Using aluminium composite panels in T slot builds.

Workbench Workstation

When you are building with T Slot extrusions, aluminium composite panels are a cost-effective way to enclose your structure. 

You can improve the rigidity of your structure or provide an airtight enclosure using composite panels in your build 

This is useful for building 

  • 3D printers 
  • Clean rooms
  • Cupboards
  • workstations
  • CNC machines 
  • Trolleys 
  • Exhibit display stands

Enclose the panels within the T slot or fix them to the external face using the T slot to hold the nuts required.

T slot Aluminium extrusion structure with composite panel walls

Composite panels can also be used to prevent access to areas where safety is a concern.

Aluminium composite panel sighn in a T Slot Aluminium extrusion frame

Composite panels provide an excellent base for graphics and signs to be installed.

Including the panels at the design stage saves time when assembling your project.

Clear acrylic, aluminium sheet, plywood and a number of other materials can be used in the same way. 

If you have any questions regarding this please contact us 

Using aluminium composite panels in T slot builds. - aluminium extrusion

How to create a strong join in aluminium t-slot extrusion

We understand that you need to save time and money.  So we would like to show you the most cost effective way to join extruded aluminium t-slot profile. 

Aluminium T Slot extrusion joint

This is the standard joining method for Alusic Aluminium profile and is surprisingly quick and easy.  In less than 60 seconds one can make a strong join between aluminium t-slot extrusions at minimal cost.  There is no complicated machining involved.  There are no special tools required.  This can be done on site without welding or the need for a hot work permit.  

Follow this step by step guide to learn how.

** For your own safety sake, please ensure that you follow all relevant safety procedures and guidelines when operating machinery and using power tools. **

Drop saw for cutting T Slot aluminium profile extrusions

1. Cut your profile to length.

It is important to make a clean accurate cut because this will impact the quality of your finished join.  Use a good quality saw with the correct type of blade for cutting aluminium.  A good supply of quality cutting fluid will be needed to prevent profile and blade overheating.  Make sure that your profile piece is securely clamped.  To save you time we are able to cut your aluminium profile to length for you.  You simply need to provide us with a cut list. 

T slot Aluminium extrusion drill and tap

2. Tap the core hole in the end to be joined.

This is a very simple and quick process as the core is perfectly formed to the correct size for tapping.  Use an M8 tap for slot 8 series, or M6 for slot 6 series, profiles.  Using an extrusion tap and the correct cutting paste will ensure a perfect thread will be formed.

Alusic T Slot Aluminium drill jig

3. Drill an access hole for your hex key.

Use a drill press, or drill guide, to accurately position the hole and not damage the profile piece.  We generally use a drill press specially set up for this job.  The drill guide is only really useful for when you don’t have a drill press or when you’re on site needing to drill a hole.  

T slot aluminium cap screw and washer for junction

4. Fit a low profile cap screw and square washer to the hole you tapped earlier.

All of these parts are available from our online store.

Aluminium profile parts and accessories  for a secure connection.

5. Slide the washer and cap screw head into the slot.

Move it into the slot so that the cap screw lines up with the hole drilled earlier.

Alusic T Slot Aluminium Profile joining system

6. Using the access hole you drilled earlier tighten the cap screw with your hex key.

Make sure that the two sections of t-slot are perfectly aligned as you tighten up the join.

You have now created a strong join in aluminium t-slot extrusion.

There are several alternative methods of joining Alusic t-slot aluminium profiles.  These alternative methods are useful under different circumstances.  If you would like more information please check out our blog.  We have articles about through body joins and joins using clamping plates and pawl clamps.  You can also view these informative videos showing some of the more common connection systems. 

You can also find lots of useful accessories to help provide you with a large range of  options at our web store.

Accessories for extruded T slot Aluminium Profile

To help you get the most out of using Alusic T Slot Aluminium extrusions and accessories we have made all the resources we could find available on our website for you to download.

