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Building with T-Slot Aluminum Extrusion Frames

Release time:2023-11-06

T-slot profiles are versatile framing solutions that are storing, modular, and can be assembled using only hand tools. Also known as the industrial erector set, T-slot creates solutions for manufacturing like machine guarding, automation assemblies, workstations, and DIY projects like your plant stand or cabinet at home.


This is a look at buildings with T-slot extrusion frames.  If you need state-of-the-art T-slot extrusions at affordable pricing, please get in touch with our experts.

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What Are T-slot Aluminum Extrusion Frames?

T-slot extrusions are aluminum profiles with built-in grooves for fasteners allowing the joining of one or more pieces together into a long frame or slotting of one piece against another at a right angle into a  nice corner or to create things that articulate.


T-lots are the most extruded profiles. They are also popularly known as   80 X 20 frames,  named after the company that popularized the design. These frames come with many different fastener options, allowing you to assemble the structure you have in mind with everyday hand tools.


Benefits T-slot Frames

T-slot aluminum extrusion frames are suitable for both manufacturing and domestic projects. They are loved by everyone from DIY enthusiasts to industrial giants, not only because of their structural integrity but also because they offer a multitude of other benefits. Here's a look:


Strength and Durability

T-slot aluminum extrusions offer dependable strength and durability. Of course, it depends on the alloy used in the extrusion, but most sheet metal factories use 6061, known for its excellent strength and resistance to corrosion.


Easy Assembly

T-slot aluminum extrusions don't have complex configurations to master. That means you can assemble your project without the need for hired labor. This saves time and money, allowing you to undertake a project on your own for satisfactory results and a great sense of pride and accomplishment.  



Of course, T-slot aluminum extrusions are lightweight. It's the inherent property of aluminum. It has a high-strength-to-weight ratio. That's what makes it suitable for use in applications such as manufacturing airplane parts, cabinets, building frames, and fittings. T-slot frames are easy to transport and handle, reducing labor expenses and project turnaround.



T-slot aluminum frames are known for their modular design, alright. In fact, one doesn't even need special knowledge to mix and match frames into custom shapes. The fastener options and built-in grooves allow you to join two or more frames into any profile you want, be it a corner, articulated joint, or extended frame, without the need for any welding.


This also allows you to change up the structure anytime you want. For example, if you need to increase the size later, simply disassemble and fit in extra frames.



T-slot aluminum extrusions are made with a modern appearance. That means they spot chic surfaces, clean lines, and simple geometric shapes, making them ideal for assembling workstations, display racks, interior design accessories, etc. Different manufacturers offer different finishing options, including powder-coated, anodized, painted, electroplated, ceramic-plated, and mo, re to suit your project's needs and aesthetics.



Compared to steel and wood, building using T-slot aluminum extrusion frames is cheaper. Aluminum is available in plenty, durable, and recyclable to boot! That makes aluminum frames cost-effective in the long run. Plus, as mentioned, you may not even have to hire experts to assemble your project since T-slots are easy to work with, even for newbies.


Applications of T-slot Aluminum Frames

As mentioned, T-slots offer incredible strength and durability, and they are pretty easy to use to assemble structures, making them useful in many applications across many different types of industries. Some of the common applications of T-slot aluminum extrusions include:


Industrial Automation

Machine guards, workstations, and assembly lines are the major applications of extruded T-slot aluminum profiles in industrial automation. As mentioned, T-slots boast a modular design such that it's super easy to integrate them with existing machinery and equipment.


Manufacturing and Production

T-slot aluminum frames are used in manufacturing and production to create conveyor systems, robotic arms, and production enclosures. Remember, we've already said T-slots are typically made from 6061 alloys and tempered for increased hardness. They can practically withstand pressure upwards of 10,000 pounds without breaking.


Moreover, they can be joined with other profiles, or panels, and casters without too much hassle, and when it comes time to change the structure, you won't have any issues at all. Just unscrew the fasteners and change the structure to whatever design you want.


Medicalab Equipment

It's not rare to sport the use of T-slot aluminum extrusions in carts, laboratory workstations, and testing equipment at all. There are versions of T-slot extrusions rated for medical devices and laboratory equipment. T-slots offer the stability, precision, and corrosion resistance needed in these applications.


Retail and Display Units

These days, the retail industry uses T-slot aluminum extrusion frames for display stands, shop fixtures, and promotional booths, among others. Moreover, it's possible to customize displays to improve product visibility while enhancing spiffing up brand appeal.


Workstations and Other Office Equipment

Thanks to their sleek surfaces, clean lines, and incredible durability and strength, T-slot aluminum profiles are used to make office equipment, too. These range from modular workstations to sleek office storage cabinets, partitions, window structures, lighting, and fixtures. It prettifies the space, adding a touch of class.


Hobby and DIY projects

Of course, the ease with which one can assemble structures using T-slots and fasteners makes them appealing for use in hobby and personal projects such as that cute DIY table storage shelf, plant stand,  camera mount, dial sensor assembly, etc. There's no drilling, tapping, or machining that needs to be done on the extrusion to assemble your project.


