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Old 11-28-2021, 11:23 AM   #1
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Am I creating Inner Fuel Tank Condensation?

Hello,

I work at an aircraft factory and I am always running across what they consider "scrap" that I would consider "Project Supplies". Another words I dumpster dive. In the completion center, where all the interior is installed following main production, the cabinetry, carpet, additional wiring, pretty much everything it takes to turn a metal tube to a luxury interior is installed. This includes layers of high quality burn proof sound dampening insulation of which I ran across a bunch of.

I figured I might could reduce engine noise in the cabin a little maybe by installing some of this sound dampening insulation in the engine bay area etc.

However sometimes my ideas aren't always good ones in the end but I got to thinking that in doing this could I be introducing a possible an inner fuel tank condensation problem?

I sorta understand condensation, it occurs when warmer air and colder air come together on a surface like a window and as a result the moisture in the air collects on the warmer surface.

So I am thinking this through and say a scenario would be like this-

The engine bay, initially where pretty much everything is roughly the same temp, engine block, transmission, fuel etc. Engine cranks, we get underway and engine area gets pretty hot. As it is now, we have port & starboard 150 gallon SS tanks.

Question is, by me partially covering the 2 tanks loosely with sound dampening insulation, am I increasing the possibility introducing a possible inner fuel tank condensation or not really?

Looking forward to comments...
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Old 11-28-2021, 11:39 AM   #2
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I can't see a problem. How's the noise level?
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Old 11-28-2021, 11:55 AM   #3
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Very interesting question! I can’t readily say if what you’ve done will increase the possibility, but Nigel Calder says the biggest issues with fuel tank condensation are contaminated fuel and the air vent line. Which, in the course of normal operation, brings into our fuel tanks moist, marine air.

That’s why he endorses (without any compensation) the Air Vent Dryers from H2Out. The AVD removes water molecules from the air entering the tank. We have them in our store and highly recommend their use:

https://www.pacificnwboatertested.co...ir-vent-dryers

When we made the video I was of course honored to work with him, but very impressed that he made sure to tell anyone within earshot that he was not being paid to do it. He was very concerned that his integrity and objectivity not be compromised. Made me respect him even more!
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Old 11-28-2021, 12:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonfish View Post
Very interesting question! I canít readily say if what youíve done will increase the possibility, but Nigel Calder says the biggest issues with fuel tank condensation are contaminated fuel and the air vent line. Which, in the course of normal operation, brings into our fuel tanks moist, marine air.

Thatís why he endorses (without any compensation) the Air Vent Dryers from H2Out. The AVD removes water molecules from the air entering the tank. We have them in our store and highly recommend their use:

https://www.pacificnwboatertested.co...ir-vent-dryers

When we made the video I was of course honored to work with him, but very impressed that he made sure to tell anyone within earshot that he was not being paid to do it. He was very concerned that his integrity and objectivity not be compromised. Made me respect him even more!
Thanks, Darren - that's a new one on me. The promise of the AVD seems quite meaningful in humid environments such as here in Florida, where many boats (sadly) lie idle with little changeover to the content of their fuel tanks.
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Old 11-28-2021, 01:06 PM   #5
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I can see that the (sound) insulation would make your fuel tanks quieter inside, but to what purpose? Thermal insulation might also slow down temperature swings in the fuel, but again, to what purpose? The engine room will cool off faster than the fuel, which is what leads to condensation on the inside of the tank (assuming moisture in the fuel or water vapor in the air), but insulating the tanks might only slow that process. The condensation issue is best addressed by what you allow in your tanks, not what you put on the outside. I would use flameproof sound insulation against the engine room walls and forget about the tanks. The only advantage of using it on the tanks is that it is the easiest place to install.

Scrounging in an aircraft factory scrap pile reminds me of the old Boeing Surplus store south of Seattle. I found lots of goodies there. Soundproofing carpet that I put in my Volvo 1800. One inch titanium tubing that I used in place of stainless for boat stanchions. I still have goodies in my scrap pile that come in handy.
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Old 11-28-2021, 04:30 PM   #6
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Marco, as I stated in my post the intent/purpose was to possibly reduce cabin noise a little, wasn't to worried but it was in the dumpster and didn't get wet so to me it was worth a look see...
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Old 11-28-2021, 04:36 PM   #7
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Stainless steel is not a good material for fuel tanks
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Old 11-28-2021, 04:37 PM   #8
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They might be aluminum actually, my mistake...
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Old 11-28-2021, 05:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor of Fortune View Post
Stainless steel is not a good material for fuel tanks
Now you tell me
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Old 11-28-2021, 05:28 PM   #10
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I donít see any problem with it. I am insulating my deck hatch now. The entire cockpit in my boat hinges up so there is quite a bit of area to insulate. The original sound insulation wasnít very effective so I am putting in Soundown 2Ē 2 pound per square foot insulation. It has PSA on one side and I am using some metal pins that epoxy to the hatch to help hold it in place since it is so heavy.
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Old 11-28-2021, 08:06 PM   #11
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From my limited knowledge & experience...
If you are interested in sound proofing the material / barrier needs to be applied to the bottom of the salon/ saloon floor. That prevents noise transfer from ER up to saloon. The other important point is the barrier needs to be continuous as a small opening will transmit much more noise that you might expect... so any seans need to be glued / taped and any openings such as hatches need gaskets for positive sealing.
I'm not sure from your pics if draping material over tanks will have any affect at all.
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Old 12-03-2021, 03:58 AM   #12
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Why is stainless steel a bad choice for fuel tank material ??
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Old 12-10-2021, 02:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Why is stainless steel a bad choice for fuel tank material ??
My question as well. Many boats have stainless tanks, I had never before heard that was a bad thing. A bad thing I have heard is marine aluminum for water and holding tank which was common in earlier Island Packet boats and an eventual failure point that was not easy to replace.
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Old 12-10-2021, 02:51 PM   #14
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Perhaps also consider mass loaded vinyl, which is available in rolls on Amazon. I’ve never used it for maritime use but it is weatherproof.

