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Sticky Aluminum floor corrosion and coating

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ThreeCW
Posted 2014-09-30 9:34 PM (#160985 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Location: Calgary, Canada
Sorry - I was not able to attach pictures over 120 KB.Here are the first batch of reduced photos.



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crowleysridgegirl
Posted 2014-10-04 7:42 AM (#161042 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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ThreeC-we have 2 trailers that are almost 20 yrs old,one is a 2H Sooner BP and the other a new to us 2H 4Star gooseneck.although they both did have corrosion with some minor pitting to the floor,the 4Star had an alarming hole that went through the very center,and was almost like a drill hole that had been eaten or pitted "out of round." I'm still not sure about that one,but,someone,in an effort to create more drainage (and I am sure,LESS WORK for themselves,mistakenly) took a drill and created more holes in an aluminum floor than I would have myself,if it had been my trailer.what was bad,to me,they made them down the middle-about 3-4 of them,and,the one in the back,about 2 feet in front the bumper,is close to a dime in size! the center hole I am speaking of,is in this group,although,it does NOT line up with the other 2,which is what makes me think it is an outright corrosion hole.anyway I spoke to gard and after he ascertained the degree of corrosion itself,said that drilling the holes wouldn't compromise the floor strength as long as they weren't stitched across there in rows or something.So I went ahead with the coating.

It never ceases to amaze us,who have owned what is now about our #14th horse trailer (some were wooden floored),the amount of money folks will shell out on something like this-and I am sure,in their day,these 1995 all aluminum trailers by top manufacturers were NOT cheap then,either-and proceed to allow horses to pee and poop in them (which is what they do,all right) BUT-never give a thought to cleaning them out.I wonder if peeps think that because they have an aluminum floor-it is impervious to anything and just is not subject to rot or deterioration? your statements are true-aluminum WILL corrode,and the amount and time of care it is given,will determine largely the degree that it will do so.The resale value not to mention safety of one's own horses as well as future owners of the trailer,is at stake when caring for something that 1000# animals have to stand and ride in.
I've learned a lot with 14 trailers behind,most of that was learned right here on these forums.I'm grateful for the advice of Gard and others with experience that have helped us out to care properly for these expensive items and animals that we own!
Good luck with your trailer,floor looks great after much time,labor and $$$.
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Rcatheron
Posted 2014-10-14 9:29 AM (#161147 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Location: Oxford, NY
Where did you find the products you used? Specifically, the acid wash, the anti-corrosion coating, and the mil-spec high-solids epoxy primer coating? I need to do this in my own horse trailer. Thank you!
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Rcatheron
Posted 2014-10-14 9:30 AM (#161148 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


New User


Posts: 3

Location: Oxford, NY
Where did you find the products you used? Specifically, the acid wash, the anti-corrosion coating, and the mil-spec high-solids epoxy primer coating? I need to do this in my own horse trailer. Thank you!
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Rcatheron
Posted 2014-10-14 9:30 AM (#161149 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Posts: 3

Location: Oxford, NY
Where did you find the products you used? Specifically, the acid wash, the anti-corrosion coating, and the mil-spec high-solids epoxy primer coating? I need to do this in my own horse trailer. Thank you!
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ThreeCW
Posted 2014-10-15 6:08 PM (#161163 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Posts: 85
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Location: Calgary, Canada
Rcatheron - I found these products at a local aircraft supply store - which provides painting products for small aircrafts. The process which I used is pretty common in the aircraft industry.Keep in mind that I went to several extra steps to address my particular corrosion problems. If you do not have a significant corrsion issue, you may be fine to follow the acid wash and duplicolor application as outlined by Gard earlier in this thread. The materials which Gard suggested are easily available and less costly than the process which I followed. Please also ensure you follow the PPE (personal protective equipment) which Gard also outlines in his excellent instructions.
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glineback
Posted 2014-11-17 2:41 PM (#161612 - in reply to #161163)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


