Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Sheet aluminum?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Sheet aluminum?

    I was considering making my case out of sheet aluminum. 1/4" thick. Should provide great thermal conductance. Has anyone worked with this material before? How difficult is it?

  • #2
    Aluminum cases don't help cooling. They just don't. I'd still use it though.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sheet aluminum?

      Originally posted by Skippman
      How difficult is it?
      Go make friends with a high school metalwork teacher.. Or, go back to skewl.. lol
      2 week temp ban (spam and complaining about deleted posts)
      register another account and you're gone for good.

      Comment


      • #4
        I can never get aluminum to bend without cracking and breaking, if you want to fold up a case I think you need some way to heat it.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm calling major bull **** on this line:

          "Aluminum cases don't help cooling. They just don't. I'd still use it though."

          Aluminum is an EXCELLENT conductor of heat. It is great to work with and DOES conduct heat. Now if you don't blow air across the aluminum surface, sure it won't be any more effective than a steel box, but it will certainly be 100000 times better than plexiglas or wood which are excellent INSULATORS. I took 5 years of Material Science classes so don't try to come up with some lame reason not to use Aluminum.

          1). Cheap

          2). Easy to work with

          3). Ductile (ie bends easily) Any cracking is likely due to exceeding the strain rate of the material (bend it slow-gotta allow the atoms time to re-arrange)

          Any bubba with a sheet metal brake can bend up aluminum without cracking it. You dont' need to use anything thicker than 1/8" though.
          [email protected] 1997 Blazer Dashpc Style!
          VIA EPIA-M 9000 Hauppauge WinTv (FM tuner), 256 MB, 40 GB HD

          Running Linux: Slackware 10.0, xmms, mplayer and Roadmap gps

          Comment


          • #6
            I was going to use the larger size for 2 reasons. I figured I could router in some heat sync fins on the top and bottom, and the size would allow me to tap in screw holes.

            Comment


            • #7
              Cheap? Have you ever priced 1/4" aluminium? At least from all the suppliers around here, it's pretty pricey.

              Personally, I'd do stainless. Basically the same techniques can be used on both metals. Don't bend it, but cut out the case and then TIG weld. I think it would look sexy.
              Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
              Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
              "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, looks aren't really a factor. It's probably getting mounted in my dash. I wanted the aluminum for it's thermal conductance.

                As for cost, I did buy a Xenarc so I'm not to worried about that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  1/4" aluminum isn't extremely cheap, but it is cheaper than stainless steel and will be alot easier to work with. Stainless steel (300 series-which is what most sheet stock that you will be getting is) workhardens easily (meaning you might drill a hole, but will have a difficult time tapping it unless proper cooling techniques are used during drilling and tapping-cutting oil and lots of it). Aluminum is MUCH easier to work with. I think you'll have a difficult time with a router though. Probably need to hook up with someone who has a milling machine. The router is going to be rotating too fast and will not have enough torque to cut in metal.

                  TIG welding might look cool, but if you have to pay for it, that's gonna cost more than getting any of it bent.

                  Why not make the case part out of 1/8" aluminum which can be easily worked, then attach any heat sinks to that to maximize the cooling effects?
                  [email protected] 1997 Blazer Dashpc Style!
                  VIA EPIA-M 9000 Hauppauge WinTv (FM tuner), 256 MB, 40 GB HD

                  Running Linux: Slackware 10.0, xmms, mplayer and Roadmap gps

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Normally, i would heartily agree that a alu. case does jack for helping to keep a system cool, (ie a Lian Li case) because the inside of the case, even with a supafast axp isnt going to get that much above room temperature with proper case fans. I could, however, see it helping in terms of a carpc, where you're craming everything into a wee little case thats going to run a lot over ambient as far as case temperatures go, which is where the alu would help to disipate the heat better than steel. Otherwise, in a standard case, unless you thermal paste your processor or your 10k scsi drive to the case, its not doing anything more than looking dead sexay.
                    -Nick

                    _____________________________
                    Since when is insanity a bad thing?
                    www.mp3vw.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Any kind of steel will work better than plexiglas. Of the metals listed, Aluminum has the highest conductivity (heat or electrical). Copper would be a better choice, but who's going to pay for a copper case? --That would be unique though.

