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Patrick O'Neil
(human) - F
ge silicone ii on 05/16/2013 22:30:50 MDT Print View

I just want to confirm, is this the stuff people use to seamseal tarptents? http://www.homedepot.ca/product/ge-silicone-ii-window-door-sealant-clear-290-ml/941917

I was at home depot and figured I would pick up a tube. I just wanted to get confirmation before I mix this stuff up and put it on my tent this weekend. Thanks!

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: ge silicone ii on 05/16/2013 22:42:42 MDT Print View

That's what I used. It's also what Henry sends out if you order silicone from him.

Patrick O'Neil
(human) - F
Re: Re: ge silicone ii on 05/16/2013 22:50:11 MDT Print View

Perfect thanks!

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: ge silicone ii on 05/17/2013 07:50:01 MDT Print View

Set your tent up TIGHT so you have good flow into the stitching. Otherwise, if you just "cover" the stitching, you'll have gaps when the wind stretches the fabric.

Mix it to "warm honey" consistency and apply it with a needleless 10cc syringe.
Work it in with the tip.
Excellent control.

Give it Plenty of time to dry.

Edited by greg23 on 05/17/2013 07:54:51 MDT.

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
Re: ge silicone ii on 05/17/2013 08:44:03 MDT Print View

I also keep it around for small holes/tears in the fabric of the tent floor. Works great.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
ge silicone ii on 05/17/2013 09:28:52 MDT Print View

You can also make custom insoles with it! There are some instructions on the web, but basically make a layer, cover with plastic wrap, and make impressions with your feet. Trim to fit. There are other DIY insole options out there, but none so simple.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
mixing ge si? on 05/17/2013 09:32:24 MDT Print View

curious what you guys mean by mixing?
I thought the GE silicone came in a tube... no mixing..

and what do you mix it with?

bill

Ian Van Halen
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: mixing ge si? on 05/17/2013 09:36:26 MDT Print View

"curious what you guys mean by mixing?
I thought the GE silicone came in a tube... no mixing.."

With mineral spirits. Go to Tarp Tent's website. They have a nice video on the topic.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
an alternative on 05/17/2013 10:50:50 MDT Print View

Permatex Flowable Silicone Windshield & Glass Sealer works well too. I used this for the first time a couple of months ago to seal up my TarpTent Moment DW and it worked great. No mixing necessary since it comes in a good consistency. Furthermore, it's already in a conveniently sized tube with applicator tip that allows you to work the silicone into the seam and lay a nice bead. Similar to applying caulk around the home, I cut the applicator tip at a 45 degree angle and pushed the bead of silicone across the seam. After that, I ran a folded rag across the bead to wipe off the excess. It did cure a bit more "glossy" than when I've used the GE Clear Silicone II + mineral spirits mixture, but still a very light and tidy application. A much cleaner appearance then anything I've done in the past.

Edited by FeetFirst on 05/17/2013 12:26:43 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: an alternative on 05/17/2013 11:07:45 MDT Print View

+ 1, 2, 3, & 4 for what Alex said!

Permatex Flowable Windshield Sealant

I use a short, stiff disposable foam rubber brush to apply it after squeezing out a small amount onto the tip of the brush from the tube. Working the brush sideways along the seam has given me great results.

One $5.00 tube goes a lot farther then you would think. ;-)

Party On,

Newton

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F - M

Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR
While you are sealing your tarptent on 05/17/2013 11:43:22 MDT Print View

The bathtub in Tarptents are pretty slick and things move around a lot. Henry told me to brush a few swatches of the sealent ont eh bottom as this will give you a few "sticky" spots. I have two 2" bands across the bottom of the tent where my shoulder and butt would touch. To thin it, I used white gas, worked great. Best wishes - Jon

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: an alternative on 05/17/2013 12:01:30 MDT Print View

There's been a lot of chatter about silicone. While some people have had great success with GE II mixed with silicone others have had it flake/peel off quickly. The chemistry gist is that different thickness/viscosities of silicone formulas are not simple additions of mineral spirits. Any thinner you add will alter the chemistry and result in a weaker solution.

