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Thread: Design handbook for bolted/riveted aluminum tube & gusset structures?

  1. #1

    Question Design handbook for bolted/riveted aluminum tube & gusset structures?

    A discussion in another forum reminded me that I have a lot of detail design info and references on welded tubular steel, sheet metal and wood structures, but nothing on best practices for ultralight-style bolted/riveted aluminum tube & gusset structures.

    Here is a neat time-lapse clip of building a Best Off Skyranger to show what I mean:



    Does anyone have any resources to suggest, from individual articles to actual reference books or a design handbook, any resources specific to this type of construction?


    Cheers,


    Matthew
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    Matthew Long, Editor
    cluttonfred.info
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    Voici ce que j'ai fait...vous pouvez en faire autant!
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  2. #2
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Let me do some digging. I'm sure I have something in my collection that would be potentially useful. If nothing else, the old MILSPEC and related materials might provide some good starting points.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  3. #3
    That would be great, Steve. I am sure that there are lots of little "tricks of the trade" used in the bolted and riveted tubular aircraft structures of the 1930s and by modern ultralight aircraft builders and I am interested in gathering some of those design details and best practices rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.
    *******
    Matthew Long, Editor
    cluttonfred.info
    A site for builders, owners and fans of Eric Clutton's FRED

    Voici ce que j'ai fait...vous pouvez en faire autant!
    "This is what I have done...you can do the same!"
    --Henri Mignet (1893-1965)

  4. #4
    Kiwi ZK-CKE's Avatar
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    Interesting question... I designed mine from first principles without reference to a handbook. Its probably over - built but it certainly is strong. I used square section 6063 tubing, Which is commercial grade, but I went up in wall thickness to compensate for a slightly weaker alloy. It is worth noting that 6063 extrusion is used to hang plate glass windows on skyscrapers, so even though it is "commercial" it is plenty tough enough. I used Channel section to interlock around the square section to provide bracing. The interlocking reduced the loading on the fasteners, and a Structural polymer adhesive in all the joints prevents fretting which can shear rivets. My wing ribs were made up from interlocking channel and square section assembled in a jig - it turns out this is the way Vickers Armstrongs in the UK built thier inter- war biplanes - and even the early Spitfire wings! Indeed the method of construction was widely used in the 1930s and is quite reliable. The key advantage I found the method had was that it didnt requirewleding as steel tube does (I'm hopeless at welding!) nor expensive sheetmetal tools that monocoque aluminium structures do. I built my aircraft with no more complex tooling than a Mitre saw and a bandsaw. The drawback is the enormous component count, but I produced many of my bits on a "production line" using various jigs. Definitely a technique worth investigating - I'm going to use it again on my next design!

    CKE04.jpgCKE24.jpgCKE01.jpgCKE06.jpgCKE07.jpgCKE11.jpg
    "If it was supposed to be easy, everybody would be doing it...."

    Proud designer / builder of Avian Adventurer ZK-CKE.

  5. #5

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    Great pics !!

  6. #6
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Matthew, shoot me a PM with your e-mail. I'll send you some of the stuff I have found. I've found a few things but it may be the weekend before I can get it to you.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  7. #7

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    AC 43.13 has a page or two about splicing aluminum tubes with rivets. But nothing about gusset joints for ultralights.
    Last edited by Bill Berson; 04-26-2012 at 08:45 AM. Reason: spelling

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    If you can find a copy of a book titled Aircraft Layout and Detail Design by Anderson and published by McGraw-Hill, it explains how to calculate the load capacity of a riveted joint. It is actually not that hard and does not involve complicated math. But then you have to know how much load you want the joint to carry. AC43.13 has specs for rivited joints that are very very conservative. But when I am designing an aluminum riveted structure, I pick up Anderson.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
    N78PS

  9. #9
    Ordered, thanks much. And thanks all for your comments...keep them coming!
    Quote Originally Posted by WLIU View Post
    If you can find a copy of a book titled Aircraft Layout and Detail Design by Anderson and published by McGraw-Hill, it explains how to calculate the load capacity of a riveted joint. It is actually not that hard and does not involve complicated math. But then you have to know how much load you want the joint to carry. AC43.13 has specs for rivited joints that are very very conservative. But when I am designing an aluminum riveted structure, I pick up Anderson.Best of luck, Wes N78PS
    *******
    Matthew Long, Editor
    cluttonfred.info
    A site for builders, owners and fans of Eric Clutton's FRED

    Voici ce que j'ai fait...vous pouvez en faire autant!
    "This is what I have done...you can do the same!"
    --Henri Mignet (1893-1965)

  10. #10

    From England.

    This might be useful from England.Ben Syson Paper.pdf

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