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I would like to remove the silicone rubber that surrounds the edge of the unit. My intention is to use the TEC as part of an optical power meter: it is painted black on one side and the terminals are connected to a voltmeter after amplification with an op-amp.

I read that ethanol helps to break up the rubber sealant but I am worried that it may damage the stuff on the inside of the TEC unit.

Are there other solvents I can try to use? I have some acetone readily available.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Why? Wouldnt an LDR do the trick? \$\endgroup\$
    – posipiet
    Oct 20, 2011 at 11:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am not certain that an LDR (photoresistor) would be able to handle the levels of light I intend to test. You see, I don't want to just test for the presence of light but rather to build a power meter, one that measures mW. I'm certain if I take a 1W laser to a photoresistor it will become a magic smoke dispenser. A peltier painted black (and heatsinked) on the other hand will handle that like a champ and also let me know that it is in fact in the neighborhood of 1W. Now I'm not certain about the thermodynamics here but a peltier should give out a voltage linear to the power received. \$\endgroup\$
    – Steven Lu
    Oct 20, 2011 at 19:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are no solvent sensitive bits inside a Peltier device usually, you may loose the part numbers if they are printed on. As said below, usual solvents do little against silicone, hardware shop has product to soften for removal often. amazon.com/3M-2153DC-NA-Caulk-Remover/dp/B000H5VNG8 \$\endgroup\$
    – KalleMP
    Oct 24, 2015 at 18:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wonder if anyone has tried to use the TherMark CerMark products to blacken the absorbing face of a Peltier power meter, if you use the idea you can say you read about it on eeSE first. thermark.com/content/view/29/80 \$\endgroup\$
    – KalleMP
    Oct 24, 2015 at 18:03

1 Answer 1

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I'm pretty sure you can't dissolve cured silicone with acetone or ethanol. But this is based on my attention to labels, not actual experience :)

According to this website the only parts you might worry about are the joins between the pellets and the interconnects. However it states "these are either soldered to a metalization on the ceramic or bonded on in a process called Direct Bond Copper (DBC)."

They mention you can use a knife to manually remove the silicone or use a number of different solvents. Personally I'd use a knife to avoid unnecessarily using chemicals.

Edit:

I thought I should also mention that even though the peltier itself should be fine in many solvents the plastic insulation on the leads may not :)

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 remove the silicone mechanically, not chemically. Silicone rubbers are amazingly inert. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 20, 2011 at 7:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, I just feared that an errant twitch would dislodge the entire unit and render it irreparable. I guess I could take a crack at it... \$\endgroup\$
    – Steven Lu
    Oct 20, 2011 at 19:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, thank you for linking that site it was exactly what I was looking for but could not locate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Steven Lu
    Oct 20, 2011 at 19:30

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