sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

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sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  ChrisH on October 26th 2016, 11:08 pm

is weight and heat transfer the only reasons why aluminum is used for a sheet metal intake, and not other materials like stainless and carbon steel?

I realize if you are paying for one or racing one you want to use the best material available.

but for R&D purposes would there be any reasons why someone shouldn't go down this path?

I ask because I have supply of sheet metal and steel tubing, and I can tig weld steel nice and clean, but I have really just started welding aluminum, and some of them may not be the prettiest welds you ever laid eyes on. But really my main interest is cheap experimentation.


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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  windsor on October 27th 2016, 12:46 am

Uncle Charlie (Evans) just made a carbon fiber tunnel ram.
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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  Frank Merkl on October 27th 2016, 3:58 am

a lot of math goes into building an intake
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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  Frank Merkl on October 27th 2016, 4:02 am

then you can throw all the math out when you "NEW " super turbo sucker intake ,slow's the car down a half a tenth !!
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spent $5000 to go a half a tenth slower !!! but it was PRETTY!!! LOL
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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  dfree383 on October 27th 2016, 6:10 am

You can make them out of any material you want.

Hell plastic is common nowday and also carbon fiber like was mentioned.
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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  Scott Foxwell on October 27th 2016, 9:11 am

Lot of harmonics going on inside an intake. Better power has been made by cast intakes over sheet metal because of their ability to dampen some of those harmonics better and hold their shape. Sheet metal allows more design flexibility but these days more and more are CNC'd out of billet with "some assembly required". Aside from the weight I'm not sure steel has those same properties.

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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  rmcomprandy on October 27th 2016, 9:17 am

dfree383 wrote:You can make them out of any material you want.

Hell plastic is common nowday and also carbon fiber like was mentioned.

YEP ... for simply R&D I have seen wood, fiberglass, plastic, aluminum, steel, and all kinds of epoxies and even Bondo used for prototyping.

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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  SLord82 on October 27th 2016, 3:59 pm

I've been wanting a 3D printer to try designing my own intake. The hard part is finding one that can print something as large as an intake.

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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  samiam on October 27th 2016, 8:43 pm

[quote="SLord82"]I've been wanting a 3D printer to try designing my own intake. The hard part is finding one that can print something as large as an intake.[/quote


Now that would be an interesting project,, lots of possibilities
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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  Curt on October 27th 2016, 9:51 pm

Charlie's last mad scientist manifold was 3D I believe.
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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  DaveMcLain on October 28th 2016, 9:55 am

[quote="samiam"]
SLord82 wrote:I've been wanting a 3D printer to try designing my own intake. The hard part is finding one that can print something as large as an intake.[/quote


Now that would be an interesting project,, lots of possibilities


I remember seeing a talk by Mike Chapman about 15 years ago where he was talking about using intakes that had been printing using Stereo Lithography but at the time is was very expensive but cheaper than some other methods because of the ease of changing the design.

I've used some 3D printed parts for a few things and I used a service I found on line to have the stuff printed from some CAD drawings. It worked slick and the resolution was good. These were small parts.


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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  Carl on October 28th 2016, 11:09 am

I met with a local company that does 3D printing to see about having an intake made. It takes an especially large printer, and somebody who knows their materials. Long story short, it was going to cost about $2500.00 per intake by time it was all said and done. There's probably some regional fluctuation to that, but it's not the kind of thing your nephew can do in your sister's basement, so I'd be skeptical of anyone doing it really cheap.

Sheet metal seems like a fine way to go for a backyard fabricator, and/or for prototyping, and I see no reason steel wouldn't work. Just need to control the heat/warpage. Probably need a spare block and heads to use as a fixture.

Lately, I've been thinking there's already so many intake manifold designs out there for other engines, it's probably easier to just have adapters made.

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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  rmcomprandy on October 28th 2016, 2:17 pm

Even after you get your prototype intake performing exactly how you want ... getting it further produced is a another venture, altogether.

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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  68formalGT on October 28th 2016, 2:48 pm

Scott Foxwell wrote:Lot of harmonics going on inside an intake. Better power has been made by cast intakes over sheet metal because of their ability to dampen some of those harmonics better and hold their shape. Sheet metal allows more design flexibility but these days more and more are CNC'd out of billet with "some assembly required". Aside from the weight I'm not sure steel has those same properties.

I know some have seen this but the pulse in the port and the fuel washing down the sides of the plenum is pretty interesting.

https://youtu.be/7Iq1B-2paCs
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Re: sheet metal intake - why just aluminum

Post  Scott Foxwell on October 29th 2016, 11:28 am

68formalGT wrote:
Scott Foxwell wrote:Lot of harmonics going on inside an intake. Better power has been made by cast intakes over sheet metal because of their ability to dampen some of those harmonics better and hold their shape. Sheet metal allows more design flexibility but these days more and more are CNC'd out of billet with "some assembly required". Aside from the weight I'm not sure steel has those same properties.

I know some have seen this but the pulse in the port and the fuel washing down the sides of the plenum is pretty interesting.

https://youtu.be/7Iq1B-2paCs
Controlled chaos.

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