View Full Version : Removing Adhesive from Processor

March 10th, 2017, 02:07 AM
What is safe to use on a GPU to remove adhesive from it? Isopropyl isnt working on it, so was curious what I could use to get the substance off so I can use some thermal paste to put the fan / sync back on it....

Is GooGone safe to use on it?

March 10th, 2017, 04:11 AM
GooGone won't hurt a CPU, but if it had some kind of epoxy I'd think scraping it would be the only way to remove it.

What type of CPU is this? What material is it made from?


March 10th, 2017, 11:16 AM
It's an NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS. The fan heatsync was attached to it via the adhesive substance. I had to remove the fan heatsync due to an issue and now want to mount a new fan to it. But it won't hold due to the substance on it.

March 10th, 2017, 12:23 PM
Try some Methy Ethyl Ketone, known as "MEK". Most paint stores and many big-box home improvement stores carry it. MEK can dissolve certain plastics, so be careful with it (it also works to cement many plastics together).

If that doesn't do the trick, you're probably down to resorting to mechanical means of removal, such as a scraper or Scotch-Brite pad.

March 10th, 2017, 03:27 PM
fan heatsync

Fan heatsink. sync is something monitors do with signals.

I've found WD-40 or 3-n-1 oil left to soak for 30 minutes or so can soften up most types of thermal adhesive enough to where a plastic scraper can scrape it off. Though if the fan failed and the heatsink was left to cook until the thermal adhesive turns a hard crusty brown or black, nothing short of a razor blade is going to get that off. It's basically carbon deposits at that point, extremely hard and abrasive.

Agent Orange
March 10th, 2017, 04:25 PM
Try some Methy Ethyl Ketone, known as "MEK". Most paint stores and many big-box home improvement stores carry it. MEK can dissolve certain plastics, so be careful with it (it also works to cement many plastics together).

If that doesn't do the trick, you're probably down to resorting to mechanical means of removal, such as a scraper or Scotch-Brite pad.

I wouldn't recommend MEK to anyone for casual use. You're going to pay over $20 for a pint can, and it can destroy your ZIF socket in a heart beat. While it does work, one must be extremely careful and be sure to use it in a well ventilated area.

March 10th, 2017, 06:33 PM
Definitely stay away from MEK, or other aggressive solvents like acetone or chloroform. Goo-gone may work, but I'd try Uni-solve adhesive remover. It's actually used to remove medical adhesives from flesh, but I've used it on a variety of adhesives and surfaces. Its ingredients include C10-11 isoparaffin, isopropyl alcohol, dipropylene glycol methyl ether, and aloe extract. So it's not residue-free, but water cleans it up nicely. I bought it from Amazon.

It may not work if the adhesive has degraded as mentioned above. It works to solvate the polymer matrix of the adhesive.

Sorry, I'm a chemist, so I look at these things...

March 10th, 2017, 10:23 PM
I paid about $8 for a quart of MEK at my local Lowe's (Kleen-Strip brand). I also use methylene chloride for stripping tough finishes (it's even more aggressive). Freon TF would have been my first choice, but outside of the aerospace industry, it's unobtanium--ozone depletion issues. You could also try perchloroethylene--it's used as a degreaser and cleaner (available as CRC Brakleen). You probably can't get any of this stuff in California.

On a ceramic-package IC, MEK's not going to hurt a thing. One would assume that you'd remove the chip from its socket before dosing it. Plastics is another matter; I've used it to weld plastic cases and bezels, as well as to remove finishes.

Look at it as the chainsaw of solvents. Be careful when you use it; take appropriate precautions, and you'll be fine. Get careless and you'll regret it.

I'm amused that we worry about people using MEK, but think nothing of pumping our own gas (powerful solvent, potent carcinogen, extremely explosive).

March 10th, 2017, 11:17 PM
I used to work in a little 40,000 sq foot plant where MEK was used by the drum to carelessly clean everything you can imagine. It was removed with air guns. Guys smoked cigarettes whilst dousing 48x48x12 blocks of steel with it. You could always smell MEK when you walked into the building on Monday mornings. As a dumb 16 year old, I washed down a 6" Giddings & Lewis boring bar with it. Needless to say, I had to repaint the machine the next night and you can imagine the earful I got.

One thing about MEK; don't bother to wear vinyl gloves. It makes the gloves dissolve and stick to your skin in a way that you need more MEK to get the glove goo off.

I used it just last night to repair a drive belt. I'm in a situation where I can't even afford $3 to buy a new belt for a VCR. So I took the old brittle, cracked one, and soaked it in Rubber Renue for a while. That didn't quite do the job, so I soaked it in MEK. It not only softened up, it expanded (as expected) to where I could cut out the most damaged part and glue it back together. If I had actually planned to do that, it would have made a nice YouTube video.

March 11th, 2017, 06:20 AM
If your comment was to me Chuck(G), it's not that I worry about using MEK, but more about the potential of "unintended consequences". Using the mildest tool and working up to more aggressive solutions seems logical to me. I've destroyed a few things by using the wrong tools. Heck, in my first job, we used acetone in squirt bottles to kill flies. Worked great, unless there was plexiglass around.

Oh, I try to stand upwind when I pump gas, too.

March 11th, 2017, 09:12 AM
I have a simpler solution. I just make sure not to pump gas in California, where it's a carcinogen.

March 11th, 2017, 09:16 AM
Well, my point was that little other than HF will affect the integrity of a ceramic package. But yes, you have to use your noodle and remove the package from the board before you try those extreme measures.

My preference for a clean solvent would probably be Freon TF (CFC 113). Wonderful stuff, but banned now under the Montreal protocol, so unobtanium.

My state still doesn't allow self-serve gas--and nobody seems to mind.

March 11th, 2017, 05:58 PM
THanks for all the help....

I can go get some MEK, but I did someone mention acetone (although they were saying not to use it!)....would that work like the MEK stuff? I ask as I have a can of acetone here, as well as several goo-gone, goof-off and a couple other removers.....so wanted to try them first before going out to buy something.

March 11th, 2017, 06:09 PM
The least dangerous stuff is mineral spirits (paint thinner) and then, in increasing order of potency:

Goo-gone (closely related, with a bit of orange oil added)
---everything below will attack plastic---
Methylene Chloride (Aircraft stripper)

Al Kossow
March 11th, 2017, 06:17 PM
would that work like the MEK stuff?

be careful with MEK

as a friend of mine used to say "MEK is an organic solvent, and YOU are organic!"

March 11th, 2017, 08:08 PM
Actually, all of the above are organic solvents. I'll take MEK over gasoline any day.

Isoamyl acetate is also an organic solvent--used in various lacquers and varnishes--also used as a flavoring.

March 11th, 2017, 10:38 PM
Some http://www.arcticsilver.com/arcticlean.htm might be effective. It's certainly better for you than MEK which seems to be quite nasty stuff.

March 15th, 2017, 01:57 PM
I have the arctic clean. Never thought of that. Can give it a shot