Old Silicone, Cold Storage, and Leaks.

Ulu

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I used to work as an application engineer in the window business and we tested many kinds of sealant and elastomeric seals under accelerated aging conditions.

Silicone is some really awesome stuff and General Electric actually issued a guarantee that it would last for 100 years without the windows popping out from seal failure.

I have heard more than once that a tank stored Outdoors over the winter leaked when it was refilled, even though the tank appeared fine and was only a couple years old.

This issue was brought up by Jexnell Jexnell in another thread.

. . .Its not good to store glass in the cold. Can cause the silicone to get brittle and ultimately leak.
. . .
Forgive me Jexnell, but this is only semi true. The Silicone will fail but that is not why.

Slicone does not get brittle. It was invented to withstand the scorching heat of the sun and the freezing cold of outer space.

This is exactly what astronauts report when they walk in space: that one side of their suit is burning hot and the other side of their suit is freezing cold. All the rubber joints are made of silicone rubber. It is some of the toughest stuff ever invented but it must be applied in the correct manner to work.

The reason storing an aquarium in the cold is bad is that the silicone joints are not designed for excess thermal movement. They're designed for maximum strength without perceptible stretching.

In fact, it is very bad to let one get too cold or too hot too fast. There's not a sufficient volume of silicone in the corner joints to absorb much thermal movement without internal cohesive failure of the silicone.

But you're supposed to get an aquarium to temp and leave it there forever . . . that's the goal.

Because of that you don't have real thermal stresses on the aquarium.

The important stresses are all due to water pressure.

Many buildings have the glass glued onto the outside with silicone just like an aquarium, and these buildings survive in the Frozen North West and the Rocky Mountains.

But those joints do not have to withstand the pressures of a fish tank and only air pressure. They are very fat joints and they allow the Windows to expand and contract and the building to sway, without the windows popping out.

If the silicone in your aquarium stretched that much you would get scared looking at the bulging corners.
 
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Jexnell

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I was not trying to give misinformation or anything of the sort.

I was a Drill Sgt for two years and a Howitzer section chief for six. You quickly learn that when speaking to groups of people you need to speak in terms that the least intelligent person can easily grasp. In doing so you may not speak the correct terminology, but use terms that convey you point across with minimal wording.

I should have know that king of generalized terminology would not work here, as MFK tends to be more precise.
 
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Ulu

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My Apologies again Jexnell.

I never meant to imply such dishonorable intent.
Sometimes a guy says "clip" and I shout "magazine" out of shear reflex.

Here the subtleties of general courtesy were trampled by my urge to not thread crap.
 
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Jexnell

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My Apologies again Jexnell.

I never meant to imply such dishonorable intent.
Sometimes a guy says "clip" and I shout "magazine" out of shear reflex.

Here the subtleties of general courtesy were trampled by my urge to not thread crap.
No problem at all.
I'll just set my vernacular to include more than one syllable words along with the assumption of a High school level of scientific knowledge.
 
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adamsfishes

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I agree with the points made, but my take is why take any chances with something designed to hold thousands of pounds of water? I want those seams to be as sound as possible.
 

TwoHedWlf

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I was not trying to give misinformation or anything of the sort.

I was a Drill Sgt for two years and a Howitzer section chief for six. You quickly learn that when speaking to groups of people you need to speak in terms that the least intelligent person can easily grasp. In doing so you may not speak the correct terminology, but use terms that convey you point across with minimal wording.

I should have know that king of generalized terminology would not work here, as MFK tends to be more precise.
Ok, in that case, allow me to help and neanderthalize his response for you.

No, you dumb. Not cause it gets all crunchy. Cause it's not squishy and movey enough.

:p
 

Ulu

Giant Snakehead
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There's enough glue to hold it tightly, and not enough to allow movement.

Does that sound totally backward? ;) LOL

Really . . .I'm having that cognitive dissonance I keep hearing about.
 
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