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My clothes dryer's drum is made of aluminum rolled into a cylinder and welded together along a single seam. The weld has developed a crack approximately 1" long, and is opened by about 1/8th of an inch.

The crack flexes on every rotation as it passes by a roller. I've attempted fixing it with standard J-B Weld. After sanding, cleaning, and applying a moderate layer of JB Weld to both sides I allowed it to cure 24 hours, but the crack reappeared while doing the first load of laundry.

What product(s) can I use to mend the crack and prevent it from re-opening, wihtout it failing in the heat of the dryer, or leaving residue on clothes? I've thought of trying to combine an epoxy as well as a strap of reinforcing tape on the outside of the drum, but don't know what specific products to try.

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If you can get the whole drum out take it to a welder. Something this small probably wouldn't cost much and it would be as good as new afterwards. Just make sure they can do aluminum. It's a bit different than steel and not all welders do it.

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Yeah, I haven't had much luck with JB Weld either, in much of anything. Any kind of adhesive won't last & when heated can stink up the clothes pretty bad. I'd go with steel Pop-Rivets installed from the outside, stems sticking out inside the drum.

The rivet stems can be trimmed & thereby crimped so they never loosen. This way there would just be a tiny speed bump from the mostly flush heads going over the roller. You could use short screws, but they'll loosen, drop out & even shred clothing.

  • ah, I like the idea of a simple patch, didn't even cross my mind – STW Mar 29 '16 at 2:01
  • Should work great & be permanent. – Iggy Mar 29 '16 at 2:04
  • If this welded drum is cracking (most likely stress related) I would personally shy away from adding additional holes. That just introduces more points of failure near an already stressed area. I would expect radiating cracks from where the holes are drilled. – BrownRedHawk Mar 29 '16 at 12:49
  • Sure, anything's possible, but it's riding rollers & not being spun by a central axle. It's more likely a bad weld or crimp section, they just need time to work loose. Welding or brazing could very easily cause a warp with much more stress over a much larger area. – Iggy Mar 29 '16 at 12:55
  • @Iggy A good weld in this case would also require pre-heating and tempering a large hollow object like this to remove the stress. This can even be done by a very skilled welder and a torch. – BrownRedHawk Mar 29 '16 at 12:57
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If you buy "muffler tape" , available at any auto parts store or hardware store, it can certainly stand up to the temperature levels of the dryer. You could put a metal strap around the outside for strength & cover with the muffler tape for air-tightness.

That said, I'd probably start with the pop-rivet answer.

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