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Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?

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wildphoenix
Posted 2017-06-22 6:46 PM (#170115)
Subject: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Member


Posts: 24

So, I cleaned my floor up and did 2 muriatic acid washes. The floor came out well, welder inspected it and we have decided to patch it with diamond plate aluminum. What's not clear to me is how to seal it. Dealer said to seal it before it got patched, but welder said not to because it would interfere with the weld. What would you do here?
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ThreeCW
Posted 2017-06-23 12:00 AM (#170116 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Regular


Posts: 80
252525
Location: Calgary, Canada
I had viewed your earlier post (with pictures) and am very surprised that you have decided to patch over your floor with diamond plate aluminum. You must have really found some significant corrosion after acid washing that has structurally affected your floor that required patching. Either that or you have decided to "precautionary patch your floor". How large of patches are your considering? Will they be stitch welded in place or with full perimeter welds?

For me, patching is a last resort in the case of severe corrosion ... what I saw in your photos was some minor to moderate surface corrosion and only minor corrosion perforations. Perhaps the acid wash revealed more corrosion? The problem with patching is the potential of corrosive fluids (urine) finding their way between the original floor and your diamond aluminum plate cap ... if that happens, then there is essentially no way to stop future corrosion issues.

Now that you have acid washed your floor, I believe it must be treated / sealed to prevent future corrosion in both cases - whether you coat it or cap it.

I assume that you have read Gard's post on Aluminum Floor Corrosion and Coating (https://horsetrailerworld.com/forum/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=12471&start=1). There is lots of good information here.

Perhaps post a few more photos of your areas of concern on your floor and some of the experienced members can give you some input. I have personally repaired two aluminum trailer floors that had moderate to significant corrosion, have considered capping but instead went with the coating process to avoid the potential for trapping corrosion between two layers of aluminum.
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wildphoenix
Posted 2017-06-23 6:26 AM (#170117 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Member


Posts: 24

 I'll upload new pics to this post today. The floor mostly appears to have surface corrosion that only seems to be surface deep. However, it does have several pencil sized holes scattered around. I thought I'd have to replace the entire floor too, but the welder looked at the cross members underneath and along with what's left, he thought that the trailer was still sound and that I could def patch instead of going thru the process of cutting the whole floor out plus the welds that hold it in place and trying to replace it. There is also no "give" in the floor whatsoever anywhere. BTW, where do you get the aluminum plank from for your trailers? I was informed by a dealer from Exiss that it may not be possible to get planks for a 2003 trailer anymore. Welder, ultimately, can find material but preferred to go with planks made to fit the trailer before seeing what he thought was minor damage.
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wildphoenix
Posted 2017-06-24 6:44 AM (#170122 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Member


Posts: 24

 For a moment, I believed I suffered from insanity between this trailer and trying to post photos to this form thru an Android phone.Is there a way to upload photos from an Android phone here?

Edited by wildphoenix 2017-06-24 6:59 AM
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wildphoenix
Posted 2017-06-25 8:54 AM (#170125 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Member


Posts: 24

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e398/Felda5032/2003%20Exiss%20Hor...

Edited by wildphoenix 2017-06-25 9:22 AM
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wildphoenix
Posted 2017-06-25 9:19 AM (#170126 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Member


Posts: 24

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e398/Felda5032/2003%20Exiss%20Hor...

Edited by wildphoenix 2017-06-25 9:23 AM
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wildphoenix
Posted 2017-06-25 9:24 AM (#170127 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Member


Posts: 24

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e398/Felda5032/2003%20Exiss%20Hor...
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wildphoenix
Posted 2017-06-25 9:25 AM (#170128 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Member


Posts: 24

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e398/Felda5032/2003%20Exiss%20Hor...
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wildphoenix
Posted 2017-06-25 9:26 AM (#170129 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Member


Posts: 24

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e398/Felda5032/2003%20Exiss%20Hor...
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wildphoenix
Posted 2017-06-25 9:33 AM (#170130 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Member


Posts: 24

All pics posted above are after 2 muriatic acid washes. Needless to say, posting pics here via my Android phone have been irritating and compounded by the fact that I cannot separate paragraphs on here either.
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wildphoenix
Posted 2017-06-25 9:33 AM (#170131 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Member


