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Re: gaskets

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  • fit_dude42
    As mentioned before i was very wary of using the ptfe tape again as it went almost completely transparent - that would imply a reaction at worst or simply
    Message 1 of 21 , Nov 4, 2006
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      As mentioned before i was very wary of using the ptfe tape again as
      it went almost completely transparent - that would imply a reaction
      at worst or simply absorption at best, either way the tape was not
      completely inert IMO.

      I now have a satisfactory method of sealing my boiler so i'm not
      using ptfe anyway, although i do have some ptfe tape on the gate
      valve threads of my take-off valve; think i might do some inspection
      before my next run.

      Cheers m'dears,

      Karl.



      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
      <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:
      >
      > Are you quite sure that the PTFE tape got dissolved by alcohol? To
      me
      > it seems that it got wetted (yes, it absorbs alcohol) by some
      tails
      > and you thought it was melting while it was infact working as
      > intended (blocks vapors from escaping). The smell IMO would point
      to
      > butyl alcohol which is one component of tails. Mike Nixon says
      PTFE
      > is OK and I've been using it for years without problems, so I
      would
      > suggest that the problem is not with PTFE, rather something else.
      >
      > Cheers, Riku
      >
      >
      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Tony T <tonkyman1979@>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > Teflon tape in the presence of strong alcohol will
      > > melt the plastic base material that the tape is made
      > > from. The plactice will then "leach" into your sprit.
      > >
      > > Now I was told that this is not possible but it is.
      > > For neutral spirit I use a Mini Still that is built by
      > > the posted plan. That plan has you install a section
      > > of 1/4 tubing 2/3 up the column so you can insert a
      > > temp prob. The picture that comes with the plan shows
      > > the shaft of the temperature wrapped with teflon tape,
      > > so that's how I was running mine.
      > >
      > > I made a really slow run one day and about 3 hours in
      > > I started to pick up a smell that was getting stronger
      > > as the run progressed. I finally stopped the run way
      > > early because the smell was stinking up the kitchen.
      > >
      > > When I opened the still the smell would knock you
      > > down. It was a strong chemical plactic kind of smell.
      > > I hunted and hunted to find the source but I have
      > > nothing plactic on my still. I removed the
      > > temperature probe and noticed the lower wrap of teflon
      > > tape was clear and looked like it was melted back a
      > > 1/8 of and inch or so and it STUNK!!!!! OMG!!!! it
      > > smelled SOOOOOOOOOO bad.
      > >
      > > I had run the still configured like that for 5 or 6
      > > runs and never really noticed the smell in my spirit
      > > because it was coming in as the tails started and I
      > > would discard that anyway. This run I had slowed the
      > > take-off down because I was busy working on something
      > > else and I could not stand over it and baby sit it the
      > > entire time. I had my temperature alarm set and I
      > > would look in on the collection jar every few minutes
      > > -- big mistake. I ruined the entire run because no
      > > amount of soaking and redistilling would get rid of
      > > the smell. I had to boil my column packing 5 or 6
      > > times in fresh water to finally get the smell out of
      > > the packing. Getting the smell out of the column was a
      > > real pain that I never want to have to do again.
      > >
      > > I replaced the 1/4 tube in the column with a 1/2 pipe
      > > and I now use a natural cork with a hole for my probe
      > > in it's place. My column to flange seal is cork and my
      > > top seal is food grade sealer. I've not had a problem
      > > since.
      > >
      > > I'm sorry for being so long-winded but I don't want
      > > others to have to deal with that issue. It was a PITA
      > > to correct after the fact.
      > >
      > > Have fun and be safe,
      > > Tony T
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
    • abbababbaccc
      That s how it works. If PTFE tape is in contact with liquid alcohol it absorbs it and turns to transparent. After it dries it is just as it was before. If you
      Message 2 of 21 , Nov 4, 2006
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        That's how it works. If PTFE tape is in contact with liquid alcohol
        it absorbs it and turns to transparent. After it dries it is just as
        it was before. If you feel uneasy - dip some PTFE to 95.6% ethanol,
        let it dry and compare to a strip that wasn't dipped.

