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ABCs of Aluminum Structural Design: From Alloys to Buckling to Connections

These three webinars will familiarize attendees with aluminum structural design in accordance with the 2020 Aluminum Design Manual (ADM) published by the Aluminum Association. Compliance with Part I of the ADM is required by the International Building Code and the AWS D1.2 aluminum structural welding code, making it key to the use of aluminum construction applications in the US. Aluminum’s high strength to weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and formability make it the material of choice in many structures such as curtain walls, space frames, hand rails, and solar panel supports. While aluminum structural design is similar to steel design, there are significant differences, such as the reduction in aluminum strength when welded, and the availability of inexpensive custom cross sections through the use of extrusions.

The registration fee for the Seminar is $395 for members ($600 for nonmembers), which includes all 4.5 hours of education. Each individual webinar can be purchased separately for $150 for members ($250 for nonmembers).

  • This series will be Live Only. Recordings will not be available after the presentations.
  • Each seminar purchase is per office location. If your firm is operating remotely, please review the Webinar FAQ's on how to accommodate multiple users from the same location. 
  • Attendees may be contacted by sponsors of this Series. You may opt-out of this by contacting

Please note: These webinars are not included in the NCSEA Webinar Subscription.

Schedule of Events
March 2 - Introduction to Aluminum as a Structural Material

Aluminum comes in many alloys, tempers, and product forms such as sheet, plate, and extrusions, with widely differing strength and ductility. Other properties, such as modulus of elasticity, density, and coefficient of thermal expansion do not differ among alloys, but are significantly different than steel. Therefore, it’s important to understand these properties and how to specify them before undertaking design.

March 9 - Designing Aluminum Members

The Aluminum Design Manual provides methods for designing aluminum members for axial tension, axial compression, flexure, shear, and torsion. While these methods bear some similarities to approaches for steel members, the great variety of available aluminum cross sections means that more general design rules are needed to address aluminum members. This includes addressing local buckling for members in compression and flexure.

March 16 - Designing Aluminum Connections

Aluminum connections can be made by several welding processes or using mechanical connectors including bolts, rivets, screws, and pins. Welding reduces the strength of aluminum alloys that have been tempered by heat treatment or cold work, and this must be accounted for in designing aluminum welded connections. For this reason, aluminum structures often employ mechanical connections instead of welding.

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