View Full Version : strength of 1'' sch 40 pipe
09-15-2008, 09:43 PM
Iam trying to find out what sch 40 pipe would compare to in angle iron or square tube.
i would like to build a small trailer for atvs. i want to use pipe because Iam cheap and I can get alot of it free . I found the section mondulus of 1'' .1573 but nothing on angle or square.
what stronger square tube or pipe,if they're the same size.
09-15-2008, 09:55 PM
It all depends on the application when considering the strength. For a trailer of any sort I feel 1" pipe is not a suitable material without doing some serious engineering.
Craig in Denver
09-15-2008, 10:18 PM
If you're towing it WITH the ATV, 1" sched 40 will be fine. If you're towing the ATV ON the trailer, I agree with Hammack.
09-15-2008, 11:56 PM
If you use enough pipe in an articulated frame, it can be done. It may be more work than it's worth. For basic properties of sections and some online calculators, try efunda.com. They have all of the basic formulas for stresses as well as section properties. Clear your cache if the register screen shows up ($). It should let you continue. For an articulated frame, you'll need to start with a statics book and figure out all of the forces before you can figure out the stresses. You can also build some test "trusses" and see how stout they are by test loading them. Good luck,
I just checked on efunda and a 2x2x1/8 section of angle has Iyy equal to .190 in^4 so that's a little stiffer than the 1" pipe. That was as small as the chart went. If you make the trailer small, I think that it's completely possible, but you should really do some math on it.
09-16-2008, 12:48 AM
I agree with the guys, it is not at all impossible, and looking at what Craig said, you would be fine.But if you are planning on hauling ATV's ON the trailer; if you could spare a few bucks, it would cost you LESS to make it out of some bigger square or round tubing. Why less, you ask? Well, because if you look at a crane, it is a massive structure made of many little tube sections to make trusses. But, there are also solid ram cranes. Not quite as tall, but very strong, and much simpler to build. Now, if you use 1" tube, you will need to top/ bottom rail it, and truss it out to keep it strong enough to support the weight of atv's, tools, fuel and gear. This will make for a lot of extra weight, and cost of tubing as you will use more footage. That, plus the time involved with making a more complicated structure is where the added cost would come from.
09-16-2008, 09:28 PM
thanks for the in put guy's. I should refraze the question. I want to bluild a trailer out of pipe but I don't know size to use. I can get 1'' thru 6'' sch 40 or sch 10 for free.
There must be some kind of chart that shows . 2'' angle 1/8 is = 1-1/2 sch 40 pipe but maybe not.
Time to check out efunda. Daye
Craig in Denver
09-17-2008, 12:59 AM
You didn't answer the question. Are you putting the ATV on it, or are you towing it with the ATV?
09-17-2008, 10:52 AM
There won't be a table anywhere that correlates sections being equal to other sections. That is because while they may be the same in one direction they will be totally different in another. Generally speaking, for bending stress, you can look for something where the total hieght of the piece (assuming it's symmetrical) is about the same and Iyy (assuming vertical loading) is about the same for bending. Tension is just a function of area. Compression can get a little different because of buckling. You originally asked about using 1" pipe and that led to a fairly complicated answer. Now if you were to use 4" schedule 40 pipe and keep the trailer length reasonable, I am pretty confident that it would be a pretty stout trailer. Keep in mind that the strength of the trailer is important, but it is more important to identify where your maximum stresses will be and adjust size and design accordingly. This is especially true with regard to the hitch and suspension mount points. If I was in you shoes, I would probably use 3" schedule 40. It will be a little heavy, but you'll have some corrosion allowance and plenty of metal to weld to. Good luck,
09-17-2008, 10:57 AM
Finding comparative info between pipe and angle or square tube may be very difficult due to the fact that they are designed for totally different purposes. Pipe is designed to carry fluids or gases, while angle and square tube are designed for structural purposes.
I also have had access to thousands of feet of free pipe and use it when ever practical in place of angle or square tube. When pipe is used for structural purposes it is best in the vertical position. When used horizontally it often needs additional bracing.
09-17-2008, 10:11 PM
Well if I was going to use pipe for an ATV trailer I would use 3" sch 40 for the frame work and probably a 12" high rail down the sides and front made with 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" pipe. Probably put in some diagonal bracing in the side rails to basically fab a truss. I would also 45 degree the corners and not just butt them into each other.
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