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Aluminum Structural Shapes

Aluminum Structural Shapes

Aluminum Structural Shapes

Can anyone give me some insight into the design of structures with aluminum (i.e. reference material, benefits, availability)?  I also need direction/references on designing of tapered members.

RE: Aluminum Structural Shapes

I've got a publication called "Strength of Aluminum" published by Alcan... you may be able to contact them, if it's still in print...

RE: Aluminum Structural Shapes

The Aluminum Design Manual from The Aluminum Association http://www.aluminum.org/ seems to be the bible.  

I don't do a lot but have found it's relatively similar to ASD or LRFD steel design except there are mutiple alloys.  The tough part as with all materials is the details.  Beware of welding, the heat kills any temper and severely reduces allowable stresses.

The materials are available but your best bet is to talk to local metal fabricators.  Can they get it?  Have they used it?

RE: Aluminum Structural Shapes


I use ASM Specialty Handbook: Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys available through the Materials Information Society.


RE: Aluminum Structural Shapes

If you don’t need the latest codes, you can save money buying either the ALCOA Structural Handbook (1960) or the Aluminum Association’s 1959 edition of the Aluminum Construction Manual.  Pretty similar, except the Alcoa book has a very brief section on unfired pressure vessels, while the AA book has beam load tables for I-, H- and C-sections.  Both include the 1956 ASCE specifications for Al 6061-T6 and Al 2014-T6 structures. About $6-15 + postage.  
You might also be interested in Aluminum in Modern Architecture, Volume II: Engineering Design and Details Reynolds Metals Company, Louisville, KY, 403 pages (1956).

Aluminum alloy properties are available online from the manufacturers and suppliers; Matweb is quick and easy: http://www.matweb.com/search/GetSubcat.asp?page=1

Aluminum material availability depends upon location and quantity (buy enough, get delivered anywhere).  Structural shapes are available as extrusions; hot rolled forms don’t exist.

Bar, rod, plate, sheet, pipe and tubing are readily available:
http://www.ryersontull.com/stocklist/RedbookServlet?COM... (seems to have best stock of structural shapes, at least available online)

Extrusions.  The area where aluminum has an availability advantage is extrusions; companies have dies for a large number of profiles, including standard structural shapes. Extruders will produce anything for which a designer can cut a stencil (of constant cross-section and a long length). Many extruders also anodize and do other finishing services.

Exterior aluminum is either anodized or painted (powder coated).  The Aluminum Anodizers Council has an online anodizing guide which gives Al alloys suitable for architectural anodizing: http://www.anodizing.org/reference_guide.html &nbs...;
Their member directory would be a good place to look for anodized sheet and coil.

Some powder coating info: http://www.powdertechnology.com/docintro.htm
A basic Powder Coater’s Manual and some European links: http://www.coatings.de/pcmanual.cfm
Make sure to use something rated excellent for exterior weatherability.
PVDF (Kynar™) is probably best (but pricey and not available at all powder coaters). http://www.atofinachemicals.com/kynarglobal/kynar500-te...

RE: Aluminum Structural Shapes

can u give me any alternative suggestion for my work?
i have a assignment to design RCC building(g+2floors)of hall
size 120'x 60'.only client requirement is no intermediate supports.this building is for induatrial purpose (printing units).i proposed two types...
1)portal frames at 12' intervals and slab running one way direction.
2)grid floor system....
but client need some other roofing system,which would be more sleek and asthetic..can u help in this regard..


RE: Aluminum Structural Shapes

Wow, thanks for all of the great tips.  I will get busy!

RE: Aluminum Structural Shapes

To Mohan 2727,

I don't have any suggestions to help you out.  I have not been involved in many projects that require pleasing asthetics.  YOu may want to start a new thread for your question.  You will probably receive some good advice.


RE: Aluminum Structural Shapes

Another inexpensive albeit dated book is Structural Aluminum Design Reynolds Metals Company, 1968; Softcover - 202 pages + 95 page addendum of ASCE specifications. Section headings include: Properties; Specification Lists; Designations; Design of New Structures; Converting to Aluminum; Joining and Forming; ASME Code Data; High & Low Temperature Properties; Alloy Data Charts; Beam Formulas; Elements of Sections.
--info from a used book dealer. Editions prior to 1965 seem ~100 pages shorter, so avoid. about $10 + postage.

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