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Old 12-20-2014, 03:45 PM   #1
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Question for the structural engineers

What is your opinion of the strength of the aluminum bracket vs the stainless bracket?

These are for mounting solar panels on the roof of a 5th wheel. The little stainless brackets are in use all over the place literally hundreds maybe thousands of them without any failure.

I wanted something stronger so built my own aluminum brackets out of 6061 - t6 structural aluminum. did I do good or could that aluminum fracture at the top where the single bolt holds the solar panel?
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Old 12-20-2014, 05:19 PM   #2
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Looking at the size of the hole, you do not meet spec for edge distance. Usually twice the distance of the hole diameter to edge. But, since it's only holding a solar panel ,weight is within allowable tolerances. probably over built. You could have used 10 ga. instead of 1/4".
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:50 PM   #3
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I would think this is plenty strong fir what you need.

If the installation is firm and not moving it should be good.

Suggest bedding it to roof with cushion.

Place and drill holes then if fiberglass roor scrub clean with acetone or alcohol then lay a film of silicon RTV and then mount bracket, the silicon will hold it in addition to screws so it should not move or leak.
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:59 PM   #4
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That aluminum extrusion is pretty soft so you really don't need to worry about cracking.
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:46 PM   #5
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What you did will be fine but I would rather have the smaller footprint of the stainless bracket
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:06 PM   #6
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6061T6 is good stuff. I agree the edge distance could have been a little farther away but it looks overbuilt anyway.

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Old 12-20-2014, 11:23 PM   #7
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When mounting a small mount like these to a hard surface, I like to use two sided tape for extra strength. My roof is fiberglass and I used the smaller stainless brackets. I added the two sided tape before installing with screws. This also helps to seal the screw holes.
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:15 PM   #8
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Either of those brackets is likely to be stronger than the holding force of the screw threads in the wood laminate of the roof. Maybe even stronger than the roof itself.
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:23 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info guys. Feel better now.
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Either of those brackets is likely to be stronger than the holding force of the screw threads in the wood laminate of the roof. Maybe even stronger than the roof itself.
Exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:50 PM   #11
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I used 6061 aluminum angle. Stainless bolts, and washers, (except for one it seems).

If your roof is not level, I recommend you slot your mounting holes. Also, use a lot Dicor sealant.
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Old 12-26-2014, 11:54 AM   #12
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Nice job on the aluminum bracket, but way overkill. It will definitely spread the weight out. Sort of a belt and suspenders approach.
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