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Galvaneal, aluminium, or?

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  • KuhShise
    replied
    It is never simply a choice between construction materials. It is always a choice among use, environment, construction methods AND materials. Having worked with Mack apparatus from the 1930’s to the 1990’s and with manufacturers from Mack Macungie, to Snorkel, to Young, to Saulsbury, to 4-Guys, to New Lexington; I can confidently say that the use of Galvaneel depends upon the methods and design of both panels and subframes, and most particularly the treatment of those components in the manufacturing process.

    Any place where mud and salt can congregate will cause problems with steel and aluminum. Every open channel, weld, and crack will work to suck the salt and mud into the opening. This results in long-term contact of moisture and the resultant electrolysis between any dis-similar metal (including weld metal) will corrode the material. CF Macks were horror stories where the sub-frame was welded to the compartment walls. Barely 10 years of service before rust through occurred. The Young was constructed of 10 gauge sheet with ¼” diamonette rub rails that never did rust through even after 30 + years. Saulsbury took extra ordinary care to protect the inside of tubular sub frames and we had no problems with a heavy rescue that went 25 years with no trouble between the subframe and the compartments.

    Changes in steel from the 1940’s to the present are very significant as is the type of salt being used today. Rock salt, calcium chloride, is much less corrosive than Potassium Chloride liquid being used today. Copper wiring exposed to this material can completely consume a # 16 gauge wire in as little as a week. Steel in our 1948 Mack lasted until the mid 1980’s before any cosmetic repairs were necessary. This ran as a reserve until 1994 when it was retired (46 years) and still had no rust through on running boards or tailboard.

    In addition to other comments on here about power washing (underneath) upon return, please consider radiant heat in the apparatus floor and circulating fans in the ceiling as aids to increase apparatus life. Keep it as dry as possible so the electrolysis can't occur.

    Leave a comment:


  • slackjawedyokel
    replied
    Im just shooting in the dark , but Im guessing enviromental regs have changed the galveneal process - otherwise , in the more moderate climates and lower call volume depts. I wouldnt have a problem with it and would suggest taking some of the savings and investing in a good quality hot water pressure washer for the rare trips on the salty roads.

    Leave a comment:


  • LVFD301
    replied
    All of this has.

    The only issue about galvanealing I have, is I own towers that some of them were built in 195X. They still are ready to pass engineering as if they were new, due to the galvanized steel that was used. No rust, no corrosion at all.

    Parts of one tower that was galvanized now direct water in a river in Julesberg CO.

    But, it is a thicker steel than a truck body.

    Thanks all. I guess aluminium or SS.

    Leave a comment:


  • FIREMECH1
    replied
    Originally posted by LVFD301
    Located in southern Missouri. Right on the state line with Arkansas. Maybe subjected to liquid melt from DOT a couple of times a year. Maybe.

    A few years ago we were warned about aluminium on the twisting nature of our dirt roads, causing the body to flex and possibly crack.

    Stainless may be a cost issue, I am not sure yet.
    If cost wasn't an issue, and it really may not be that bad, I would recommend stainless steel.

    My son-in-laws VFD has 2 tankers, a brush, and two pumpers all with aluminum bodies. His area is 75% dirt roads, and not all that flat and straight. Outside of the mismatch of the metal fasteners and the body, they have held up pretty good. So if S/S is out, then an aluminum body will work just fine. Just make sure you get at least a 10yr warranty on the body against cracks, corrosion, and fatigue.

    If you can, stay away from galvanneal. All it is, is steel coated with 90% zinc and 10% iron. No matter how they prep and paint it, it will rust and corrode. It's cheap for a reason.

    Hope that helps you some.

    FM1

    Leave a comment:


  • ejfeicht
    replied
    Alternative Option

    No one has mentioned it yet but another option is Polprene. Our newest engine has this type of body and we are pleased with it thus far. We are located in Western PA. and receive moderate snowfall each winter and PennDOT piles on the road salt.

