Adhesive and Sealant Applications & Tools
Experts in the tools used for specific applications. The tool may cost you very little, but it accounts for over 50% of the success in the application.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sausages Part III: The mess!!!
Simply put, you have to take care of your tool when dealing with material packaged in a sausage. We have found that it is easier for someone who deals with bulk material (material packaged in a 5 gallon pail) to convert to sausages then it is for someone who deals with cartridges. Why? Because a bulk gun user is used to dealing with exposed material and the issues associated with not keeping your tool clean....while a cartridge user simply cuts the tip of the cartridge and pumps.
Material packaged in sausages expose you to the material; the nozzle, for one, is full of the material. You need to develop a technique to deal with spent sausages so that you don't get the left over material all over.
A couple of things to remember:
1. Sealant hardens when a solvent evaporates. Find out what that solvent is, purchase some, and use that solvent to clean up the tool and/or any mess you have. Keep in mind this solvent is very aggressive; handle it properly and be safe, and understand it could dissolve more then just your sealant. For example, if you are cleaning something that is painted, it could dissolve the sealant and the paint.
2. Always load the tool before opening the end.
3. If sealant or adhesive gets inside the barrel of the tool, clean it immediately. If you reload the tool with a new sausage over the sealant, when you start pumping the tool the sausage will become pressurized and the skin will be forced up against the sealant... bonding it to the barrel. It will force the piston to act like your ice scraper when scrapping ice off your windshield on a cold winters day, or peeling a label off that simply doesn't want to come off. All it does is cause problems.
4. Damaged pistons MUST BE REPLACED IMMEDIATELY. If a piston is damaged due to any kind of issue it will then have a harder time pulling the sausage skin off the barrel of the tool. It is far easier and it will save you more time to simply replace a questionable piston before the problems happen than to wait till a problem does happen.
5. Don't try to save the plastic nozzle, for hardened sealant in a nozzle could deform the beed and hurt the application.
I've found that prior to using a sausage gun you spray the barrel and all threaded parts with "LC" wax Aluminum lubricant. This will provide a barrier against any caulk that was left to dry in the gun and makes overall cleaning much easier.
I've found that the most common problem and damage that has resulted from it is dried caulk on the cap threads. The spray wax or using a wax stick will insure you'll never have that problem again.
Glass and Glazing PM with 32 yrs field experience.
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