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Old 05/17/2018, 07:20 AM   #1
Ron Reefman
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new tank build

I'm going to build a tank and a sump with 3/8th glass. I've made 5 other aquariums with black RTV silicone. But I'm considering doing these with 3M Co 5200 adhesive. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

My stand is gloss white and the tank will be 36"x24"x20" and rimless with a white back glass. I think the white 5200 adhesive will look good with the stand.

I'm 95% sure that 3M 5200 will hold the tank together at least as well as RTV silicone. Anybody have any thoughts on that point?


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Old 05/17/2018, 07:44 AM   #2
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5200 tensile strength =44.9kg/cm^2
RTV108 tensile strength = 28kg/cm^2
Winner = 5200

5200 shear strength = higher on average but no specific data provided for glass values (just woods/metals/plastics)
Winner = likely 5200

So its higher in both tensile and shear strengths as such I would assume it would be superior in this application.. Its also intended for use below the water line = bonus..
It is however higher in "elongation" which I'm not 100% positive if that would be a pro or con for this application.. I think pro as it will allow more expansion before failure but I'm not sure if you want that flexibility in a tank... I think thats also a pro but I'm second guessing myself this morning on that one due to lack of actual real world experience with it..

And white may look pretty darn cool provided it stays white...


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Old 05/17/2018, 09:19 AM   #3
Ron Reefman
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Thanks for your info mcgyvr, I really appreciate it. I've used 5200 on a boat and even the 5200 that is below the waterline while in the water and exposed to air and sun while on the trailer stayed very white for as long as we had the boat... about 5 years.

Anybody else have an opinion? I also wonder how well it will scrape off the glass where there is too much material and it squeezes outside or inside the tank while assembling?


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Old 05/17/2018, 09:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Reefman View Post
Thanks for your info mcgyvr, I really appreciate it. I've used 5200 on a boat and even the 5200 that is below the waterline while in the water and exposed to air and sun while on the trailer stayed very white for as long as we had the boat... about 5 years.

Anybody else have an opinion? I also wonder how well it will scrape off the glass where there is too much material and it squeezes outside or inside the tank while assembling?
Put some on a piece of glass and see how it cleans up. I have never used this for constructing an aquarium so I have no experience. There is probably a reason all of the tank manufacturers I have heard of use RTV or at least they used to. Maybe the reason is cost.


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Old 05/18/2018, 05:47 AM   #5
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I can see cost being an issue to a big tank manufacturer as 5200 is $15 for a single caulk gun size tube. But that's not an issue for me. Also I think cure time is an issue as 5200 requires 2 or 3 times the cure time before it should be moved around.

I'm going to do a spot of 5200 on some clean glass and let it cure for a week (until I get back from snorkeling in the Keys) and then try and remove it.

Thanks.


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Old 05/18/2018, 08:05 AM   #6
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Ron, you may want to contact 3M and see what they have to say about using it to build an aquarium. The "not recommended" for installation of glass would give me pause. There probably not much flex or thermal expansion like takes place on a window but I would rather be safe than sorry. Obviously you cannot use a primer.

According to 3M
- 3MTM Marine Adhesive/Sealant 5200 is not recommended for the installation of glass, polycarbonate or
acrylic windows that are not also mechanically fastened with a system designed by the manufacturer.
Inconsistent adhesion of these unprimed substrates, specific design of the window, and movement due to
thermal expansion and flexing, may cause application failure.


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Old 05/19/2018, 05:46 AM   #7
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John, I don't know where you got your info, but it sounds like corporate CYA warning documentation. I spoke with a 3M adhesives application support engineer yesterday afternoon. I emailed them all my info on the build including volume and weight of the water and they called me by phone to discuss it in detail. Their conclusion is it should work better than RTV silicone as it is stronger and when completely cured (7 to 10 days) it has better flexibility and adhesion than RTV silicone. They also advised me that the areas where I don't want 5200 residue from material being squeezed out of the joints should be taped off with 8896 or 8898 tape. Although 5200 can be wiped off the glass with a damp or dry rag for some time after the tank is clamped together as the cure to 'tack free' is much, much longer than RTV silicone.


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Old 05/19/2018, 06:23 AM   #8
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Ron, good that you got positive confirmation. I got my info from here.
https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/...-tech-data.pdf


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Old 05/19/2018, 08:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Reefman View Post
John, I don't know where you got your info, but it sounds like corporate CYA warning documentation. I spoke with a 3M adhesives application support engineer yesterday afternoon. I emailed them all my info on the build including volume and weight of the water and they called me by phone to discuss it in detail. Their conclusion is it should work better than RTV silicone as it is stronger and when completely cured (7 to 10 days) it has better flexibility and adhesion than RTV silicone. They also advised me that the areas where I don't want 5200 residue from material being squeezed out of the joints should be taped off with 8896 or 8898 tape. Although 5200 can be wiped off the glass with a damp or dry rag for some time after the tank is clamped together as the cure to 'tack free' is much, much longer than RTV silicone.
I always taped my seams when using RTV because it was such a pain to get the residue off if I didn't. It worked very well and allowed me to make the internal seam very small. The thing I hated about using RTV is the short working time before it starts to skim over. Building 100g+ tanks required two people with a very coordinated assembly plan. Looking forward to seeing how this build turns out. I think this is a first.


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