    Polybilt
    http://www.polybilt.com/

    Engine 29-2 Specifications
    http://www.bruinvfd.com/

    PolyBilt Body In Progress
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116108
    Last edited by ejfeicht; 12-30-2010, 01:31 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • islandfire03
    replied
    We had a couple of galvaneal bodies. Under ten years old and they were ready for the scrap heap.
    We now use all extruded & welded aluminum bodies. It holds up well on our roads, which are like yours with the addition of being surrounded by the ocean so we have a very corrosive environment. Add in the fact that they use both the liquid sodium and tons of rock salt on the roads in winter.
    If you spec that they use and acid primer and then finish it Aluminum will hold paint very well. We've got a 91 Central that's just starting to get a little "white rust paint bubbling around the wheel well trim.
    Another important thing to spec is that they use ECK corrosion sealant on any exterior fasteners and mounting screws/bolts including warning lights.

    Leave a comment:


  • FWDbuff
    replied
    Originally posted by sven73 View Post
    If you are located in the rust belt or Northeast spec stainless. it is the only way to go. You should also look for a stainless subframe.
    Yup. Agreed 100%. Our 1989 Duplex/Quality Galvaneal is a piece of schit rust bucket.

    Leave a comment:


  • CaptOldTimer
    replied
    Originally posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Aluminum is all we use at work (40+ front-line suppression pieces), and we've had good luck with it.

    We have a mixture of stainless steel and aluminum at the VFD, and haven't seen any great difference between the two.

    Often times, your selection will be based on the elements you'll have to deal with most often.

    With a handful of exceptions, galvaneal hasn't been purchased in our area for a couple of decades.
    We had a bunch of apparatus back in the late 1980's and early 1990's that were made of galvaneal, which box is familar with. Now it is Alumimum.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rescue101
    replied
    Galvaneal?..........NO! NEVER! "My" fleet is aluminum although S/S wouldn't be a bad choice. The quality of Galvaneal varies widely but it WILL NOT be specced here. As Adam has alluded,too many rust issues where we live. The liquid body death(deicer) they put on the roads around here eat anything steel based. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 12-29-2010, 10:57 AM.

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  • 3260e
    replied
    Compare

    Stainless steel- Pro's- Great corrosion resistance, extremely strong
    and durable
    Con's- expensive, hard to drill (if you like to do your
    own mounting of equipment), and heavy

    Aluminum- Pro's- Corrosion resistant, light weight, easy to drill and mount to
    Con's- Expense (not as much as SS though), dissimilar metals
    corrosion (if manfacturer does not assemble it properly)

    Gallvaneel- Pro's- Cheapest choice, drills easily
    Con's- Corrodes faster than the other choices

    Leave a comment:


  • LVFD301
    replied
    Located in southern missouri. Right on the state line with Arkansas. Maybe subjected to liquid melt from DOT a couple of times a year. Maybe.

    A few years ago we were warned about aluminium on the twisting nature of our dirt roads, causing the body to flex and possibly crack.

    Stainless may be a cost issue, I am not sure yet.
    Last edited by LVFD301; 12-29-2010, 09:33 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • sven73
    replied
    If you are located in the rust belt or Northeast spec stainless. it is the only way to go. You should also look for a stainless subframe.
    Last edited by sven73; 12-29-2010, 10:10 AM. Reason: Added third sentance.

    Leave a comment:


  • RFDACM02
    replied
    Our 1978 Galvaneal Peirce was totally different than our 1999 Central States galvaneal. The fomer held up very well, the latter is a rust bucket, having had major work to keep it alive over the last 11 years. I would attribute this to a few factors. One, the older galvaneal had more mass (thicker) and was of higher quality. The second is the new liquid road "salt" that is eating all our vehicles much faster than ever. Not sure why anyone would want galvaneal here, where there's constant salt air from the ocean, but we've owned them with two significantly different outcomes.

    I think you need to look at the factors you'll subject the material to. We're now going with stainless, but that's also no silver bullet. All materials have strengths and weaknesses and your particular application may need to address them specifically.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChiefKN
    replied
    We always spec s/s.

    Great performance, I would highly recommend if you can afford it and plan on keeping your apparatus for more then 10 years.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pa6050
    replied
    If you can afford stainless steel usually a 5-10k option get it. Stainless steel is second to nothing if you are anywhere that uses road salt.

    Leave a comment:

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