Is aircraft grade aluminum as strong as steel? If not how much of a difference is there?

I'm trying to decide between an E-Z UP made with aluminum or one made with steel. The aluminum is lighter but we have high winds sometimes and I'm afraid it may break.

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    well , youngs modulus of steel is much higher than Alumin. 200:70 so for the same X-sec the steel will be much stronger ,but heavier.

    so u can say that Steel is 2.8 times stronger than Alum.

    while Alum is much lighter 2700 kg/Cu. m for 7800 for steel

    Source(s): Civil eng. Student
  • 5 years ago

    Aluminum alloy 6061-T6 is the most common, and has a yield strength of 35,000 pounds per square inch (psi). The most common structural steel is ASTM A36, which has a yield strength of 36,000 psi. Therefore, for the same cross section, the aluminum has essentially the same strength as steel, and at 1/3 the weight. There are of course much stronger alloys available for both aluminum and steel. 2024-T3 aluminum is one of the strongest with a yield strength of 62,000 psi, while 300M alloy steel can be heat treated to 260,000 psi. I doubt that you will be using either of these in your backyard though.

    Also, Young's modulus (modulus of elasticity) measure stiffness and is completely different from strength. For any given load, aluminum (E=10^6 psi) will flex about 2.8 times more than steel (E=28^6psi)

    And finally to crackerman2525, carbon is most definitely NOT used as an alloying element in aluminum, and it is NOT what makes aluminum "aircraft grade". The density of aluminum is 0.10 #/in^3, and steel is 0.28 #/in^3.

  • Me Too
    Lv 6
    6 years ago

    For an outdoor structure go with the aluminum. The issue isn't which is initially stronger which depends on the thickness and weld quality, but rather that steel much more rapidly degrades from oxidation so it becomes weaker faster.

  • 4 years ago

    I think pure aluminum will have more weight than a credit card for same size. It can be aluminum which alloyed by some lighter impurities metals. Total density of the alloy has lighter weihgt than plastic but has more strength.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Steel is always stronger than aluminum for a given volume.

    For a given weight, aluminum is stronger.

  • 1 decade ago

    Aluminum is lighter than steel. Aircraft grade means there is more carbon in it which makes it as strong as steel

  • Ron B
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Go with the steel, even though Young's Modulus of Steel relates to stiffness not tensile strength.

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