aluminum has memory ( this is not normal aluminum,aircraft quality), when i come down real hard on it , it will return to straight. DOM will just bend, and stay bent.
I would run it on the top also but it cost $20 per foot.
Aluminum does not have "memory". What you may be referring to is the amount of deformation a material can sustain before it yields plastically and permanently. If loading produces stresses past the yield strength of the material, it will yield, permanently. No returning to straight.
Do you know what type of aluminum it is? This will dictate its material properties. Depending on the grade of aluminum, it may be able to elastically deflect more than the DOM but will not be able to handle higher loading. And the type of aluminum depicts whether it is possible to machine it or not, depending on how it has been treated.
However, if you have 2024-T3, T4, or T6 then you are in good shape, as these are fairly comparable to alloyed steel (4130, 4140). Just expensive. But I would stay away from 6061 if possible for links.
also it will be drilled and tapped, much better/stronger than an insert... a lot of comp rigs run aluminum over dom, wish I had that kind of money!!!
I realize that a lot of comp rigs run aluminum. However, if they bend the aluminum, they can replace it at their trailer before competing again, and they have the money to do so. On the trail, if you bend a link, you have to drive out on it.
Just saying that it may turn into an expensive venture if you have to replace links every time you land on one.