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Frozen Push Buttons

04/05/2012 5:07 PM

Muhroom head Push Buttons for the emergency stop of diesel driven cargo pumps on an oil carrier barge operating in Alaskan waters are covered with hinged covers to prevent accidental operation.

The push buttons are mounted on a stand on the open deck, they become covered in ice and the covers are frozen over. Need a way of heating the PBs, or heated PBs.

The stand is in a hazardous, oil vapor, area.

24 VDC power available from diesel start batteries.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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#1

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/05/2012 5:25 PM

John,

How about some 24V self regulated heat trace cable?

Put a few wraps around the inside of the enclosure.

Here is a link.

I suggest cable rather than say an outdoor camera enclosure heater due to the hazardous area.

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/05/2012 5:39 PM

Great suggestion, thank for the link. My only question is, why did I not think of heat trace?

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#9
In reply to #4

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/06/2012 10:57 PM

Based on the working environment, perhaps brain-freeze explains why you did not think of the heat trace solution!

Too many years living in the cold of ND have contributed to my sense of humor!

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#7
In reply to #1

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/06/2012 11:45 AM

GA KJK...............................I'd still like to see how the other stuff would work.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/06/2012 3:04 PM
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#2

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/05/2012 5:28 PM

Use a remote like for vehicles, keep one in the pocket of any crew on duty.

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#3

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/05/2012 5:36 PM

This would be the ticket if it worked. Worth a try I think.

http://www.core77.com/blog/materials/amazing_super_water-repellent_coating_21117.asp

http://www.neverwet.com/

Coating with clear silicone may also work, and would be easy to do.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/05/2012 11:04 PM

i would like to add that most oil lubricants are'nt suitable for this type of enviroment. graphite might be a better option.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/06/2012 6:09 AM

It's not a lubricant. It's a coating that completely repels water, and therefore ice. Pretty cool stuff. Some of the possible uses mentioned, were to keep ice off power lines and airplane wings, among others. I think graphite would be useless for anything, in a wet environment.

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#10

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/07/2012 6:41 PM

How big is the area that needs to be protected from the icing? What shape is the panel? What is directly around the panel? Armed with that information you will probably find someone who will come up with a simple "genius solution.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/07/2012 8:02 PM

There will be (4) muhroom head emergency stop push buttons mounted on a stand.

Considering using a Safety Technology International, Inc. heated polycarbonate enclosure with radient heat plates.

Concerned if the polycarbonate will stand-up to exsposure to sun and ice.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/07/2012 9:32 PM

Polycarbonate is what jet canopies are made of and they can withstand 20mm ammo.

The only thing I know of that the polycarbonate is degraded by is super glue (cyanoacrylate) degrades polycarbonate by causing it to haze and become brittle. Other wise it is pretty much indestructible.

The reason I asked about the size/ How many inches wide, how many inches long was so that I could come up with a quick release cover that could be used in stormy weather.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/08/2012 12:37 PM

Thank you for confirming the viabiliy of poycarbonate

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#13

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/08/2012 12:26 AM

There are a range of products designed for heating plants in nurseries in very cold environments, they usually use 24 volts DC, - some are a mat under the pots, some can be wrapped to a certain degree, - contact garden suppliers in the cold areas, - there is even such for Home Brew, very low power usage, just that trickle to keep the yeast alive and our beer glasses full! Cheers, Geoff Thomas.

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#15

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/09/2012 11:31 AM

What if you mounted it upside down, so the ice formed on the bottom instead of the cover?

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#16

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/10/2012 4:49 AM

What if you made the cover fixed, polycarbonate, but open at the bottom, so you reach up under the cover to push the button?

Ice on the cover would then not matter.

You could even mount the buttons facing down under the cover behind a thin rubber membrane to keep them dry so all you have to do is reach under the cover and push up....

just some thoughts

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#17

Re: Frozen Push Buttons

04/12/2012 10:38 AM

Purchase Thermal heat tape.

http://www.oemheaters.com/c-633-heating-tape.aspx?gclid=CMr8zsvEr68CFQ2FhwodFzNxnw

When I worked for aerospace we used it quite a bit inside the thermal vacuum chambers for our test specimens.

It works quite well.

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