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Old 03-17-2014, 02:52 PM   #1
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Thermal Tape between rib and shell

Hiya.

Building Airstream from Scratch project guy here.

I found this video on current construction methods.



It mentions a thermal tape used between the ribs and shell to inhibit thermal transfer and condensation. I like this idea.

1. Do you like this idea?

2. Where on earth can I find 1.5 inch to to inch wide thermal tape?

Thanks for any tips.
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:54 PM   #2
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Use elcheapo double sided foam mounting tape. I get it at the dollar store. Perfect solution.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:54 PM   #3
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The material in the video looks black and appears to have some thickness to it. I wonder if they use a self-adhering membrane similar to Blueskin (a rubberized asphalt - very sticky) that we use on buildings?
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:56 PM   #4
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I wonder if tar paper would work. It's just about breaking that thermal transfer and not degrading over time. If it were adhesive that would help keep it in place when I'm working. Maybe window tape? I have lot' of that around.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:53 PM   #5
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It appears to be a barrier between the outside aluminum and the framing, an impossible thing to do with a rebuild unless you remove all outside skins. I do think this same effect can be done by taping your barrier between the ribs inside once the interior skins are removed.
Materials are endless as long as they don't absorb moisture and are relatively thin.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:37 PM   #6
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I'm in the process of putting interior skins back in. I'm using Scotch 23 insulating/splicing tape. While not very sticky, a shot of spray glue holds it in place long enough to install panel. I found a box at local garage sale - figure it is better than nothing.
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:57 PM   #7
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My trailer has butyl tape between the ribs and shell.
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:20 AM   #8
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I would not worry too much about it. The rivets that hold the skins onto the ribs conduct so much heat that the tape makes little difference. Years ago, in grad school, I worked at a "thermal lab" where we tested things. One interesting article I read then made a great impression on me. They had a one foot square piece of a curtain wall material used in big buildings. Aluminum glued on each side of a 2" insulating material. To keep the aluminum from coming off in case of a fire, they tested having a single metal connection between the inner and outer skins. When tested thermally, the single 1/4" diameter metal connection from inside to outside doubled the heat loss or gain of the one square foot panel.

In a similar manner, the rivets which hold the skins to the ribs of the Airstream overwhelm the thermal tape. It is not bad that it is used, just that it really does not help a lot.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:46 AM   #9
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Wow. Thanks for the detailed answer. Very interesting data.
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