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RE: Al-yoo-minium

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You should get a copy of Kissel's book "Aluminum Structures : A Guide to
Their Specifications and Design". It is an excellent introduction. Another
reference that has helped me is "Welding Aluminum: Theory and Practice" by
the Aluminum Association.

Welding aluminum is a bit more difficult than welding steel. The aluminum
must be cleaned to remove oxide just prior to welding and you must keep
grease and other contaminants from the joining surfaces.

Bill

-----Original Message-----
From: Jordan Truesdell, PE [mailto:seaint1(--nospam--at)truesdellengineering.com]
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 6:15 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: Al-yoo-minium


As many, including Chris, have mentioned, Aluminum is definitely a 
different beast from steel.

Get the Aluminum manual. It will set you back about $350 and take a week 
to arrive.  Mine did, and I'm the next state over from their printing 
shop (in MD, if you're curious). It will have not just the formulas and 
factors your looking for, but the stress allowables (ult, yield, shear) 
for the common Al alloys and tempers.

E is about 10E6 psi for design (~1/3 steel, as mentioned).   Many welds  
must use near-annealed values, as the resulting weld cannot be 
restrengthed. This is, obviously true of all the H (work/strain 
hardened) "tempers". 1, 3, 4, and 5 series are not heat-treatable, only 
work hardened. 2, 6, and 7 are heat treatable.

Welds are typically bad ideas in aluminum for anything stress critical 
due to the ease in which inclusions appear in the welds, though some 
alloys will take welds well. For spaceflight, welding is a last resort 
for pieces which cannot be joined any other way. Also, don't forget that 
there is no fatigue limit for aluminum like there is for steel - as 
cycles increase, it just gets weaker and weaker. 

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