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Minimum gauge/strength for small aluminum case?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I'm making a SFF case from scratch using aluminum and clear acrylic for the sides. Acrylic is 3/16" inch thick and the aluminum is 0.040" thick (18 gauge) and will wrap around the top, bottom, front and back.

I may replace one of the acrylics with a thick aluminum side panel later on, but right now my concern is with the 18 gauge sheet. The case is similarly modeled after the Compact Splash but it will hold a single radiator on top, none in front. The CS is 14 gauge steel. Obviously the aluminum is prone to flexing more easily but would it still be good for holding a 280mm rad screwed to the top? I have spare 1/8" rods that might help reinforce the frame from the inside.

To give you an idea of the frame, the sheet will have flaps on the sides that will be bent inwards, which will be used to bolt the sides of the case. Longest side is 13 in.
post #2 of 3
You might be able to make .040" work but I think it would be pretty iffy. I would really try to go to .062 if you can - it will support the weight far better. 14 gauge steel makes the Compact Splash pretty much bullet proof and is the same reason we make the S3 from .090" aluminum - it can handle just about anything.

Good luck with your project! thumb.gif
Zeus (X99)
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Zeus (X99)
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Green Hornet
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Case Labs View Post

You might be able to make .040" work but I think it would be pretty iffy. I would really try to go to .062 if you can - it will support the weight far better. 14 gauge steel makes the Compact Splash pretty much bullet proof and is the same reason we make the S3 from .090" aluminum - it can handle just about anything.

Good luck with your project! thumb.gif

Thanks for the help! I just happened to have a spare 2' x 2' sheet of this thickness that only had a few cuts for a mod I abandoned. So I thought to use that instead of buying more metal.

I'll give it ago and attach some of those 1-inch wide 1/8" thick rods to the inside to reinforce the top. The front will also hold some input ports and buttons, but weight is minimal there.
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