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Old 10-09-2004, 09:33 AM   #43
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I looked at this stuff a year ago and decided it was out of my price range. I would really like to see you try it, it sounds like the 'ultimate' solution you are looking for.

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Old 10-09-2004, 04:38 PM   #44
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The Sanalite one?


Just to be clear you are referring to my second posting about the Sanalite panels arn't you? Did you find that that the structural values were indeed inline with what is needed?



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Old 10-09-2004, 05:01 PM   #45
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No, I was looking at the Starboard. I didn't go through the calculations because the $$ were prohibitive. When I saw the Sanalite was polyethylene I kind of ignored it. I think polypropylene might be a better, althought we don't know exactly what the Starboard is. It might just be PE with a little calcium carbonate in it. I tend to be skeptical if a manufacturer won't say what their product is made of.

Need to keep in mind that an ultimate floor can still fail. I would hate to design and put in a 100+ year floor, and get run into by a bus on your first trip.

Also, you need to figure out what you want to use for flooring. Could be tough to find a mastic that will stick to PE. You may need to overlay with a Pergo type floor or carpet. Also need to figure out how to anchor all the floor mounted casework. Just a few things to keep in mind.
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Old 10-09-2004, 11:08 PM   #46
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Now you guys are starting to make me nervous. Be very cautious about using carbon fiber anything! Carbon fiber is very electrolytically active (unfortunately it doesn't typically show up on a galvanic chart) and will cause the destruction of just about anything metal that comes in pure contact with it. In panel form, the carbon fiber is typically separated from metals by a layer of fiberglass or other fiber material. However, when it comes time to anchor walls, etc. and drilling screws into the the floor panels, the carbon fiber will cause corrosion of the fasteners.

Now for aluminum honeycomb panels. I've used them to make tonneau covers. To be able to do anything with these panels, you must first put an aluminum channel completely around the perimeter and bed it in with autobody epoxy. With the perimeter channel in place you can now mount screws, hinges, etc. to the channel to secure the panel. In the honeycomb panel "field" (as in not along the perimeter) you will have great difficulty mounting anything as there is not enough material to get a screw to bite into and hold. In airplanes, they use backer plates, etc. It won't be easy to secure walls and cabinets in your Airstream. That's the simplistic beauty of plywood floor decking. You can screw things to it.

To evaluate how stiff a plywood is going to be, you want to look at its rated Fiber Bending Stress (Fb). Modulus of elasticity isn't as effective for strength comparisons. The higher the Fb the proportionally stiffer the product. If you want to use a less stiff product because it is more durable, decrease the free unsupported distance between supports to reduce sag under load. You can do this by either spacing the supports closer together or by making the bearing surface at the supports wider (screw a bearing plate to the top of your "C" channels. With a stiffer product (higher Fb) you can space supports farther apart.

Now to get down to business. Unless you are building your trailer as a piece of sculpture and art, fore go the aluminum flooring and use the marine plywood. If you want it to last a very long time you can do one of a few things to the plywood. You can treat it with wood preservative like Olympic Stain Wood Preservative, you can encapsulate each piece by coating it with three coats of West System Epoxy (or similar epoxy) applied with a foam roller, or you can seal it completely so no moisture can penetrate by using boiled linseed oil mixed with mineral spirits to completely saturate the wood until it will absorb no more. Making sure water either cannot get into the wood or cannot do damage if it does get in is the key.

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Old 01-15-2006, 03:43 PM   #47
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I agree with the ply replacement. The aluminum route seems to be severe overkill and a lot of money, properly treated ply and a properly sealed wall to exterior are paramount. John

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