Looking to make an nested actuator out of 1/16th wall square Aluminum tubing.
It is easy to find 0.5", 0.75", 1.0", 1.25", 1.5", 1.75" and 2.0" 1/16th wall square Aluminum tubing.
Those 7 tubes will allow me to design a 6 stage lift.
But why stop there?
Well, one reason is I can’t find tube that keeps the nesting going.
Does anyone know if 2.25" and/or 2.5" 1/16th wall Square Aluminum Tubing is a thing you can buy?
- 6061 or 6063 AL preferred
- 1/16th wall (or close 0.060" is fine, so is 0.065")
- Square corners
Online metals has sizes larger than 2" in 1/8" wall, but not 1/16".
They also have 3" in brass, but it costs $127+ per foot, so not an affordable option.
As far as I’ve ever been able to find (and I searched for this over the summer for a project we were working on) there is no square tube over 2" that comes in 1/16" wall thickness (or anything like it.) Tube over 2" seems to be mostly intended for structural applications and 1/16" would be too thin as a wall thickness for this. You’ll probably need to go with the larger tube size (2 1/2") and accept 1/8" walls in that bottom tube.
Closest I can find is this: T52 2.250 X 2.250 X 0.095
Aluminum Square Tube 6063 - Metal Supermarkets
I checked a couple of my favorite sources and I was able to find 2.25" and 2.50" square with 0.095" wall (6063-T52). But it looks like once the size is larger than 2", the 0.065" wall thickness is not available. Maybe that makes sense given that the larger sizes are probably most likely to be used in heavier duty applications.
Just for giggles, I looked at Carbon Fiber square tubes. I was not able to find 2.25" or 2.5" there either, but they did have 0.75", 1", 1.25", 1.5", 1.75", 2", 3" and 4" sizes, all with 0.0625" wall thickness. So, if you really want to score sexiness points…
No BOM this year. Price: no problem
You could always have an aluminum extruder make a few thousand feet of it for you and sell what you will never need…
Thanks for the help. 0.095 wall seems good until you realize the ID square for a 2.25" OD tube would be 2.060". That’s just 0.060" for the string and sliders (and you need a gap too – it won’t slide if it’s line to line and nominal dims are not actual dims so you need some bonus gap for that…)
Probably a bridge too far.
If I REALLY need another stage to make things work and didn’t have to worry about bending to twisting, I guess I could go down one more stage to 0.25" as the final stage but that is about the end of the road for this style nested actuator.
I am printing the parts I need to evaluate the design now. I will post an update if it comes out well.
Thanks again for the input. CD community always comes through.
Dr. Joe J.
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