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Aluminum Bumpers?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by DieselDan, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. DieselDan

    DieselDan 1/2 ton status

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    Has anyone built themselves any aluminum bumpers? What gauge/thickness did you use? Did they work OK or were they too soft and scar too easy? Any input or experiences would be appreciated.

    I've got access to a couple of nice sheets of aluminum diamond plate. 'Looks to be 1/4" thick to top of the tread; not sure what gauge that works out to be. I don't plan on bouncing off too many rocks (at least not intentionally), just need to keep the foliage and fawna at bay. I'll still make a steel box/support for the winch. I don't have much experience welding aluminum but I just picked up a spool gun.....
     
  2. DieselDan

    DieselDan 1/2 ton status

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    Wow, not one reply? No one has done this or even figured this was stupid :doah:
     
  3. neverendingproject

    neverendingproject 1/2 ton status

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    Aluminum probably doesnt have the strength and ductility to be good bumpers.
     
  4. NEK5

    NEK5 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    yea that ductility is a big problem........:haha: :haha:


    P.S. PAD
     
  5. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    dan...
    I have done aluminum bumpers several times,,, and I getting ready to do an aluminum flatbed and bumper on my v3500.... there are of course many different alloys... and some of them are as strong as steel... you should check and see what you have,,, T6061 is common but there are aircraft alloys etc
    and of course it also depends completely on the design ,,, the amount of bends/bracing and backing.. and the work hardening done
    I love aluminum other than how expensive it is to use... as a general rule of thumb I increase the thickness by 1/3 using aluminum for the same strength of steel... but the weight is still about 1/2 or a little more than the same size in steel...

    If you have 1/4 "aluminum that is more than sufficent for a road warrior bumper... especially if its not a winch bumper,,, I never saved any pics of the bumpers I did but when I start the porject Ill be posting some up... in the next several months

    Practice welding it... it melts at about 1150 degrees but the contaminants dont burn off until 3500 degrees so it melts before you can see it .. spool gun aluminum welding goes fast.. hi heat hi travel speed...

    You scored...use it wisely


    cam
     
  6. DieselDan

    DieselDan 1/2 ton status

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    Sweet. Thanks Cam. Now, I just gotta learn how to weld this stuff :rolleyes: . 'Wish my welder had AC Tig (nope, just DC). I'll have to see what I can mock up for the Jimmy. I need to make a bumper that I can (barely) stand on to do engine work, yet work well as an off-road bumper :D
     
  7. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    i knew the man who invented the process of Ductile Iron during WW2... Kieth Millis... my mom was his secrectary for years... super nice guy...

    :doah: ummm, what was the question? :haha:
     
  8. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    I have but one word
    POWERMIG

    and I never looked back
    my lincoln powermig 350 mp with a python gun welds aluminum like tig... about 90 percent of the tig appearance...but so fast... about 5 feet a minute... as compared to about 1 foot with tig.... Im so spoiled////
     
  9. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    what did that setup set ya back? I know thats got to be pricy.
     
  10. loafer

    loafer 1/2 ton status

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    strength is not the real issue...it's stiffness

    Strength won't be a problem if you choose the correct aluminum alloy. They make commercial airplanes out of the stuff; right?

    You need to remember that aluminum has poor fatigue life and1/3 the stiffness of steel; It's possible to make two bumpers, one steel and one aluminum, that have the same strength, but the aluminum one could be 1/3 the stiffness.

    As far as weight, it is possible to reduce the overall weight of the bumper by 1/3, but still maintain the same strength. You will just have a more flexible bumper.
     
  11. NEK5

    NEK5 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    if u decide to try it i wouldnt mind a pic
     
  12. DieselDan

    DieselDan 1/2 ton status

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    Oh I'll definately try it. It's more of of a question of whether it comes out nice enough for me to show it around here :o :haha:

    It won't be anytime real soon. Work and moving has my dance-card pretty full for the next couple of months.

    But I got the aluminum......
     

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