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Thread: VBM Piccolo boiler wrap

  1. #1
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    VBM Piccolo boiler wrap

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I was thinking about insulating the boiler on my little VBM. I figured that a 700ml *boiler would cycle less if it was wraped up.

    About a year ago I bought some material from Clarke Rubber to do another little project and I thought that this would probably work well if I could squeeze it around the boiler ....
    This material was some sort of rubberised foam material backed by aluminum, at 10mm thick..... and looked ideal .
    Once exposed I took about 10-15min to fit around boiler , with 4 cutouts and some cables ties .

    The machine is now cycling between 15-30min and a best so far of 17-40 , from memory I think previously it was about 9 to 11 min per cycle.
    Cant see it doing any harm , I left the top uncovered and the base ....

    Any thoughts.....

    Greg




  2. #2
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: VBM Piccolo boiler wrap

    That looks very neat.

    Do you know what the stuff is called, and its maximum working temperature?

    Greg

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    Re: VBM Piccolo boiler wrap

    Quote Originally Posted by 5B6E797B4B736E717D70781C0 link=1248428273/1#1 date=1248428559
    That looks very neat.

    Do you know what the stuff is called, and its maximum working temperature?

    Greg
    and what size piece does it come in ? on a big roll etc?

    what would happen if you had put it on the other way
    inside out to what you did ? (foil in)

    nice looking job but :)

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    Re: VBM Piccolo boiler wrap

    As I recall , I think it was a metre wide and I bought 20 or 30 cm , for not much , 6 or 8 bucks maybe .

    I have no idea about its thermal properties and you could easily reverse it and have the foil on the inside.....
    During the next week Ill see if I can get some info from Clarkies.....
    Plus Ill take a look and see how its holding up on the inside of ilpiccolo...
    That will give me a chance to replace the cable ties, current cables ties had to be joined to get the length.... might go up a size in them as well (thicker,longer,stronger... no joins). There is no pressure on the cable ties , as they sit they can still rotate on the foil , so they are not biteing in.

    cheers
    Greg

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    Re: VBM Piccolo boiler wrap

    For Greg & Maheel,

    Went to Clarkies to get a name for this product and ask some questions.They often sell it for car firewalls and had it in a couple of different thicknesses., and some with sticky back.

    The name is FormShield ....
    Theres a link below to their website . It states it designed for hot and cold pipe insulation , and quotes working temps from -40* to 105*C.
    I know your going to say that the boiler of an espresso machine will be well over that ..... BUT I would also say if the manufactures are quoting 105*c you can bet there would be a 50-80% safety margin in that quoted figure .... For me if my boiler is hiting 130+ , I have no quarms using this and would be more worried about flimsy cables ties failing .....

    http://www.formshield.com.au/

    I think the price I saw at Clarkies was $16.90/ mt..... @ 1m wide

    Hope you find this informative, and you can make your own decission if its worth while or not ...

    Cheers
    Greg

  6. #6
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: VBM Piccolo boiler wrap

    Excellent, thanks mate.
    I notice that the short term resistance is 120C, or the equivalent of 2 bar (1 bar above normal), about where espresso machines generate steam.

    Greg

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    Re: VBM Piccolo boiler wrap

    Short note....after 5 weeks

    After about a month in situ the grey foam is breaking down at the highest and hotest point of the boiler .... ie top 30mm otherwise its Ok .....

    Probably wouldnt recommend , even though I will be leaving mine in place for a while ....

    Cheers

  8. #8
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: VBM Piccolo boiler wrap

    Thanks for the update. Unfortunately it means that this material will be unsuitable for my HX as Id guess the standard boiler temperature (ready for steam always) is about the same as the maximum on the Piccolo. :(

    Im still interested in an alternative to (or a smallish piece of) the Armaflex (?spelling).

    Greg

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    Re: VBM Piccolo boiler wrap

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E4B5C5E6E564B5458555D390 link=1248428273/7#7 date=1251976365
    Im still interested in an alternative to (or a smallish piece of) the Armaflex (?spelling).
    I used a product called kaowool, most industrial insulation installers stock it.I paid $30 for a metre by about .6m. Its a foil backed spun wool product about 25mm thick, but easy to make it thinner.Its rated to about 1000 C. Make sure the foil backing is not near any electrical connections.

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    Re: VBM Piccolo boiler wrap

    Kofekitt,

    I must inform you that there is NO SPUN WOOL in kaowool ....

    Koawool is ceramic blanket .... it has many uses mostly as insulation for lining kilns and gas forges.......

    The loose fibres of kaowool are an unknown quanity, potentially dangerous , but unknown ...... most of the above situations use the kaowool and then add a fixer or resin like liquid to lock in the fibres.....

    I have used kaowool for many years , and I am not certain you would want it in your kitchen without certain precautions.

    The one positive about kaowool is .... James Hardy dont sell it .... the rest is up for debate.

    hotshod

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    Re: VBM Piccolo boiler wrap

    Quote Originally Posted by 0B0C17100B0C07630 link=1248428273/9#9 date=1253188881
    Re: VBM Piccolo boiler wrap
    Reply #9 - Yesterday at 10:01pm Kofekitt,

    I must inform you that there is NO SPUN WOOL in kaowool ....

    Koawool is ceramic blanket .... it has many uses mostly as insulation for lining kilns and gas forges.......

    The loose fibres of kaowool are an unknown quanity, potentially dangerous , but unknown ...... most of the above situationsuse the kaowool and then add a fixer or resin like liquid to lock in the fibres.....

    I have used kaowool for many years , and I amnot certain you would want it in your kitchen without certain precautions
    Hi Hotshod, thanks for the warning, i was reccomended the kaowool from another online coffee forum.I did a bit of research and as you say, the jury still seem to be out on it.I wore gloves while handling it and made sure all edges were folded over so theres no fibres showing
    After doing a bit more reading up on it, im not sure if id use it again, so once again - thanks for the heads up.



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