  

T Slot Aluminium Extrusions and accessories
GAP Engineering T Slot Aluminium Extrusions and accessories

How to keep up with the pace of change in the modern industrial environment.

You are probably aware that we are in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution.

The fourth industrial revolution is characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the line between cyber and physical systems

The first three industrial revolutions transformed and revolutionised our society and with each stage the world fundamentally changed around us.  Technological evolution speeds up exponentially as each generation of technology improves on the last.  As change becomes more rapid it is becoming increasingly important to be aware of this when installing infrastructure such as factories.

There are some key areas where GAP Engineering can help improve your ability to keep pace.

CAD design 

Sliding Trolley

CAD models play a crucial role in the planning and implementation of modern factory installations.  It is becoming more common for the interior of entire buildings to be 3D scanned so that a complete CAD model of the entire workplace can be created.  Every detail such as work flow, positioning of safety fencing, height restrictions and positioning of equipment can be thoroughly analysed before any other steps are taken.

CAD models for all our profiles and accessories are available for download in several CAD formats.  If that is not of use to you, we provide a CAD design service.

To access our CAD files please complete this Confidentiality agreement  so that we can send you the CAD files you need.

For a copy of our latest catalogue please follow this link Alusic catalogue  

If you would like to talk to us about a project please follow this link  GAP Engineering  

Rapid prototyping 

How to keep up with the pace of change in the modern industrial environment. - aluminium extrusion

There’s an old saying, “The more things change the more they stay the same”.  So, keeping up with the changing industrial environment there will always be a need to convert new ideas into new physical functions.  That will normally require new machines.  To build new and better there will almost always be a need to build prototypes.  As the rate of change increases you would expect the pace of prototyping to increase correspondingly.

This is where products such as t-slot extruded aluminium profiles play a vital role in allowing for the construction of workable prototypes that can easily be redesigned and modified.  Furthermore using t-slot profile, many components can be recycled for other prototypes with minimal for cutting or welding of metal.  We stock over 60 varieties of t-slot profile as well as a large range of joining and other accessories.

Adaptable cost effective machine frames. 

How to keep up with the pace of change in the modern industrial environment. - aluminium extrusionHow to keep up with the pace of change in the modern industrial environment. - aluminium extrusion

Because it can be modified without the use of metal cutting, grinding, welding or painting the Alusic t-slot aluminium extrusion system can save a lot of money when there is a requirement for modifications and improvements to machine frames.  Because it is usually more cost effective to use this system for the initial construction it really is the best solution available. It is very easy to add additional components or frame work members with minimal impact.

Integration.

Steel engineering machine

Aluminium Profile conveyor system

How to keep up with the pace of change in the modern industrial environment. - aluminium extrusionHow to keep up with the pace of change in the modern industrial environment. - aluminium extrusion

Using T Slot Aluminium Profiles and accessories enables the smooth integration of many different components such as conveyors , workstations ,lighting,compressed air,electrical components and much more.When it is time to make some improvements it is easy to make modifications and add components.

Safety. 

Safety fence

The components that make up the framework we supply  match the safety fencing components so they can integrate perfectly and any modifications required can be carried out with minimal impact to the rest of the factory.

T Slot Aluminium Extrusions and accessories

GAP Engineering T Slot Aluminium Extrusions and accessories

Profilium T slot Aluminium Extrusions and accessories are used in the following applications.

    • Machinery Frames
    • Industrial work stations
    • Clean room work stations
    • Trade Show Displays
    • Conveyors
    • Clean Rooms / High Altitude Rooms
    • Display Units
    • 3D Scanning Frames
  • Linear Guides and Actuators
    • Machine Guards and Enclosures
    • Safety Fencing
    • Racing Simulators
    • Trolleys
    • Racks and Cabinets
    • Air Tables
    • Laboratory Jigs and Frames
    • CNC router beds and frames
  • Industrial Jigs
    • Robot Heads
    • Audio Visual Supports/ Frames
    • Special Purpose Vehicle frames
    • Automotive tie downs and roof racks
    • Light Boxes
    • Vision System frames
    • Camera stands
    • Automation Sensor Brackets
  • Solar panel stands/ supports

How to get the most out of your profile.

When you are spending your time and money on a project you need to be sure that you are getting the most out of your resources.

How to get the most out of your profile. - aluminium extrusion

Avoid wastage being a problem

Unintentional wastage can end up costing you a lot.  So, you need to plan carefully to avoid blowing your budget.  The last thing you want to see at the end of a job is a big pile of unused or incorrectly processed material.  spending some time planning your job and will vastly improve your chances of a great result.

T-Slot Extruded Aluminium Profile
Sample of extruded aluminium off-cuts

The Alusic aluminium extrusions come in nominal 6m lengths.  In reality, they are 6040 in length.  Some of that extra length is needed because they come as finished from the extruding machine, not accurately cut square with a saw.   It is also useful since a certain amount is lost with every cut due to the blade kerf.   

design your project thoroughly before you start cutting

If your project is relatively complex and you don’t have access to a CAD drawing system consider employing the services of a CAD designer. Planning your project properly will greatly increase the quality of your project and reduce the overall cost. Planning includes drawing up an optimised cutting list

Optimise your cutting list

Failure to do a thorough optimised cutting list is almost guaranteed to result in excessive wastage.

When you have a large number of pieces to cut, it can become very complicated calculating an optimised cutting list it.  Fortunately, there are a few free, and online resources available to help you out. 

For example, a quick web search found Cut list optimiser which is suitable for 1D bar optimisation.  The web site requires that you sign up to a free account so that you can save your projects for later review.  Before deciding to sign up, you can look at one of their demo’s or go straight to their offline project page.

Obligatory disclaimer:  Please note that we do not recommend any particular solution in preference to any other.  You are free to choose what suits you.  You can even create your own spreadsheet to assist you in your calculations.

If your cutting list is relatively simple, then our freely downloadable cutting list template might be your best option.  Don’t forget to allow for saw blade kerf in your cutting list.  For example, the blade in our saw has a kerf of 3.7mm, so we allow 4mm in our cutting lists.

Once you have your cutting list, you can send us a copy so that we can accurately cut it for you.  We can also arrange delivery if you need.  Please note that delivery costs vary considerably depending on size, weight, and delivery address.  The most expensive being full 6m lengths.

Cutting ,drilling and tapping

Ensure that you use a very good quality saw that is specifically configured to cut aluminium to cut your profile.

Cut lengths that are inaccurate or not completely square will prevent you from achieving the best possible results.

Use an extrusion tap to create the threaded ends as well as a quality tapping gel that is formulated to cut aluminium. An extrusion tap differs from a regular tap in that it does not remove any material in the process and also hardens the surface of the thread. this results in a stronger thread and consequently a more reliable end product . Also, ensure that your taps are perfectly aligned to the core centre of the extrusion.

When drilling through the centre of the extrusion use a drill press or drilling guide to ensure that your holes are accurate and that your drill does not damage the edge of the slot.

T-Slot profile saw
T-Slot aluminium profile saw

Ask for advise

There are several options when in comes to connecting T slot profiles and the cost varies considerably . Ask us to show you how the various connection methods work and to explain the pros and cons of each option.

There are also several pitfalls to be aware of when assembling projects and we can help you save time (money) by sharing our experience with you

In addition to cutting, we can also drill and tap each piece of profile as needed if you require.

For more information on how to join our profiles please see these resources: Standard connection and Creating a strong join


We have produced this video tutorial to help explain the cutting drilling and taping process


Safety around machinery

When it comes to work place health and safety, there are no compromises or short cuts.  Situations often occur where you need to review your machine guards and safety fencing.  These reviews sometimes lead to changes being necessary.

The Alusic t-slot aluminium machine guard and safety fencing system is fast, easy, and cost effective when changes or improvements are necessary.

