[CQ-Contest] Aluminum fatigue cracks and scratches - treatment?

Kristinn Andersen andersen at simnet.is
Thu Aug 5 15:32:25 EDT 2004



I just noticed a mild scratch close to the base of my vertical aluminum pole
that serves as a vertical antenna and support for an inverted-V.  This has
developed during the last year as a result of a friction against a steel
bolt close to the aluminum pole surface.  It appears to be tolerable, as
long as it does not develop further - I have relocated that steel bolt and
the pole is guyed so bending/fatigue movements should be minimal at this



Years back I had an aluminum vertical that initially had a relatively
"innocent" scratch at the base, which developed into a crack as the vertical
swayed with the wind, and the unit finally broke.  A friend of mine advised
me afterwards that I could have prevented this fatigue development of the
scratch/crack by sanding and polishing it down so that there would be no
crack to propagate through the aluminum cross section.  Now, I am thinking
about doing this, but would like to hear if any of you have a comment on
this.  Sanding down the crack sure makes it disappear, but at the same time
I would be thinning the wall of the tube a little in this place.  Any


73 de Kris, TF3KX



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