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Old 04-03-2002, 07:28 PM   #1
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Sealant Products - Exterior & Interior

Jack...I just read your post on the "Car Wash" Thread...and saw where you mentioned calling ALCOA to ask them about something...and BOOM! I wanted to contact you before you do! PLEASE ask Alcoa when you call them...who is now handling their "liquid alumimum' sealant in the tube (it's a 'HAZ-MAT' product and CANNOT be shipped!).
I drove over 200 miles and bought several tubes from an Airstream Dealer when they filed Bankruptcy and I knew I'd have to go elsewhere to get it once they were gone.

The "VULCHEM" you can get on the website "AirstreamDreams.com"...is great for a 'FLEXIBLE" INTERIOR sealant (to fill holes prior to riveting etc.), but it doesn't have an EXTERIOR application. Vulchem IS the best in my book for applications INSIDE where you don't want the caulking to crack during movement (on the road). It dries just like GREY rubber!

I'm in WAshington State...and the closest A/S dealer to me is in Langley, British Columbia, and then just outside of Portland, Oregon. (The latter for me is over 300 miles each way).

I also wanted to pass the info of ALCOAs "Liquid" (Aluminum) to you all.....because it is the most incredibly perfect EXTERIOR sealant for Airstreams...if applied correctly (I use a 'dental tool' to remove the old sealant first, and then DRAG the stuff backwards...to guide it precisely onto the desired place to be sealed.

Unlike Vulchem, the unused portion of the ALCOA sealant doesn't dry out in the tube once opened...as long as you don't forget to tightly put the cap back on... it's good until next time (Good thing tho'!...it's pretty pricey for a small tube. About 3 times as much money as Vulchem for about 1/5 the volume).

But, as I said, they both have totally different applications. Both are priced fairly in my book.

The ALCOA Liquid stuff nearly 'disappears' into the 'cracks' (on the exterior---like window/door frames, edges of trim/vents/awning etc.)

...........Cat
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Old 04-03-2002, 09:17 PM   #2
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sealants

Hi Cat,
You might want to go to Inland RV's website www.inlandrv.com and look under their tech articles and see what they say about sealants. Vulkem is the only sealant used and recommended by Airstream that I'm aware of and according to what Inland Andy says.
Have you checked Home Depot/Lowes/etc... for liquid aluminum?

John
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Old 04-07-2002, 02:26 PM   #3
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Cat,

At this point I probably won't be calling Alcoa since I wouldn't know where to begin to get ahold of them.

Regarding the sealant I asked the question on the Airstream List about sealing some small gaps I saw on my new trailer. Charlie Burke responded with this information.

"Out in this neck of the woods we use a product called Alcoa Gutter Seal
for those seams. It's principle property is that it wicks into the
seam. It is a good idea for all the forward facing seams as
well as the top seams of all the side moldings to be sealed thusly.
Close examination of these area should show were the factory sealed them.
The frequency for redoing the seams is fairly long
depending on exposure. Just look for open gaps. Then its time.

Charlie"

My dealer in St. Louis is selling a product called "Parbond" which is a aluminum color rubber based sealant. I'm going to give it a shot next week when I bring the Safari home to dewinterize.

Jack
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Old 04-07-2002, 11:40 PM   #4
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Liquid Aluminum Sealant

Jack ...& all,

I have the tube of the ALCOA stuff... The following is straight off of the label on the tube:
It is called:
'ALCOA Aluminum Pigmented Gutterseal"...

Contains Methyl Ethyl Ketone and Aluminum Powder.
Refer to Alcoa Material Safety Data Sheet No. 304 For More Information about use and disposal.
N.Y.F.D. c. of A. 2908
WARNING~FLAMMABLE (See further warnings on reverse panel ---
Cat's Note: which would be the above "Contains...etc."
More warnings:
Keep away from heat, sparks and flame. Keep container closed. Use with adequate ventilation; avoid contact with eyes.
Keep out of reach of children.

"DIRECTIONS For best results apply only to clean, dry surfaces.
"Cat's Note: More 'First Aid & Fire' warnings.
- The End -

The tube is 5 'FLUID' ounces... and the cost was about $14.00

It shows the Aluminum Company of America "ALCOA"
1501 Alcoa Building
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone (412) 553-4001

I still will copy both sides of the tube and attach it to a post this week...
......Cat

I can't believe Andy (Inland RV) wouldn't approve the use of this product. If he won't....I want to know WHY...Because my feeling was that it is a great product for Airstreams. It leaves no bulky caulk exposed (as others do) ... to crack and chip away and leave a mess. Vulchem would do a nice job if you could get the excess off without smearing it on the trim or the 'skin'. This product (the ALCOA "APG"---aluminum pigmented gutterseal---) disappears from sight (like a wick someone said?) IF APPLIED CORRECTLY...and leaves no mess to remove or clean up. (IF APPLIED CORRECTLY).

COMMENTS???
.................Cat
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Old 04-07-2002, 11:43 PM   #5
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Liquid Sealant

A PostScript on the ALCOA stuff.

Another plus on this stuff....you can re-cap the tube when you've done all you want to do for the day...and it doesn't dry out.
It will wait for days or WEEKS. ...as long as you re-cap it TIGHT!
..........Cat
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Old 04-08-2002, 12:24 PM   #6
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I too would like to learn why, I have since read that Charlie Burke suggest's using the Alcoa also.

John
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Old 04-08-2002, 08:15 PM   #7
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APG Sealant

Jury is still out....
Andy? Charlie? Anyone else? What I'm guessing is that it could cause damage to the skin if allowed to get on the aluminum that shows.

