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Old 11-24-2009, 01:55 PM   #1
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Flooring material for a utility area?

Brainstorming here, and hoping someone will chime in...

In the rear "garage" area of my bus, I will be dealing with processing and storing WVO and biodiesel, which means that dirty vegetable oil and probably some biodiesel fuel will invariably end up on the floor. Rubber is not an option, as the fuel will break it down. The plastic bedliner in my pickup truck has held up well to constant exposure to the stuff, but I'd rather not have those grooves/ridges on my floor. Whatever material I use will have to be durable, and withstand not only the solvent properties of the fuel, but also be tough enough to hold up against abrasion from oil drums and other heavy metal objects being moved around, tools being dropped, etc. I will also need to seal the garage area from the living quarters, especially the floor, where fluids might want to run under the wall and into the cabin of the bus. So I will either have to find a chemical resistant caulk, or use something like that Rhino Liner stuff that can be sprayed in.

Anyone have any other ideas?
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:56 PM   #2
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Re: Flooring material for a utility area?

how about making a "drip pan" out of heavy galvanized sheet or maybe put some 6 inch sides on your subfloor and then laying up some fiberglass to line and liquid proof the rear area, then laydown a piece of plywood to protect the drip pan and prevent things like wvo drums from sliding around. just make sure to install adequate hardware to attach a good tiedown system for the wvo drums @300+ pounds each when full, and probably more problematic when partially full due to the effects of sloshing liquid.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:52 AM   #3
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Re: Flooring material for a utility area?

I wonder how much it would cost to do this drip pan idea? And how would it be attached? Any screws would have to have plastic washers to prevent seepage into the wood.

I've never worked with fiberglass before, but maybe I could put that over the plywood as a coating. Or maybe I could just put several coats of polyurethane on the plywood and fiberglass around the edges? Does polyurethane stick to paint, or does it have to be on bare wood? I'm thinking of painting the floor first, then polyurethane.

The metal idea would surely be a better quality solution, but it sounds expensive; and like it would be more time and hassle. I'm fighting my instinct to do everything "perfectly" and to buy all the highest quality parts. I've definitely got time and money limitations that I need to respect. I want to get this thing finished by late spring if at all possible.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:09 AM   #4
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Re: Flooring material for a utility area?

Why not put down plywood and then paint with elastrometric paint? Here's a google link for it on wood:
http://www.google.com/search?source=...&aqi=g-s1g-sx9
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:40 AM   #5
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Re: Flooring material for a utility area?

if your concerned about fastening the drippan to the floor just squirt some silicone or great stuff under it and put it down, the surface tension should make it just about impossible to remove after the adhesive drys.

I wouldn't go cheap on the rear floor area, 1 wvo spill could end up ruining the rest of your conversion and hard work if it were to migrate under the rest of the floor and attack the structure by disolving adhesives or stinking things up with some funky smelling boi stuff
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:22 AM   #6
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Re: Flooring material for a utility area?

Lots of good ideas! Thanks everyone! Food for thought...

I was really planning for minor spills, but it is possible that one of my oil barrels could have a major hemorrage, or break free from it's mounts, fall over, and spill 50 gallons of nasty WVO. I've never had anything like this happen in my pickup truck but there's a first time for everything. Maybe I should install a drain in the floor to guard against that possibility.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:51 PM   #7
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Re: Flooring material for a utility area?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
If you're wanting to "contain" a full spill, then your drain-pan will need to be large/deep enough to contain 110 gallons of liquids. That puts you in an entire different situation than protecting from alittle "slop".

Smitty
I don't think I'm going to go to the extent of planning for two simultaneous full barrel spills. I think that would only happen in a major accident that would trash the rest of the bus anyway (although it is scary to think about having objects that heavy inside the bus during an accident). I'm planning for the possibility of one barrel springing a major leak while I'm sleeping, or perhaps one barrel overturning while I'm moving it on a handtruck, or breaking free of it's mounts during transit. And I'm not necessarily "containing" so much as preventing the oil from entering my cabin. If it ends up exiting the vehicle via a drain or the back door, well... I won't be happy about that, but I think it's the best I'm willing to do. It would require a bit of environmental cleanup, but it's just vegetable oil after all, not toxic waste. I think the probability of any catastrophic spill is remote. I will definitely over-engineer the mounts. Most likely scenario is just a bit of slop, or perhaps a couple gallons at most overflowing the barrel while I'm filling it and not paying close enough attention. In my years of doing this stuff, I don't think I've ever spilled more than a gallon at one time.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:03 PM   #8
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Re: Flooring material for a utility area?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Have you considered dropping an area of the floor, enough for the 2 barrells to set down into (and NOT seal it liquid-tite)? Then if you have a leak there's no way it could make its way up into the bus.

Smitty
Hmmm... now that's thinking outside the box for sure. I would not have thought of that. It would save space inside the garage too. It would involve major surgery however, which I tend to shy away from, but who knows... I might warm up to that idea.
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