Hence people love the flowable windshield sealer from permatex. It's designed to be thinner out of the tube without weakening the final coating/seal. I'm sure GE makes a similar product, but haven't looked into it since permatex is readily available from auto stores.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Silnet on 05/17/2013 13:23:03 MDT Print View

Interesting that no one is mentioning the McNett Sil Net product that is specifically formulated for silicone impregnated nylon fabrics and sold in backpacking stores everywhere... and it flows.

bill

Patrick O'Neil
(human) - F
Re: Silnet on 05/17/2013 13:47:56 MDT Print View

Wow a lot of responses, I haven't found permatex flowable in stores around my area. I'm having doubts about this stuff now. I think I may just pick up silnet from MEC.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: permatex flowable on 05/17/2013 15:06:46 MDT Print View

Advance Auto Parts has it. Is there a location near where you are located?

Party On,

Newton

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
ge silicone ii on 05/17/2013 15:53:27 MDT Print View

Patrick, everybody is an expert but do keep in mind that thousands of tents have been done with the GEII stuff.
I mostly use the local equivalent mixing it with Mineral Turpentine (paint thinner)
Here is my backyard a few days ago :
Seam sealing
(not that other ways don't work....)
BTW, those are not mine. I just seam sealed them for customers.

Edited by Franco on 05/17/2013 17:27:19 MDT.

Ian Van Halen
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: ge silicone ii on 05/17/2013 16:42:40 MDT Print View

Franco.... you've proven that not all hoarding is bad. That's quite a fleet you have three. Looks like you have backups for backups.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: ge silicone ii on 05/17/2013 16:43:33 MDT Print View

5 or 10 parts mineral spirits to 1 part silicone

mix for maybe 10 minutes - that is, stir, wait a few minutes, stir agains,... until all the silicone is disolved

I got some "odorless" mineral spirits once that worked fine. Another time I got some odorless mineral spirits and it was watery and I didn't even try it - maybe just use regular mineral spirits

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: Re: ge silicone ii on 05/17/2013 17:12:31 MDT Print View

I got some "odorless" mineral spirits once that worked fine. Another time I got some odorless mineral spirits and it was watery and I didn't even try it - maybe just use regular mineral spirits

due to clean air regulations in some places some manufactures have reformulated Mineral spirits to reduce volatile organic compounds (low VOC). Low VOC mineral spirits don't work well with silicone. One alternative to Mineral spirits is White Gas.

Permatex Flowable Silicone Windshield & Glass Sealer as mentioned earlier doesn't need to be thined. You can find this at auto parts stores.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: ge silicone ii on 05/17/2013 17:19:29 MDT Print View

regular mineral spirits works

maybe in some locations they don't allow it and only have the watery stuff that doesn't work well

I didn't even try it. Maybe I'll use it for wasing oil paint off brushes?

white gas produces explosive fumes so you have to be very careful, like use it outside. And white gas might disolve the fabric you're applying it to? It is very nasty stuff.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: an alternative on 05/17/2013 17:20:58 MDT Print View

> The chemistry gist is that different thickness/viscosities of silicone formulas are
> not simple additions of mineral spirits. Any thinner you add will alter the chemistry
> and result in a weaker solution.

My feeling and experience too. I no longer thin the sealants I use. Instead I use a THIN bead and press it in with my finger along the seam. Done carefully you can keep the stuff confined to the seam and not spread out everywhere - which is a waste anyhow.

Yes, I also put stripes on the groundsheet and under the airmats, for grip.

Permatex Flowable Windscreen has been good. Other brands in little tubes have also been good. I haven't tried the GE stuff yet.
The stuff in big cartridges - not so good, and a very short life once opened. I suggest you avoid them.

Cheers

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Silicone : thinner ratios on 05/17/2013 18:42:19 MDT Print View

I use 3 : 1 thinner to silicone (by volume) for seams - both sides.

