Aluminum Extrusion Profile – Which Profiles are Right for Your Project
Is it possible to have too much choice? It would be easy to think so when reviewing the 210+ aluminum extrusion profile options available from IPS. Engineered for structural framing, linear motion systems and decorative, non-functional applications, it’s important to pick the right profile. Here’s an overview of the range and our advice for narrowing down your options.
T-Slot Aluminum Profile
T-slot is the principal component of any design. This aluminum extrusion profile holds fasteners captive in the slots while providing strength and rigidity. It comes in three “weights” and a wide range of sizes.
“Weight” refers to the mass per unit length. More mass makes for a heavier and stronger profile. Heavier weight profile uses larger diameter fasteners for higher levels of joint strength.
The three weights IPS offers are:
- L8 – the heavy-duty profile used for maximum strength and stiffness. It’s always recommended for linear motion applications and for wherever exceptional load-bearing capacity is required.
- L6 – the mid-range profile suitable for most applications needing moderate strength
- L5 – the light-duty profile intended for non-structural applications. Door handles, window frames and decorative or aesthetic features are the principle applications.
When reviewing size, the first decision is whether to use metric or inch profile. Inch is available in two series: 1″ and 1.5″ plus a range of specialty profiles.
These dimensions refer to the width of the sides, but note that multiples are available. So for example, the 1″ series is available in 1″x1″, 1″x2″ and 2″x2″ sections. Likewise, 1.5″ profile comes in multiple combinations of sizes.
Choosing metric opens the door to a much wider range of profiles. Dimensions start at 20mm and progress up through 28mm and 30mm to 40mm. As with the inch series, profiles measuring in the multiples of each dimension are available.
Specialty Aluminum Extrusion Profile
While square and rectangular section is the mainstay of any framing project, some situations call for other profiles. This could be for appearance but is mostly when the profile is required to hold something. Here are some of the options:
- Clamp profile – designed to hold panels securely, making it the preferred profile for hard guarding
- Conduit – used for carrying and protecting cables
- Quarter – has a rounded side making it a popular choice for workbenches, machine frames and guards
- Radius – can be combined to form arcs of any size
- Sliding door guides – to support and guide any kind of sliding window, door or access panel
Don’t Forget Accessory Hardware
While the aluminum extrusion profile is the heart of any structural, motion or framing project, it will almost certainly need additional hardware to make it all work. Here’s a partial list of items to consider:
- Feet – an extensive range of leveling feet and floor brackets for securing frames and structures
- Castors – many sizes and styles, with and without brakes and locks
- Handles – plastic, aluminum, in various strengths and sizes
- Hinges – plastic, steel, various sizes and intended for right and left-hand use
- Brackets, gussets and plates – for adding stiffness and rigidity to the structure
Create the Structures and Frames You Need
Aluminum extrusion profile saves time compared to other ways of building frames and structures. Plus, it’s easily modified and extended as needs change. The extensive range of profiles available from IPS provides flexibility in design while ensuring ruggedness and durability. Review what’s available on our website or contact us to learn more.