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Various Types of Aluminum Channel Extrusions

Release time:2023-11-17

Aluminum channels are the metal components made by extrusion. They come in diverse shapes, dimensions, and designs based on the intended application.

The greatest advantage of aluminum channels is lightness.  These metal parts weigh just a fraction of steel weight yet are just as durable and reliable.

The uses of aluminum channels include areas where light and corrosion resistant materials are required for improved performance. These include LED lighting fixtures, truck bed frames, and mounting applications.

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Understanding the Different Types of Aluminum Channel Extrusions

You have endless options when it comes to choosing the proper aluminum channel extrusion.  These channels have thicknesses of about 0.1 inches and a height of about 5 inches.

They are highly versatile and designed to meet the complex requirements of a construction project.  Another advantage is that you can customize, shape, and adapt them to any application for the best results.

Let’s get started.


Angle Aluminum Channel Extrusions

Angle aluminum channel extrusions are used in construction and architectural building projects – around corners, roofs, and handrails.   The alloy used is corrosion-resistant and can withstand bad weather. This makes angle aluminum channel extrusions ideal for buildings.

These channel extrusions are shaped at a 90-degree angle.  They are easy to design, and their shape makes them useful in applications such as trimming and finishing.

The legs of angle channel extrusions are between 1/8 inches and 4 inches long.  The extrusions can be shaped to bend at a sharp right angle or a rounded, smooth angle, depending on the level of precision you desire.


C Shape Channel Extrusions

Industries such as woodworking and millwork use C-shaped aluminum channel extrusions for framing and decorations. The channels improve the value and aesthetic appeal of word projects.

C-shaped channel extrusions look similar no matter where you are ordering yours from. There are three types of C-shaped channel extrusions. These include the Canadian, the American Standards, and the American Association C shape channel extrusions.

American standard C-shaped channel extrusions have smoother corners and thinned-out tops. The Aluminum Association C-shaped channels are thicker.


F Shape Aluminum Channel Extrusions

The F-shaped channel extrusion is mainly used in road signage applications.  It looks like a U-channel extrusion, but its web is extended.

The first F channel extrusion flange looks like a U channel on the edges.  The other flange extends down from the first, where the web grows.

Manufacturers can request different lengths of the F channel extrusion based on the design specifications of their applications.


H Shape Aluminum Channel Extrusions

These extrusions are available in lower- and upper-case (h and H) designs.   Upper-case H aluminum channel extrusions are ideal for structural applications where strength and durability are essential. Lowercase H aluminum channel extrusions are commonly found in construction projects where they help extend the ceiling system of homes.

Both cases of H aluminum channel extrusions find use in both structural and aesthetic applications.  Because these extrusions are very robust, you will often see them on door frames, trimmings, and railings.

There are many types of lowercase and uppercase H aluminum channel extrusions.  The decorations available improve both their adaptability and as well as aesthetic value.


Hat Shaped Channel Extrusions

Hat channel extrusions, just like Z channel extrusions, help straighten crooked walls and ceilings. They improve the protection of the frames used inside and outside walls. They make these frames fire-resistant, moisture resistant, and corrosion resistant.

These extrusions feature flat horizontal flanges. This design makes them ideal in the furring process used to level walls and ceilings. Hat-shaped channel extrusions can help elevate the durability and overall resistance of the furred walls.


I Shape Aluminum Channel Extrusion

The I-shaped aluminum channel extrusion resembles the H-channel extrusion.  However, its main purpose is to serve as an I beam. Its industry name is the American Standard I Smile; it has characteristic rounded edges.

You can expect broad webs and shorter flanges. I channel extrusions are sturdy and robust. They improve the resilience of buildings when used as cross-beam support structures.


J Shape Channel Extrusions

The J-shaped channel extrusions became popular in the 1950s. Over the years, demand and production for these types of aluminum extrusions have been on a steady rise. These extrusions are preferred because one of their profiles has a unique 90-degree angling.

Most vinyl siding construction projects use the J shape channel extrusions. They make it easy to install siding around corners. J-shaped channel extrusions are vital in every application where siding is connected to the roof or the ground.

J-shaped channel extrusions elevate the air-tightness of these spaces. They keep out adverse weather from the home. These channel extrusions are pretty simple to install, helping contractors save significantly in tools, materials, and costs.


T Slot Aluminum Channel Extrusions

You can expect the same level of durability with this aluminum channel extrusion as the many others we have already discussed. They are easily removable, adjustable, and reconfigurable, making them a boon in riveting and fastening projects.

The appearance of a T slot aluminum channel extrusion is like a T shape with movable attachments in the vertical direction. These channel extrusions help to create advanced shapes in industrial applications. They eliminate the need for welding and clamming.

Choose the T-shape channel extrusion if you want to slash the costs of welding and riveting in your projects.


U Shaped Aluminum Channel Extrusions

U-shaped aluminum channel extrusions are pivotal in the manufacture of lighting fixtures, automotive parts, and lighting fixtures.  The extrusions are used to male frames, reinforcement, and support for various products.

The U channel extrusions have diverse thicknesses that are ideal for various applications. These thicknesses range between 1/16 inch to 1/4 inch.

The bottom, sides, flanges, and webs of this channel extrusion can be of different sizes. You may have short traps with long flanges or slim webs with short flanges.


Z Shape Aluminum Channel Extrusions

Next, we have Z-shaped aluminum channel extrusions. You will find that the legs and flanges spread out in opposing directions to create the Z design.

These extrusions come in handy in roofing. They are used in metal and wood roofing situations. They hold the ridge caps, headwall flashing, and panels and help prevent leaks.

You can use Z channel extrusions in place of J channel extrusions. They are a better option because they are smaller and weigh less.


