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Aluminum Association Releases the 2020 Aluminum Design Manual

2020 Aluminum Design ManualThe Aluminum Association released the 2020 Aluminum Design Manual. Updated every five years, the manual is an essential reference for engineers, designers, detailers, and architects working with aluminum in structural applications.

“For decades, the Aluminum Design Manual has been a critical resource for anyone designing or engineering a structure with aluminum,” said John Weritz, vice president for standards and technology at the Aluminum Association. “In fact, Chapter 20 of the International Building Code requires compliance with Part I of the Aluminum Design Manual for aluminum construction. The addition of pre-populated spreadsheets in the 2020 manual will make it easier for designers to continue to use data-based decisions when engineering aluminum products.”

In general, the manual includes:

  • A Design Guide addressing aluminum structural design codes, aluminum composite material, adhesive bonded joints, extrusion design, corrosion, fire protection, and sustainability.
  • A Material Properties section, which describes the wrought and cast alloy and temper designation systems and provides comparative characteristics, typical physical properties, and densities of common aluminum alloys.
  • Section Properties for common aluminum channels, I-shapes, angles, tees, zees, square, rectangular, and round tube, roofing and siding, and pipe.
  • Design Aids, including 48 allowable stress tables for common alloy-tempers, load span tables for Aluminum Association channels and I-shapes, grating (new), tread plate, and roofing and siding.
  • Illustrative Examples, with 31 design examples of use of the Specification for Aluminum Structures.
  • Guidelines for Aluminum Sheet Metal Work in Building Construction.

Specifications for Aluminum Structures 

The manual includes the Specification for Aluminum Structures, which provides design rules for aluminum structures, members, and connections. The 2020 edition of the Aluminum Design Manual includes significant changes to the Specification compared to the 2015 edition, including new provisions for block shear, pull-out strength of screws in screw chases (including an improved relevant pull-out equation), weld-affected strengths, post-weld heat treated strengths, new alloy-tempers, and flanges and webs with concentrated forces. Also included is commentary for the Specification, with background and references for specification provisions.

A detailed explanation of these changes appears in “The 2020 Aluminum Design Manual,” an article written by J. Randolph Kissell, Trinity Consultants, and Dr. Ronald D. Ziemian, Bucknell University.

Additional Changes

The latest edition of the Aluminum Design Manual includes a new Code of Standard Practice section for fabricating and erecting structural aluminum. This provides a common understanding of acceptable standards when contracting for structural aluminum.

For the first time, the manual will also include an Excel spreadsheet containing section property tables for common aluminum shapes — including I-shapes, channels, angles, tees, zees, round and rectangular tube, pipe, and roofing and siding. The spreadsheet is bundled with all electronic copies, and hard copies will have a link to the spreadsheet listed on the Table of Contents page.

The 2020 Aluminum Design Manual is available for purchase as both a searchable electronic download and hard copy through the Aluminum Association’s bookstore.

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