aluminum winch plate, what thickness needed? - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-30-2008, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
muddy93
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aluminum winch plate, what thickness needed?

ok, hypothetical(sp) question;
lets say that someone had some1/2" thick 6061-T651 aluminum plate just lieing around. would it be suitable for making a winch plate for the front of a jeep?


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post #2 of 11 Old 12-30-2008, 06:51 AM
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I doubt it.
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-30-2008, 07:28 AM
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-30-2008, 11:30 PM
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I'm guessing the thickness of the aluminum should be a minimum of, say, one foot, might get away with 9".
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-31-2008, 01:11 AM
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when dealing with aluminum i always up the thickness a step or two. if youve got 1/2" that would be the way to go. 1/2" aluminum in that small a piece would be very strong. where you will run into trouble is creating the front and back pieces. a traditional winch plate has a bend in the front and back. this is to make it stronger and keep the plate from flexing as the winch will be pulling from near center of the plate (the weakest part). you can make the upright portions out of 3/8" thick stock. to weld 3/8" to 1/2" aluminum will take a pretty buff machine. my 185amp tig will top out with 1/4" aluminum. most in the 4 wheeling world are scared of aluminum but its just now starting to catch on with rockers and skids being made of the material. concert trussing is almost all made of aluminum. these are pulled into place by winches or "motors." they can hold a tremendous amount of wieght. apples and oranges i agree, but you get the point. U2 was the only concert ive worked that used steel truss but that was by far the largest stage ive ever seen.
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-31-2008, 01:12 AM
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Nope, 6061 T6 isn't meant for bending. It'll usually snap and tear before it bends. Likewise, it'll do the same thing when the stresses from the winch are applied to it.
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-31-2008, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fratis View Post
when dealing with aluminum i always up the thickness a step or two. if youve got 1/2" that would be the way to go. 1/2" aluminum in that small a piece would be very strong. where you will run into trouble is creating the front and back pieces. a traditional winch plate has a bend in the front and back. this is to make it stronger and keep the plate from flexing as the winch will be pulling from near center of the plate (the weakest part). you can make the upright portions out of 3/8" thick stock. to weld 3/8" to 1/2" aluminum will take a pretty buff machine. my 185amp tig will top out with 1/4" aluminum. most in the 4 wheeling world are scared of aluminum but its just now starting to catch on with rockers and skids being made of the material. concert trussing is almost all made of aluminum. these are pulled into place by winches or "motors." they can hold a tremendous amount of wieght. apples and oranges i agree, but you get the point. U2 was the only concert ive worked that used steel truss but that was by far the largest stage ive ever seen.
I've made trusses for Morpheus, they see nowhere near the stresses that a winch plate will see.
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post #8 of 11 Old 12-31-2008, 11:34 AM
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imo in this application the fact that 6061 isnt meant for bending is moot. 6061 is designed to be used in plate form and not meant to be fabricated using bends. 6063 is the choice of aluminum for making bends. in this application neither will bend to the point of snapping. true 6061 has a tendency to show signs of cracking when bent. but we are talking 90* bends here, not slight deflections. a winch on a plate is not going to pull the plate to the point of creating a 90* or even a 20* bend on a line. the only way it would do that is if you attached only one side to the framerail and then winched your vehicle sideways. it isnt going to simply snap when pressure is applied. anyone who has worked with aluminum has substituted 6061 for 6063 out of necessity and made slight bends in it and it does fine. if an aluminum winch plate is going to fail it wont matter what type its made of.
quick google search;
http://dodgeram.org/bill_s/front_bumper.htm

this one even mentions 1/2" 6061
http://www.autotrucktoys.com/toyota-...r-PRD3126.aspx
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-31-2008, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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thanks to everyone for all the replies.
although I'm still considering the aluminum(as a last resort kind of thing), I think I'm just going to try to find some steel to use. I'm thinking that I may want to re-do the bumper(maybe add a stinger) anyway, so startring with a steel plate for the winch seems like it may be the way to go.

so, my next question, would 1/4" steel be thick enough for the winch plate, or should I look for 5/16" or 3/8" ?

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post #10 of 11 Old 12-31-2008, 01:53 PM
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1/4" is common for winch plates. I think some commercial ones even use 3/16".
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post #11 of 11 Old 12-31-2008, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fratis View Post
imo in this application the fact that 6061 isnt meant for bending is moot. 6061 is designed to be used in plate form and not meant to be fabricated using bends. 6063 is the choice of aluminum for making bends. in this application neither will bend to the point of snapping. true 6061 has a tendency to show signs of cracking when bent. but we are talking 90* bends here, not slight deflections. a winch on a plate is not going to pull the plate to the point of creating a 90* or even a 20* bend on a line. the only way it would do that is if you attached only one side to the framerail and then winched your vehicle sideways. it isnt going to simply snap when pressure is applied. anyone who has worked with aluminum has substituted 6061 for 6063 out of necessity and made slight bends in it and it does fine. if an aluminum winch plate is going to fail it wont matter what type its made of.
quick google search;
http://dodgeram.org/bill_s/front_bumper.htm

this one even mentions 1/2" 6061
http://www.autotrucktoys.com/toyota-...r-PRD3126.aspx
IIRC, we used 4043 when we had to bend it up a lot. It's a gooey alloy that bends really well and machines like butter. It welds pretty nicely but stays pretty soft even after heat treatment.

I've got an XJ. Our winch plates are much different from Wrangler plates. I forget that you guys can just drop a plate to the top of the bumper.

I was envisioning something along these lines when we were talking about a winch plate:

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