Types of Aluminum Channel Extrusions by Finishing

Aluminum has become essential in the construction process. These aluminum channel extrusions are used in industrial or commercial products.

It has a desirable strength-to-weight ratio, which makes extrusions ideal in applications where strength and agility are required.  Aluminum is also much more environmentally friendly because it can be recycled or reused in endless applications.

The low costs associated with aluminum make it possible to create unique and complex products that fit customer needs. Aluminum finishes help elevate the metal's properties for improved performance in various applications.


Mechanically-Finished Aluminum Channel Extrusions

Mechanical finishing helps to achieve smooth and even surface patterns for the completed aluminum channel extrusions. The mechanical finishing types for aluminum channel extrusions include:

● Grinding

● Polishing

● Buffing

● Abrasive blasting


Pretreatment of Aluminum Channel Extrusions

After strip cleaning, the finished piece is preheated before coating.  The preheating is done chemically or via electrolytic processes. Most applications, including construction, transport, and architecture, prefer the chemical preheating method because it is precise and prevents contamination.


Bright Dipping of Aluminum Channel Extrusions

This chemical process helps to prepare aluminum channel extrusions for anodizing. Bright dipping is done at extremely high temperatures. Precision and control are necessary during bright dipping to maintain the proper chemical equilibrium between the acids, temperature, suspension, and gravity.


Anodizing Process for Aluminum Channel Extrusions

This electrochemical process is used as an option for super-aggressive chemical treatments. It serves to convert the aluminum channel extrusion into a metal surface comprising aluminum oxide. This process prepares the aluminum piece for additional processes, such as coloring and lubrication.


Liquid Paint

Another finishing option for aluminum channel extrusion is liquid painting.  It is not popular, but it is viable. Before fluid painting is applied, the aluminum channel extrusion is preheated to improve paint adhesion.

The best liquid paints include polyester, silicone, and acrylics. You can choose from a wide assortment of colors.


Powder Coating for Channel Extrusions

Powder-coating aluminum channel extrusions protect it from wear and tear, moisture, rust, and temperature damage.  Powder coats comprise metal particulates and phosphates. There are different types of coating materials to use depending on the intended application.


Types of Aluminum Channel Extrusions by Alloy Grades

The most popular channel extrusions in the industry include C, U, and J. They are strong and sturdy.  The aluminum metal used in these channel extrusions consists of other alloys that enhance performance and durability.

Tip: An alloy is a metal made by combining metallic elements of diverse properties to improve strength and resistance to harsh conditions.

Aluminum grades used in the aluminum channel extrusion process range between 1 and 8. Seven are alloyed with copper, zinc, nickel, magnesium, etc. These combinations improve the natural properties of aluminum.


Grade 6063 Aluminum Channel Extrusions

This is the most popular aluminum material grade for the production of C-shaped aluminum channel extrusions. It has the ability to yield thinner walls for applications that demand extreme dimensional precision.

Aluminum grade 6063 has a lustrous finish, making it excellent for building exteriors. Other desirable properties of Aluminum grade 6063 include the following:

● High corrosion resistance

● High tensile properties

● Great finishing versatility


Grade 6061 Aluminum Channel Extrusions

This aluminum grade material comprises silicon and magnesium in a ratio of 0.6:1.  This is one of the most corrosion-resistant alloys with impressive tensile strength.  Grade 6061 channel extrusion, including H, J, and U, can be used in high-stress areas with cracking vulnerability. Other properties that make grade 6061 channel extrusions ideal include:

● High weldability

● Corrosion resistance

● Coating versatility


Grade 7075 Aluminum Channel Extrusions

Grade 7075 channel extrusions are high-strength aluminum extrusions from an alloy that excels in:

● Stress resistance

● Cracking resistance

● Corrosion resistance

● High machinability

Channel 7075 channel extrusions are popular in the aerospace industry.  The strength of this alloy increases when it is subjected to below-zero temperatures. These channel extrusions comprise Zinc, Copper, magnesium, titanium, and chromium.

These extrusions are easy to shape, chip, and configure in any way you want. But unlike 6063 and 6061 aluminum channel extrusions, grade 7075 extrusions are not easy to weld.


Aluminum Channel Extrusion Types by Temper Classifications

The major aluminum temper channel extrusion classifications are F, O, H, W, and T.  These classes represent the type or level of treatment. Temper class T extrusions are stronger than W, which are more potent than H.  

Aluminum channel extrusions belonging to the H temper class are stronger than O, which are stronger than class F.

● T temper aluminum channel extrusions are thermally treated

● W temper extrusions are heat-treated.

● H temper channel extrusions have been strain-hardened.

● temper channel extrusions have been annealed.

● F- temper aluminum channel extrusions are half-finished


Types of Aluminum Extrusion Channels


Die Aluminum Extrusions

These channel extrusions are made with a round die. In many instances, the production of aluminum channel extrusions uses ready-made dice.


Aluminum Billet Channel Extrusions

These billets are in blocks of cylindrical, that are applied in the assembly of aluminum channel extrusions. Unlike die channel extrusions, billet channel extrusions are heated to high temperatures of 930o C to make them supple for extrusion.



The heated billets are mechanically moved to the extrusion press.  Here, a lubricant is added before the billets are loaded. The lubricant keeps the billets from sticking to the die.


Ram Movement

A hydraulic ram is pushed with 5,000 tons of pressure, moving the billet through the die. The billets expand as more pressure is added until the extrusion chamber is filled and materials are crushed on the die, forcing them through it. The channels squeeze out through the die in the shape of it.



There are many different types of aluminum channel extrusions based on shape, production method, and grade of aluminum materials used. Contact us to learn more.


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

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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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