Firming up rubber? (was: Cleaning rubber goo)

Swift Griggs swiftgriggs at
Wed May 4 16:36:34 CDT 2016

On Wed, 4 May 2016, Curious Marc wrote:
> Well I currently have that problem with fancy cars of Italian origins, 
> and knowledgeable people told me the real solution is to take the parts 
> out and send them to: (yes, their real name)

That's neat. I wish I had that problem (fancy cars of Italian origins). 

> Don?t know the cost either, might be way over the top for a joystick! 
> Another solution I heard was to wipe with isopropyl alcohol or 
> goo-be-gone, but common sense tells me it?s

Heh, there are guys who do their Ph.D on stuff like this (materials 
science). The main thing I would say (and sorry if it sounds trite) is 
that you want to make sure you use polar solvents and non-polar solvents 
(ie.. water or oil based) on the appropriate material. So, if it's an oil 
based adhesive, use a non-polar solvent like lighter fluid etc.. The 
problem with this is that (as others have said) it's very tough to know if 
the solvent will break down the rubber, too. You gotta test it. 

Just FYI, there is another possibility. Since you are a geek, you probably 
either have a 3D printer or know someone who does. If the part has a 
simple shape you can measure, grab a free copy of google sketchup (or 
whatever your favorite CAD program is) and model it. Then you can give the 
drawing to your friend had have him print the part(s) you need. If you are 
like me, and you have few friends, then you can use an online service like 
i.Materialize or Shapeways and have them print it. The key is to use a 
filament base that has the same dynamics as the part you are replacing. 
Some market-droid talk from a filament maker about rubber materials:

" With Rubber-like PolyJet photopolymers, you can simulate rubber with 
different levels of hardness, elongation and tear resistance. "

Thus, if it's not too crazy-complex of a part, you could probably do it 
for not-much-more money than what it'd cost to buy some kind of 
reconditioning solvents. If it *is* a complex part, you might consider 
doing a 3D scan first (again you can use a service) and then working off 
the that model.  It's just a random idea that could help. 


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