on the computer because of smoke...
It is possible I don't recall, but since I quit I am able to smell smoke through a lead wall, (X-ray nose sensitive)
I am not a fanatic related to smokeless room smells.
Odd that I like the combination of smells of stale beer, cigar, cigarette and assorted cooked food.
Old restaurant smells
« Last Edit: 09/11/2010 01:20:13 by maffsolo »
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8659
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #8 on: 09/11/2010 19:52:00 »
Don't try this at home, but you can wash printed circuit boards with water and dry them to remove dust etc.- no danger of static there.
(You might want to try it at work if, as I do, you have high purity water on tap.)
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #9 on: 09/11/2010 21:18:26 »
Don't try this at home, but you can wash printed circuit boards with water and dry them to remove dust etc.- no danger of static there.
(You might want to try it at work if, as I do, you have high purity water on tap.)

If you are in Iran, you would probably have to use dezionized water.
 

Offline maffsolo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #10 on: 10/11/2010 02:54:59 »
Don't try this at home, but you can wash printed circuit boards with water and dry them to remove dust etc.- no danger of static there.
(You might want to try it at work if, as I do, you have high purity water on tap.)

If you are in Iran, you would probably have to use dezionized water.

And is that Kosher free, pasteurize or below the sneeze


Don't try this at home, but you can wash printed circuit boards with water and dry them to remove dust etc.- no danger of static there.
(You might want to try it at work if, as I do, you have high purity water on tap.)

If you are in Iran, you would probably have to use dezionized water.

I looked up real quick and thought I saw Car Wash
Place the board in a centrifuge for a full spin dry

If I were at work a a special tank used for a bath, containing Trichloroethylene
 with an ultrasonic cleaning unit

I hear a blond had put her cell phone into her wash just to clean her contacts...
« Last Edit: 10/11/2010 03:21:34 by maffsolo »
 

Offline SeanB

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1118
  • Thanked: 3 times
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #11 on: 10/11/2010 17:16:03 »
That ultrasonic tank with trichlorethane is great, though you do have to be careful with it. 2 seconds will degrease a board, 5 will remove all the solder resist, and all non engraved part numbers. 30 seconds will almost totally destroy a FR4 board, turning it into a mass of fibreglass without much resin left to hold it together. the MT workshops loved it, you drop in anything that is dirty and a few seconds later it is bare metal, I did a lot of carburettors for them ( using a drum of used solvent too contaminated for us to use, but perfect for them and good enough to clean the machine with) and they would come out looking like they were just cast, although no gasket or neoprene seal survived.

Water is good to remove new generation soldering resins, though I prefer to add a small amount of methanol or denatured ethanol to made it a more multipurpose remover, though you do need to dry them well, preferably in an oven at around 80C for around a hour to ensure all water is removed.
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8659
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #12 on: 10/11/2010 19:57:42 »
For some unaccountable reason they don't provide high purity alcohol on tap at work.
I'm pretty sure trike has been just about banned under the Montreal protocol.
 

Offline maffsolo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #13 on: 11/11/2010 03:55:45 »
Carbon Tetrachloride used to work great until it was considered bad and banned in the late 60s early 70s somewhere around that time.
Nano grade alcohol is ok for removing solder resin.

Vapor degreasers
« Last Edit: 11/11/2010 04:09:30 by maffsolo »
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #14 on: 11/11/2010 06:05:58 »
There was a suggestion that Trike was less carcinogenic than Carbon Tet, but I suspect they were not so very different.
 

Offline SeanB

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1118
  • Thanked: 3 times
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #15 on: 11/11/2010 16:45:52 »
We used to buy the high purity ethanol by the 205l drum, and had a hard time getting the excise duty back ( it was around 5 times the price of the actual liquid) as we had to use ethanol and water as a part of the evaporative cooling system, and it had to be ultra pure or else it would contaminate the electronics. Eventually we moved to a 1% methanol additive, no more duty as it was considered non drinkable.

The trichlorethane was banned shortly afterwards, so we had to change the ultrasonic cleaner to use water and methanol mix, which was not as effective, and would not make a good vapour degreaser.
« Last Edit: 11/11/2010 16:48:00 by SeanB »
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #16 on: 02/12/2010 14:28:40 »
On a related note I'm always amazed how PC power-supplies continue to function for years when they are absolutely clogged with dust (and in the cases of some places I've worked, also oil/grease, unidentifiable sticky crap!).
Oh...
The Nasty Greasy Smelly Stuff is tar from SMOKERS!!!    [xx(] [xx(] [xx(]

I can't imagine how people would want to suck that stuff into their lungs.  [xx(] [xx(] [xx(]

I like to clean the computers whenever I take them apart, but never go out of my way to do it to working machines.  Canned Air gets really expensive really quickly.  A small vacuum cleaner that sucks and blows works best.  Suck out the big stuff, then turn it around and blow out the rest.

I've worried about the cold air and solvents in the canned air, but it doesn't seem to be a problem.
 

cat_with_no_eyes

  • Guest
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #17 on: 11/12/2010 12:47:45 »
Just vaccum over it. Job done.
 

Offline SeanB

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1118
  • Thanked: 3 times
    • View Profile
Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #18 on: 06/01/2011 18:40:25 »
Canned air expensive? The funny thing is that canned air is mostly R134A, which I buy for refrigeration work in a 13kg disposacan for around $150, and which use is regulated, like the R22 which costs around $100 for the 13.6kg disposacan. The suppliers also have the big refillables, which each contain 800kg of gas. Those are used on ships, some will use 2 or more for a refill if a pipe blows at sea.

Blowing the dust off is not good, better is to use a vacuum cleaner and a brush to remove the dust.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Is aerosol dusting good for a computer?
« Reply #18 on: 06/01/2011 18:40:25 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums