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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:45 pm 
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I’ve been building a little carriage that runs up and down some parallel aluminium tubes as tracks. The tubes are supported by more tubing joined by atom clamps making two H shapes for legs with the two rail tubes running between them. The carriage is between 20 and 50kg.

The thing is I’ve been trying to work out what diameter of tubing I can go with and I’m having difficulty researching it online. At the moment I’m thinking of the 25mm or the 32mm but I really don’t know how to work out the strength and weight tolerances for this tubing.

Can someone point me in the direction of how to go about something like this or where I can find an explanation of how to work this out?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:10 pm 
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The word 'deflection' springs to mind. You could just put a piece between two uprights and measure the deflection for a given weight and the distance between uprights. It's the uprights that will determine the result - i.e. you can use any diameter pipe you like (wall thickness?) if the upright supports are close enough together.

Decide the upright spacing and the pipe diameter will follow.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:37 pm 
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That’s true I’ve not been clear at all, and thank you for taking the time. The horizontal tubes or tracks will vary in length from around 3 meters to one and a half meters and they can be 32mm or 35 or box or angle, whatever is easiest to get their hands on at any given location. If what they use sags a little uprights or interns can be placed halfway along to help.

The rails are not really my problem right now, what I need to get right and what is provided by me and travels with the carriage is the two H shapes at either end and the necessary clamps to put these structure together.
If I can get away with using 25mm/1 inch tubing, I think it’s normally about 2mm wall thickness, then the whole package will be much lighter and more easy to transport and the carriage can get smaller and lighter too, not to confuse the issue it’s still maxing at around 50kg, though I’d like it higher if I can.

So if the two horizontal tubes were infinitely strong unobtainium wrestled from the natives how to I figure out the diameter of the tubing I need to build the other two H supports from.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:09 pm 
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Your concern is over the strength of the tube in the vertical (crush) direction rather than horizontal then?

In which case, providing the uprights remain true then they will take a relatively ENORMOUS load to take damage. The incident of damage is increased, however, if the uprights are NOT truly vertical - the smallest bend (curve) will drastically reduce their load carrying ability.

A 1" (25mm) diameter tube with 2mm wall sounds more than adequate for the H-uprights but keep an eye on their condition for any unintentional damage (bending) and also consider the overall height as the taller the H-sections become (you don't say how tall they are going to be) they more prone to 'bending in normal use' they become.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:49 pm 
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The clamps are locked of at 90 degrees so it should all be at fixed at horizontals. eyeline is the highest they'll go, maybe a foot or two more but not much. Thanks for the advice, enormous is good enough for me.


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