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Thread: Plastic welding for conicals?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Plastic welding for conicals?

    So i never considered it but it just occurred to me that the ability to weld hdpe means you could actually make a plastic conical that seals up airtight and doesn’t require constant fiddling with silicone or gaskets or weatherstripping etc.

    Im assuming that your bulkheads for fittings seal tight, as well as any cooling coil penetrations, etc.

    But im thinking that the lids are usually big enough that you could fit a 3 or 4” bulkhead, and another one or two smaller bulkheads for prv, blowoff, etc. Use the large one for dry hops and cip ball.

    The idea being that you get your lid bulkheads installed, then seat the lid in place and then plastic weld it. Theres not much of a gap between the lid and the body, you should be able to seal that up with the plastic welding rod id assume. Lid is fixed and cant be removed, but youve got no more worries about o2 ingress. (Other than thru the plastic itself eventually)

    Anybody see any issues with the idea? Being limited to a 3-4 inch opening sucks, but id think the oxygen issue is worse. You could always cut the weld and get the lid off again if really necessary.

    Has no one tried this before?

  2. #2
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    oxygen gets through plastic alot more readily than people think. I don't think many people with plastic conicals take DO measurements because if they could afford a DO meter they could probably afford stainless conicals. But speaking from personal experience, When i was using a hach orbisphere diagnosing a canning line it was alarming at how quickly oxygen permeates through many different kinds of plastic tubing, even when the tubing is being emptied every few seconds. I would suspect High DO readings through plastic conicals no matter how much plastic welding you do. Furthermore, usually on those plastic conicals the lids have multiple pieces that attach to the main body with screws if i remember right. if you weld that lid on there, there will be lots of nooks and crannies for unwanted microorganisms to take hold and no way to clean them out.

    If your budget is that tight just order some chinese single walled fermenters and install cooling coils in them. I can guarantee the price wont be much higher than a plastic tank with all the fixin's

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    We ordered all the components new and Built 110gallon plastic conicals with stainless butterfly drains and 50ft coils for chilling with quick disconnects.. got the silicone seals from stout for the lid and used food grade silicone to seal the black plastic ring to the top.- each conical ended up costing around $600... however If I could afford it I would have gone stainless from the onset as we are waiting on our 3.5bbl jacketed unitanks now to replace them. the plastic is a PITA and it doesnt seal well. we transfer to our brites for conditioning ASAP.

    One of our limiting factors was the stainless tanks we wanted wont fit in the space we were using but we knew we were expanding eventually...

  4. #4
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    Yeah i actually looked up some hdpe oxygen ingress stats and foamtime is right. O2 is definitely an issue. Even when fermenting. Even thicker tank material doesnt help much. The only plastic i saw that was good in that regard was pet, but nothing available in these sizes.

    I guess i just need to be patient and wait for some tanks from china, probably 2ish months, or find used ones somewhere.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by brain medicine View Post
    Yeah i actually looked up some hdpe oxygen ingress stats and foamtime is right. O2 is definitely an issue. Even when fermenting. Even thicker tank material doesnt help much. The only plastic i saw that was good in that regard was pet, but nothing available in these sizes.

    I guess i just need to be patient and wait for some tanks from china, probably 2ish months, or find used ones somewhere.
    yeah some single walled tanks from china will be the cheapest bet if you are trying to save money, but you can buy a pretty nice jacketed unitank from china for about $4k for a 7bbl. Although right now there is a 15% tariff on brewing equipment coming from china on top of normal shipping charges.

  6. #6
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    That’s expensive. Our 15bbl unis at 2 bar were only 4 something.

    Got quoted 650 for non jacjeted 1bbl. But you’re looking at 3 months lead time. Dont wanna wait that long. Waiting to hear on some used ones but nothing coming up yet. But morebeer has a singlewall with cooling coils and typical bells whistles for 1100, no shipping needed. Might go down that road. At least for the first. Maybe order a second from china. But by the time you pay broker and tariffs might not be much savings. Not all brew equipment is under tariff, but not sure its worth the wait.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by brain medicine View Post
    That’s expensive. Our 15bbl unis at 2 bar were only 4 something.

    Got quoted 650 for non jacjeted 1bbl. But you’re looking at 3 months lead time. Dont wanna wait that long. Waiting to hear on some used ones but nothing coming up yet. But morebeer has a singlewall with cooling coils and typical bells whistles for 1100, no shipping needed. Might go down that road. At least for the first. Maybe order a second from china. But by the time you pay broker and tariffs might not be much savings. Not all brew equipment is under tariff, but not sure its worth the wait.
    now im being told HTS code 8438.40.0000 (brewing equipment) is at a tariff rate of 7.5% after the deal with china on jan 15th

  8. #8
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    Feb 2014
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    We’re seeing different tariffs based on which grouping of equipment you’re importing. Equipment wasnt on the list, but tanks with cooling were hit. At least ours were. I think its changed again but i haven’t kept up. But that code wont necessarily work if your port decides another code is more appropriate, i.e. tanks with heating/cooling ability. Kinda screwy.

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