Solvent R-12: characteristics and scope

Thinner R-12 is an indispensable tool that is always in the arsenal of masters working on car painting. This solvent is designed for several types of enamels, including base enamels, acrylic and nitro enamels. It is also used to dilute or dissolve primers, nitro varnishes, acrylic varnishes and other paints intended for painting cars and containing acrylic resins, and not aqueous solutions..

Composition and properties

The description of the R-12 solvent is similar to the description of almost any other similar product. This is a liquid with a pronounced, pungent, unpleasant odor, the inhalation of which vapors are hazardous to health. It is homogeneous, should not contain visible impurities in the sediment format. The solvent is transparent (colorless) or with a slight yellowish tinge.

The main component is toluene, an industrial solvent. In percentage terms, its share is 60% of the total volume. It also contains butyl acetate (organic solvent, 30% of the total) and xylene (aromatic hydrocarbons, 10%).

An important advantage of the solvent is that when it is used, the substances that form the film become resistant to ultraviolet radiation. They do not fade in the sun, do not depend on atmospheric influences and look beautiful due to the emerging shine..


There are several criteria by which experts evaluate the quality of solvents..

  • Water content – no more than 1% (Fischer titration).
  • Toxicity of the mixture (coefficient of volatility) – medium volatility.
  • Dissolving power – not less than 22%.
  • Acid number – 0.10 mg KOH / g.
  • Ignition temperature in a sealed container – not lower than plus 5 degrees Celsius.

Precautionary measures

Solvent R-12 is flammable and explosive. You cannot use it without making sure the working environment is safe. The sun’s rays should not be directed to the surface or container, there should not be electric heaters and heating devices nearby, as well as open flames.

It should not come as a surprise that a fire can occur not in the container itself, where the solvent is stored, but at some distance from it. This is due to the fact that solvent vapors are heavier than air, and they can “disperse” above the floor surface.

To avoid explosions, the solvent must not be mixed with strong oxidizing agents: hydrogen peroxide, acetic and nitric acids, and others. The combination of P-12 with chloroform or bromoform is also fire hazardous. In addition, be careful when using the solvent on plastic surfaces, as it can damage them..

Solvent vapors may irritate the eyes and respiratory tract and cause dermatitis. The substances contained in the liquid can affect the liver, kidney function, central nervous system and the functioning of the digestive tract. They enter the human body both through direct contact and through inhalation of vapors..

It is necessary to work with R-12 solvent outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.. Gloves must be worn on hands, eyes are protected with glasses, and the respiratory tract – with a respirator.

If the solution gets on the skin, it is quickly and thoroughly washed off with soap under running water..


Solvent R-12 has found wide application in the automotive industry. With its help, you can achieve exactly the consistency of varnish or paint, which allows you to get a high-quality, smooth, even coating. In other industries, the substance is rarely used, as it is too dangerous for human health..

Some people use P-12 to apply aquaprint, where one of the stages is activation (softening of a special immersion film with a pattern). As a rule, this requires a special liquid, but for non-professionals R-12 is an inexpensive and high-quality analogue. In order to apply in this technique, you need to pour liquid into a spray bottle and completely treat the surface with it..

The substance is mixed with paint or varnish gradually, in small portions, thoroughly stirring the resulting mixture. If more solvent is added than necessary, the varnish or paint begins to curl or delaminate. Therefore, it is necessary to strictly follow the instructions for use..

After applying a mixture with a solvent to the surface to be painted, certain conditions must be observed.

  • Ventilate the room as much as possible. It is best to use the paint in an open area, but if this is not possible, then after application it is worth opening all windows and doors..
  • If you are going to approach the object of staining, be sure to wear a respirator or special protective suit to avoid inhaling vapors and getting them on exposed skin..
  • It is important not to allow open flames or high temperatures near the painted object due to vapors creeping along the ground or floor..

For more information on this solvent, see the following video..

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