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  • Lightweight alternative to cut and weld steel/aluminium

    Discussion in 'Joining & fabrication' started by Pete, Sep 7, 2009.

    1. Pete

      Pete Well-Known Member

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      Hi all,

      I have a nice open generic question to start this board:

      I'm working on a product which will likely be predominantly manufactured from box section steel/aluminium sections. Strength is key, but I also need to reduce the weight of the overall structure. The product needs to be portable and also lift weights approaching 300kg.

      I'm wondering if there is an alternative method to welding, or a different production technique which will maintain strength but reduce weight. Would an alternative material open more options?

      Any feedback welcome- Enjoy!
       
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    3. mEvenden

      mEvenden Member

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      Interesting question Pete. Depending on the geometry of the structure, would casting or stamping be possible? Perhaps this would allow you to design the structure so that it's stiffened in the optimum areas, rather than having a box section throughout. About alternative materials. there are certainly options that could be considered to reduce the weight. The key material property is the "strength to density" ratio, if you are able to find a graph showing this for various materials. Perhaps a composite might be better than aluminium (or perhaps not... I'm not sure :( ), but then processing might add too much cost. Of course there are also higher performance aluminium alloys with even better strength/density ratios than common aluminiums, but again we're getting into cost.
       
    4. Pete

      Pete Well-Known Member

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      Thanks for the reply, unfortunately, I think stamping might be unfeasible, but I will look into casting! To be honest, I think that the biggest factor will be materials selection, so will have a look into different alloys. I'm also looking at if I can do any jiggery pokery with the structure to make it more organic and reduce the number of joints... in theory...

      Do you have any suggestions for a good database or handbook? While at uni I used CES Edupack, but don't have access anymore.

      Thanks again for your help
       
    5. GarethW

      GarethW Chief Clicker Staff Member

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      Hi Pete,

      CES would be be just the job... shame you don't have access. I also used it in uni and it's fantastic for material selection. Unfortunately I too haven't got access. :(

      Probably best to have a browse through some books or on the web to check out some material properties (tensile strenth and density) of different materials that might be good candidates!

      Gareth
       
    6. garnettools

      garnettools Member

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      Sorry! to post that late, but I am a new comer in the forum.
      Regarding the low weight and more of strength we are now a days working in a new material that is an outcome of the commonly found BAMBOO.
      Bamboo if treated properly has strength comparable to that of Aluminium and weight far too less.
      It is also a bad conductor of heat and electricity.
      Moreover if you can discuss the exact design of the product we can suggest the manner in which BAMBOO can be used.
      The verioud forms of bamboo are - Bamboo as it is, Solid Bamboo, Bamboo fibre, Bamboo Boards, Bent Bamboo etc.
      ANKUR
       
    7. mvalenti

      mvalenti Well-Known Member

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      Extrusion maybe?
       
    8. bcao

      bcao Member

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      Investment casting?

      You can get really tight net tolerances without secondary CNC operations, and you can also get relatively large parts made with relatively low setup / pattern costs.
       
    9. JohnEvans

      JohnEvans Guest

      I take it that solid rivets are not appropriate in this scenario?
       
    10. mvalenti

      mvalenti Well-Known Member

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      google 80/20 inc this is what I was refering to
       

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