making skid plates

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Postby WarTowels » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:48 am

Stainless steal *should* not rust "fast"... ahem DeLorean?

Stainless steal can rust, which is usually because imperfections (a.k.a low quality) in the metal though, but as a whole it is highly rust resistant.

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Postby l00k0v3rth3r3 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:18 pm

so towels in your opinion which would make a better skid plate material?
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Postby Balagast » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:15 pm

I'd be interested in this ... my car is missing all the stock underbody plastic and i want to get into rally cross (rather not destroy the underside of my car).

Also just my $.02 but I'd go with aluminum ... light and mailable.
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Postby Mafix » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:30 pm

i'd actually use thick aluminum (3mm?+). so it can take a hit.
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Postby Balagast » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:37 pm

ya most likely that thick at least ... I was just saying definably use aluminum over steel f/e
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Postby turbo4wd » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:55 pm

A little word about aluminum skid plates vs. steel skid plates courtesy of skidplates.com:

Q: Why not make skid plates from lighter weight aluminum?
A:If you're building a competition vehicle where every pound counts, aluminum makes sense. Unfortunately, aluminum tends to gouge more easily than steel, and from our experience doesn't hold up as well in the long run. Quite of few of our customers have replaced their aluminum skid plates with steel ones because the aluminum skids didn't last. Why not buy steel skids to begin with?

Taken from here: http://www.skidplates.com/SkidPlatesQA.asp
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Postby l00k0v3rth3r3 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:31 pm

thank you turbo4wd
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Postby l00k0v3rth3r3 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:37 pm

mafix i think that the protection gained by 3mm aluminum vs the protection from a harder metal stainless steel at 1mm would be equivalent and the thicker the aluminum the heavier it gets, best bet would be the stainless, thoughts?
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Postby turbo4wd » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:38 pm

l00k0v3rth3r3 wrote:mafix i think that the protection gained by 3mm aluminum vs the protection from a harder metal stainless steel at 1mm would be equivalent and the thicker the aluminum the heavier it gets, best bet would be the stainless, thoughts?


Even at 3mm, the aluminum may still be lighter than the stainless, but only just..

Another consideration which is just as important is the cost of the raw material:

Will 3mm aluminum plate cost as much as 1mm stainless? less? more?

Even if it the cost of aluminum was equal or less to stainless, then the question of weight comes into play - is it lighter? less? more?

Lets say the aluminum is slightly lighter, how does the long term durability compare to stainless? Well according to off-roaders who have more experience than me, aluminum will not last as long as steel..

The only clear cut area where aluminum wins out is in corrosion resistance.. Depending on the grade of stainless, theres still a slight possibility it may experience some corrosion.
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Postby stevo27 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:00 am

304l stainless steel will rust over about 6 months 316l 324l and higher grade stainless will not rust unless you burn out the chromium ie welding to hot useing a torch on the material ect ect
higher the grade of stainless the heavier it is (very small amounts)
3/64" plate will puncture very easily and tear

high grade stainless is NOT cheap

and 3mm aluminum 6061 is lighter than 1mm 316 plate

food for thought :shrug:
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Postby darthripley » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:09 am

turbo4wd wrote:Another consideration which is just as important is the cost of the raw material:

Will 3mm aluminum plate cost as much as 1mm stainless? less? more?


metals are quite expensive right now so you need to really look into the cost before even thinking of producing more than one for yourself imho.
then you can get a price ballpark & see if others are still interested at that point in time.

it's a great idea, you just need to research a ton.
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Postby l00k0v3rth3r3 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:35 pm

i agree, give me a little less than a week for research and fab. and ill be back with that info, until then keep discussing what would be good to implement in the design, i like the vents, im working that in, should i put in a hole for easy oil changes? things like that, thanks guys
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Postby turbo4wd » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:00 pm

I'm of the opinion that if you're building a skid plate, it should not have any holes or vents period.. The objective is to cover and protect. Anytime any openings are introduced, it only presents a potential "weak spot".

If you want to do an oil change, remove the skid plate, and do it..
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Postby Balagast » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:11 pm

A word on cost of materials ... I was looking at the cost of sheet at work today (we deal with all sorts of metal plate) and 316L SS at 1mm thickness is at least 30% more expensive that 3mm thick 6061-T6 Aluminum.

Just some food for thought.
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Postby l00k0v3rth3r3 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:21 pm

the vents i came up with would put two holes up by the front lip where the plate would connect to the lip. off to the sides, so on the corners, and from there you could use them kind of like a snorkel design, and use some type of ducting like the samco stuff to put the air where you wanted it. with this design i figured the structural integrity would not be compromised. the oil change hole was just a thought i threw out there because i found a question about it on a FAQ at skidplates website, but i agree take it off if you want to do anything under the car.
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