Posts: 24

Anyways, at this point the floor has had 2 coats of muriatic acid followed by a baking soda wash to neutralize the muriatic acid. It was recommended to then follow with a product called Osphos by simply washing it on the floor and leaving it to dry over night. All I have to do is sweep out any dust left behind from the dried phosphoric acid in the Osphos. This stuff acts as a primer for paint, so it will also prime the bare aluminum. I'm going to use JB Weld for marine, specifically aluminum, applications to seal the holes in the floor now. I may also follow this up with another Osphos wash tonight.
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wildphoenix
Posted 2017-06-25 9:37 AM (#170132 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Member


Posts: 24

Another thing to note here, several sources have told me that muriatic acid is too harsh of an acid to use on aluminum and these sources all recommended Osphos. Half of these folks also recommended to seal the trailer while other sources said it did not matter before I patched with aluminum. Still better yet, the jury is out on what to actually seal it with as post products are tarry or colored. The Osphos was narrowed down to the best option because of that. Anybody care to post their opinions?
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wildphoenix
Posted 2017-06-25 9:44 AM (#170133 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Member


Posts: 24

ThreeCW, let me get this right, you would choose NOT to patch? The metal where the holes are in close proximity, has gotten fairly thin. There is another spot where the corrosion has eaten a fair amount of the floor away too, but has not created holes. The boards on this trailer appear to be extremely thin to start with, so yes, this is a precautionary patch.
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ThreeCW
Posted 2017-06-25 12:36 PM (#170137 - in reply to #170117)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Regular


Posts: 80
252525
Location: Calgary, Canada
Your earlier comments were:
"The floor mostly appears to have surface corrosion that only seems to be surface deep."
"However, it does have several pencil sized holes scattered around."
"There is also no "give" in the floor whatsoever anywhere."

From your earlier comments and what I saw in the pictures, your floor appeared to be structurally sound and result in my comments to "coat it" (to prevent future corrosion and make maintenance easier) and not "cap it".

Your newest comments:
"The metal where the holes are in close proximity, has gotten fairly thin."
"There is another spot where the corrosion has eaten a fair amount of the floor away too, but has not created holes."
"The boards on this trailer appear to be extremely thin to start with, so yes, this is a precautionary patch."

So, it appears that after the acid wash, you have uncovered new damage and are concerned on the structural integrity of your floor. You certainly want to be confident in your trailer, so perhaps capping the affected areas seems like a reasonable approach. My concern remains how to prevent corrosion in the "sandwich filling" layer between the original floor and the new floor layer which gets back to your original question, " What's not clear to me is how to seal it."

Without treating it / coating it, your aluminum floor is now subject to fresh attack by corrosion ... especially since it has been acid washed. The acid wash has removed the oxidized protective coating from the aluminum leaving it susceptible to new corrosion. So as a minimum, you will need to address this BEFORE you cap it and for the rest of the floor as well.

The approach that I followed in coating my severely corroded floors in 2 horse trailers was as follows:
1) pressure washed and sand blasted the floor to remove visual corrosion
2) acidized the floor
3) applied an anti-corrosion coating
4) applied a military spec high-solids epoxy primer coating
5) applied 3 coats of Duplicolor Bed Armor with Kevlar

For more information, see my previous post and photos in the "Aluminum Floor Corrosion and Coating" sticky at: https://horsetrailerworld.com/forum/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=12471...

If it were me, I would perform a similar coating process before proceeding with the capping process. I would then perform the same coating process on top of the newly capped areas and the rest of the floor.

Regards, 3CW

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ThreeCW
Posted 2017-06-25 12:49 PM (#170138 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Regular


Posts: 80
252525
Location: Calgary, Canada
wildphoenix

Sent you a PM - check for messages in your HTW inbox.

3CW
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wildphoenix
Posted 2017-06-25 5:37 PM (#170142 - in reply to #170115)
Subject: RE: Patching the floor, what to seal aluminum with afterwards?


Member


Posts: 24

I'll rephrase what I'm trying to get across. The welder still thinks the trailer is sound, however, the original aluminum planks are not very thick and the existing corrosion in certain areas will make it susceptible to failure over time from the weight of horses on the trailer. Could I get by with just an acid wash and coating, yes. Would it be safest with a patch, yes. This is kind of where I'm at.
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