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Microwave Bitumen Tool

  [vote for,

I've got 14000 square feet of failing flat-top mall roof to fix and lack the hundreds of thousands of dollars quoted to redo it, so for the past couple of weeks, and a few more to go, I have become a torch-on roof guy.

Oy, my back...

Not only is the process of repairing a torch on roof excruciating it is extremely easy to burn down the building you are working on.

So I figured out a better way than how it's always been done.
The device I have in mind would use microwaves to heat up the bitumen to an exact temperature allowing a blade to spud the embedded rocks from the seam while also heating the strip of bitumen to replace each seam in one pass.

I'd thought to start by converting a microwave carpet seamer to reach the required temperature but it looks like others are looking into it and they will probably beat me to the punch. [link]

https://www.google....ave+heating+bitumen [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 07 2020]


       Can you not use lasers instead?
pocmloc, Oct 07 2020

       // it is extremely easy to burn down the building you are working on //   



       Sorry, carry on.   

       // lasers //   

       Well, since bitumen is black, absorbtion spectra shouldn't be too much of a problem ... until spot heating causes it to ignite HAHAHAHAHAHAHA cough cough splutter .... sorry, sorry ...   

       You probably don't need microwaves; a simple resistive electric heating element will probably work OK. You could try something like running a 110V clothing iron off 230V and see what happens ...   

       <Sniggering and hiccuping/>
8th of 7, Oct 07 2020

       //simple resistive electric heating element//
Yeah, it's the 21st century. Electric everything! You could probably re-jig an electric heat gun to evenly heat the whole width of your roll at once. A heating element can be made thin (single wire) so it can be VERY close to precisely where you need to heat, rather than the vague approximation of accuracy that a flame provides.
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 07 2020

       Well, yes ... but there's something so ... special ... about flames ... very special ... the coruscating blue-orange-yellow dance of destruction ... the shimmering, twisting living avatar of ultimate extinction ...   

       <Takes three of the little blue pills, kept for emergency situations/>
8th of 7, Oct 07 2020

       //three of the little blue pills//
Better take a 4th, just to be sure... no NO; with water, not whisky!
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 07 2020

       Don't worry, that's not whisky.
pertinax, Oct 08 2020

       //failing flat-top mall roof//   

       What is its failure mode? Cracking? Sagging? Untraceable leaks? Bald patches? Blowing away in a high wind? Attracting extra-terrestrial arsonists? Wrinkling? Unsightly discoloration? Heavy-smoking raccoons? Thermite termites? Hailstone penetration? Fiddlers? (Oy!) Insufficient traction for outdoor furniture? Exposed wiring? Concealed wiring? Not enough thatch to hide a pike?   

       Sorry, I can't find the punchline. I think I dropped it somewhere over there and it rolled off the edge.   

       But the first question was serious.
pertinax, Oct 08 2020

       If the bitumen contained iron filings you would be able to heat it up by waving an induction coil close the surface of the roof. This would be an almost* flawless solution.

*(That the inclusion of iron particles in a roof to help make it waterproof would in fact lead to the roof rusting and breaking apart is, of course, ironic)
hippo, Oct 08 2020

       A non-ferrous metal, or an alloy,l could be used that would still absorb energy by induction heating, yet was not susceptible to corrosion.   

       // Attracting extra-terrestrial arsonists? //   

       We prefer the term "Unsolicited combustion facilitators" ...
8th of 7, Oct 08 2020

       //A non-ferrous metal, or an alloy, could be used that would still absorb energy by induction heating//

No, because that wouldn't have given me the set-up for the iron/ironic pun.
hippo, Oct 08 2020

       //What is its failure mode? Cracking? Sagging? Untraceable leaks? //   

       this whole place was built before codes so;
20" truss centers require at least 5/8ths material, These yutz's used 1/2" plywood with clips rather than tongue and groove, and then went over that with 1/2" Donnacona fibre board which may as well be Rice Krispies when exposed to water.
The perimeter cant and equipment flashing were installed with K3 or roll-shingle material with tar and gravel installed overlapping that, so when the inevitable cracks appeared in the hollows of the cants, water went under the membrane rather than toward the drains.
Three gaping holes, the largest an 8 by 8 foot wide nightmare needed to be cut out and replaced, thankfully the engineered trusses had not begun to rot yet.

       Water then made its way to the vapour barrier holding up the insulation and proceeded to go whereverthehell it liked until finding an exit so that it was quite literally raining throughout the entire structure.
When the power was turned off the heat-wires running through the downspouts no longer kept water trickling in the winter so the ice load in the pipes caused the mechanical couplings to separate and entire sections of roof water poured down in those spots.

       I never bothered to try tracing individual leaks, I just tore out the entire drop ceiling, poked holes in the pooled areas and set about replacing the entire perimeter cant strip with bitumen, fixing the obvious holes and redoing every seam.   

       Come spring we'll see what still needs fixing but I'm thinking that should fix about 90% of the problems.   

       Wow. So, all of the above.   

       My sympathy for your back. I'd recommend hanging-upside- down exercises so that gravity can help straighten it out, but YMMV.   

       I'm sure that when tourism revives, after COVID, people will appreciate what you've done.
pertinax, Oct 08 2020

       : ]   

       If it doesn't kill me their appreciation will be appreciated.
Strangely tourism was booming this year.
Nobody is going to Mexico or Las Wages so everybody is camping.
The snowbirds can't go south with their RV's this winter and I wish I was allowed to provide full hookups rather than blow out and winterize the system later this month.

       I had to do a roofing job this spring over our family room, thanks to shoddy vinyl gutters from the previous owner that leaked and caused wet rotted spots on the roof that leaked into the room and also rotted out the fascia boards.   

       Don’t buy vinyl gutters.
RayfordSteele, Oct 09 2020

       I was talking recently to a resort manager in Margaret River. Like you, [2 fries], he found he'd had a fair bit of business (for a winter), but his problem was he couldn't get staff - normally, I think, he hires international backpackers, and there suddenly aren't any.   

       Of course, a resort run by a half-baker should probably hire Oompa Loompas.   

       How are you placed for software, to manage bookings and optimise rates?
pertinax, Oct 09 2020

       Oompa Loompas would be optimal of course but I'm not quite that dialed in. My genie started asking for wishes when I was like nine and the first couple may have been a bit misguided.
I will have to make do with the; serendipitous meeting of those I need who also need me just when and where we need each other program... because I ain't wasting that last wish frivolously.

       Staff here will always be a problem. The population of this little back-eddy swells from 1200 people for 8 months of the year to almost 30,000 for about three months of the year.
I look forward to the prospect of busting my ass for only four months out of every twelve if it lets me pursue my own interests for the remainder of every coming year of my life.
As for optimizing rates and bookings, (this is in my wife's wheelhouse not mine), she says we are using cloudbeds.com.
That means little to me though.
I'm the surgeon in this little triage scenario... not the administration.

       Holding a wish, think of the genie.
wjt, Oct 09 2020

       But any wish gets twisted. For example say I wish for something awesome like World Peace... and everybody dies.
Gotta be careful. Genies live for eons. It can wait.


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