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Old 02-03-2010, 03:02 PM   #1
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Skin material

Hello,

I am designing an occupied mobile food facility for my client. Since it is essentially a kitchen on wheels, health regulations require that all surfaces must be "constructed of a smooth, durable, washable, impervious material capable of withstanding frequent cleaning, shall not be unfinished wood and shall be free of cracks, seams, or linings where vermin may harbor."

This being said, the vehicle will be of a far more boxy shape than an airstream, but the cladding inside and out will be of metal.

I see on these forums that typical airstreams are clad in large aluminium panels. My client would like to specify stainless steel. Has anyone done this? Is it better to use aluminum for lightweight durability/cost effectiveness, or do you think the same can be achieved with stainless steel cladding?

Thanks for your input
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:45 PM   #2
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Hello,

I am designing an occupied mobile food facility for my client. Since it is essentially a kitchen on wheels, health regulations require that all surfaces must be "constructed of a smooth, durable, washable, impervious material capable of withstanding frequent cleaning, shall not be unfinished wood and shall be free of cracks, seams, or linings where vermin may harbor."

This being said, the vehicle will be of a far more boxy shape than an airstream, but the cladding inside and out will be of metal.

I see on these forums that typical airstreams are clad in large aluminium panels. My client would like to specify stainless steel. Has anyone done this? Is it better to use aluminum for lightweight durability/cost effectiveness, or do you think the same can be achieved with stainless steel cladding?

Thanks for your input
Stainless is the only way health departments will go along with.

Aluminum is way to soft to use in any form of food prepatation.

The Surreal Gormet's trailer is stainless steel, inside.

You may have to change the axles/axles to higher ratings, as he had to do.

Andy
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:38 PM   #3
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Thanks. I will verify the load/axle requirements.

I have another question regarding the attachment of skin to structure.

Monocoque vehicles utilize the skin as a method to distribute the structural load. I see this makes sense in the airstream trailers where a more aerodynamic body shape is used.

However, since this is for commercial food purposes, a boxlike shape is more practical. There will be a rigid frame over which the stainless steel panels will be attached.

People on the forum rivet the cladding to the structure. Is it necessary to caulk every seam to waterproof the shell?

Would it be better to weld the panels down, or is that too costly/labor intensive? (regarding waterproofing)

Thank you, I really appreciate the feedback.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jindalimbs View Post
Thanks. I will verify the load/axle requirements.

I have another question regarding the attachment of skin to structure.

Monocoque vehicles utilize the skin as a method to distribute the structural load. I see this makes sense in the airstream trailers where a more aerodynamic body shape is used.

However, since this is for commercial food purposes, a boxlike shape is more practical. There will be a rigid frame over which the stainless steel panels will be attached.

People on the forum rivet the cladding to the structure. Is it necessary to caulk every seam to waterproof the shell?

Would it be better to weld the panels down, or is that too costly/labor intensive? (regarding waterproofing)

Thank you, I really appreciate the feedback.
Welding thin sheets of stainless is rather diificult. Riveting the sheets together is more practical for your purpose.

Every seam should be sealed, leaving no chance for water leaks.

Water leaks can lead to mold. Mold, in your case, could put you out of business, by the health folks.

Andy
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:59 PM   #5
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If you can't find somebody to shot weld the stainless, you'd probably have to rivet the sheets.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:20 PM   #6
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Check with companies that build restaurant exhaust hoods and dish-washing stations. Most are custom built for specific installations. They can handle the welds and make them leak proof. It's what they do.
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