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Old 04-16-2015, 10:17 AM   #41
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Tar paper is used in wood building construction, not metal.

Inside the ceiling of the bus is inside the living space. The ceiling is not a vented space like in a house. The tar paper will stink.

Nat
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:54 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by maggiemae View Post
Also, making sure we get plastic that can handle high temperatures.
Foams and plastics are the same thing, foam just has a huge amount of air blended into it. Very few plastics have service temperatures below 200F. There's a good table here:

Operating Temperature | Plastic Properties Tables | Plastics Technical Properties | Dotmar

PVC and PE are the lowest but you're probably not planning on using grocery bags here. ;) Note that the lowest, PVC, has an operating temp of 60C - that's 140F. You don't really want to be getting that hot, anyway. At that point it's time for a nice coat of reflective white paint.

As long as you aren't putting these on your exhaust manifold, you can use plastics (and foams) in a huge array of places. I think nat_ster's comment about heat wasn't about plastics, it was about things like tar paper. That stuff smells NASTY when it gets hot.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:15 AM   #43
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I think nat_ster's comment about heat wasn't about plastics, it was about things like tar paper. That stuff smells NASTY when it gets hot.
Smells ripe for an experiment for the benefit of science. Who will put a piece of tar paper into their oven and bake it for us? As the kids would say: NOT IT! (maybe a portable toaster oven would be a good choice so the test can be done outdoors!)
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:10 PM   #44
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Smells ripe for an experiment for the benefit of science. Who will put a piece of tar paper into their oven and bake it for us? As the kids would say: NOT IT! (maybe a portable toaster oven would be a good choice so the test can be done outdoors!)
I threw some scraps of tar paper in a fire once. Nasty! It was like a small tire fire. Thick, black smoke and a foul, potent smell. I won't be doing that ever again..
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:52 PM   #45
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Yup, the tat paper is what I was talking about smelling bad.

I have only one concern about the plastic idea. Plastic is dense, and therefore it will conduct the heat and cold. Not enough air pockets to become a insulator.

How about coroplast. It's basically plastic cardboard. It contains air spaces that will offer a insulation space vs a solid sheet of 1/4 plastic that will still transmit the cold and heat.

It is also available in many thicknesses.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=corop...2F%3B400%3B319

Nat
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:00 PM   #46
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Oh those are good points. The only thing is that we wouldn't be burning the tar paper, and although it does smell, I'm not sure how much it would affect the smell of our living space, being that the inside of the ceiling is somewhat closed off. And there shouldn't be that much heat coming thru. In any event, great points about why not to use tar paper. Thanks guys!! Cross off the list!

I will look at the other options whilst at Home Depot. Or just not do the sandwich idea alltogether, although I feel like there might be some value to putting something in between the ribs and metal. I will have to do more research at the store.

Oh, another crazy idea (boy I'm just full of them!). So last night when I couldn't sleep, I kept thinking about what a friend said yesterday about making our bus "zombie-proof".
It's actually not a bad idea!
Putting metal sheets on hinges outside of the bus windows. Two sheets to each side, about 6 windows long. They will have those opener things that hatchback cars have to hold them up, foam weatherstripping around the edges, and a lever at the bottom to lock them (kind of like the lever you would find on a wood stove) into place from the inside. Anyone seen a bus like that?
I'll sketch out my idea later and post it. I think that would really help with window insulation as well, without having to permamately remove windows and cover them.
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:35 PM   #47
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Mag, what are you smoking?

Myself and others are seriously trying to help you build a better bus. Stuff like that is just...........

Nat
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:02 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by maggiemae View Post
Oh those are good points. The only thing is that we wouldn't be burning the tar paper, and although it does smell, I'm not sure how much it would affect the smell of our living space, being that the inside of the ceiling is somewhat closed off. And there shouldn't be that much heat coming thru. In any event, great points about why not to use tar paper. Thanks guys!! Cross off the list!

I will look at the other options whilst at Home Depot. Or just not do the sandwich idea alltogether, although I feel like there might be some value to putting something in between the ribs and metal. I will have to do more research at the store.

Oh, another crazy idea (boy I'm just full of them!). So last night when I couldn't sleep, I kept thinking about what a friend said yesterday about making our bus "zombie-proof".
It's actually not a bad idea!
Putting metal sheets on hinges outside of the bus windows. Two sheets to each side, about 6 windows long. They will have those opener things that hatchback cars have to hold them up, foam weatherstripping around the edges, and a lever at the bottom to lock them (kind of like the lever you would find on a wood stove) into place from the inside. Anyone seen a bus like that?
I'll sketch out my idea later and post it. I think that would really help with window insulation as well, without having to permamately remove windows and cover them.
I'm kind of thinking that once you try to re-install a ceiling panel or two, you'll end up doing it in wood or plastic.
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:07 PM   #49
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Yup. That's how it works for 99% of people who try to reinstall the metal ceiling.

Also once you put something under the metal, none of the holes line up, none of the panels will be the right size.

It's just a bad idea all around.

Nat
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:10 PM   #50
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aaronsb did a little science experiment last fall in his bus. Have a look at it -- especially since you're going to be keeping the metal ceiling on the inside, I think your initial inclination to insulate between the sheet and the ribs is very good. It's just a matter of weighing the pros and cons and then choosing a material.

Every material has cons so you just have to pick a set of cons you're willing to accept. Experiments like the one above can be done on the cheap and can help you feel better about your choice, or help you change course early while the mistake is still small (just one piece of material that is damaged and unreturnable, for example) if it goes badly. Toaster oven, electric griddle/skillet from a thrift store, hair dryer, etc might be cheap accessible heat sources for a quick test of your chosen material.

Regarding plastic: Nat is right, it's dense, and thermal insulators usually are low-density. Per the chart at engineering toolbox insulators have conductivity less than 0.16 W/m-K, and the solid plastics are not considered insulators because they're above that level (they're 10x more conductive than foams!). But even though they're not good insulators, they'll still perform better than steel-on-steel, and ultimately that's what you're after. It's just a matter of how much better you want it to be.
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