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Markham, Ontario


Phone: (905) 508-7500


Use of Stabilant 22 in Model and Hobby Applications

Introducing Stabilant 22

Stabilant 22 is an initially non-conductive block polymer that when used in a thin film within contacts switches to a conductive state under the effect of the electrical field. The field gradient at which this occurs is set such that the material will remain nonconductive between adjacent contacts in a multiple pin connector environment.


Thus, Stabilant 22 provides the connection reliability of a soldered joint without bonding the contacting surfaces together!


Contacts are generally the weakest link in any piece of electrical/electronic equipment whether it be in low current devices found in computers or higher current circuits found in automotive and aviation applications, to name only a few. The use of Stabilant 22 or its isopropanol-diluted form, Stabilant 22A, will make contacts from 10 to 100 times more reliable, eliminating costly service call-backs and ensuring customer satisfaction.

How is Stabilant 22 used in the model and hobby field?

In this age of electronics, many models are dependent upon complex electronic controls for their proper function. These controls usually operate at very low signal levels, and, to conserve battery power, at very low power levels as well. This makes them very prone to malfunctions due to failures in the connector systems or in the switches used. It takes only a minuscule amount of contaminant to cause problems with such a circuit. Stabilant 22 was developed as a contact enhancer, specifically to improve the reliability of electro-mechanical contacts. It is being used in many fields from bio-medical electronics in hospitals to computer & peripheral equipment. It has a long-term reliability factor unequaled by any simple contact cleaner. That's because Stabilant 22 is a resident treatment. This means that you leave it in place within the contact, where it will last for many years, usually more than the design life of the equipment. Increases in connector reliability of from 70 to 700 times are not unusual.

What are the differences between Stabilant 22 and Stabilant 22A?

The Stabilants come in two forms. The basic material or concentrate is called Stabilant 22, while the isopropanol diluted form is designated Stabilant 22a. This is a isopropanol-dilution (by volume) and is much easier to apply. When used at normal room temperatures or higher, the isopropanol will evaporate after the application, leaving a thin film of the concentrate in place. In some applications such as socketed IC's it is not even necessary to unplug the IC to treat the connection.


The dilute form should be used to treat existing crimp type joints between multiple stranded wire and the contact as well as for card-edge and other connectors. As Stabilant 22 is also an excellent contact lubricant, it can be used on all rotating joints which have to pass electrical currents, such as model-railroad-car bearings. For this reason, the dilute form, Stabilant 22A is preferably used on model-train-layout rails, where it should be wiped on the rail to insure a very thin residual film!

Will Stabilant 22 short out multiple pins?

No, for the reason that Stabilant 22 is semiconductive in its action, becoming conductive at a desired field strength within a contact-pair, but not conducting between adjacent contacts. Thus, the material can be applied to a multiple-pin connector without worrying about getting it on the insulation or causing leakage!

Is there any place I shouldn't use it?

Stabilant products are not recommended for use on switches for inductive loads (which spark upon breaking contact) or generally for very high voltages. The momentary high temperatures of the spark would decompose the Stabilant film, negating its benefits and causing a moderate carbon buildup. Thus, don't use it on motor commutators which do tend to spark!

What about its use on connectors?

Obviously, connector reliability is very important for trouble-free operation of models, more so when intermittent connectors could cause the crash or loss of a remotecontrolled model airplane. The Stabilants have had extensive use on, for example, biomedical electronics and avionics where they are “TSO'd”. In both cases absolute reliability of the connectors in the equipment is extremely important.


Stabilants are also used on cameras, especially on battery contacts. In this application they are employed in hearing-aids.

Can it be used on switches?

The reliability of switches is generally greater than connectors if only because their wiping action sometimes is able to keep the contacts clean. Nevertheless, switches, like connectors, are among the least reliable components used in electronic equipment. Because Stabilant 22 is an excellent lubricant, it can often increase the mechanical reliability of switches. One caveat: power switches and others used to interrupt inductive loads (such as motors) can cause sparking across switch contacts.

Is Stabilant 22 useful on transmitters for remote controls?

Stabilant 22 is used extensively in the maintenance of transmitters in professional applications, both for remote control and for communications. It can be used on everything from EPROM's to crystal sockets.

Can it be used on microprocessor-based controllers?

Again, Stabilant 22 has been used in computers for decades and is a standard stores items for many OEM's and third-party service organizations. Stabilant 22 first received a "User Product of the Year" award from Byte magazine in 1985 and have been "highly recommended" by Dr. Jerry Pournelle on numerous occasions since that award. Since those early successes the use of Stabilant products in this field and others has grown.

Can it be used on servos?

Because of the reliability advantage of Stabilant-treated connections at micro-power levels, Stabilant 22 can substantially increase the reliability of servos. While the material can be used on potentiometers used in some servo controls, the isopropanol diluent of Stabilant 22A should NOT be used on conductive-plastic potentiometers as it can extract the plasticizer. Instead, one can use the concentrate, Stabilant 22, diluted 10:1 with hot water. Apply only the smallest amount to the plastic element of the potentiometer and cycle through its maximum stroke to distribute the material!

Can it be used on model railroads?

Stabilant products can be used on switch-machine contacts, controller boards and pulse code modulation equipment. Also, many model railroaders are employing it on their tracks in order to reduce the stalling voltage of locomotives thus obtaining better slow-speed characteristics.


Stabilant treatment can be especially useful on complex control panels and their wiring, including slide and rotary switches, mechanical/electrical sensors, relay and switch machine contacts, wirewound rheostats, and phone jacks.


In "Command-Control' systems, Stabilant 22A is essential for lasting trouble-free operation.

What is the most common size?

The most popular product is the 15 mL service kit of Stabilant 22A. This has about 700 to 900 drops per bottle. The kit includes the dropper bottle, micro-brush applicators and instructions, in a convenient capped tube - ideal for toolbox or bench. This diluted form Stabilant 22A will even wick into socketed IC's and assembled connectors. Because it is necessary to use very little of the material, a drop can go a very long way!


Available sizes of Stabilant 22 concentrate are 5mL, 15mL, 50mL, 100mL, 250mL, 500mL and 1L.

NATO CAGE/Supplier Code 38948 5mL Stabilant 22 (Concentrate), NATO Stock Number 5999-20-002-1112

15mL Stabilant 22 (Concentrate), NATO Stock Number 5999-21-909-9981

15mL Stabilant 22A (Isopropanol Diluted), NATO Stock Number 5999-21-900-6937

15mL Stabilant 22E (Ethanol Diluted), NATO Stock Number 5999-21-909-9984

Stabilant products are patented. Because the patents cover contacts treated with the material a Point-of-Sale license is granted with each sale of the material.



This data has been supplied for information purposes only. While to our knowledge it is accurate, users should determine the suitability of the material for their application by running their own tests. Neither D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd., their distributors, or their dealers assume any responsibility or liability for damages to equipment and/or consequent damages, howsoever caused, based on the use of this information. This note is based on the original work of William Michael Dayton-Wright and includes updates by D.W.E. staff.

Stabilant, Stabilant 22, and product type variations thereof are Trademarks of D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd. © Copyright 2024 - D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd. Printed in Canada

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