Dean Choitz via KRnet wrote:
> wanting to make air plenums for my engine instead of baffling and
also wanting to make my instrument panel out of aluminum sheet metal my
question is what variety and thickness that can make a 90 degree bend
without breaking and wont crack very easy because of metal fatigue or
Check out https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/pdf/aluminumalloy.pdf
for a pretty good idea on bend radii. I used 6061-T6 at .032", and it's
plenty strong enough once populated with instruments and installed. It
is possible to make three or four smaller angle closely spaced bends,
with the end result being a nicely bent lower surface, which would be
completely unnoticed. I'd practice on a similar scrap to verify your
process first though, especially if the holes have already cut out.
Unless you are water-jet cutting the panel first, I'd bend first and
drill holes later. Personally, I had mine done at a sheet metal shop
where they have a "press brake", which bends over curved dies. This can
leave a 1/2 or 3/4" radius down there that will be knee friendly, and
they probably wouldn't charge you $10 for that five minute job.
For baffling, using 0.020" would be plenty thick, and could be bent
pretty close to a fold, depending on material type.
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