But for coating large areas of the main canopy I have used a 5 : 1 ratio and brushed it on to prevent "mist-thru" in driving rains. It has worked very well and never gave an indication of peeling over three years.

I put the ingredients in a plastic jar with a lid and shake very well then re-shake about every 5 minutes as I brush it on. Best way I know of making sure it is well mixed.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Silicone : thinner ratios on 05/17/2013 22:32:51 MDT Print View

I did my Duomid with the Permatex stuff, and it worked really well. My only complaint is that it leaves a very glossy bead that way. Henry's method is more aesthetically pleasing as you can barely tell that the silicone is there, and it has worked without fault for some time now.

That said, I trust Roger that the mixture isn't as strong, thus the reason I went with Permatex for the Duomid, which I take into more serious weather.

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: ge silicone ii on 05/18/2013 00:06:41 MDT Print View

"white gas produces explosive fumes so you have to be very careful, like use it outside. And white gas might dissolve the fabric you're applying it to? It is very nasty stuff."

The hydrocarbon solvents in Mineral spirits are also present in White gas although in lesser amounts in White gas. both White gas and Mineral Spirits are flammable and produce explosive fumes and should only be used in a well ventilated space or outside.

This is the discussion on using white gas instead of low VOC Mineral Spirits: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=73437

And based on a previouse discussion no one reported any damage done to the fabric from White Gas and apparently white gas is recommended by Tarptents.

Patrick O'Neil
(human) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ge silicone ii on 05/18/2013 06:02:31 MDT Print View

I havent found permatex flowable in ottawa canada. It's a long weekend. I'll try the tarptent method using the ge i got.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ge silicone ii on 05/18/2013 06:13:59 MDT Print View

I use this stuff all the time. My gear is a bit older than most, I guess. For general seam sealing, a thin coat of three or five to one is a good mix. Too thick and it won't penetrate folds and threads. And, thicker stuff has a tendancy to peel.

As far as peeling goes, if the skin (after drying) has a greater adhesion to itself than the fabric, it will generally peel. A slight loosening of the coating will result in the entire stripe being pulled off, eventually. Theis is often the result from abrasion and rubbing on floors and side walls. This is a pretty clear indicator of too thick of a coating.

Most tents & tarps will start misting after 30 uses or so. Some fabrics, especially the older stuff, are very suseptible to UV damage. This can cause areas to whiten, leak and mist in extreme cases. The new stuff is worse than the older stuff. I think the coating is thinly applied. After using tarps for a few years, I have found that they really only need very thin coatings to restore them...at least till the fabric gets soo weak it starts fraying & tearing easily. I use a 20-50 to 1 mix. This is painted over the whole surface, working it in to the fabric on both sides. This seems to stop any misting and after several years, does not peel nor add significant weight. If done correctly, it will add maybe .1oz or .2oz per yard. It will also reseal seams, but flows easily, not really suitable for initial seam sealing.

The silicone and mineral spirits (or white gas) do not really mix that well. Like Eric was saying, it takes a lot of stirring and rather continuous shaking when applying it. And, it will harden, even when diluted. I had extra and let it sit in my bucket (with a lid) and it still hardened after a few days. Though, it remained relativly oily and far less dense than normal.

Having used both thinners, I prefer the mineral spirits since it has a slower drying time than WG. It is easier to do a large area since it takes a couple minutes to evaporate off.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ge silicone ii on 05/18/2013 08:10:55 MDT Print View

I'm pretty sure white gas has smaller Carbon molecules than mineral spirits so white gas is more flamable and more likely to explode. But I agree you should treat both of them carefully.

