The plans show an optional material that can be used is the 2024-T3. Has anyone used this in place of the 6061? What are the benefits of it?


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Comment by Bob Pustell on July 31, 2010 at 8:53pm
Scott has it just right, Casey........ 2024-T3 is somewhat stronger than 6061-T6, but much more corrosion prone. Since Chris H. has already designed our birds around the strength of 6061-T6, going to 2024-T3 does not accomplish much. One valid reason to use the 2024 Alclad would be if you wanted to polish your airplane, rather than paint it. The "Alclad" part of the name means that the sheet of alloy has a thin layer of pure aluminum on it to protect that corrossion prone alloy. (That is why Scott mentioned that you need to avoid scratching the 2024, when the alclad gets scratched through, the 2024 below corrodes like mad.) That layer of pure aluminum takes a magnificent polish, looks fabulous, much better than the the shine our unclad 6061 will give even after lots of polishing effort.

I am not advocating using Alclad on our birds, but it is a factor in your thinking if you are going to polish rather than paint. I am planning to polish, but I am also planning to use 6061 in order to get that corrosion resistance.
Comment by Casey Zechmann on July 31, 2010 at 6:20pm
Thanks Scott for the input.
Comment by Scott Sutton on July 31, 2010 at 4:47pm
2024-T3 is the most common aluminum in commercial aircraft construction. Its a great material being very strong and can withstand bending loads like on wings of large aircraft. However, it is not as corrosion resistant as 6061-T6 if it gets scratched and the outer protective layer is damaged. For the homebuilder banging a sheet of aluminum around in a tiny shop I would recommend using 6061-T6. In a production environment 2024-T3.

Just my thoughts

Scott Sutton

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