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Old 09-05-2013, 09:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Rigidity of aluminum sheet

Hello all -
I plan on purchasing a sheet of aluminum from McMaster Carr for a current project. Final dimensions needed for the project will be approximately 8" x 6".

For a piece this size, how thick does the sheet need to be to stay rigid? I was hoping to go as thin as 1/8" and certainly no thicker than 1/4" (thinner would be better for the application in mind). Also, there will be components mounted on both sides of the sheet. I believe this will be 6061 aluminum.

How rigid is aluminum? I don't want to order too thin and worry about the sheet flexing once components are mounted.

Thanks in advance for any input!
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Define ridgid. I use 1/8" aluminum at work and for a piece that size you will not have to worry about it drooping unless you want to support a lot of weight with it (over 50 lbs.).
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Define ridgid. I use 1/8" aluminum at work and for a piece that size you will not have to worry about it drooping unless you want to support a lot of weight with it (over 50 lbs.).
say about 4-5lbs on each side of the top; sheet will be mounted on a center pivot point - imagine the weight on each side of the top of a "T"
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Would say you woud be safer with the 1/4 "

1/8" would flex a little
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Depends on the grade of aluminum as well... 6061 tends to be a bit denser than 5052
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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are you worried about it deflecting under its own weight or is there going to be weight put on it that might cause it to buckle? Or is it being used to attach a few pieces, If you get a drawings buckling calcs are very quick, as well as strength (though if its compression it is most likely controlled by buckling)

I would really need to see what it is actually doing in a drawing form though.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would say with 6061 at the weight you described you would have no problem. With 5052 you may want to add a flange to one or both sides. Is the weight of the plate a big deal? If not go with 1/4" 6061, you'll have more than enough strength.
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