It comes in both a 1lb and a 2lb per square foot density. Very effective for sound blocking not absorption.
To confirm the prior post, a small gap allows half the sound to come through.
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Old 12-10-2021, 03:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by backinblue View Post
My question as well. Many boats have stainless tanks, I had never before heard that was a bad thing. A bad thing I have heard is marine aluminum for water and holding tank which was common in earlier Island Packet boats and an eventual failure point that was not easy to replace.


I hope someone enlightens us, líve read about the difficulties of many ferrous fuel tanks being replaced, but canít recall the same of stainless steel.
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Old 12-10-2021, 03:54 PM   #16
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jefndeb, Savannah huh - might that 'scrap materiel' come from a Gulfstream?? Back in my banker days I financed quite a few of those great planes.
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Old 12-10-2021, 04:00 PM   #17
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I am not an expert on welding but I think that the problem with stainless steel tanks is the welding may cause areas that can rust if it isnít properly passivated.
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Old 12-10-2021, 11:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefndeb View Post
...condensation...occurs when warmer air and colder air come together on a surface like a window and as a result the moisture in the air collects on the warmer surface...Looking forward to comments...
.
[I will hold-off saying your understanding is wonk.
I acknowledge two people can have different experiences.
I hope this short treatise may offer clues to guide your new project.]
.
Here is my experience:
.
The 'cool' of it:
* Cold air is denser, unable to carry much moisture.
For example:
* Rising -- moisture-laden -- warm air always cools, creating rain and snow in high altitudes with thinner air.
That thin air is mostly-incapable of absorbing moisture (beyond saturation), so gravity assists in maintaining the balance.
.
Another example, this one closer to home:
* winters are notorious for sinus infections/influenza/pneumonia in dehydrated mucus membranes -- and chapped lips -- because the air can be very dry.
Everything floating in the air is automatically attracted to warm moist surfaces, i.e. sinus, lungs, sweaty folds.
.
An aside:
Oft-visible during the cold weather 'sick-season', each exhalation exhausts moisture in our breath, compounding our tendency toward dehydration.
.
The 'warm' of it:
* Warm air is thinner, able to carry more moisture.
An example:
* Warm surface at approximately the temperature of nearby air has little to offer as a landing zone.
The moisture may well stay saturated in the air... the temperature similarity creates little ionic attraction.
.
Inside a structure -- house, boat -- warm air 'absorbs' and holds moisture.
During winter or a chilly evening -- as this warm moist air convects near a cooler surface such as an exterior window -- the suddenly-chilled air must release its moisture.
This presents as condensation.
.
.
My opinion on your q:
I think surrounding the exterior of your room with insulation would help temper/mitigate the temperature differences inside that room.
.
I think laying insulation against an interior surface creates a concealed area for condensation to collect... probably acting as a medium for mold.
Those molds could poot airborne spores... and potentially take residence on an accommodating sinus orlung.
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Old 12-11-2021, 06:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Large Marge View Post
.
[I will hold-off saying your understanding is wonk.
I acknowledge two people can have different experiences.
I hope this short treatise may offer clues to guide your new project.]
.
Here is my experience:
.
The 'cool' of it:
* Cold air is denser, unable to carry much moisture.
For example:
* Rising -- moisture-laden -- warm air always cools, creating rain and snow in high altitudes with thinner air.
That thin air is mostly-incapable of absorbing moisture (beyond saturation), so gravity assists in maintaining the balance.
.
Another example, this one closer to home:
* winters are notorious for sinus infections/influenza/pneumonia in dehydrated mucus membranes -- and chapped lips -- because the air can be very dry.
Everything floating in the air is automatically attracted to warm moist surfaces, i.e. sinus, lungs, sweaty folds.
.
An aside:
Oft-visible during the cold weather 'sick-season', each exhalation exhausts moisture in our breath, compounding our tendency toward dehydration.
.
The 'warm' of it:
* Warm air is thinner, able to carry more moisture.
An example:
* Warm surface at approximately the temperature of nearby air has little to offer as a landing zone.
The moisture may well stay saturated in the air... the temperature similarity creates little ionic attraction.
.
Inside a structure -- house, boat -- warm air 'absorbs' and holds moisture.
During winter or a chilly evening -- as this warm moist air convects near a cooler surface such as an exterior window -- the suddenly-chilled air must release its moisture.
This presents as condensation.
.
.
My opinion on your q:
I think surrounding the exterior of your room with insulation would help temper/mitigate the temperature differences inside that room.
.
I think laying insulation against an interior surface creates a concealed area for condensation to collect... probably acting as a medium for mold.
Those molds could poot airborne spores... and potentially take residence on an accommodating sinus orlung.
That may be a very wordy way of saying... when a surface temp is at or below the dew point of the adjacent / surrounding air, condensation occurs.

If air can be "thin" explain what thick air is?
It seems to me a better term is less or more dense.
The thing that confuses many is the fact that dry air is more dense that moist air... many relate moist air with it being "heavier" or more dense but the opposite is true.
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Old 12-11-2021, 09:45 AM   #20
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Stainless is not high corrosion resistant when welded. In addition it is brittle and does not like vibration. It would be about the last material I would use for fuel tanks.
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