Aluminum Channel Suppliers
Sapa Extrusion is one of the nation’s top aluminum channel suppliers and the North American leader in the production of extruded aluminum profiles for residential and commercial construction, automotive, aerospace, electrical, marine, military, medical, and many other industries.
Whether for framing, protection or decoration, aluminum channels are widely used.
Aluminum is valued for its light weight, its resistance to corrosive elements, its high electrical conductivity, the ease of which it can be formed, machined, cut and welded, and its naturally beautiful appearance.
Common Aluminum Channel Shapes
Channels are strips of metal that have been formed into a specific shape. Many different aluminum profile shapes are called “channels,” but they generally fit into several widely-used categories. Shapes include U-channel, J-channel, C-channel (also known as architectural angle or channel), square and rectangular open seam tubing, hat channel and almost any other unusually shaped aluminum extrusion profile for which there is no other name, such as Z-channel.
U-channel forms the shape of the letter “U” with two equal-sized sides connected to the bottom of the channel. It’s an excellent choice for protective edges, railing, window and door frames, trim, brackets, tracks, slides, and for securing panels of glass to walls, ceilings or floors.
C-channel looks somewhat like U-channel, but its sides are shorter than the width of the bottom of the channel. Box channel and open seam square and rectangular tubing are different names for the same part, depending on where the opening or gap appears on an architectural drawing.
J-channel resembles the letter “J”. It is commonly used whenever edge protection or decorative trim is required, such as for trim around doors and windows, in mirror installations, or to finish off the ends of vinyl siding.
Hat channel looks a little like the side profile of a top hat, with two horizontal outward flanges (the brim of the hat), two vertical legs (the sides of the hat), and a flat horizontal surface on top (the top of the hat). Hat channel is most commonly used for acoustic tile ceiling systems. When installed, the ceiling tiles rest on the flanges.
Z-channel, Z-bars and “Zees” all describe this profile which is shaped like the letter “Z”. Z-channel is most commonly used for supports, reinforcements, and for hinged doors on displays, showcases and wall-mounted bulletin boards.
Aluminum Channel Alloys
Alloys take on the properties of the elements they are made from - physical properties like reactivity, density, and electrical and thermal conductivity. When specific properties are needed for specialized applications, such as spacecraft or nuclear reactors, alloys can be made to match a predetermined set of characteristics.
At Sapa, we use 6xxx series aluminum alloys and select proprietary alloys in the 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000, and 7000 series, as well as standard and special tempers, to satisfy the most complex size and shape requirements of our customers. Our channel alloys include:
•6061 - Also called structural aluminum, 6061 channel features inside radius corners, making it ideal for applications requiring greater strength, light weight, and the corrosion resistance aluminum offers. It’s sturdy and can be molded to any shape or size, making it ideal for cabinets and wardrobes, window frames and ladders, and more.
•6061-T6 – A widely accepted channel alloy, it has an inside radius and temper rating that give it an overall strength close to that of structural steel. It has excellent joining characteristics, resists corrosion, and accepts applied coatings well. Scaffolding, transmission towers, marine fittings, aircraft fittings, camera lens mounts, furniture and appliance fittings rely heavily on 6061-T6 channel.
•6063-T5 - One of the best commercial alloys due to its strength, lower cost, corrosion resistance, weldability and surface appearance, 6063-T5 produces sharp corners inside and out and has excellent finishing characteristics that allow for anodization. It is frequently used in architectural molding and trim, window and door construction, irrigation pipes, and furniture.
Sapa Extrusion is one of the top aluminum channel suppliers in North America. We also offer a complete selection of rod, bar, pipe and tube aluminum products, structural angles, tees, zees, H-beams and I-beams, in a comprehensive range of standard and custom shapes, up to 22.5” wide.
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