Chemtronics aerosol dusters (commonly called "canned air") are made of highly filtered, oil and moisture free propellant developed for applications where safe, ultra-pure cleaning is required. Compact and portable, Chemtronics dusters deliver powerful jet action to instantly remove particles from even the most inaccessible areas. All Chemtronics Dusters economize solvent usage by removing layers of dry particulate allowing the solvent to work immediately on encrusted soils. They also accelerate surface drying when using slow evaporating cleaners to remove damaging oil and residue.
Use Chemtronics® Duster to clean contaminants from:
- Printed circuit boards
- PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers)
- Contacts and connectors
- Relays, switches
- Computers and keyboards
- Electrical equipment
- Electronic instruments
- Telecommunication equipment
- Audio equipment
- Laboratory instrumentation
- Medical devices
- Photographic and video equipment
How can I avoid static build-up when using duster?
The duster vapors themselves do not produce much of a triboelectric charge. There isn’t a non-contaminating additive that can be added because it would just stay at the bottom of the can (the vapors are at the top, which are released when you open the valve).
The liquid propellant can produce a charge, and the plastic actuator can become charged as well. There are a few solutions to consider:
- Anti-Static Freeze Spray can be used upside-down as a duster. The vapor itself won’t be any different, but if the can is mistakenly turned, the liquid is much less likely to be charged.
- Ultrajet All-Way is an invertible can, so it is designed to avoid spraying liquid regardless of how the can is turned.
- Ultrajet Duster System includes a chrome trigger sprayer that screws on to a replaceable can. That trigger is conductive, so it can be grounded either with contact with your hand (assuming you are grounded) or with some kind of clip and strap run to a ground point.
How can I stop a can of “canned air” aerosol duster from freezing up?
This phenomenon occurs due to the expansion of the compressed refrigerant liquid as it dispenses through the aerosol valve and flashes to a gas. If the aerosol is operated for a long period, frost may form on the can because it is freezing the surrounding water vapor from the air. If it is collecting on the material to be cleaned, the operator is dispensing for too long of a period or is dispensing it too close to the material. The frost will evaporate and leave no residue. However, particulate matter blown onto a sensitive surface may cause damage due to the high pressure of the duster if dispensed too closely to that surface.
What is the shelf life of air duster (canned air)?
If the can and valving is intact and undamaged, it will not leak or spoil, so can sit on a shelf for as long as 10 years.
Is all air duster (canned air) the same?
No, there are a variety of different types of dusters, some more for consumer use, and others more common in commercial applications. Many retail dusters have bitterant added to prevent huffing. When duster is used in the home, there is concern that the material will be purposely inhaled (called “huffing” or “dusting”) by minors, which can sometimes lead to tragic consequences. To avoid this, bitterant is added to make the duster taste bad. This same bitterant can lead to unwanted and potentially harmful residues on sensitive surfaces like electronic circuit boards. There are also different options for the propellant: HFC-134a – Nonflammable, most common for industrial applications when spraying energized circuits because of the risk of a spark lighting a flammable material. It is under close scrutiny because it has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 1400, so 1400 times the impact of CO2. HFC-152a – Most commonly available duster in consumer retail because it is less expensive than HFC-134a. It is flammable, and will ignite when concentrated (i.e. in liquid form) and exposed to a spark or flame. HFO-1234ze – This is a newer, nonflammable material introduced in the last 10-years as a very low GWP alternative (<1) to HFC-134a. It is non-flammable and is almost indistinguishable from HFC-134a when sprayed, but unfortunately at a much higher price.
Is air duster (canned air) safe on my computer and other electronics?
Yes, air duster is generally designed for use on electronics. There are a few things to watch out for:
- Avoid spraying the refrigerant liquid, which can happen if you shake the can, or angle it too much. The refrigerant is very cold, so can damage some sensitive electronics.
- Avoid cheap retail dusters that contain bitterant. Many retail dusters have bitterant added to prevent huffing. When duster is used in the home, there is concern that the material will be purposely inhaled (called “huffing” or “dusting”) by minors, which can sometimes lead to tragic consequences. To avoid this, bitterant is added to make the duster taste bad. This same bitterant can lead to unwanted and potentially harmful residues on sensitive surfaces like electronic circuit boards.
How long does a can of air duster (canned air) last?
That depends on the size of the can and how much you use it. If the can and valving is intact and undamaged, it will not leak or spoil, so can sit on a shelf for many years.
How do you use air duster (canned air)?
The can of duster must be held in an upright position when spraying. Do not tilt can more than 40 degrees during spraying operation or shake during use. Before use, press actuator to clear valve of any liquid product. Extension tube can be used to remove dust in tight areas. Use short bursts to prevent cooling of can.
What happens if you shake a can of duster (canned air)?
Most duster contain refrigerant that is liquid when held under pressure. The goal of duster is to spray the vapor not the liquid, so the valving is designed to capture the vapor from the top of the can. When you shake a can, turn it, or flip it upside-down, you can introduce the liquid refrigerant to the mix. Careful, because that is cold enough to cause frost bite and damage sensitive electronics. Ultraject All-Way (part #ES1620) is designed to spray upside-down without expelling liquid refrigerant.
What is in air duster (canned air)?
Most aerosol duster contains a refrigerant/propellant that cannot be considered “air”. As a matter of fact, breathing too much of these vapors can lead to negative health effects. Compressed Air Duster is most commonly filled with the following propellants: HFC-134a, HFC-152a, HFO-1234ze, CO2, and DME. Refer to the TDS (tech data sheet) or SDS (safety data sheet) for more specifics.
Is air duster (canned air) dangerous?
It can be if used improperly. Aerosol dusters contain pressurized refrigerant, not breathable air as the common names (e.g. “canned air”, “compressed air”) for it suggests. Take care to use in a ventilated area, avoid contact with any liquid refrigerant that is expelled, keep the can away from high heat and flames, and avoid puncturing the can. Since you are potentially blowing around particles, eye protection is also a good idea. See the SDS (safety data sheet) for more specifics.