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Old June 24th, 2010, 08:54 PM   #1
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Default Steel VS Aluminum

With my new bumper build I will have recovery point safe mounting points for a front facing skid plate to cover the lower area of my radiator.

My question is, if I'm not planning on resting the weight of the truck on this, but just want something to protect against say, small animals or objects from smashing into my radiator while on the highway or ripping around on the dunes...how thick do I need, and what is the ratio of steel to aluminum..


So, would I need like 1/4" aluminum as a minimum, and to match that level like 1/8" steel?

My thing is, I'm not sure whether I can get aluminum CnC cut for clean edges like steel, I can weld the steel to other panels to make one large skid (I cannot weld aluminum) but I like that aluminum doesn't rust and will look good for a long time.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 09:18 PM   #2
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It would depend on the grade of aluminum you want to compare to your basic steel. But yes, aluminum would be fine for what you want to do. Almost every company that makes body protection is now offering them in aluminum too. If you need something cut I can cut up to 3/8 thick aluminum and it will have a very nice edge, an edge very close to the look and cut quality of the steel edge. If your going to have bends put in it then you have to specify that when you buy you aluminum so it doesn't crack.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 11:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tab View Post
It would depend on the grade of aluminum you want to compare to your basic steel. But yes, aluminum would be fine for what you want to do. Almost every company that makes body protection is now offering them in aluminum too. If you need something cut I can cut up to 3/8 thick aluminum and it will have a very nice edge, an edge very close to the look and cut quality of the steel edge. If your going to have bends put in it then you have to specify that when you buy you aluminum so it doesn't crack.
So how thick would you recommend for something in that region? I've seen 1/4" used similarly with good results but don't know about the grade.

Btw, do you weld? (steel)
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Old June 25th, 2010, 08:07 AM   #4
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I would think that 1/4 alum. would be plenty but if it needs to be able to be bent then it will probably be a bit soft and gouge pretty easy. Really for something like that I would just use some 3/16 steel and be done with it. It will be easier to work with and much, much cheaper and not really that much heavier. Yes I can weld steel. Check out some of my build threads or projects. Ironman has a spool gun if you did end up needing some alum. welded.
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