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5052-H32 Aluminum

5052-H32 Aluminum

5052-H32 Aluminum

I design solar panel mounting mounting hardware that needs to survive outdoors for 20 years or more.  In a new design, I have a flat piece of 5052-H32 1/8-thick aluminum, about 3-inches wide by 6-inches tall that rests, vertically, in a base piece made of the same aluminum.  The base piece is folded to form a rectangular opening, so that the flat piece I described fits inside it, loosely, and is free to move up and down in the base piece.  I realize this is difficult to picture.  In any case, could I expect that this aluminum, without any finish would survive for 20+ years outdoors, and that the piece would still slide up and down in the base piece after years of exposure?  Or, would anodizing be necessary?  

RE: 5052-H32 Aluminum

How frequent is the motion?  If the frequency is high enough, you would have a wear problem that would exacerbate corrosion problems.  You may need a surface treatment like anodizing, perhaps with friction modification.

RE: 5052-H32 Aluminum

The sliding is not expected to happen often at all, maybe once in 5 or 10 years time.  Thanks for your reply.

RE: 5052-H32 Aluminum

I would recommend anodizing, or at least some type of light polymer coating, varnish, shellac, etc.

RE: 5052-H32 Aluminum

The problem is ore to do with the environment that it will be operating in. Although aluminium is regarded as non-corrosive to the normal person, it can actually corroded quite easily by a simple electolytic cell, typically salt water can be nasty.

Therefore, to cover all working environments i would perform some type of coating.

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