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rustythread

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #1 
May be just another example of a dumb question, but has anyone looked at the possibility of using silicon O-ring material in a screen collector in lieu of the usual meltable spline or replacements such as sisal cord?   It seems to come in a wide variety of diameters and is high-heat tolerant.  Expensive, but maybe worth it in reduced maintenance?



pianoman8020

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Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #2 
I once looked at aluminum wire to replace the rubber screen spline due to out-gassing concerns.

Here is some .114 aluminum wire that could be installed and crimped into a screen seam.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#aluminum-wire/=1bhzqm9

Jim from IL
gbwillson

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Posts: 2,248
Reply with quote  #3 
Silicone would make an excellent material. But not O-rings. They are expensive, and curved. But if you could find a rope or string of the correct size made from silicone it would work great. But again, it would be expensive. 

Aluminum wire might be worth a look, at least to see how well you could crimp or squeeze it into the screen frame. 
rustythread

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #4 
Not O-rings per se.  I can buy, by the linear foot, the round silicone stock from which O-rings are made.  It's sold to entities which make their own O-rings.  What I have in mind is the feasibility of putting a few more bucks in materials to reduce after-build maintenance.
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #5 
Rusty-

How expensive is the round stock, in say 3/16" diameter per foot? And how would you adhere the gasket in place? A routed groove, similar to how window screens?

Greg in MN
rustythread

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #6 
One source I just checked has .188" dia. silicone O-ring cord in quantities of 100-499 feet at $.87 per foot. Just google ...silicone O ring  cord...for sources.  I was thinking of using the heavy duty screen frames, or at least a frame with the same size spline grooves, and installing same as regular spline.  Pricy, yes, but maybe lower maintenance.
Haven't researched whether there is cheaper O-ring/ spline material with same heat resistance.
rustythread

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #7 
Just did a little more searching.  The O-Ring Store, LLC, has  a chart  of chemical resistance and heat resistance for its various materials.  They have non-silicon ~ 3/16 dia. Buna-N for around $.40 per foot.  Haven't checked further as yet.
dbc

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Posts: 234
Reply with quote  #8 
Rusty,

I remember we had an O-ring kit at work (I retired at end of 2017, so I am working from memory).  It had a feeler gauge with different size holes in it, and a sort of 'guillotine' cutter - you overlapped the 2 ends of the o-ring material and cut them square.  There was also some glue (something like super glue, I think) that you used to glue the cut ends together to complete the O-ring.  The o-ring material was available separately in bulk.  We used it to make O-rings from about 8 inch to 24 inch diameter, which went into a machined groove on the end of the feed-horn on big satellite antennas to seal the mylar pressure window.  The window was held on with a clamping ring, and pressurized with dry air to 0.25 PSI.

The O-ring material came in different sizes, although I don't remember what it was made of.  Something like that could work as a more heat-resistant replacement for screen spline.  The thing you'd need to check is how tight it held the screen, since the O-ring material is smooth instead of 'fluted' like normal window spline.  I think that helps hold the screen in, but if you added some dabs of glue afterward it might still hold tight.

I'm looking for something right now - I used the sisal rope last time but I wasn't too happy with it.  I had to separate the strands and use just one strand.  The loose strands stayed too 'kinky' and transferred an uneven pattern to the screen when I pressed it in.  I also experimented with jute twine, although that was too thin, so I had to braid three strands together to get the right thickness.  The finished result was better than the sisal, but the prospect of braiding appx. 70 ft. of twine scared me off.  Right now, that's my best available option though.  I wondered about using normal spline and taping over it with foil tape, but I didn't try that.  I'm concerned it still might soften up or stink when it was heated.
rustythread

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #9 
dbc:

Thanks for the info and insight.  I'm still a  long way from a build, but I'll be collecting all the info available while I'm getting other necessary projects out o f the way.
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