Member


Posts: 6

Location: Woodstock, GA
After years of fighting the problem here’s my two bits on the corrosion problem. I am not connected in anyway to companies who provide and/or install products to protect the decking or framing members from corrosion. I am a structural engineer who specializes in bridge design and corrosion protection of such. I’ve been involved in the design of some wastewater treatment plants (sewage) which is the pretty much the same as what we’re addressing here. So here goes: javascript:smilie('10','');1. Aluminum withstands the problem much better than steel but can still oxidize (rust) enough to allow holes through the decking. The galvalume coatings on the steel are a hair better than the shop coat paint some manufacturers apply but both are incapable of resisting the urine corrosive action. Even if the steel were hot dipped galvanized, which is much better than galvalume, it still wouldn’t withstand the attack of horse urine for an appreciable length of time. We’ve found in wastewater treatment plants that galvanizing just doesn’t withstand the acidic nature of urine. Aluminum is best but as we know it still has problems.2. I know some horse trailer owners who have corrosion problems so bad they end up putting plywood on top of the aluminum decking to cover up the holes and decking issues so the horses don’t fall through. This scares me.3. Typical aluminum decking is not flat but is a “C” shaped member (we call a channel) with the open end facing downward. Each of these “boards” is usually about 6” wide and about 1” deep at the edges. From the top side we can see the flat portion of the boards but not the vertical portions between them. This vertical portion actually provides the strength to span between the framing members. The deck corrosion problem is not confined to the top of the aluminum deck, which we readily see, but also to the vertical portions of the boards we cannot readily see. This happens because the urine runs down between the boards. When the vertical portion corrodes enough the whole board fails. So there are two methods of corrosion failure of the deck, holes through the aluminum board and complete failure of the board.4. The problem isn’t confined to the decking but to the supporting structural members (frame) at the ends of the boards. The urine drains off the ends of the boards and runs off and rests on the framing members and attacks them. If the frame is steel it attacks it vigorously. Furthermore, if you have a gasoline tank under it (for the generator) it will attack it, too (personal experience here). 5. Rinsing of the deck helps tremendously but is a pain to do after each trip or ride. Without any deck coating you’ll still need to spend a good amount of time rinsing down the deck each time the horse urinates on it. To do so assumes having good access to a hose where you park the trailer. Also, the mats are heavy to lift or fold back and forth to access the deck and rinse it well. For some this can be prohibitive as they just don’t have the strength to move or lift up the mats. For all of us it’s a pain in the butt to do.6. Some add wood shavings to the floor over the rubber mats to soften the road bouncing effects on the horse’s legs on long trips. Although shavings may help with the legs they still allow the gush of urine to pass through which ends up on the boards. Having the shavings discourages us from spending the time to wash off the deck under the mats as it’s a pain to remove all the shavings before we even start the rinsing process. Personally, on some of our tremendously long competition trips, where we competed every weekend and were gone from home a couple of months, it was difficult to have time to clean out the shavings and rinse the deck. The urine pretty much sat on the deck for months. I don’t like shavings for a number of reasons but I understand the rational for using them on long trips but they are a pain.7. I believe strongly in having a good coating of something over the decking. If you spend $70k on a horse trailer and can’t rinse off the deck often (almost every time) this is a must if you want to protect the decking, frame and ultimately your investment. Here’s my thoughts on the coatings: a. Apply the coating as soon as possible. b. Seal the deck and edges of deck with the coating so no urine can pass through the deck and will all flow off the end of the trailer. c. The coating should be flexible enough to allow individual deflection of the boards without cracking at the board joints. d. Oxidization causes pits into the boards and leaves a small residue dust in them. My experience is the acid etching (muriatic acid) doesn’t get all of the residue out of the pits and some powdered oxidization material stays there. I’ve worked hard to try to get it all out with limited success. Consequently, when the coating is placed it doesn’t adhere to the small pit areas and you end up with flaking at all the little pits. It’s discouraging when you pull up the mats to rinse it down and find all these 1/8” dots where the coating comes off. Preparation of the deck prior to application of the coating is essential. My experience is that sandblasting is the way to go. Most of us don’t and won’t have sandblasting equipment for an assorted number of reasons which means we must pay someone to do it. e. A good polyurea coating should be used. This is the same type of material used in bedliner products. This last time I had an industrial type polyurea applied by a company who specializes in high corrosive coating systems. If you use a bedliner product use a good one and apply many coats. The more, the thicker, the better. f. If all is done right it will be possible to reduce most of the cleaning/rinsing that would otherwise be required.8. Use the rubber mats over the coating. Polyurea is pretty hardy for withstanding abuse but horse shoes will damage it and allow corrosion to get under it.9. Inspect the coating from time to time. Look under the trailer for sign of problems. Once a year would be fine.10. My final thought is in regards to frustration with the trailer manufacturers. If we buy a trailer that costs half as much as a house we should expect it to last at least as long as our horse does with reasonable maintenance. I think they could do it when they’re making the trailer for ~$600. I would think this would be a great selling point but I don’t know of any manufacturer who does it.I apologize for rambling on and getting to technical here but that’s what I do.
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glineback
Posted 2014-11-17 2:44 PM (#161613 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


