I want to fabricate an aluminum shelf for my media center. 22 1/16” x 37 5/8” with a rectangular cutout 2 1/2” deep on one of the long edges of the sheet with 6” of material on either side of the cutout. (CAD model)
The shelf will be supported by four shelf pins on the short edges near the corners.
The question I need to answer is how thick the aluminum needs to be to support my intended load (100 lbs of equipment, more-or-less in the center).
I've been playing around with SimScale and (assuming I'm doing it right) I've determined that a tenth of an inch of aluminum is sufficient, but I'd like a better methodology for computing the minimum required thickness than "guess and check".
What is the right way to compute the required thickness of the sheet of aluminum? Modelling the problem as a rectangle secured on the short edges with a 100 lb load in the center seems like the first step, but coming from a CS/EE background I'm lacking the statics knowledge to enable me to properly set up the problem.