For example, to free up some factory floor space, one of our customers moved a machine closer to another piece of moving equipment.  One result of this was that a safety audit had to be undertaken.  The final audit required that the guard fence around the relocated machine had to be increased in height.

machine guarding and safety fencing

The simplest, quickest, and most cost effective solution we came up with, was to replace the fence end posts.  The new posts had to be tall enough to achieve the required new fence height.  Then, new safety fence panels had to be bolted along the top.

We started building the new panels by adding a new rail along the top of each run of the existing fence.  This rail would become a common bottom for each of the new panels.

Aluminium safety fencing machine guarding

Next, intermediate posts, above the existing intermediate posts had to be fitted on the top of the fence.  These were made by cutting up the original fence end posts.  It was then simply a matter of fitting them to the new rail, above the existing posts, using clamping plates (084.308.003).

4040 T slot clamping plates extrusion accessories

After that, the panels proper were cut to size from 50 x 50 x 3 square galvanised steel mesh.  They were then slid into the t-slot framework we had constructed along the top of each fence run.  The whole new fence was then finished off with new top rails bolted down to each of the posts.

4040 T Slot Aluminium Extrusions

After working out what was needed, the whole exercise was carried out in only four hours with minimal impact to operations and personnel.

Because we re-used the original fence end posts the materials cost was kept to a minimum.  Also, there was no hot work required on site, and therefore no need for hot work permits or the associated paper work involved.  On completion of the work there was no requirement for painting or other surface treatment works and hence minimal clean-up costs.  These issues together helped minimise time and labour costs.

Most importantly of all, the goal of ensuring a safe environment, from a work place health and safety point of view, was quickly, easily, and economically achieved.

The fact that we could make use of the original fence end posts, and complete all the work in such a short time, is another demonstration of just how versatile and cost effective t-slot aluminium extrusions and accessories are for these types of projects.

T-Slot Aluminium Extrusions and Accessories

GAP Engineering T-Slot Aluminium Extrusions and Accessories

Conveyor systems

T-Slot Aluminium Profile Conveyor Systems Conveyor systems - aluminium extrusion

Conveyor systems - aluminium extrusion

Conveyor systems - aluminium extrusion

When you require a conveyor system you need to consider a lot more than just the conveyor itself.

These are some of the factors you may need to take into consideration

    • How you are going to integrate a conveyor system into your current infrastructure
    • How can ensure that it is safe to operate
    • How can you minimise disruption to your production while it is installed.
    • How easily can you make modifications to it.

Our extensive range of t-slot extrusions and accessories will help you to overcome these and many other challenges.

Because our products are so versatile and adaptable you will be able to design and construct your conveyor system and any associated equipment such as work stations or guarding out of the same easily integrated components

We can supply you with the CAD files you need to help you design your conveyor system or if you don’t have the design capability we can design a system for you.

We can supply the components you need and assist you in getting your system constructed in the best methods.

The Alusic range of conveyor belts is divided into eight broad groups:

– Series 20: belt conveyor with 20 mm roller for 18.5 mm profiles
– Series 30: belt conveyor with 30 mm roller for 356.001.028 and 356.001.032 profiles
– Series 1000: belt conveyor with 50 mm rubberised roller for 356.001.032 profile
– Series 50: belt conveyor with 50 mm roller for 45 mm profiles
– Series 95: belt conveyor with 95 mm roller for 90 mm profiles
– Series 2000: tab chain conveyor, fixed width of 82.5 – 114.3 – 190.5 – 254.0 – 304.8 mm
– Series 3000: modular chain conveyor, fixed width of 152 – 250 mm
– Pallet series: conveyor belt for 112.101.001 profile

with the series 50 and 95 being the most popular

T Slot Aluminium conveyor system

Inclined Conveyor

You can access resources such as CAD files , parts catalogues and guides on how to use these products here  Aluminium Profile Resources

Contact

30 Series Extruded Aluminium T-slot Profile

30 Series Extruded Aluminium T-slot Profile - aluminium extrusion

 

