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Old 09-12-2011, 01:09 PM   #1
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Why Vulkem

At the risk of blasphemy why Vulkem versus RTV. Is it really better? Why is it better. Is there some sort of sealant that could be injected between lap joints that would seal them. I am thinking of a syringe type thing.

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Old 09-12-2011, 01:31 PM   #2
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What's RTV? And if you're talking about "seams", Parbond is the answer. Vulkem is used for sealing vents, etc., it's too hard to handle for sealing lap joints. Parbond works best when the tube is soaked in warm water for a while. I use MEK to prime the joint first.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:40 PM   #3
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RTV=silicone. Sal.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:47 PM   #4
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RTV=silicone. Sal.
WHOA!
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
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Ok here is what I am wanting. I want something to seal lap joint cracks and also something to seal around windows. I am doing a rear floor repair and I plan on sealing the whole area that the belly band covers that covers the C-Channel-floor-frame joint. I also plan on sealing any breaks in the C-channel that would tend to funnel water into the subfloor. Even if there are no leaks that aluminum is going to sweat and water will end up in the bottom C-channel and it will rot the floor even with no exterior leaks. I have used RTV-Silicone in many applications with good results. maybe I need more than one product. My immediate concern is putting the floor back in and sealing the bumper area properly and the area under the belly band. I don't think RTV is going to hurt anything but it may not be as durable as polyurethane.

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Old 09-12-2011, 02:10 PM   #6
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I am fairly new to repairing Air Streams but so far this is what I have learned. Do not use RTV for anything that comes into contact with the Aluminum. It will slowly but surely eat away at the Aluminum. As far as what sealent is best for what I am not exactly sure.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:27 PM   #7
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Silicone has acetic acid as the solvent. RTV stands for “room temperature vulcanizing”. Acetic acid smells like and is the acid in vinegar. The smell of silicone is the acetic acid evaporating thus allowing the remaining silicone to set up, or vulcanize.

It will corrode aluminum over time, especially when wet. Not all the acetic acid evaporates.

In my experience, silicone may stick to for a while, until it gets good and wet, then peels off and water will run behind it. Further, anywhere I have applied silicone nothing else will stick later.

I have the best success with vulkem, now Trempro 635. It goes on easily, one can mask off the area and make a nice bead, and it stays put.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:37 PM   #8
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What color is the Tempro 635, Clear?

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Old 09-12-2011, 02:42 PM   #9
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Gray, it matches the skins very well.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:44 PM   #10
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Beats Parbond?
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Ok here is what I am wanting. I want something to seal lap joint cracks and also something to seal around windows. I am doing a rear floor repair and I plan on sealing the whole area that the belly band covers that covers the C-Channel-floor-frame joint. I also plan on sealing any breaks in the C-channel that would tend to funnel water into the subfloor. Even if there are no leaks that aluminum is going to sweat and water will end up in the bottom C-channel and it will rot the floor even with no exterior leaks. I have used RTV-Silicone in many applications with good results. maybe I need more than one product. My immediate concern is putting the floor back in and sealing the bumper area properly and the area under the belly band. I don't think RTV is going to hurt anything but it may not be as durable as polyurethane.

Perry
Perry.

What Airstream uses is Vulkem for the large seams, and Parbond for the small seams.

The overlapping sheet metal seams, are sealed from the inside of the shell, and unless you have positive proof that a given seam is leaking, leave it alone, as it advertizes that you had leak problems, which is a huge negative, if you ever wanted to sell or trade the coach.

Andy
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:54 PM   #12
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Andy do you sell this stuff?

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Old 09-12-2011, 03:55 PM   #13
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Andy do you sell this stuff?

Perry
Sure do.

Andy
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:17 PM   #14
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Why vulkem? Well, the reason I use it is someone suggested it and I tried some. Works great. I spent too many years trying to seal aluminum on lumber dry kilns. RTV just does not seem to cut it after a few years. Vulkem (Parabond...) sticks like crazy and can be cleaned up a little with mineral spirits. Much easier and longer lasting than RTV.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:39 PM   #15
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Why vulkem? Well, the reason I use it is someone suggested it and I tried some. Works great. I spent too many years trying to seal aluminum on lumber dry kilns. RTV just does not seem to cut it after a few years. Vulkem (Parabond...) sticks like crazy and can be cleaned up a little with mineral spirits. Much easier and longer lasting than RTV.
Good stuff, nah.........real good stuff, and very long lasting as well.

Andy
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:18 PM   #16
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For me, it's wife, dog, Bess, good friends, food, drink and parbond and vulkem.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:34 PM   #17
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This is what silicone will do over time. Someone had grossly oversealed our old TV antennae with silicone. When we removed the antennae, we had to add aluminum to the roof to strengthen it because the aluminum had been eaten away to the point of paper thinness.

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Old 09-12-2011, 06:23 PM   #18
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Just a few things to correct somethings not said 100% correctly.

Vulkem was a sealant. It was bought by TremPro and rolled into their very long list of sealants. Vulkem was originally designed to be used in expansion joints in concrete and masonry gaps in commercial buildings, however it works VERY WELL in Airstream construction. "Vulkem" is slowly being phased out by TremPro as it has brand recognition that is not "TremPro". Depending on when your tube was made, it might say "Vulkem 626" on it. It might also say "Trempro/ Vulkem 626" on it. The freshest batch will say "Trempro 626" on it nowhere does it say "Vulkem" . They all say "General Purpose Textured Polyurethane Sealant" on the tube. There are many codes for TremPro products 636, 635, the list is massive if you go to their website and look(or verify what I am saying is true. I know it is, for I have had the East Coast TremPro guy at my shop a few times now) Plain and simple Vulkem is #626 Trempro and all the other TremPro numbers are something else. I know nothing about any of those other TremPro products, because I use only 626 in my shop. NOTHING works as well as it does. Why mess with success?

Sikaflex is another product line that directly competes to fill this industrial need. Airstream uses Sikaflex and has for a number of years now. If you go to the factory you will see pallets of the stuff all over the place. They use it throughout the line, but it is most heavily used in vain in the rain tunnel to try and seal the leaks that should have been eliminated in construction.

The evils of silicon and aluminum were already covered very well.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:28 PM   #19
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Good stuff, nah.........real good stuff, and very long lasting as well.

Andy
I second that. Today we tore apart the rear of a 71 Overlander. The VULKEM between the seams were still sticky to my touch. 40 years and it still is supple.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:06 PM   #20
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Ok guys I will use the Vulkem.

Thanks

Perry
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