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Discussion Starter #2
harry henderson wrote:

> first i was surprised by the strength of aluminum vs steel, then i =

> was further surprised by the price, if i'm reading this information =

> correctly there are several aluminum size options for battery racks =

> that are cheaper and stronger than steel!?!
>
> so my question: is yield strength what i should be looking at for =

> running lengths of racks while the tensile strength should be used =

> for measuring the "hanging" part of the battery racks?
>
> ASTM A36 Mild (low-carbon) steel: Ultimate Tensile Strength, =

> psi---58,000 - 79,800---Yield Strength, psi---36,300
>
> 6061-T6 Aluminum: Ultimate Tensile Strength, psi---45,000------Yield =

> Strength, psi---40,000
>
> onlinemetals.com 25-oct------------------
>
> 6' section ----------al---------------thickness------------fe-------
> -----------------0.125"---0.1875--0.25-***--0.125---0.1875---0.25
> size----------------------------------------------------------------
> 1=94--------------$6.09-----9.19---10.7---***--7.75---10.79---12.69
> 1.25=94------------8.16----13.81---15.31--***-9.66----13.76---17.35
> 1.5=94-------------10.55---14.59---19.33--***--9.83---14.85---20.84
> 2=94---------------14.58-----20----27.16--***-11.67---21.09---27.72
>


I'm a big fan of aluminum. I use it extensively in my business.

As far as yield and tensile strength is concerned, Neither on is =

truly relevant. What your probably most concerned with is flexural =

modulus. You don't want springy, saggy battery racks, so you'll =

probably want at least 3/16" thick angles. You need a spool MIG gun =

or a TIG for aluminum.




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Discussion Starter #5
EV Convert wrote:

>
> When Al is welded, the weld and the area near the weld has its
> tensile
> strength reduced to the near fully annealed state. In the example of
> 6061
> alloy this is less than 20.000 PSI. Welded mild steel (low carbon,
> typical
> structural steel) retains a much higher percentage of its original
> tensile
> strength. Al backpack and bicycle (and motorcycle) frames are
> typically heat
> treated after welding to restore the original tensile strength-not
> something
> easily done by DIYers.

I have heard this argument before, and don't doubt its true, however,
20,000 PSI is still way beyond the stresses you would encounter in a
battery rack. Failure in aluminum structures is almost always due to
fatigue. There should be no fatigue in a properly mounted rack.

>
> You can design a structure where the welds are away from the most
> highly
> stressed areas. Better yet,use bolts or rivets to tie the structure
> together-this is the option aircraft builders use.

Sure, just make sure the bolts or rivets are stainless steel.

>
> Also Al is much more susceptible to damage from battery electrolytes
> and as
> mentioned, has only 1/3 the stiffness of steel alloys


Absolutely false. If your talking about sulfuric acid, aluminum will
way outlast steel. It is even slightly superior to stainless steel.
I have over 20 years experience using aluminum in acidic environments
without a single failure due to corrosion. I can't say the same about
stainless steel.

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Discussion Starter #6
Roger Heuckeroth wrote:
> If you're talking about sulfuric acid, aluminum will
> way outlast steel. It is even slightly superior to stainless steel.

The problem comes if that aluminum ever touches steel. Then you get a
corrosion couple, and the aluminum is the loser.

As an example, my ComutaVan had aluminum battery boxes and flooded
batteries. The boxes were fine *except* where they were bolted to the
frame with steel bolts. The steel bolts were protected by the aluminum
completely corroding away around them!

--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Discussion Starter #7
Roger,

You are right on! My battery boxes are made of Aluminum (in my personal EV)
and I have wet Lead Acid batteries in them and I can't even see any stress
points and I haven't had a bit of a problem. I strongly recommend Aluminum
for your battery boxes.

Another Example FYI. I am converting a 1987 Chevy Box truck which is all
Aluminum (box and front end) and you can't even see any deterioration. Look
underneath and the steel part is showing some considerable wear. I strongly
stand by Aluminum.


Sincerely;

Douglas A. Stansfield
President
www.TransAtlanticElectricConversions.com
973-875-6276 (office)
973-670-9208 (cell)
973-440-1619 (fax)

ELECTRIC CAR PRODUCERS






-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf
Of Roger Heuckeroth
Sent: Sunday, October 31, 2010 9:39 AM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] aluminum vs steel battery racks


EV Convert wrote:

>
> When Al is welded, the weld and the area near the weld has its
> tensile
> strength reduced to the near fully annealed state. In the example of
> 6061
> alloy this is less than 20.000 PSI. Welded mild steel (low carbon,
> typical
> structural steel) retains a much higher percentage of its original
> tensile
> strength. Al backpack and bicycle (and motorcycle) frames are
> typically heat
> treated after welding to restore the original tensile strength-not
> something
> easily done by DIYers.

I have heard this argument before, and don't doubt its true, however,
20,000 PSI is still way beyond the stresses you would encounter in a
battery rack. Failure in aluminum structures is almost always due to
fatigue. There should be no fatigue in a properly mounted rack.

>
> You can design a structure where the welds are away from the most
> highly
> stressed areas. Better yet,use bolts or rivets to tie the structure
> together-this is the option aircraft builders use.