Member


Posts: 6

Location: Woodstock, GA
Sorry, I had all the spaces and paragraphs all lined up properly yet it dumps the overall comment without regard to such. sigh....
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ThreeCW
Posted 2014-11-17 8:03 PM (#161627 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Posts: 85
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Location: Calgary, Canada
Glineback - Good post on horse trailer corrosion. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

I agree with your comment on sandblasting of the aluminum deck before coating. I sandblasted our horse compartment floor this past summer (it had heavy corrosion) in preparation for the coating process.

I went to a “do it your self” sandblasting company where you rent the equipment on their premises and blast away. It was located in our local industrial park and there were many industrial users sand blasting all sorts of equipment. It took me about one hour to thoroughly sandblast the floor of our 3H trailer at a cost of $125.

I also really agree with your comment that manufacturers should be doing MORE to address this corrosion issue by coating the trailers BEFORE they leave the factory. It would be a small price to pay to have this done for the added protection. This is especially important for us “consumers” who buy second hand trailers from people who fail to properly maintain their horse compartment floors !

Regards, 3CW
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diggerdoo
Posted 2014-12-13 10:37 AM (#162048 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Posts: 152
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Location: Cornfield in Iowa
So.......I put the bedliner material on my new to me trailer this past spring per Gard's instructions. Acid and about 4 coats of bedliner material. My floor only had minimumal pitting in a few spots and it looked great. Fast forward to about 3 weeks ago when I went to my last function and pulled the mats. It had been very cold so I waited for it to warm up a bit because I was concerned about the mats being frozen to the floor where the urine had gone through. Got the mats out and everything looked good, but some of the shavings were in fact frozen to the floor so I left them alone until yesterday, when the temps got up into the 40s. Went out this morning and swept it out and sure enough, the bedliner material has popped off of the places where the corrosion spots were. Now what should I do? I see it is now suggested to sandblast the floor rather than using the muriatic acid. Do I have to go and sandblast the whole stinking floor off and start from scratch? I want to add that I put LOTS of acid on it so I'm quite sure I did that part correctly. I'm really bummed.....
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diggerdoo
Posted 2014-12-15 6:36 AM (#162065 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Posts: 152
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Location: Cornfield in Iowa

bump for Monday

 

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ThreeCW
Posted 2014-12-15 4:56 PM (#162071 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Posts: 85
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Location: Calgary, Canada
digerdoo,
Note that we sandblasted our floor as an extra precaution as we had very heavy corrosion ... this took it down to bare metal to ensure that the corrision was removed ... followed this with acid washing, a corrosion coating, a primer and then 3 coats of box liner material. Perhaps your acid wash did not remove all of the corrosion products from the surface of the aluminum? What type of box liner material did you use?
Regards, 3CW
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diggerdoo
Posted 2014-12-15 7:23 PM (#162072 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Posts: 152
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Location: Cornfield in Iowa
I used duplicolor. I did the acid wash twice and I had that thing bubbling good. My corrosion was not bad at all, the prior owner had taken very good care of it. I have pictures I took before and after I finished but I could never get them to post on here. I did e-mail them to a couple of people that wanted to see them. I'm just upset that I really took my time and tried to do it correctly and now it has some spots that are gone and i don't know how to fix it at this point. To top it all off, I only got to use my damned trailer about 5 times this summer because of a lame horse so it's not like there was a big fat mess in it.
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diggerdoo
Posted 2014-12-19 6:36 AM (#162093 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Posts: 152
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Location: Cornfield in Iowa

Does anyone have any suggestions about how to fix the spots that are showing?  Do I have to somehow take it all off and start from scratch?

