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Old 03-22-2014, 10:26 PM   #1
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Anybody familiar with plastic welding/fabrication?


I have a battery shelf that can fit exactly 4 standard size marine batteries and I would like to be able to actually fit 4 per shelf.

I am currently using some small plastic containers in case of acid spill but that limits me to 2 batteries per shelf due to the tray sizes. I'd like to custom build a single tray that fits the entire shelf and was thinking plastic welding may be my best bet.

Where would I find actual sheets of plastic such as ABS, PVC, CPVC etc? I think even plexi would work. Also, when welding plastic, is it fusing it as one? So would it make a 100% watertight seal?

I'm just looking for more info on this and what I need to know, etc...

Or is there a better way to do this?

I looked into getting some custom made but it would be well over 120 bucks per tray. I'm sure it would be cheaper to build myself, even if I have to invest in some tools, at least I can use those tools later on. I'm sure it's a useful thing to be able to weld plastic.

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Old 03-22-2014, 11:33 PM   #2
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Anybody familiar with plastic welding/fabrication?


What about using Acid resistant Fiberglass, along with Acid Resistant Resin, to make the trays.

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Old 03-23-2014, 09:30 AM   #3
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Anybody familiar with plastic welding/fabrication?


You might check this place:

http://www.quickcable.com/products.php?pageId=604
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Old 03-23-2014, 02:58 PM   #4
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Anybody familiar with plastic welding/fabrication?


Do they make custom sizes? It has to be rather specific given the size of my shelf. It's about the width of a battery and as deep as 4. If the tray is bigger it wont fit, if it's smaller, I wont be able to put 4 batteries. I guess I could look at smaller batteries, but these are standard marine size so want to stick with that since they're cheap and effective.

Another thing I just thought of, what about ABS? When I use ABS cement it fuses it as one, right? Wonder where I would find ABS sheets that are like 5mm thick or so, and wonder what is the best way to make a precise straight cut? I could cut a sheet exactly the size I need then cut out 2cm strips for the sides and use ABS glue. Could that work? I'd also want to have it drain somehow, can I bond CPVC to ABS?
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:04 PM   #5
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Anybody familiar with plastic welding/fabrication?


You would be better off just emailing them as far as sizes.I would not have a clue .You mentioned a product in a post above you could have made for $120 a shelf and thought that was to expensive.Any type of sheet goods you are looking for and the material to bond them yourself not even considering your time would be more or close to that IMHO.
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:54 PM   #6
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Anybody familiar with plastic welding/fabrication?


I have done PVC welding of pipes and sheet,s. I use a special welder and pvc welding rods. The unit I use is a special heat gun and dry compressed air. i regulate the air pressure way down and the gun blows the hot air out tru a special nozzle. When It looks like its the right temp then I feed the rod into the joint so it fuses everything together It is not hard but takes lots of practice. The joints come out very strong if done right. For a one shot deal like you have it may be to expensive.
McMaster Carr has all the stuff I use.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:37 PM   #7
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Anybody familiar with plastic welding/fabrication?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mako1 View Post
You would be better off just emailing them as far as sizes.I would not have a clue .You mentioned a product in a post above you could have made for $120 a shelf and thought that was to expensive.Any type of sheet goods you are looking for and the material to bond them yourself not even considering your time would be more or close to that IMHO.
Yeah if any alternative ends up being a lot then I might reconsider the premade trays. I only got one quote from one place too, so I may be able to find a better deal. The other issue is shipping, the trays would be large enough so shipping that from the states would be 100's of dollars but if I can find a company in Canada it wont be as bad. The one I got a quote from is in Canada. Maybe I'll keep looking around and get more estimates.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:50 PM   #8
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Anybody familiar with plastic welding/fabrication?


Less you know someplace where you can rent or borrow plastic welding equipment you are going to spend much more than the $120 you were quoted to having it fabricated. Plastic welding takes a special touch especially when you are trying to make a watertight seal.

Couldn't you just use cut sheets of plexiglass or some similar materials and use silicone to seal the joints? Certainly much cheaper, faster and simpler than trying to plastic weld a leakproof tank.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:56 PM   #9
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Anybody familiar with plastic welding/fabrication?


Cyberknight is correct. Look up McMasters-carr online and you will find what you need. However, plastic welding isn't easy. I am a certified in butt fusion and extruded HDPE welding. the correct equipment will be expensive and cost more than a few of those trays. Then you have the cost of the plastic sheets. Think really hard before you proceed.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:10 AM   #10
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Anybody familiar with plastic welding/fabrication?


WHy you use plastic containers for acid? You should avoid this habit. This might hurt some times.
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Old 05-02-2014, 02:52 AM   #11
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Anybody familiar with plastic welding/fabrication?


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WHy you use plastic containers for acid? You should avoid this habit. This might hurt some times.
Plastic is quite resistant to acid. Batteries are actually made of plastic for that reason. These trays are more of a precaution in case a battery is defective, or otherwise cracks for some weird reason. The reason for welding is if I use any kind of adhesive it may not be resistent, or may unbond or otherwise leak. Welding means there's only one material involved and is seamless.

Did not realize the equipment for plastic welding was that expensive, and was not taking into account materials, guess plastic is not that cheap. So probably end up going with the premade trays. It was $120 PER unit and I need 4-5 (may not do the very top shelf as I probably wont put batteries there) so that's $480 + tax + shipping so probably closer to $600. But at least it's a done deal after that and less work. Of course I can also get more quotes from other places.

I've even been debating on just putting the batteries directly on the plywood but rather not take the risk. I think if acid leaks it can actually catch on fire if it reacts with something, such as any chemicals in the plywood, galvanized nails, etc... so best to play things safe.

Going to be expanding my system soon so probably will be thinking about this more seriously. Adding more server equipment so I need more amp hours. 400 now, might bump that to 800 and move to a 48v system (2 strings). Well technically it would be 200ah at that point, but at 48v so less amps being drawn.


Last edited by Red Squirrel; 05-02-2014 at 02:56 AM.
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