I?m repairing an old (probably ?ancient?) espresso machine. Although
maybe 25+ years old, it?s in fairly decent shape.
That is, apart from the insulation on the boiler. The lagging material
is most likely asbestos, and it is flaking. So far, not good.
Here are some pictures of the boiler showing what it, and the insulation
on it looks like:
Now, as I see it, there?s two ways to deal with this problem.
1. First is to dismantle the entire thing, take the boiler out, and,
with all necessary precautions, remove the asbestos, eg. using a wire
brush. That is definitely the ?royal way?, but it?s also a royal PITA.
Apart from safety issues related to the removal of asbestos,
disassembling the machine & taking the boiler out is a tedious job.
There are lots of tubing coming in, and out of the boiler, and it is a
pressurized vessel ? leaks are definitely not wanted. Furthermore,
there?s not much room in machine for tools, and the boiler is very
firmly attached to the machines frame.
In short, disassembly runs the risk of damaging other components & may
actually do more harm than it?ll do good.
2. Second option is a ?cover up? job; encapsulating the asbestos with
some material, to stop the flaking & leave none of the asbestos exposed.
What I?m thinking of is a high temperature type of tape, or maybe a
resin, or whatever polymer, that can be easily applied ?in situ?, using
a simple brush, or something. Using fiberglass, or carbon fiber to
reinforce the polymer might be a possibility.
The question is, what would be the material of choice for me?
The normal operating range of the boiler is around 90 C to 120 C (195 F
to 250 F). The material I?m looking for should easily be able to cope
with that, but, to keep a decent safety range, I would prefer to opt for
a material that can withstand much higher temps ? maybe up to 200 C (400 F).
Needless to say, the stuff should be waterproof. Since this is an
espresso machine, the material will be sitting in a fairly humid
environment & might even have water spilled on it. Lastly, I?m kind of
on a budget, so what I need is something that?s relatively inexpensive &
I?m hoping to get your advice on the sort of material that I could use.
Of course, if you can recommend other possible options for dealing with
the asbestos issue that I?m overlooking, please do inform me.
DIY-challenged espressophile from the Netherlands (Europe)
18 years ago