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Re: Aluminum Rectangular Tubing

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On Jan 5, 2007, at 3:08 PM, Gerard Madden, SE wrote:

It appears that "DRAWN TUBE" is 6061-T6

Is that the common aluminum type I should be using?
6061-T6 is a very common structural aluminum alloy. Buy it from a local service center like Ryerson or Jorgenson in accordance with an ASTM structural aluminum specification, so you'll know what you're getting. Don't weld it unless you know exactly what you're doing and how to decrease allowable stresses to include the effects of welding heat.

There are lots of specifications for structural aluminum which you _can_ use. Whether you _should_ be using it and what specification you should be using is your job. My own experience is that aluminum can be a big pain in the ass. It's as strong as steel, but it's not as stiff, so stability issues come up. You'll only save weight if you're willing to spend money on stiffeners and the additional hand labor. Fatigue and fracture are also issues with aluminum and frequently weld quality is a big problem in those areas. Aluminum is very useful stuff, but no cure-all. You need to understand its limitations and work within them. See the Aluminum Association web site.
Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
.......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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