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Metal Tubing Strength and Weight Comparison Chart?

  1. Feb 13, 2016 #1
    I'll preface this with saying I'm an Industrial Designer, not an engineer. I also build workshop furniture as a hobby, which this question is in reference to.

    I'm building a motorcycle lift table. I'm curious, is there a chart that compares things like tubing material, size, strength and weight?

    i.e. If I wanted to replace a steel tube frame with aluminum I could use this chart to figure out what diam/wall tube I would need to be comparable in strength and if there would be any weight savings in doing so.
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  3. Feb 13, 2016 #2


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    Machinery's Handbook.
  4. Feb 16, 2016 #3


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    Depending on the grade of steel versus aluminum , some aluminum tubes of the same dimensions as steel tubes will have the same yield strength but with a much lighter weight. But the aluminum will deflect or deform three times greater than steel, which often ( but certainly not always) rules it out as a substitute.
  5. Feb 19, 2016 #4
    With a motorcycle lift, you will have tubes that will experience a variety of stresses, including bending, shear, and even torque, which are all separate design parameters. You might be able to find tables for each individual design parameter, but it will be come frustrating quickly trying to cross reference all the tables to make sure your table is safe. I would recommend sketching it out and posting here so that we can point you to the correct tables/resources to make sure your table doesn't collapse.
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