Powder coated steel vs aluminum stands

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mfollen

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Hey reefers,

What are your preferences and thoughts on long term rust resistance for powder coated steel stands and aluminum stands?

The aluminum stand is very expensive, and some savings can be had with a powder coated steel stand. I don’t want to run into any issues of rusting of the stand as this is a dream tank with SPS in my new home that hopefully is running for a very long time. I don’t know what I would do if something happened for what hopefully becomes a long established system.

Thank you all for any insights or experiences.
 

LeftyReefer

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The aluminum would have the longer overall life since it won't be relying on a coating that can be damaged for the corrosion protection.

if the powder coating gets damaged, the steel stand can start rusting. Aluminum won't have that issue.

The aluminum stand would also be lighter and easier to move.
 

neon_reefer

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I feel like it would depend on the size of the tank, the cost can be a drastic difference at that point. I have a powder coated steel frame because I wanted it a custom color and its less expensive , that is an advantage of going with a powder coated steel frame, no slots (clean look) , and you can choose whatever color to coat it with.
 

90's reefer

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My 120, now 80g stand, is welded steel. I coated it with an automotive coating, POR 15. If it scratches its easy to touchup. I like the T Slot aluminum stands as they look great and have cool options too.
Either one will last a life time if properly taken care of, imo.
 
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HuduVudu

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I have used both.

There will always be some small spot on the steel that will rust. Plus connections on steel leave them open to rust and also will cost integrity. The steel will be stronger so you can get away with a cleaner structural apperance. I never got to the point of using magnets for connection but this seems convienient.

The T-Slot IME will not rust even with direct salt contact. If you get stainless connection hardware it won't rust either. This for me is why I use aluminum over steel. Aluminum isn't as strong as steel but a good design can minimize the amount of bracing and keep the appearance cleaner. Another big advantage of at least T-Slot is you can re-use it and doing DIY with it is a very simple ... no welding required.

My 2 cents.
 
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mfollen

mfollen

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Thank you very much everyone!!

Yes I worry for when water inevitability spills directly onto the stand when something goes wrong while working on the tank.

As the stand is too big to get into the room, the aluminum stand would be assembled inside the room. The powder coated steel stand would come in two pieces, which would line up side by side and we connected by stainless steel screws. In addition there is a light rack above the tank which will be connected to the stand.

I wonder if the connections for the powder coated steel stand could result in inevitable rusting? I’m just not sure how vulnerable those connections would be with the powder coating steel screw openings and the stainless steel screws…
 

90's reefer

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Thank you very much everyone!!

Yes I worry for when water inevitability spills directly onto the stand when something goes wrong while working on the tank.

As the stand is too big to get into the room, the aluminum stand would be assembled inside the room. The powder coated steel stand would come in two pieces, which would line up side by side and we connected by stainless steel screws. In addition there is a light rack above the tank which will be connected to the stand.

I wonder if the connections for the powder coated steel stand could result in inevitable rusting? I’m just not sure how vulnerable those connections would be with the powder coating steel screw openings and the stainless steel screws…
If going tbe steel route just place your plywood on top of both and you should be fine. I would not use screws. On steel stands you dont want any holes or openings as that is a way for your stand to rust from the inside out, condensation.
If it was me I would go T slot in your situation.
 

neon_reefer

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Thank you very much everyone!!

Yes I worry for when water inevitability spills directly onto the stand when something goes wrong while working on the tank.

As the stand is too big to get into the room, the aluminum stand would be assembled inside the room. The powder coated steel stand would come in two pieces, which would line up side by side and we connected by stainless steel screws. In addition there is a light rack above the tank which will be connected to the stand.

I wonder if the connections for the powder coated steel stand could result in inevitable rusting? I’m just not sure how vulnerable those connections would be with the powder coating steel screw openings and the stainless steel screws…
If cost is not an issue, go with the aluminum. At the end of the day, it’s about what you are willing to spend
 
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mfollen

mfollen

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Thank you everyone.

It sounds that with the connections to screw the two part steel stand together, that does create a vulnerability which can increase likelihood of rust which may create problems down the line.

Attached are pictures of what the connections would be. The steel would be powder coated
Under the tank, connecting the two stands:
61BFBB34-69F9-48B6-BCFF-DC1F8287FB8B.jpeg

D5A4C5A9-C6EF-4E22-B117-CC3D2979C76F.jpeg

12A25CBA-2D12-4F26-B568-FE75B22E08EB.jpeg


Canopy light rail connection to stand:
C303492D-6D84-489F-AC7E-EE001C25F43A.jpeg


Thanks everyone!
 
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mcwhng

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Thank you everyone.

It sounds that with the connections to screw the two part steel stand together, that does create a vulnerability which can increase likelihood of rust which may create problems down the line.

Attached are pictures of what the connections would be. The steel would be powder coated
Under the tank, connecting the two stands:
61BFBB34-69F9-48B6-BCFF-DC1F8287FB8B.jpeg

D5A4C5A9-C6EF-4E22-B117-CC3D2979C76F.jpeg

12A25CBA-2D12-4F26-B568-FE75B22E08EB.jpeg


Canopy light rail connection to stand:
C303492D-6D84-489F-AC7E-EE001C25F43A.jpeg


Thanks everyone!
Looks well done. I went with 8020 aluminum tslot from the same place that Than from Tidal Gardens used and have no regrets. I could park a car on top of it. Also followed Than’s lead in using type 1 pvc sheets on top, below the sump, and on the rear wall of the sump area to completely saltwater proof the area around tank. PVC also allows easy mounting of tech ie controls, dosers, etc.
 

SPS2020

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My 120, now 80g stand, is welded steel. I coated it with an automotive coating, POR 15. If it scratches its easy to touchup. I like the T Slot aluminum stands as they look great and have cool options too.
Either one will last a life time if properly taken care of, imo.
POR 15 is no joke; love that stuff! Just don't get it on your skin; it took weeks for it to wear off! LOL
 

csund

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Thank you very much everyone!!

Yes I worry for when water inevitability spills directly onto the stand when something goes wrong while working on the tank.

As the stand is too big to get into the room, the aluminum stand would be assembled inside the room. The powder coated steel stand would come in two pieces, which would line up side by side and we connected by stainless steel screws. In addition there is a light rack above the tank which will be connected to the stand.

I wonder if the connections for the powder coated steel stand could result in inevitable rusting? I’m just not sure how vulnerable those connections would be with the powder coating steel screw openings and the stainless steel screws…
I wouldn’t worry about it at all. At most the corrosion would be unsightly but would not likely result in any fatigue of the stand. There are steel boats from the 40s still floating in saltwater.

I would refrain from using stainless fasteners for anything structural unless drastically oversized. Grade 8 bolts will last just fine and are wayyyy stronger. Stainless is basically the equivalent of a grade three bolt.

Most of the steel stands I see built are overbuilt. You could park a few city buses on them! If I were to do a steel stand I would do so to have the most minimalist stand possible.

I have a built a few aluminum extrusion stands that I designed and purchased materials through 8020. I love them, they are modular, can be modified down the road and most importantly no screw holes from mounting gear. That being said aluminum won’t oxidize in the same way steel will but that doesn’t mean it won’t corrode.

If you want a stand that won’t rust or corrode under 400f then you should look at CP titanium.
 
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mfollen

mfollen

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@piranhaman00 What do you think led to the rusting? How quick?

Thanks all! I’m really torn on the aluminum or stainless route. Not sure if the would wrapping would prevent rust risk on a powder coated steel stand or not. Seems like many Go that route in R2R build threads
 
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