T-Slot Aluminum – Essential Tips to Keep in Mind When Purchasing

IPS T-Slot AluminumT-slot aluminum extrusion is the fast and easy way to build structures, enclosures, guards and even furniture. Order from Industrial Profile Systems to receive a complete kit of parts, cut exactly to size and ready for assembly.

The only challenge with T-slot aluminum is selecting the best components from the very wide range of profiles, fasteners, panels and accessories available. To address this, we’ve compiled a short list of essential tips to help you through your project.

Understand the Application

If there will be linear motion, go for the strongest profiles and fastening systems to withstand the dynamic forces. However, if what you’re making will be static, consider the loads involved as these determine the profile required.

You might want to break your design or project into separate parts. Depending on what you’re making, you might need structural elements that bear heavy loads, non-load bearing elements like doors and guards, and possibly even decorative features like windows and panels.

Choose Your Units

T-slot aluminum profile is produced in square cross-sections from 1″ to 45mm and larger. This mixing of units is unfortunately part of how extruded aluminum has evolved. To avoid complications, decide if you will be using metric or fractional units. This will also dictate whether you’re using metric or fractional fasteners. If you already have a standard, stick with that.

Assess Your Quality Requirements

Aluminum extrusion can be slightly bent and twisted. In a linear motion application this could be a huge problem, and if you’re building a machine structure it could have a significant impact. However, for guards, screens and enclosures you may have a bigger tolerance for geometric deviation in the extrusion.

There are several T-slot aluminum manufacturers, and they don’t all work to the same tolerances. If your application needs ‘perfect’ straightness, check material specifications and buy the best you can find.

Consider Accessories and Panel Fills

After sketching the structure you need, think about the other components needed. Will it need casters or will it be bolted to the floor? Are wire mesh fillers sufficient or do you need solid panels to protect workers from flying debris? Can panels be clear, and are there impact-resistance requirements to consider?

These are just a few points: there are so many options and possibilities it’s usually best to partner with someone who really knows about T-slot aluminum systems, which is our next tip.

Find a Supplier Who Will Really Help

T-slot aluminum extrusion is a very simple method of building structures, enclosures, and almost anything else you might want, but there are some complications. There are many different fasteners, and a lot of accessories that can improve the utility of what you’re designing. Unless you have deep experience with a particular brand of extrusion you will almost certainly overlook some things.

You can avoid this by working with a supplier who provides no-cost engineering services. They can design for you and will generate a complete list of parts, which helps ensure you don’t suffer any delays during assembly.

Ideally, this supplier will have complete control over all the cutting and machining processes needed to cut and shape the parts you’ll be using. This guarantees quality and helps minimize delivery lead time, which together help your project go smoothly.

Make Your T-Slot Aluninum Project a Success

T-slot aluminum is a fast and dependable way of creating all kinds of structures. However, your project could go awry if you order the wrong parts or overlook some key elements. That why we offer the tips here: follow them and you shouldn’t go wrong!

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