Aluminum Flat Bar Stock Sizes and Uses: A Detailed Guide

Aluminum Flat Bar Stock Sizes and Uses: A Detailed Guide

Aluminum bars are commonly used in a wide variety of applications because of their high strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and excellent thermal conductivity. Aluminum flat bars are essential materials for making all kinds of equipment components due to their exceptional properties and lightweight nature. In this guide, we will break down the most common sizes so you can choose the perfect flat bar for your next project.

6 Common Aluminum Flat Bar Stock Sizes

1/8 x 1″ Aluminum Flat Bar

The smallest and lightest size. Best for very small brackets, tabs, and plates. They possessed limited strength.

1/8 x 2″ Aluminum Flat Bar

They double the width boost bending stiffness and allow slightly larger brackets and mounts. They are still considered very light.

1/8 x 3″ Aluminum Flat Bar

They have a wider profile to provide enough strength for small machine brackets, guides, and stops.

1/4 x 1″ Aluminum Flat Bar

This quarter-inch thickness gives a substantial strength increase for mounts, frames, and links. Still compact in one direction.

1/4 x 4″ Aluminum Flat Bar

With their quarter-inch thickness and 4-inch width, this size has high strength for larger brackets, braces, and jigs. They are considered to have significant stiffness.

1-1/2″ x 1/8″ Aluminum Flat Bar

Exceptionally stiff from the wide 1-1/2″ profile, but thinner 1/8″ saves weight. They are ideal for panels, chassis, and enclosures needing rigidity.

Machining Aluminum Flat Bar

Aluminum machines are faster than metals like steel with tight tolerance. You can easily create holes, slots, bosses, precision edges, and more. Avoid overheating during machining, and proper chip clearing is critical in aluminum flat bars.

Bending and Forming Aluminum Flat Bar

One of aluminum‘s best qualities is bendability when using press brakes or CNC benders. The minimum bend radius is roughly thickness x 1, but x 2 is better. Annealing makes complex bends a breeze.

Sample Uses for Common Sizes

Smaller Flat Sizes (1/8 x 1″, 1/8 x 2″, and 1/4 x 1)

They work well for fabricating brackets for motors, pumps, and machinery. They can be used for mounting plates, clamps, and work holding jigs. Electrical enclosures and small junction boxes, hinges, latches, and hardware links used these flat bar sizes during fabrication, even frames for safety guards, panels, and covers.

Large Sizes for Brackets and Clamps (1/8 x 3″, and 1/4 x 4″)

They provide increased strength for machine bases, support brackets, work platforms, material handling clamps, lifting attachments, robotic end effector arms, and structural reinforcement braces.

For Custom Enclosures and Housing (1-1/2″ x 1/8″ flat bar)

It maximizes stiffness for enclosures, cabinets, shrouds, chassis, covers, and panels.

How To Choose Cost-Effective Sizes?

Carefully analyze your loading needs so you can specify the smallest size to handle the job. Oversizing wastes money and materials. To make sure, test prototypes to confirm the minimum functional size.

Conclusion

With their ideal balance of strength, fabricability, and corrosion resistance, aluminum flat bars solve countless engineering challenges. The wider and thicker profiles add bending and shear strength, while the larger surface area resists buckling. The narrower sizes maintain their lightweight nature. Therefore, select the size that has ideal attributes for your unique application. Use this guide to help you pick the perfect size for your next creation. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out at YK- Longshun.

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