I've had gasoline disolve plastic tubing, but that was after 24 hours, so okay, probably doesn't matter for brief exposure.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
WG on 05/18/2013 10:38:37 MDT Print View

WG doesn't seem to bother nylon. Nylon is fairly stable and does not disociate like styrene based plastics.

from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nylon
nylon
noun (Concise Encyclopedia)



Any synthetic plastic material composed of polyamides of high molecular weight and usually, but not always, manufactured as a fibre. Nylons were developed by Du Pont in the 1930s. The successful production of a useful fibre by chemical synthesis from compounds readily available from air, water, and coal or petroleum stimulated expansion of research on polymers, leading to a rapidly growing family of synthetics. Nylon can be made to form fibres, filaments, bristles, or sheets to be manufactured into yarn, textiles, and cordage, and it can also be formed into molded products. It has high resistance to wear, heat, and chemicals. Most applications are in the form of filaments in such articles as hosiery, parachutes, and outerwear. See also W. H. Carothers.

It is fairly durable and wepons often include parts made from nylon. Oil, and stuff does not disolve this. There are several groups of fibers called "nylon". Some is more resistant than others, but generally WG has no effect on them. Auto-gas is a different story. This has additives than will eventually damage nylon fabric, PET and other synthetics. This is not the same as disolving it, though.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: WG on 05/18/2013 10:43:38 MDT Print View

okay, the only problem with white gas is that it's going to explode, won't disolve your fabric : )

Patrick O'Neil
(human) - F
Re: Re: WG on 05/18/2013 15:15:31 MDT Print View

Just got done seam sealing. I think the mix i used was a little thin. Maybe 2-3 tablespoons of ge and 2 fingers of mineral spirits in a pasta jar. The mix didnt harden like people seem to suggest id does. Should i reappyl a second coat with a thicker mix?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: WG on 05/18/2013 15:22:59 MDT Print View

what do you mean "it didn't harden". After 24 hours it should cure, still soft and pliable.

what was the ratio of silicone to mineral spirits?

Patrick O'Neil
(human) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: WG on 05/18/2013 15:49:44 MDT Print View

Sorry i meant the mix itself in the jar did not harden. I shook the silicone and mineral spirits together for about five minutes it turned into a milky liquid. People here seem to suggest their mx hardens in two minutes after shaking. Unfortunately i live in a condo so had to bring all this stuff eleswhere and forgot a measuirng cup. So i eyeballed it, 2 big squirts of silicone and about two fingers of minieral spirits in in a pasta jar. Im leaving it out over nght. I might just reapply in a week.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: WG on 05/18/2013 16:36:34 MDT Print View

After I combine mineral spirits and silicone, it takes about 15 minutes to completely disolve - no little globs of silicone. Maybe if you shake in jar it only takes 5 minutes?

Then apply it to fabric

It takes a few hours to mostly dry, 24 hours for complete cure, better to wait several days before using it

I don't know what you mean about hardening in jar 2 minutes after shaking, in my experience you have maybe even an hour to use it before it starts hardening

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
ge silicone ii on 05/18/2013 16:38:16 MDT Print View

"I'm pretty sure white gas has smaller Carbon molecules than mineral spirits so white gas is more flamable and more likely to explode. But I agree you should treat both of them carefully. "

Reality check...
White gas (Coleman fuel/naphta/Shellite) IS the stuff folk use with liquid fuel stoves, you know the ones where you put a match to them to get them started.
No need to light it nor drink it when mixing with silicone.

Mineral Turpentine/paint thinner is used by painters everyday to both thin pain and clean brushes.
Again somehow millions have managed to do that without setting themselves on fire for well over a century.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: ge silicone ii on 05/18/2013 16:51:31 MDT Print View

white gas has molecules with fewer carbon atoms - it evaporates more, is more likely to catch fire - it's designed to burn

mineral spirits has molecules with more carbon atoms - it evaporates less, is less likely to catch fire - it's designed to thin paint with less chance of catching fire

mineral spirits is also used as a charcoal lighter where it's supposed to burn, but because it evaporates a little less, it's less likely to catch someone on fire when they're using it

you can use white gas to thin silicone, it's just a little bit more dangerous than mineral spirits

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Ronson Lighter fluid on 05/18/2013 21:58:13 MDT Print View

Ronson lighter fluid works great for me. Has a nice dispensing spout. User friendly.