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Aluminium Sheet Thickness: Does this have an effect to Aluminium Boats?

Blog | 17 March 2017

Aluminium is a frequently employed boat construction material. It’s easy to machine, of course, and there are many instances where “aluminum” (An Americanism) works as a tough transportation shell. A balance is needed, though, a mechanical toughness that works with a corresponding buoyancy profile to create a craft that cuts effortlessly through the water.

Weighing Aluminium Sheet Thickness 

Everything’s about balance when boats are built, which is why we assess sheet thickness. Essentially, we want to adopt a best practice fabrication method. Rivets and mechanical fasteners are obviously easy to assess as a parts assembly aid, but these component anchors aren’t always the best choice, especially when waterproofing is a concern. After these generally accepted parts locking aids, there’s welding technology. Unfortunately, sheet thickness does broaden slightly to accommodate this assembly solution. The question is: does this sheet thickening provision have an effect on aluminium boats?

Density in a Nutshell 

A denser boat rides ever-so-slightly lower in the water. The thicker sheet thickness ties in with a greater overall hull density. There’s just more metal present, so gravity has its way. Buoyancy drops, the weight of the craft increases, and its ability to sail cleanly through the waves decreases. However, that buoyancy issue is correctable. A widening of the boat, the part that comes in contact with the water, does effectively restore buoyancy. An outboard motor with a few extra horsepower of propulsion power will also overcome the heavier density.

Buoyancy Assistance 

Wide boats are heavily employed in the global transportation industry. Freight ships and cruise liners use thick panels of steel and strengthening struts to reinforce the vessel’s shaped hull. Similarly, an aluminium boat floats because it counteracts the surface tension of water. Still, it takes more engineering know-how to guarantee this flotation factor, which is why buoyancy features are often added to metal boats. In the example of a recreational craft, a boat that’s perhaps used on a lake for fishing, basic flotation features are enough to ensure this feature. They’re the foams and closed-celled polymers that stop the craft from being swamped.

Balance has played a major role in the structure and intent of this article. Aluminium sheet thickness, perhaps no more than 1.6mm, ensures mechanical strength, but vessel density is kept in line. Should that material thickness increase, the hull can widen to offset any buoyancy changes. Furthermore, an ace boat building service can add an active flotation system and a brawny outboard motor that really fully compensates for the effects of any sheet thickness increases in an aluminium boat.

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