Can I use stainless fittings on aluminum poles
by Phil Davis
(Fort Myers FL)
I have a Bimini top that has all nylon fittings. I was hoping to change to a stronger metal fitting. I am concerned about putting stainless and Aluminum together causing galvanic corrosion. Or is it just in my head that the stainless fittings will give the top more stability than the nylon fittings?
No Phil, it's not just in your head. Electrolysis is a problem between these metals. So your right if you use Stainless steel bimini top parts on aluminum tubing, you may have this corrosion.
You can minimize this problem by using a product called tef gel, it's common for marine fabricators to use this product when putting stainless screws in aluminum.. There may be other alternatives to tef gel on the market that you can use as well to minimize corrosion. Tef Gel is exactly what it sounds like, a gel. So it will also lubricate and possibly cause your set screw to back out.
You could drill and rivet the fitting or use a double set screw at the least. I think this should solve your problem for corrosion if you would like to use the stainless steel bimini top fittings.
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