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Modding Metal Thickness?

Discussion in 'Modding' started by LiL_MJ, 16 Oct 2007.

  1. LiL_MJ

    LiL_MJ What's a Dremel?

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    Hey guys,

    Looking to purchase some sheets of metal (aluminium/steel). Thing is i have read somewhere that 1mm metal is very easy to score and bend, and 1mm/2mm is what most people use for modding. But at my local DIY store, the only sheets of Alu they have are either .5mm or .6mm!! which to me seems a little bit to thin for any mods? They have sheets of 1mm steel but then, i've read that steel would rust in some situations which is a bit of concern for me.

    Sorry i am asking this because i have no experience in the thickness of metals. Would the .5mm/.6mm bend very easy?

    Thankyou
     
  2. ElThomsono

    ElThomsono Multimodder

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    I just measured my case, and it's 0.8mm alu; as it's designed to be ultra light it's about as thin as I'd want, it flexes enough when you push on the side panel.

    Personally I would want thicker than 0.6mm in alu, and would go for the 1mm steel.
     
  3. LiL_MJ

    LiL_MJ What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for the reply mate! only thing about the steel is that it seems abit of bother to either give it a clear coat or some kind of treatment. I doubt that i will get condensation or some kinda moisture in my system, but then again i rather be safe.

    i've did some research and have seen that somebody here has purchased sheets from homebase at 1mm thickness. Been to the website and no search results. I have a homebase nearby so will give them a try soon. :)

    thanks
     
  4. Teyber

    Teyber ******

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    ill be stupid and post in SAE not metric

    i usually get .04" for panels, .08" for thicker panels such as rear(holds mobo and mobo tray). this is aluminum btw.

    In metric, i recomend 1-2mm. Id recomend 2mm for panels that need strength, that will be for holding... idk, depends on what you need it for. As long as you have a well-built frame, the thickness of alu doesn't matter allt hat much...
     
  5. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    If homebase don't have ~1mm alluminium, then ask the guys working there for where you can get it. I've got some alluminium of various thicknesses, .5mm is too weak i reckon, .6mm wouldn't be much different. I've got some .8mm which is ok, the minimum for a case i reckon, i prefer 1mm, which feels about as stiff/tough as a standard thin steel case. 2mm is a little overkill, 2mm is really tough, like at least double the strength of a steel case. 2mm isn't easy to bend, and it's easy to get "stretch-marks" when if you bend it - ways around that tho. 2mm would be the way to go if you want seriously tough panels i guess.
     
  6. crazybob

    crazybob Voice of Reason

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    To be honest, 0.5mm sheet is strong enough to make a case but only if you design carefully to stiffen everything. For example, a gentle curve or a crease will prevent the metal from flexing perpendicular to the bend and internal stiffeners will help out as well. To get a better idea what I'm talking about, grab a sheet of printer paper and wave it around. Then, put a crease down the middle of the sheet and see how it flexes afterwards.

    If you don't want to put that much care into the design, you'll want at least 1mm aluminum. You could get by with thinner steel, which is good because 1mm steel won't be easy to work with.
     
  7. johnnyboy700

    johnnyboy700 Minimodder

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    0.5 mm Al sheet is waaaay to thin to use for a case, it will flex like crazy. The best bet is about 1mm for the sides and double that for the chasis as this is where the main weight will sit. You can use steel but if its untreated it does make it susceptable to rust but it depends on the conditions in which you are using it.

    You certainly can stiffen thin metals with either bracing straps or by putting creases in the sheet - the problem with the crease is that you need to get it in the right place and you will only get one shot at it. If you opt for adding bracing, then that seems to me to be giving yourself extra work, why not just make it out of thicker material in the first place.

    Be aware that the thicker the sheet of metal, the greater the bend radius (of course this assumes you will be bending the sheets) i.e. you will not get a perfect right angle corner with your bend as there will be a slight radius, hence bend radius. I'm sure it will also go without saying but I'll say it anyway, the thicker (and more dense) the material the more effort will be required to cut or bend it. So Al sheet will be easier to work with than steel and the thicker you get with either material the more effort will be required.

    PS In case your wondering if I know what I'm talking about, I've been an Engineering Technician for 25+ years, ask me any question you like about bashing holes in metal or shaping it to form the desired component.
     
  8. Ener

    Ener What's a Dremel?

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    well what thickness would one recomend just for a panel (pop rivited onto some other aluminium not really supporting anything) that will have slits cut in it that are 10mm appart and 10mm thick and go the whole way across. eg. |<10mm>|<10mm>| (each | is 10mm)
    1mm? (was thinking of using 1-3mm)

    ps. what are the people called that actuly sell aluminium sheeting/L section... is it just aluminium suppliers? at local hardware store 1.8m of 30mmx30mm L section is 27-32$ and the same for a 400mm x 300mm sheet
     
  9. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    All Lian-Li PC-60 series and Coolermaster cases are built in 1.5mm aluminium. That is the minimum thickness for a decent case. Some cases, like the Silverstone series and some of the nicer Coolermasters and newer Lian-Li's have a more tasty looking 3mm thickness front bezel.

    The Lian-Li V1000 series has 3mm aluminium outside panels all around, but the internal separating walls and drive cages are again 1.5mm.
     
  10. Javerh

    Javerh Topiary Golem

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    A good way of doing large, stiff panels is to have two layers of thin alu and a sheet of rigid foam glued between them. This is called a sandwich construction. The foam prevents flexing of the plates and adds cheap and lightweight thickness to the plates. The plates keep the foam protected from mechanical (and chemical) threats.

    Quality cases resist flexing, that doesn't mean they have to have thick aluplates or sheetmetal tricks.
     

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