Can flocculant be used in IPA?

I find no Google references to using flocculant to settle out resin in IPA baths. While I’d never add anything like this to the FormWash, I would add this in my intermediate wash bucket to rinse off Simple Green from parts that have soaked for a while. Simple Green doesn’t keep resin in suspension like IPA does and, since the IPA bucket has a flat bottom (it’s from the FormLabs wash station), removing semi-solidified “flocked” resin should be simple and more effective than continuously filtering with paper towels.

Can flocculant be used in IPA?

I wonder if a separtory funnel would be of any benefit for draining the settled solids?

These are interesting ideas. I wonder if someone from Formlabs could chime in on whether this would work with the chemicals they have in their resins.

I don’t think any mechanical means of filtering will work better than gravity, time and paper towels in a sieve. I tried coffee filters but they clogged quickly. The CLEAR resin seems to settle out faster than Grey Pro. Simple Green does a great job of cleaning off the majority of the GP directly from the printer and that goop settles to the bottom of the bucket but residual surface-resin doesn’t separate well in 1st stage IPA wash.

If flocculant works in sewage systems, water/mud separation following gold processing (I saw that on Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush Freddie Dodge), beer processing (Google searches for “flocculant”) and several metal removal processes (that’s where I had some experience with it in a previous job), I would think there is a brew somewhere that can address SLA resin in IPA.

I followed up on your suggestion re: a filtering system. Even chatted with a DuPont chemist today. Seems that a chemical flocculant isn’t an option for IPA. The mechanical filtering systems recommended by FormLabs use a similar process to what you were referring to on the Google link. A chemist who works in large scale water treatment applications suggested this so you may be on to something. Paper towels and coffee filters filter 20 micron particles and I need something about half that size. He linked me to this:

I stumbled across a discussion on a model railroad group where the original poster asked about straining resin. A respondent based his suggestion on this:

I tried it in a small Mason jar, with the added water per his suggestion to bond with the salt, and the Simple Green I use in 1st stage after printing was separated from the 99% IPA resulting in greatly improved clarity. There is a layer of unused salt on the bottom, then a green-tinted layer with some particles in it, then the clear(er) IPA. Not sure if just the SG is being removed so I’m trying a gallon-sized experiment now. I may just bite the bullet and buy the filtering set shown in the Amazon link.

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What you are attempting is analogous to removing alcohol from wine, ie remove an alcohol from a complex solution. There are a number of methods in use in the wine industry, but none are as simple or cost effective as basic distillation.

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