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Re: Steel vs. Aluminum

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Posted By<" ">Randy on March 06, 2002 at 19:23:37:

In Reply to: Steel vs. Aluminum posted byPat Ryan on March 06, 2002 at 16:08:12:

: I am a prototype technician for an international designer and manufacturer of portable tradeshow displays. Currently my company is developing a folding truss system. This system will be required to support itself over a twenty foot span, and support the weight of lights and monitors not exceeding 200lbs over an eight foot span. This system must also be modular and break into 31" sections. My question is in reference to material; it is my contention that we should make this out of steel to get the benefit of strength, it is the designers opinion that we should use aluminum for its light weight. If we are building a structure of this nature, are there not codes that spell out what materials would be required? If you have the answer to any of this please e-mail or call me at 703-866-9200 x 1712

I will say, right off, that our trusses we use in our trade show booth are aluminum, three tube, and are commerically available. As used for light bars and such, You can see such being used on that TV show that sets-up and breaks down their light trusses during the opening and closing of their antique road show. There is no great differences ( not major) between aluminum and steel as far as flex deflection is concerned as long as you DO use a truss, for the weights you are speaking of working with. Be sure the units are T3 to T6 teat treat. 2024 and 6061 are reasonable choices, but several others will work. Aluminum will not last as long in the joint area as steel but should provide good life. Plus, you will not be dealing with as much weight in the truss it self, a huge pluss when it comes to loading your boxes and transporting them, not to mention putting them together on those tired days after a flight turn around! I'd highly recommend a commerically availabel set. The are exactly for what you are talking about doing.

-my two cents worth-

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