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Old 08-29-2015, 04:51 AM   #1
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What to Sandwich Between 2 Sheets of Aluminum Before Riveting

To start, my trailer is totally gutted as I am redoing it. It is aluminum skinned, built in the 40's, and resembles an Airstream (but it is not). The previous owners had had some leaks and instead of repairing they gooped on a bunch of fiberglass along the leaking seams. I've removed the fiberglass and rivets from about an 8 ft section of my roof. As I began cleaning the overlap I found some old brittle rubber gasket material which is what was used to provide a waterproof seal when it was built.

What should I put between the 2 sheets of aluminum to ensure there is a watertight seal before I rivet the sheets back together?:
1. A thin sheet of rubber like what was originally used
2. A thin layer of TremPro 635 Polyurethane
3. A thin layer of Silicone sealant

I plan on purchasing Olympic Shaveable Rivets for rejoining the sheets.
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:18 AM   #2
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Silicone and aluminum are not a good match. I'd stick with Tempro 635.
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:36 AM   #3
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Definitely the TermPro. Definitely not the Silicone.
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:47 AM   #4
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What is the problem with Silicone?
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:50 AM   #5
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Unless it is the special one made for aluminum if that even exists, I think silicon reacts with the aluminum and eats it away after a period if time. Correct?
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avionstream View Post
Unless it is the special one made for aluminum if that even exists, I think silicon reacts with the aluminum and eats it away after a period if time. Correct?
Yes. And silicone binds to the aluminum and is nearly impossible to remove all of the residue, should you need to correct a leak in the future.
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:46 AM   #7
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Also fresh silicone material will NOT stick to cured silicone material at all.


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Old 08-29-2015, 10:52 AM   #8
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I suggest you use Trempro 116 or 626 Both were specifically developed for the construction you are doing. Fastenal has both but they will probably need to get it into your store.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:59 AM   #9
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I am replacing some panels on a 66 Globetrotter and this is seems to be what the used when it was built. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001G1A23C/...I2WNY4F83Q2GO0
It is a seam tape that measures 1/32 x 3/8 and is available from Amazon.
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:08 PM   #10
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Doesn't need to be trempro , roofing polyurethane sealant will also work.
You could use rubber backed up with polyurethane sealant.
Modern silicones won't harm the aluminum but the difficulty of removing/cleaning it off in the future makes it a poor choice.
If you can afford it I'd buck in rivets, it's surprisingly easy, and much easier than lots of Olympics.
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:05 PM   #11
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What to Sandwich Between 2 Sheets of Aluminum Before Riveting

The original style butyl tape is supposedly still available. On our 75 the tape was dry rotted to the point of being useless. The Vulkem on the inside was still pliant, so I used TremPro between the layers. Some say I'll never get it apart, I say it will likely never leak.
Not a fan of bucking as our skins have a slight ripple (bad day on the assembly line?). When I researched what the airplane folks say, there was no consensus for bucked vs blind being stronger, better seal, etc - just different places require blinds. But they were in consensus about the rivet tightly fitting into the hole for optimum strength.
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:11 PM   #12
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I have not read any research but when ever I open them up, 80% of the olympic rivets are or have leaked. I only use them when I cannot buck a rivet. I always hesitate and make it the very last option knowing it is probably going to leak sooner than later.
You can use what ever you wish. I try and use the recommended products for the job via the recommended tools in the recommended manor. So far, things have gone well for me. Some feel you can use just about anything and it will be just fine.
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:35 PM   #13
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What to Sandwich Between 2 Sheets of Aluminum Before Riveting

"Use anything ..."
Like the steel rivets someone used on ours ... grrr ...
I read somewhere on the forum, maybe in a wing window replacement thread, dip the Olympics in TremPro before installing ...
Olympic rivets ...
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:57 PM   #14
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That is a good method, the extra sealant will help, but like I said, when opened up, they almost all leak. I had a 68 Caravel in the shop that got completely restored. Two segments were factory replaced at some point using olympic rivets. The curb side segment did fairly well with about 20% not leaking. The street side had one that did not leak out of an entire segment. All were replaced with buck rivets. I hate to break bad on a product that makes life so easy for many, but they really are not a good rivet to use. I personally avoid them at all costs.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:13 PM   #15
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Were the bucked rivet joints slathered on the inside with Vulkem?
Were the Olympic repairs also slathered in Vulkem (TremPro)?
When I replaced a wing window the bucked rivet joints inside were slatered with Vulkem. So reassembly was also slathered this time with TremPro. Leak check and many rainstorms after no signs of leakage. Who knows what it will look like another 40 years from now.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:54 PM   #16
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I am going to step away from this conversation now. I think it will be better for everyone involved. You have it all figured out.
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank's Trailer Works View Post
I am going to step away from this conversation now.

I appreciate your observations, just hoping to glean more detail from your experience.
Olympics would be easy to put on for any repair job, slathering the inside with TremPro would require removing the inner skin - something less likely to happen.
So that is why I asked if the Olympics as well as the originals had been slathered on the inside.
If the Olympics had no TremPro and the originals did, there is no conclusive evidence that Olympics leak and bucked rivets don't.
If you had both styles of rivets with no Vulkem or TremPro and only Olympics showed signs of leakage, that would be noteworthy (for me anyway - but maybe I'm nuts).
Hope that makes sense.
Best wishes.
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Old 08-29-2015, 07:38 PM   #18
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Olympic rivets leak. They leak less when you dip them in sealant before you install them, but they still leak. That's a pretty well established observation from the people with experience. If you have access to both sides of the rivet and you use a blind rivet on the exterior skin, you aren't doing it the best way you could.
When Airstream builds trailers they don't, and never have, used blind rivets of any kind on the exterior skin.
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:03 PM   #19
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I guess some people just have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

When a person that has replaced hundreds of panels and segments, and thousands of rivets, tells you "don't do this", they are trying to keep you from having the same issues they have experienced. Ignore their advice at your expense.
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:21 PM   #20
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What to Sandwich Between 2 Sheets of Aluminum Before Riveting

Wow ...
Answering direct questions must be really difficult.
So how do you account for all of the loose bucked rivets on the outside of my AS - you've probably seen similar, heads cockeyed, water signs inside?
Also, if removing the Olympics, what size buck rivet to use since the Olympics are larger in diameter than the buck rivets?
Maybe ALL rivets leak.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...ets-85624.html
(post #4)
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