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    Aluminum Bar Bracing

    Discussion in 'DIY Projects and Ideas' started by Deep South Frontosa, Jul 10, 2018.

    1. Deep South Frontosa

      Deep South Frontosa MFK Members

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      With my plywood build I will have 2x4 euro bracing along the sides, but instead of 2x4 cross supports, has anyone used aluminum flat bar? It should provide more strength than lumber as well as having a much smaller effect on blocking the lighting.

      Screenshot_2018-07-10-17-51-31.png
       
    2. Backfromthedead

      Backfromthedead MFK Members

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      Should work fine. Are you just gonna anchor it into the 2x4s with screws?

      As a former machinist, im obligated to point out that aluminum has a fairly high expansion coefficient. But unless you'll be exposing the tank to dramatic swings in temperature so that shouldnt be an issue.
       
    3. Deep South Frontosa

      Deep South Frontosa MFK Members

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      That was my intention. Anchoring about 4 of these as cross members, screwed into the 2x4s. Temp wouldnt change past 75-80 degrees. And if the tank for some reason was no longer running I could remove them easily to account for larger swings. Think that would work?
       
    4. Backfromthedead

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      Without knowing the dimensions of your tank, i would say 4 of those should work for anything up to 12 ft. What are they about 4"x1"?

      I would predrill the anchors and use 1/4" lag bolts in lieu of just deck screws or whatnot. That way your actually giving the bar some lateral traction instead of just tacking it to the wood. That would make for a very secure brace.
       
    5. Deep South Frontosa

      Deep South Frontosa MFK Members

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      The tank is 12' long, 26" wide, and 37" tall. They have various sizes ranging from about 3/4" to 2 inches. I would try and find some stainless bolts to anchor.
       
    6. Yoimbrian

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      so I'm a pretty good chemical engineer. I can explain how a LOT of things work in life. But one thing that always confuses me is galvanic corrosion. Pretty sure you shouldn't use stainless steel bolts on aluminum bars, especially in a wet environment. But I could be totally wrong - ill at least point out that you should confirm it though....
       
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    7. Deep South Frontosa

      Deep South Frontosa MFK Members

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      Will do. Glad you mentioned that!
       
    8. Backfromthedead

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      Well my understanding is that typically bimetallic corrosion can only occur when an electrolysing catalyst, like water, works its way into the area between them. In our case here the bolts should be lagged securely into the wood and aluminum, tightened to the point that the steel bites the aluminum a bit. So unless the 2x4s are permeated with water or the bolts are submerged there should be little to no space for water to get between them.

      But if youre really worried about that, you could order aluminum bolts i suppose. They're not as strong as steel but should be fine for bracing a tank. You could also mount threaded brass bushings into the aluminum but that would be getting a little carried away.
       
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    9. Deep South Frontosa

      Deep South Frontosa MFK Members

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      Thanks for the info. They would be exposed to the humidity, but I don't foresee anything getting between there.
       
    10. Dloks

      Dloks MFK Members

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      What are you!
       

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