The Profilium 30 Series range of Extruded Aluminium T Slot profile consists of 18 different profiles in both 6 mm  and 8 mm slot sizes

We carry a large range of accessories to match these extrusions

 Visit our On line store and check out our extensive range of products

 

Aluminium T Slot extrusion

13 x 30 Extruded Aluminium T slot Profile

30 Series Extruded Aluminium T-slot Profile - aluminium extrusion

 

 

 

These profiles are extremely versatile can be used for a number of different projects. Our case studies have shown using T slot profiles to manufacture can dramatically reduces costs due to rapid assembly times and  and the fact that there is nor finishing such as painting required afterwards .In addition there is no hot work such as welding required and there is also no distortion due to weld contraction.

 

 

30 Series Extruded Aluminium T-slot Profile - aluminium extrusion

Aluminium T Slot Extrusion

60 x 60 Extruded Aluminium T Slot Profile

 

Because the assembly process required to build framework with these Profiles is so simple, it is easy to relocate components if required.It is also a easy to prepare a cut list and transport a large assemble as a flat pack to its final destination for assembly. this can result in a large saving in transportation costs and also allow for large structures to be assembled inside areas with limited access.

 

 

 

 

for resources on how to use our extrusions effectively go to this link How to do a Standard T slot connection

Contact

 

 

45 series T slot Aluminium profile

40 x 40 Extruded aluminium T slot profile with threaded core

Alusic T Slot Aluminium Profile

The Alusic 45 Series Extruded Aluminium T Slot Series.

This series of profile is our most versatile range with 48 different profiles ranging in size from 18 mm to 180 mm .With the large number of options available  they are suitable for the food  and packaging industries as well as many other industries.They also provide excellent strength and rigidity for applications that require a higher load bearing capacity.

This profile has a proven track record of providing excellent value for money in industrial applications and providing our customers with reliable solutions. We wont have enough space here to tell all of the different applications we have seen and we are fairly confident that there are many more that we haven’t thought of yet.

18.5 x 32 Aluminium T slot extruded profile

084 101 003

90 x 180 T slot extruded aluminium profile

084 101 026

There are a number of different construction methods for building with T slot extrusions

These profiles are connected with M8 low profile socket head cap screws (SHCS).  For other series extrusions and accessories M6, M5, and M4 SHCS & nuts are also available.

If you want to find out  How to create a strong join in Aluminium T slot extrusions click on the link.

Massive Range of Accessories

We have many accessories such as fixing plates,articulated joints,linear joints and corner brackets which can be purchased at our On Line Store

Profilium T Track Extrude Profiles and Accessories

T Slot Profile and Accessories

Extruded T slot aluminium profiles and accessories

Extruded T slot aluminium profiles and accessories

Alusic Aluminium Profile Accessories

Massive Range of Accessories in Stock

See for yourself how it works

If you would like to see you these products can help you achieve your project goals and learn how to use them feel free to visit Our Workshop during working hours.

We will also be showcasing our products at The 2019 AUSPACK Packaging and Processing expo so if you are in Melbourne in March 2019  feel free to come and say hello.

GAP Logo with Web Address

The 45 Series profiles are suitable for the following types of projects

  • Conveyor systems
  • Machine guarding
  • CNC Machines
  • Machine frames
  • Custom made work benches
  • Custom made work trolleys
  • Clean rooms
  • Trade show display stands
  • Robotic prototyping
  • Table saw guides
  • Automated fabric cutters
  • CNC route beds

45 series T slot Aluminium Extrusion

084 101 012 – 45 x 45 regular T Slot Aluminium Extrusion

18.5 x 180 extruded aluminium profile

084 101 007 – 18.5 x 180 T Slot Aluminium Extrusion

45 x 45 slim T Slot Extruded Profile

084 101 042 Slim 45 x 45 Profile

45 series T slot Aluminium profile - aluminium extrusion

Contact

Why are t-slot aluminium extruded profiles so popular?

