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Stainless weighs more than aluminum - won't it make my vehicle heavier?

We have heard this question many times in the past. It is a true statement that a stainless steel is a heavier material than aluminum, but how much would it add to your vehicles overall weight?

To give a more exact comparison of the weights involved lets look at an average short ram intake. The average length intake would be approximetely 3 feet long (give or take a few inches). I have insterted a chart below for a more direct comparison of the weight properties from an engineering standpoint.

Material Density Weight Per Foot of 3" 16 ga (0.065" wall) Tubing
Type 304 Stainless Steel 0.286 pounds per cubic inch 2.083 pounds/ft
Type 6061-T6 Aluminum 0.098 pounds per cubic inch 0.7048 punds/ft

Looking at the properties of stainless versus aluminum we can calculate that a 3 foot long tubing intake in aluminum will weigh 2.11 pounds and an equally long stainless intake will weigh 6.25 pounds, a difference of 4.14 pounds. Four pounds of added weight would not be enough to even make a dent in the vehicle performance. You might want to skip that big lunch if that was the case.
Given the overall benefits of stainless steel over aluminum including durability, finish and thermal properties four pounds is a non-issue in my book.

If you have any questions or would like more information on this subject please feel free to me at my email address shane@rdfabs.com.


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