aluminum vs. abs plastic sheet??

mpower

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i am in the process of skinning the roof , building a base for a bag basket and covering up some of the gaps in the cage.

my question is , will using .100" abs plastic be comaprable to using .062" 5052 aluminum sheet?

i can get a great deal on these abs sheets to use for the more non critical parts of the car , but am wondering if it will be durable enough to use in the applications above. i dont want it craking the first time i throw a tool bag on it, ect.

the abs is just a hell of a lot cheaper than aluminum at this point of the build ,but dont want to waste what little money is left for the build.

anyone have experance with using abs for this application?

thanks,

mike
 

bigjeep13

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In my opinion, if you were to get into a roll over with a roof skinned in ABS it may crack into shards and poke into the cockpit posing a risk to the occupants. The aluminum on the other hand will bend and dent instead of breaking into sharp pieces. just my 2 cents
 

mpower

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thanks , im my experence with abs sheet it has never broke into shards. i guess if it were really cold it might , but i cant even get the stuff to tear. thats why im wondering if anybody has experence with using it in the offroad world.
 

GDRBORETIRED

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I have no experiance with ABS sheet but I wouldn't use it for a roof panel. For filling gaps in less critical areas ok. What is the weight as compared to the aluminum on a square foot basis?
 

charlie_brown

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on one of my projects i used the ABS instead of the aluminum for some pannels. i used a heat gun to heat it up and bend it. every place i may have over heated it, broke and shattered over time.
 

mpower

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i guess its looking like i gotta spend a little more to get some aluminum. abs dosent seem to be a good idea here
 

57Racer

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Some racing orginazations REQUIRE that your roof be made of metal. So if that helps.
 

Brian Mapes

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I have quite a bit of experience with ABS sheets, vaccuum forming and laminating it. Know all that I know and the things I have seen happend to ABS sheet I would never even think about using it in a car or truck, especially for offroad. I have seen ABS sheet crack, snap, bend, break, tear and when it cracks and breaks it turns into some nice shrapnel. My workers used to slice open thier hands daily on it. You should definately not use any ABS sheet anywhere in your car, no matter how free or cheap you get it. That is my two cents. I do know alot about the material though so that is where I pull my conclusions from. For the roof plate I would use 1/8" Aluminum at least if not thicker. Think about in a rollover, your cage will proctect you but what about a big rock that fits in between your cage tubes or a tree stump. You definatly dont want to be impaled.
 
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