Steel Or Aluminum Skid Plates?

Greg

Adventurist
Senior Staff
#4
That sums up everything really well.

If you're curious. All materials have an elasticity property. It's just very low in a material like concrete. The amount of force needed to permanently deform a material under tension is Young's Modulus of Elasticity. Bending stiffness is a function of Young's Modulus. Carbon steel's modulus is about 3 times that of aluminum's. So In short. Steel can take almost 3 times the force of an impact that would permanently deform an aluminum skid plate.

Stainless steel's elasticity property is about the same as carbon steel so if you want the benefits of crosions corrosion resistance that's better than aluminum and you've got deep pockets.

Young's Modulus of Elasticity for Metals and Alloys
https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/young-modulus-d_773.html
 
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#5
When I ordered my skids for my GX I went with Steel for two main reasons.

1. When instructing we often stick a vehicle purposely to so we can teach stuck assessment and proper recover technique. Doing that repeatedly over a weekend, month, seasons would fatigue aluminum.

2. Cost was lower, that for me was simple. The could very well be like a consumable over time.

Aluminum does corrode beyond oxidation. I have seen plenty of .500" wing spar chords/webs and floor beams missing half the material.
 
#7
That sums up everything really well.

If you're curious. All materials have an elasticity property. It's just very low in a material like concrete. The amount of force needed to permanently deform a material under tension is Young's Modulus of Elasticity. Bending stiffness is a function of Young's Modulus. Carbon steel's modulus is about 3 times that of aluminum's. So In short. Steel needs almost 3 times the force of an impact that would permanently deform an aluminum skid plate.

Stainless steel's elasticity property is about the same as carbon steel so if you want the benefits of crosions resistance that's better than aluminum and you've got deep pockets.

Young's Modulus of Elasticity for Metals and Alloys
https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/young-modulus-d_773.html
When I ordered my skids for my GX I went with Steel for two main reasons.

1. When instructing we often stick a vehicle purposely to so we can teach stuck assessment and proper recover technique. Doing that repeatedly over a weekend, month, seasons would fatigue aluminum.

2. Cost was lower, that for me was simple. The could very well be like a consumable over time.

Aluminum does corrode beyond oxidation. I have seen plenty of .500" wing spar chords/webs and floor beams missing half the material.

Thanks for adding great information and personal experiences!
 

java230

Adventurist
#12
I have been looking at different options, I am really leaning towards DIY stainless. I am not wheeling hard, so a thinner stainless seems like a really good compromise for me.
 

Dean

Adventurist
Founding Member
#13
Some good points. I agree that steel is a must for the rocks. Aluminum is good for brush guards, but in the rocks it's a bit too soft. Also, in the rocks the deflection of the skid plate may actually hit what you're trying to protect behind the skid.
 
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