Author Topic: Cooler cracked. Can I patch it?  (Read 9297 times)

Offline NDeselle

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Cooler cracked. Can I patch it?
« on: October 08, 2010, 10:48:18 AM »
I finally found time to put together my mash tun and when I was pushing the bulkhead fitting through the hole in the cooler wall, I cracked the inside wall about a 1/4 inch out from the hole.  I hoped the oring would cover it but it won't quite.  Has anyone ever tried to glue a crack in a cooler tun?  I was thinking food grade RTV but thought I would ask first.  Worst case, I guess buy a new cooler:(  I can't hardly see the crack but I know it's there and will probably leak some wort in between the cooler walls.



Offline sickbrew

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Re: Cooler cracked. Can I patch it?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2010, 07:48:30 PM »
I would think you could you some silicone to patch it up.

Offline BobBrews

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Re: Cooler cracked. Can I patch it?
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2010, 06:54:28 AM »
If you can't patch it maybe you could forget the mash tun altogether and go BIAB (Brew In A Bag)  I use my old mash tun for keeping things cold in a hot car while shopping. I also use my old mash tun for holding ice and soda for outdoor parties. Who knew that a old mash tun could be used in so many ways.
Bob Brews
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Offline CR

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Re: Cooler cracked. Can I patch it?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2010, 06:02:35 PM »
surprisingly yes.

But not with silicone or any adhesive material

The cooler is a polypropylene  or  polyethylene. These are petro chem polymers. And as such they constantly give off an oily film.  You can  flash it off with a hydrogen flame or an E-beam Rastering gun and then if you are quick some adhesives will take but generally  adhesives and propylene and ethelyne don't get along.

What I have done with pretty good success is to weld these plastics.  Industrial plastics welding uses a heated  inert gas to exclude Oxygen and carry the heat  the process involves a filler rod of the same polymer.  The heated gas melts the plastic and VIOLA you get a weld.

I do it with a propane torch a couple pieces of  steel ( any metal will do)  and some filler material.  The Oxygen seems not to be much of an issue.
 Heat a piece of steel and lay the filler material on it  you want it hot enough to soften the plastic not make it flow cause you are going to have to pick it up and handle it.
Heat a piece of steel (the head of a big nail will do)  that you can hold with pliers. 
Apply the steel to the polymer to be repaired. Melt it so it's squishy.
Quick, like a bunny, transfer the filler material all soft and squishy to the molten surface of the repair area on the  vessel.
Press the pieces together and VIOLA you have welded the vessel.

IT takes a few minutes.

I did this most recently to a  poly 5 gallon Gas  jerry.  I slipped with my chain saw and took a chink out of it.
I patched it this way and it's been some  years   that it's been as good as gold.  At first I was afraid to fill it up to the patch, but now I just fill the damn  can up no worries.


Offline Ziggybrew

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Re: Cooler cracked. Can I patch it?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2010, 06:30:14 PM »
Ya know? Chemistry majors aren't so bad ;D