        Cheers, Riku

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "fit_dude42" <fit_dude42@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > As mentioned before i was very wary of using the ptfe tape again as
        > it went almost completely transparent - that would imply a reaction
        > at worst or simply absorption at best, either way the tape was not
        > completely inert IMO.
        >
        > I now have a satisfactory method of sealing my boiler so i'm not
        > using ptfe anyway, although i do have some ptfe tape on the gate
        > valve threads of my take-off valve; think i might do some
        inspection
        > before my next run.
        >
        > Cheers m'dears,
        >
        > Karl.
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
        > <abbababbaccc@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Are you quite sure that the PTFE tape got dissolved by alcohol?
        To
        > me
        > > it seems that it got wetted (yes, it absorbs alcohol) by some
        > tails
        > > and you thought it was melting while it was infact working as
        > > intended (blocks vapors from escaping). The smell IMO would point
        > to
        > > butyl alcohol which is one component of tails. Mike Nixon says
        > PTFE
        > > is OK and I've been using it for years without problems, so I
        > would
        > > suggest that the problem is not with PTFE, rather something else.
        > >
        > > Cheers, Riku
        > >
        > >
        > >
      • Tony T
        Hi Riku, I am more than quite sure it was the teflon tape that melted. When the temperature probe was removed from it s holder there was less tape and a goo
        Message 3 of 21 , Nov 4, 2006
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          Hi Riku,
          I am more than quite sure it was the teflon tape that
          melted. When the temperature probe was removed from
          it's "holder" there was less tape and a goo blob where
          the rest of the tape should have been. So to sum it up
          I had less tape than I did to begin with and a sticky
          blob on the end of my probe that smelled like hell.

          This smell was more than butyl alcohol. There is no
          consentration of butyl alcohol that could EVER have a
          smell like that. This was a chemical smell of a
          proportion to which I have never smelled in any
          alcohol run I've done.

          Now it could have been a cheap tape that was not
          really a quality tape. I bought it at Lowes and it was
          labeled as "Heavy Duty Teflon Sealing Tape". This
          stuff was pink, not white like I was use to buying and
          it had the words "heavy duty" on the spool. I bought
          it when I was installing air lines in my shop and it
          worked well.

          Anyway, I know for a fact that it was the tape that
          melted but I can resign myself to the fact that it may
          have been an inferior grade tape but I'm not taking
          that chance again. I have found a much better way to
          seal my still that doesn't require me to use the tape
          and I like it that way.

          I too suggest that you test your tape with strong
          alcohol. The only parameters I would add is heat and
          vapor pressure. I believe the heat, vapor pressure and
          chemical action of the alcohol eroded the tape. It may
          be possible to just soak it in cold alcohol and it
          turn clear and soft but not melt (or erode).

          I use teflon tape in areas of my still that are not in
          direct contact with the high proof alcohol and it
          works well in that application. My heating element in
          my pot still/stripper is sealed with teflon tape but
          the mash it is sealing is no more than 18 to 40%
          alcohol and that is a decreasing percentage during the
          run so I'm not worried about the tape.

          But of course all of the above is just my opinion. Do
          your own testing and use good judgment based upon your
          findings (it may be different than what I found).

          Cheers,
          Tony T


          --- abbababbaccc <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:

          > Are you quite sure that the PTFE tape got dissolved
          > by alcohol? To me
          > it seems that it got wetted (yes, it absorbs
          > alcohol) by some tails
          > and you thought it was melting while it was infact
          > working as
          > intended (blocks vapors from escaping). The smell
          > IMO would point to
          > butyl alcohol which is one component of tails. Mike
          > Nixon says PTFE
          > is OK and I've been using it for years without
          > problems, so I would
          > suggest that the problem is not with PTFE, rather
          > something else.
          >
          > Cheers, Riku



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        • Gord Day
          I found aluminum tape at the hardware store.It works great Just cut it and put it on..It doesn,t come in contact with the alcohol so I,m happY Gord
          Message 4 of 21 , Nov 4, 2006
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            I found aluminum tape at the hardware store.It works great Just cut it and
            put it on..It doesn,t come in contact with the alcohol so I,m happY
            Gord

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          • abbababbaccc
            I ve never heard of or seen pink PTFE tape, only white ones. As you probably know Teflon is a trademark of du-pont and does not necessarily mean that the tape
            Message 5 of 21 , Nov 4, 2006
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              I've never heard of or seen pink PTFE tape, only white ones. As you
              probably know Teflon is a trademark of du-pont and does not
              necessarily mean that the tape is made of PTFE. I would suggest that
              the tape is the problem in this case. If PTFE melting was common we
              would for sure know it now. I've used PTFE inside the column numerous
              times and it has never melted or changed structurally.

              Cheers, Riku

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Tony T <tonkyman1979@...>
              wrote:
              >
              >
              > Now it could have been a cheap tape that was not
              > really a quality tape. I bought it at Lowes and it was
              > labeled as "Heavy Duty Teflon Sealing Tape". This
              > stuff was pink, not white like I was use to buying and
              > it had the words "heavy duty" on the spool. I bought
              > it when I was installing air lines in my shop and it
              > worked well.
              >
              > Anyway, I know for a fact that it was the tape that
              > melted but I can resign myself to the fact that it may
              > have been an inferior grade tape but I'm not taking
              > that chance again. I have found a much better way to
              > seal my still that doesn't require me to use the tape
              > and I like it that way.
              >
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