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How to remove hardened epoxy from a USB drive? Answered

I tried to make a USB thumb drive and messed it up. It was quick drying epoxy so it's set really hard. I've tried scraping it off - works but takes too long. I don't know what heating it will do to the USB drive. Any ideas on how to take it off?


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frollard (author)2011-01-25

you're pretty much screwed. 2 part epoxy is quite hard, your only hope is that its brittle, and if you used something like an engraving gun (non-rotary) to chip it away like a jackhammer...

but generally you're stuck with how it is.

The board CANNOT handle much a) physical stress, b) temperature stress, or it will drastically reduce the drive's lifespan. It might not break right away, but solder joints are VERY susceptible to strain fatigue.

Is there any way you can sand off the excess back to a reasonable size and then re-glue?

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Kottravai (author)frollard2011-01-26

Thanks. I guess I'll have to sand it down and start over.

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orksecurity (author)Kottravai2011-01-26

Whittling or sanding is probably what I'd try.

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ARJOON (author)2011-01-26

put some 3strong paint 3solvant s3cratch it of w9ith a pin it s3hould be more ea3sy

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Kottravai (author)ARJOON2011-01-26

Sorry, I'm talking about epoxy not epoxy paint.

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ARJOON (author)Kottravai2011-01-26

yeh i know9. but it could have w9eakened for eas3y removal

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AndyGadget (author)2011-01-26

Unless it's the really cheap and nasty stuff which never quite hardens fully, you'll probably find that the epoxy is now the strongest part of your thumb drive and any attempt is going to do more damage to the electronics than to the epoxy.
If it is the nasty stuff, try pressing a pointed blade into it. You may be able to lever little bits off, and possibly slide the blade between the memory chip and the glue.

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