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Light(ish) and non flexible.

I am toying with the idea of putting together a non flexible notebook case. I really liked the look of my Timbuk2 sleeve and other sleeves out there, but they always leave out adequate support to prevent flex when in a messenger bag. I am pretty sure that being flexed across my back while cycling with a good amount of weight pressing on it killed the motherboard (twice!) on my old notebook and would like to avoid it again. I need some materials suggestions though. I need a non-flexible material to act as plates to be sewn into the outside covering of the case. Ceramic plate would be ideal, but the things that I have found are anti-ballistic and ridiculously expensive. Plate steel would work but it is heavy. Anyone out there with experience with plate steel or aluminum that can tell me how thin I can go without flex, or maybe some advice on materials that I haven't thought of?

westfw10 years ago
Well, there's carbon fiber plates, where are ridiculously rigid compared to their weight, but probably prohibitively expensive unless you can find surplus in the right size. Fiberglass over foam sheet might be close, but you're getting thicker than you want for a backpack...
triplenine (author)  westfw10 years ago
Cool idea. In looking around, I have found that carbon fiber rods and tubes are not that expensive, less than $20 for a 1.2m piece. The diameters are variable so I am waiting to hear back on a length to diameter ratio that will be completely rigid. Thanks for the idea!
how bout really preaty thin alu or steel nd drill holes in it u could drill quite alot as its not seen
photozz10 years ago
What about 1/4 or 1/2 inch plywood? At laptop size, it should have very little flex, and be very cheap. It's considerably lighter than steel as well.