Sure, just make sure the bolts or rivets are stainless steel.

>
> Also Al is much more susceptible to damage from battery electrolytes
> and as
> mentioned, has only 1/3 the stiffness of steel alloys


Absolutely false. If your talking about sulfuric acid, aluminum will
way outlast steel. It is even slightly superior to stainless steel.
I have over 20 years experience using aluminum in acidic environments
without a single failure due to corrosion. I can't say the same about
stainless steel.

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Discussion Starter #8
Lee Hart <[email protected]> wrote:

> Roger Heuckeroth wrote:
>> If you're talking about sulfuric acid, aluminum will
>> way outlast steel. It is even slightly superior to stainless steel.
>
> The problem comes if that aluminum ever touches steel. Then you get a
> corrosion couple, and the aluminum is the loser.
>
> As an example, my ComutaVan had aluminum battery boxes and flooded
> batteries. The boxes were fine *except* where they were bolted to the
> frame with steel bolts. The steel bolts were protected by the aluminum
> completely corroding away around them!
>

You can use plastic washers or gasket material.

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Discussion Starter #9
What Ali can't stand is an alkali electrolyte, I would hesitate to use it
with cells that use one, like Li, NiCD, or NiMih. Take a small piece and put
it into drain cleaner to see what I mean, it turns to powder very quickly.
Aluminum does go soft when you heat it, I had an OSSA foot up trails bike
with an aluminum gear leaver that often got broken. I welded it, but after
that it was too soft to change gear, it just bent, I just rode it for a
while like that and after some minutes of bending it hardened so much that
it did not even deflect at all.
Ali work hardens.


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Discussion Starter #11
George Tyler wrote:

> What Ali can't stand is an alkali electrolyte, I would hesitate to
> use it
> with cells that use one, like Li, NiCD, or NiMih.
>


Yes, aluminum and alkali don't play well together. I wouldn't use it
for a flooded type alkali battery, but AFAIK Lithium batteries are
sealed, and do not off-gas. I would not hesitate to use Al for
LiFePO4 bats.



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Discussion Starter #12
The pitting in the Al battery box in each of my Gizmos is significant.
Over half of the thickness had been eaten away by the acid from the Pb
batteries. This is with ~6 years and ~12k miles in one and the other
one with ~5 years and 12-24k (it was used as a pizza delivery car in
Minneapolis MN) miles on it. I put LiFePO4 bats in one and the other
got a bedliner spray put in it.

On Sun, Oct 31, 2010 at 6:12 PM, Roger Heuckeroth
<[email protected]> wrote:
>
>
George Tyler wrote:
>
>> What Ali can't stand is an alkali electrolyte, I would hesitate to
>> use it
>> with cells that use one, like Li, NiCD, or NiMih.
>>
>
>
> Yes, aluminum and alkali don't play well together. I wouldn't use it
> for a flooded type alkali battery, but AFAIK Lithium batteries are
> sealed, and do not off-gas. I would not hesitate to use Al for
> LiFePO4 bats.
>
>
>
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-- =

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http://evalbum.com/1328

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Discussion Starter #13
Does the steel affect the aluminum where it isn't against the steel
frame? I ask because my first Gizmo spent its whole life in Oregon and
Washington in areas which don't salt the road. I will say, the outside
of the box from my first Gizmo looked much better than the one from
MN. I think one of those pizza delivery guys drove through some fresh
cement. The pitting was worst along the outlines of where the
batteries sat and not at all along the steel to aluminum contact
points. Maybe the Al kept getting worn off due to vibration. As you
know, the boxes merely sit in the frame and aren't bolted down.

Lee Hart <[email protected]> wrote:
> On 10/31/2010 10:52 PM, David Nelson wrote:
>> The pitting in the Al battery box in each of my Gizmos is significant.
>> Over half of the thickness had been eaten away by the acid from the Pb
>> batteries. This is with ~6 years and ~12k miles in one and the other
>> one with ~5 years and 12-24k (it was used as a pizza delivery car in
>> Minneapolis MN) miles on it. I put LiFePO4 bats in one and the other
>> got a bedliner spray put in it.
>
> The Gizmos have a steel frame, and the aluminum is right against it.
> Also, there is a lot of road salt in Minnesota. Even if the batteries
> don't leak, the road salt provides an "electrolyte" for the
> steel-aluminum corrosion couple. The aluminum loses.
>
> --
> Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
> 814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
> Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
> leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
>
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Discussion Starter #14
Lee Hart <[email protected]> wrote:
> Yet another is to have a DC leakage current flow from the metal to a
> battery. When wetted with electrolyte, this forms an electroplating
> 'cell', which removes metal from one electrode and deposits it on the
> other one.
>
> If you can see the outline of the batteries in the corrosion, I'll bet
> the latter was the cause. There was probably a film of electrolyte going
> from the cell terminals down the side to the battery box, and then back
> up to another cell terminal.

That is probably it because I would regularly see a voltage between
the battery box and the battery terminals. In fact, I burned out a
PakTrakr remote because one of the leads bumped the battery box while
I was installing it. That was my introduction to how sensitive things
really are.

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http://evalbum.com/1328

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