 

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kooner
Posted 2014-12-19 7:18 AM (#162094 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Location: Penrose, Colorado
sometimes things just happen, if the floor has no major holes I would probably just re-do the bad spots, keep mats on it and use it the way it is , I see no real reason to stress yourself out over it, just keep it cleaned out and watch for more spots if any to repair.
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gard
Posted 2014-12-19 8:38 AM (#162097 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Location: western PA
When the Muriatic acid is applied, it's very important that the flooring is vigorously scrubbed with a stiff bristled brush. Aluminum is very difficult to prepare for any over coating. Once the flooring is acid washed, just stepping on the floor with dirty shoes before the liner material is installed, can result in a surfacing contamination and lack of proper adhesion. You can sand the bare spots with 150-180 grit sandpaper, apply some Muriatic acid, flush with water, spot prime with a zinc chromate paint, and reapply the bed liner material.
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diggerdoo
Posted 2014-12-19 9:03 AM (#162098 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Posts: 152
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Location: Cornfield in Iowa

Thanks, Gard, I will do that in the spring before I use it again.  Happy Holidays!

 

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crowleysridgegirl
Posted 2015-02-12 6:34 PM (#162550 - in reply to #162098)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Digger mine did the same thing that yours did. I talked to gard per emails about it. I have done ask 3 of our alum trailer floors now and looking back I think it might be what he said about stepping in with shoes on. After the first job,I got in with bare feet! I knew I did everything to the letter as he said on the first go round but- there were those shoes. Wonder what zinc chromium paint is? I'm going to have to find some in order to repair my first coating job.
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diggerdoo
Posted 2015-02-13 7:01 AM (#162557 - in reply to #162550)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Posts: 152
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Location: Cornfield in Iowa

Originally written by crowleysridgegirl on 2015-02-12 6:34 PM

Digger mine did the same thing that yours did. I talked to gard per emails about it. I have done ask 3 of our alum trailer floors now and looking back I think it might be what he said about stepping in with shoes on. After the first job,I got in with bare feet! I knew I did everything to the letter as he said on the first go round but- there were those shoes. Wonder what zinc chromium paint is? I'm going to have to find some in order to repair my first coating job.

 

I know I walked on it before I painted it, as well, so I'm sure that's why mine has spots that didn't stick.  I googled the zinc chromium and it doesn't look readily available.  Also mentioned chromium is a carcinogen.  I think I'll just wash my floor out frequently and smile. 

 

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gard
Posted 2015-02-15 9:40 PM (#162582 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid...
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diggerdoo
Posted 2015-02-16 6:35 AM (#162583 - in reply to #162582)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


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Posts: 152
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Location: Cornfield in Iowa

Thank you Gard!

 

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timberlace
Posted 2015-02-24 10:18 AM (#162675 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


Member


Posts: 8

Location: Corsicana, TX
I am looking at a 2001 Keifer that has a black coating on the floor. What could that be? Anyone know?
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TheOtherHorse
Posted 2015-09-02 2:33 AM (#164591 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating



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Posts: 85
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Location: Crestwood, KY
How long does it need to dry / cure before hauling horses again? The Duplicolor says dry to touch in an hour and use after 3 hours, but does that mean serious heavy use like horses, or should I wait a day or two?
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ThreeCW
Posted 2015-09-04 5:44 PM (#164618 - in reply to #110954)
Subject: RE: Aluminum floor corrosion and coating


Regular


Posts: 85
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Location: Calgary, Canada
I found that the curing time of the Duplicolor box liner is very temperature dependent.

At 15 C (60 F), it was still wet after curing overnight. When it warmed up the next day to about 25 C (77 F), it would harden, but not hard enough to start to use (still felt rubbery in thicker sections). Only when it reached 30 C (86 F) later in the week, did it start to cure very hard.

I also found that the rate of cure was dependent on how thick the product was applied. The first coat is supposed to be put on light (according to label directions) and it did cure relatively quickly. I put on second and third coats considerably thicker and they took much longer to cure.

It also helps to point your trailer so the floor is in the sun when curing, especially when the temperature is lower.

I would suggest curing the floor for the longest possible time before putting the mats back in (I left mine for a week). If the product is still soft and you put the mats in, you would risk the mats adhering to the floor and compromise your coating job.

I have done two of our trailers and am very happy with the results … a strong, tough coating that helps to substantially reduce (but not eliminate) your aluminum trailer floor maintenance requirements.

Regards, 3CW

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