View Full Version : [Question(s)] Aluminium Thickness

08-09-2008, 03:55 PM
Hello to all,

I feel a bit stupid making a new thread just for this but I couldn't seem to find one that I could graph this queestion to.

I am building something and I was wondering if a 6061 aluminium with a .032" Thickness is bendable. I want it to be able to withstand a certain amout of force. I will have two sheets that will be connected with rods and nuts about 8 inches apart to make it stronger. I have a 0.078 inch sheet and I can barely bend it, so I assume 2 sheets of 0.032 inches should be strong?

08-09-2008, 04:10 PM
It depends on how you are trying to bend it Sam, All my 6061 alloy I use is bent in a metal vice, but these are smaller in width than you are probably using, mine are anything from 1'' to 4'' wide and bends with no problem using a hammer and a steel bar. Anything over that you really need a steel bender to get a neat bend. I have bent 1.5mm 6061 quite well in the metal vice up to 2.5" wide.

08-09-2008, 04:21 PM
Agreed with 4mem. My brake will bend 6061 sheet 3ft wide trivially up to 0.11" (9 gauge). If I lean on it a bit [;)] it will complain but bend 6061 to 0.19 (About 4-5 gauge) - that aluminum actually bends really well, easier than the harder steels, maybe not as easily as mild steel.

If you need strength without adding a lot of weight, you might think about gusseting your corners

08-09-2008, 06:18 PM
First off, what is gusseting your corners?

I have a metal sheet, 24 inches by 2 inches by 0.032 inches thick. The majority of the force that it will have to be able to sustain without bending will be in the 2 inches wide and some in the 0.032.

08-09-2008, 06:34 PM
Gusseting means that if you have say a right angled piece of alloy [90 degrees] You fit a gusset [ lets say 25mm x 25mm cut to a 45 degree angle] and fit it on the end of your right angle piece of alloy making it much stronger.It is common practice to do this in a lot of cases for a stronger section.

08-09-2008, 06:39 PM
Thanks, 4mem! Yes, exactly said. You can also gusset by filling in the corner with a 90 angle that is heavier gauge. So you can do a 45 offset like 4mem was saying (or a 60 or whatever), or for less strength but more clearance you can put a heavier 90 in the corner.

Look at some bridges if you haven't. Bridges are always marvels of structural engineering, imho.

08-09-2008, 06:58 PM
Sam, This is a classic example of gusseting, this is on wood , but the principle is exactly the same.


Notice ALL the corners have a gusset in them, this is gusseting.

08-09-2008, 07:32 PM
Here's a welded gusset:

08-09-2008, 07:36 PM
Ahh, ok I see.

I guess my sheet will do. Worst off I gusset or reinforce some parts so taht it holds together. :veryhappy:

08-09-2008, 07:47 PM
Good example Adrenalynn.

09-23-2008, 08:03 PM
Just a note: 6061 alloy is great for plates and/or larger rounded parts, but bending it at sharp radiuses will create hairline fractures along those seams. You may be better off bending 5052 and anodizing it later for added strength and rigidity.

...you're both right, that is a nice gusset :veryhappy:

09-24-2008, 01:48 PM
BauerMech: Yes you are correct, and you have to be very careful Bending 6061. It can be done though.