Clearly, I can see that this could be a problem. Although, when applied correctly (like my son did), it goes into the 'crack' (seam---whatever) "like a wick" and there is nothing to wipe off.

As long as the tube is pushed AWAY from you...with the medium being applied in a 'pushing' motion, rather than allowing it to squeeze out and just "trail" behind the tube.>>This may not make sense...so I will do a photo lesson like one member did with another project.

AS LONG AS WE HEAR WHY first, Cat
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Old 01-14-2003, 12:39 PM   #8
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Exclamation Update Time ?

OK it has been almost a year and still NO answers on the reason NOT to use ALCOA Pigmented GUTTERSEAL.

Also no photos as promised Cat!

How about an update on how it is holding up by some of you above (or elsewhere) that have used it.
Also if anyone has a tube that was opened a year or so ago, is it still usable now? i.e. a after/open shelf-life test.


This is one of those frustating threads that leave unanswered questions hanging, and then sink out of the sight of the majority. Nobody to blame just a frustration. I like to toss them back into the limelite occasionally to see if 2nd or 3rd time's the charm.I would like to encourage others to do likewise.

Edited for content by Moderator
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Old 01-14-2003, 01:30 PM   #9
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Thanks for resurectingthis thread...I used Dupont Aluminum from home depot on many of the seams around my airstream, it looks bright and shiny silver, and has held up well over the past 6 months. I used Vulkum on some areas around the center bead above the stripe, and it has gotten dirty and generally ugly in the same time period. The stuff at HD was cheap also. I believe Peter used the same stuff on his.
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Old 01-15-2003, 11:14 AM   #10
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While I haven't used the Alcoa product I will stand by Charlie Burke's information about the product. Charlie works and services Airstreams for an Airstream dealer so he does know the product. He really doesn't visit the forum from best we can see even though he initially did register. We are hoping that some day he may stop over at this side more often.

Jack
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Old 01-16-2003, 03:35 AM   #11
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Alcoa Sealant Pix

Hex...
I am totally remiss...in not keeping my promise of the pix...re the Alcoa Sealant.

I have about 500 miles to cover tomorrow in BC, but this weekend I will DEFINITELY make the assessment necessary to report back in a post on THIS thread...AND take those photos...to attach later (not much...I just don't own a digital camera yet, so am forced to rely on the local film processing.)

Thank you for your watchful eye and good memory---and for joggling mine!

Humbly...Cat
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Old 02-09-2003, 10:43 PM   #12
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Sealing exterior

Just aquired a '78 soverign in what appears to be pretty good condition and am just starting to apply TLC.

Some previous owner has applied silicone sealer above the windows and awning. I don't know if it works but it sure is ugly.

After reading this post I'm left thinking why not use Sikoflex or Parr Bond as recommended by Andy @ inland and Airstream?

The idea of a wicking (pulled into small spaces by capilary action) sealer seems to be just what the Dr ordered.

Does the Sikoflex or Parr Bond not wick?

Also, any ideas on how to remove the silicone sealer?
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Old 02-10-2003, 06:18 PM   #13
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Wicking

Well...
here I am...full of advise, and no pix like I promised. Have new pix of interior but none of the sealant being applied yet.

The removal of the silicone...one good thing---is that it does 'peel' off if you can just get hold of it. INGENUITY...! A dentist tool! and if you have the "chutzspah' that I had...you'll just run around from dental office to dental office asking if they have any old stainless steel "peri-measuring" tool (they use nothing but disposible ones now)..that they are throwing away or aren't using anymore, that they'd either sell or give you. (I never had to lay out a dime---and got 3 of them).

Tell 'em you're an artist and want it for a project (WELL?!!) This tool is perfect! It lifts out the silicone, and then you grab it with a small pair of precision needle-nosed pliers...and VOILA! It's OUT.

The ALCOA liquid aluminum WICKS perfect too...and applying it running it in the REVERSE direction of the tube...makes it more accurate.

This is a "HAZ-MAT" product, so no one will ship it to you...but you'll be able to find it somewhere...and drive to get it yourself...it's worth it. I drove 70 miles each way; got 4-6 ounce tubes ($14 each)...and it was worth it. Another good thing about it, is you can CAP it mid-job, and not waste the rest of the tube.

I HIGHLY recommend this product for use where it's going to be visible....It is REAL "aluminum" so it matches the "Silver" airstream, and it's up to your steady hand whether or not it looks good or not after wicking and drying.
Use it where GRAVITY will take it. Under a ledge isn't necessary ---nor will it apply well, because it needs to "wick". I use Vulchem underneath...because it isn't as visible and can be 'pushed' into the crevace.
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Old 02-10-2003, 07:33 PM   #14
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I have never been able to locate any Alcoa Gutter seal - more's the pity as I have some gutters I would like to seal as well!

However, I have used Parrbond, and really would have a hard time seeing how it could be improved upon. It applies much like silicone, the excess is easily cleaned off with mineral spirits (paint thinner) and can be had in clear or aluminum, as well as black and white. The clear is really nice for use on Airstreams as it simply disappears - especially nice for windows. I can't say it exactly wicks into the seam, but it does flow into a seam nicely. And it peels out in a continuous strand if you ever want to pull it out.

I have forgotten the price, but it is not prohibitive. A tube goes a long ways. It does not dry out between aplications. It is too thin for sealing large gaps. There I use Sicaflex.

Mark
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