                      Air sucks as a conductor too, so getting the heat sinks close to the aluminum case will help improve cooling as long as the outside of the case has some way to dissapate(sp) heat.
                      [email protected] 1997 Blazer Dashpc Style!
                      VIA EPIA-M 9000 Hauppauge WinTv (FM tuner), 256 MB, 40 GB HD

                      Running Linux: Slackware 10.0, xmms, mplayer and Roadmap gps

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I thought about making the case water tight, then mounting a peltier to the outside, but that's not going to make a real diffrence and may hurt me in the long run.

                        If I make it 1/8" thick I can't tap it for screws. To thin. I'm going to screw the ENTIRE case together. Meaning sides to top and bottom.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What you could try is thin aluminum for the case sides, top, bottom, etc, then fins some dolid stock and cut small blocks for the corners and tap them. The ACE/Truevalue hardeare here sells solid aluminum up to 1/4" square and about a foot long. Its sold in the hobby section, where people buy the small stuff for model cars and such. Just cut to small 1/2" lengths and put a small section every few inches and each corner should be enough. For the sides and top/bottom, the thin aluminum bends OK, its the thicker stuff (over 1/8", or thick enough to drill and tap) than I can't get to bend with out breaking the outside of the bend. But I don't think the aluminum case will help that much. I built mine very small and out of steel and have almost no ventilation and I don't have heat problems.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'll explain why aluminum cases don't help cooling.

                            First, aluminum has excellent thermal properties. So I'm not disputing that it is good for heatsinks and the like. It's just that cases in general don't help cooling. Just because it is aluminum doesn't mean it's a magically cooling case.

                            In order for an aluminum case to cool it needs to make direct contact with the hot parts of the computer. Then it needs to have cool(er) air running over the surface to dissipate the heat. A case neither comes in contact with those hot parts nor dissipates the heat in a case like a heatsink.

                            You might say that the warm air in a case transfers its heat to the aluminum case and is then dissipated by the fans inside the case. This would be wrong. In order for the heat in the air to transfer to the aluminum of the case the air must not be moving. Since the fans in the case are moving the air this will not work.

                            Any benefit seen in an aluminum case over a steel case is only because of a better cooling design in the aluminum case. I said that I would still use aluminum and ricko73 pointed out the exact reasons why. I'll even add to what he said and say that it is also good because it is light. He then says, "I took 5 years of Material Science classes so don't try to come up with some lame reason not to use Aluminum." I never said not to use it. I said DO use it.

                            I'll say it again. Aluminum cases don't help cooling.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I hate to disappoint you all, but if you make your own case, you can make it so that it acts like a heat sink. In my case for instance, I have the DVDrom on one side of the case, the harddrive on one end and am using the aluminum sheet as a heat sink for the dvd and the hard drive. The CPU that I use throws off less heat than most new graphics cards.

                              If you make a nice big box, don't put any path except air to conduct the heat, yes it's gonna be useless.

                              End of discussion. I think that the original poster got his question answered. 1/8" sheet aluminum can be drilled and tapped. Granted you can't put alot of torque on the screws, but it can be done (don't tell me it can't or I'll have to take some more pictures to prove it to you)

                              Why not make a box like this..

                              __________________________

                              ___ ____
                              | |
                              | |
                              | |
                              |__________________________|

                              Then you can just screw things down on one side instead of every sheet.

                              Anyway, good luck
                              [email protected] 1997 Blazer Dashpc Style!
                              VIA EPIA-M 9000 Hauppauge WinTv (FM tuner), 256 MB, 40 GB HD

                              Running Linux: Slackware 10.0, xmms, mplayer and Roadmap gps

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X