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Old 11-16-2010, 06:30 PM   #1
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Please help

We've completely gutted our AS inside skins and all, we decided to silicone caulk all the seems, backs of rivets, around vents, windows everything on the inside. Now I'm reading silicone not the best choice in the world. Do I need to remove it since it's on the inside or would I be O.K. to just use the Vulcam and Parbond on the outside of the trailer and move on? Will the silicone actually deteriorate the skins? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:36 PM   #2
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Silicone will corrode aluminium. Unless the inside of your shell is made of some other material than the exterior of your shell then it will cause damage. Sorry but IMO you should remove it.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:10 PM   #3
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Respectfully disagree. If its all on the inside leave it alone. I have just removed silicone from seams on the outside...been there for fifteen years...no corrosion evident and it was still tight and waterproof. Silicone maybe ugly as heck but if its there and tight...don't mess with it. The out side is a different story.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:16 PM   #4
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When I had panels removed from my trailer, I sealed the interior seams and rivets with Vulkem 116. That was suggested by Airstream service. I only know what I'm told . . . and then I go on with blind faith and a self satisfied egocentric feeling of righteous impunity.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Melody Ranch View Post
Respectfully disagree. If its all on the inside leave it alone. I have just removed silicone from seams on the outside...been there for fifteen years...no corrosion evident and it was still tight and waterproof. Silicone maybe ugly as heck but if its there and tight...don't mess with it. The out side is a different story.
Agreed. Silicone sealant is only corrosive while it’s curing, and then only the silicone which uses acetic acid in its formulation. If it smells like vinegar, it has acetic acid in it.

There are silicone sealants for use in machinery (gaskets), which you can purchase from any automotive parts store, which are formulated without the use of acetic acid, as the acetic acid WILL corrode the raw metals in engines (bearings, cam shafts, etc.) within a few minutes while curing.

This was made very clear to me during a training session I had at Texaco’s Beacon, NY, research lab when an instructor put a small dab of silicone rubber (with acetic acid) on the underside of a jar lid, then put a brand new bearing set in the jar and closed it. At the end of the session (about 1 hour) he removed the bearing set and it was bright orange with corrosion.

If the area being sealed is well ventilated then the matter is really academic since the acetic acid won’t remain around long enough to do any damage and the silicone will have cured out in 24 hours and no longer be releasing the acid.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:20 PM   #6
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Wadenmichell,
If it's on the inside I would just leave it. It's nasty stuff to remove and I don't think you would get it all off anyhow. Use Vulcum on the outside>
Tim
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:49 PM   #7
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Thanks so much for all of your input after hearing from you and researching effects of silicone on aluminum on the net I think we're gonna leave it alone and use the right stuff on the outside. You've been extremey helpful.
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