White spirit is a refined petroleum solvent of moderate volatility. It is composed of about 20% aromatic content, which ensures good solvency for this type of product.
Applications of White Spirit
These products are clear and colourless solvent with very low water solubility and a characteristics odour (odour threshold 0.5-5 mg/m3). The boiling range of this group of solvents falls within the limits 150-2000C. These solvents can be classified into low-aromatic grades (approximately 15-20% and high aromatic hydrocarbons. They generally consist of hydrocarbon in the C9 to C14 range, again including normal and branched paraffin as well as naphthenic (cycloparaffins) and aromatic compounds. Olefins are present in trace amounts only. Stoddard solvents, mineral spirits, low aromatic white spirits (LAWS) and turpentine substitute are well known examples from this range.
These products are mainly used as: solvents and thinners for lacquers, paints, resins and printing-ink; solvents in formulations of chemical products e.g. pesticides and metal degreasing wool degreasing and dry cleaning.
Details of the solvents used in paints are not available, but these solvents are common component of the solvent in wide variety of paints. It is also used by both amateur and professional painters as a diluents. The proportion of the total solvent represented by Aromatic oil varies between paints. Estimates of Aromatic oil as a percentage of total paint solvents are approximately 25%.
The specification of white spirit is shown below.