What Do You Need to Start Building with T-Slot Extrusions

Obviously, if you want to build with T-slot extrusions, you will need some tools and materials. However, as mentioned, T-slots are incredibly versatile and easy to build with just simple hand tools. Here's a look:


You will need Allen wrenches to work with some of the bolts and nuts and fasten them down. As you get going, you may also need to cut things; therefore, get a tape measure to allow you to cut the right length. You'll also need a marker, a square, a regular saw, safety goggles,  and a file (to smoothen edges).



Aluminum extrusions come in many different profiles (metric sizes for width, length and height). Consider the frame's strength and weight,  shape (square, radius, angular), and the number of T-slots you want available.  Choose T-slots that are compatible with already existing or subsequent products (fasteners, accessories, machinery, and equipment). Don't forget the color and finishing.


During your build, you might want to attach other things to your extrusion. For example, if you are building a box, you will need panels like aluminum composite that you can simply slot in place or drill holes through and fasten using T-nuts.


Once you decide on the build size and frame, get your connectors. T-slot extrusions offer many different types of fasteners, each with different benefits, making it crucial to consider your application when making your choice.

Here are a few examples of fastener options:

End Fastener

This wing-clip and nut combination is an inexpensive, easy-to-use stronghold. It's fast to assemble, simply take the threaded end of your extrusion, lay on the wing clip, and thread the bolt in. Make sure to thread the bolt in pretty close, but also leave a little bit of play so you can connect it to the other bar.


Next, take the other extrusion with a pre-drilled access hole, and slide it into the wing clip then tighten the bolt down for a strong connection. You're just drawing the two joints together and using an extrusion against another extrusion.  Finally, the whole setup should basically look like a letter L.


Anchor Fastener

This fastener works on extrusions with milled-out pockets. Simply sincere the fastener in the pocket, line up the opposing bar, and drop the first extrusion onto the T-slot to whatever position you want along this second bar. Indeed, the adjustability is one of the advantages of anchor fasteners.


Once you reach the position you want, use a wrench to tighten down the fastener, locking the extrusion in place (against the second bar).


The anchor fastener is one of the strongest fasteners available. Plus as mentioned, it offers adjustability, allowing you to lock the extrusion at any point along the opposing bar. But the extrusion must have a milled-out pocket.


Corner Bracket

This fastener works with wings and bolts. The bolt goes into the hole on the plate and the wing goes on the other end of the bolt. Make sure not to thread the wing all the way through the bolt. Shoot for just enough to keep it from falling out but leave plenty of space to be able to get it down into the T-slot of the extrusion. Next, slide the corner plate into the T-slot of the extrusion and tighten the bolts.  

Corner brackets are easy to use and have that industrial look that some people like. However, the hold is not the strongest. If rigidity and strength are your priority, these fasteners are not the best for your project.


Slide-in T-nuts

Sometimes you have a piece of aluminum extrusion that's not quite long enough and therefore you want to butt two pieces together. There's hardware for that. Simply fit the slide-in T-nut in the T-slots of both pieces and butt them together and tighten the screws down using an Allen wrench.  You can simply use one fastener or add another fastener on the other side, or all four sides if you want.


Designing Considerations

When designing and building using t-slot aluminum extrusion frames, one needs to consider several factors to achieve the success of the project. The load capacity, dimensions, and functionality matter.


Through software tools, you can virtually assemble your framing project in a 3D scene with or without having to build a card model. This will allow you to figure out the exact profiles, lengths, finishes, and accessories needed for your design.


Procedures for Assembly

T-slot aluminum frames can be assembled in an easy manner and require few tools. A stepwise procedure can be used to ensure correct connections as well as maintain the integrity of the structures.


Tips for Successful Projects

For a super duper framing project, use accurate measurements and proper fasteners and follow the assembly instructions as keenly as possible.


To cap things up, it's pretty much obvious that T-slot aluminum profiles have transformed the manufacturing and construction landscape ever since the first 80-20 profiles were launched. These crucial construction pieces offer incredible strength, molecularity, and ease of assembly. They are useful in virtually every industrial manufacturing and building application.


If you have a project that requires the use of T-slot aluminum extrusion frames, we will be happy to talk to you about our products. We produce 80-20 aluminum in various strength and weight classes and frame shapes (square, radius, angular) to suit your projects.


We can also customize frame profiles to suit your project requirements and also provide finishing services such as electroplating, anodizing, powder coating, painting, etc. Call us today to speak with an aluminum frames expert for help selecting frames for your project.

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Guangdong JMA Aluminium Profile Factory (Group) Co., LTD

Shishan Production Base

Nonferrous Metal Industrial Park, Xiaotang, Shishan Town, Nanhai District, Foshan City, Guangdong Province

Gaobian production base

Gaobian Zhangbian Industrial Zone, Dali Guangyun Road, Nanhai District, Foshan City, Guangdong Province

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