Solvent Migration

Solvent migration is a effect where two materials are in contact and solvents in one migrate to the other. In much the same way as if you were to put a wet towel on a dry towel, the water will move from wet to dry, if you have two materials which are both permeable by solvent or plasticizers next to each other, if one is more 'wet' than the other, the solvents will slowly migrate.

An example of this, when self adhesive stickers are placed on a vehicle, solvents from the adhesive and the vinyl can migrate into the paintwork. These areas might cause the paintwork to swell, be softer, or have a sheen.

Another example occurs when a car is in storage for a long period of time and plastic items are placed on the car. This might be a plastic tarp, plastic bags, plastic tool boxes or even synthetic carpet or fabric. Solvents, including any dyes or pigments, may migrate into the paint and cause stains.