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Dissimilar Metals

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To All -
  I have a situation where, via a bolted connection, an aluminum vertical 
plate is attached to a steel shear tab located along the web of of steel 
channel. I specified a 1/2" thick closed cell neoprene pad (plus S.S. bolts) 
between the aluminum plate and the shear tab. Is there a rule of thumb or 
guidance regarding the minimum separation distance between dissimilar 
materials? I know in similar cases, the aluminum plate could be coated with 
an asphaltic paint where it abuts the shear tab so perhaps no minimum 
separation is required. I'm concerned that should the pad be too thin 
galvanic action could arc between the two metals.

Charlie Canitz, PE
Bel Air, MD 

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