T-Slot aluminium extruded profiles are popular for a variety of reasons. Mainly their popularity is due to them being lightweight and durable, and because they are basically modular components, that provide effective solutions for a variety of applications.

Compared with steel fabrication, a t-slot aluminium extruded profile doesn’t need to be welded, ground, primed or painted, saving both time and money in its manufacture. The practicality of a t slot profile makes them suitable for many manufacturing processes, including assembly, linear motion systems and automation.

Structural aluminium framing using a t slot profile has achieved great success and is regularly used in machine bases, laser enclosures, work stations, noise containment enclosures, and machine guard safety enclosures. Aerospace, medical device manufacturers and the electric vehicle industry, all make use of t slot aluminium extrusion profiles in their assembly and manufacturing processes.

Some of the benefits of t slot aluminum extrusion vs steel include:

  • An equivalent steel structure takes longer to engineer and assemble than aluminium.
  • Steel requires ongoing maintenance, because it’s prone to rust and corrosion, so it needs to be inspected and painted regularly to maintain its integrity.
  • Steel needs to be welded and ground whilst aluminium doesn’t.
  • Design changes can be made on the fly with t slot aluminium extruded profiles, whilst steel takes much more time to modify, meaning less delays and fewer missed deadlines.
  • Structural aluminium can be engineered much more precisely than steel with near perfect measurements, easily meeting compliance standards quickly and easily.

The need for low cost producers in a competitive market is vital for the Australian economy. So it is good to know that the need for modular custom and off-the-shelf t slot aluminium extruded profiles continues to grow, as more and more industries realise the benefits of using this lightweight and cost-effective material for their engineering applications.

A t slot profile made from aluminium is ideal for complex processes with multiple modular components, being cheaper and faster to produce, assemble and test than steel equivalents. The bottom line is that t slot aluminium extrusion profiles are just as strong as steel, whilst being faster to engineer and assemble, and cheaper and easier to maintain.

For more information on using t slot aluminium extrusion profiles for your applications, call us on 07 3823 1079 or send us an email.

T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints – sliding clamp

Profile Joints – Part 6

Sliding clamp

In this, our sixth in a series of posts on aluminium profile joints, we talk about a sliding clamp. Although not strictly an Alusic product or a joint type, it is something we developed to use with the Alusic range of extruded aluminium profiles.

Imagine that you have machine frame constructed using aluminium extrusion, and you need a stop for some part of the machine’s function. Now imagine that you need to move that stop on a semi regular basis (eg: a number of times a day). It would be nice to be able to just grab a handle, release the stop, slide it to a new position, and clamp the stop in place. No need to go looking for a spanner or a hex key to undo clamping bolts, etc. etc..

Well, we have just the thing. At least we think we do. You’re free to decide for yourself.

sliding clamp

Sliding clamp

The concept works with any t-slot extruded aluminium profile. In this example we are using an M8x45* lobed knob (1077.36), an M8x25 rectangular nut (084.302.011), a length of 3 slot 40×40 extruded profile (084.102.005), and a piece of 50x50x5 square hollow section.

The crux of the concept though, is the lobed knob and the rectangular nut in the t-slot.  The rectangular nut readily slides in the t-slot of the profile until the knob thread is tightened. Even hand tightening the knob provides enough grip to very effectively clamp the slider in place.

sliding clamp

Lobed knob and rectangular nut

sliding clamp

Sliding clamp assembly

Slider options

The slider component need not be a hollow section like we’ve used in this example. The hollow section is ideal if your application calls for something like a telescoping arm or leg.  The slider could just as easily be a piece of angle as shown below.

sliding clamp

Optional use of angle as slider

One example of an ideal use case for a sliding clamp is as a movable stop on our Portable Saw Bench.  If you already have a saw bench, retro-fitting a sliding stop could be as simple as bolting a length of t-slot profile to your bench.  For example, 18.5×32 (084.101.003) has a single 8mm slot perfect for a rectangular nut.

T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints – sliding clamp - aluminium extrusionT-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints – sliding clamp - aluminium extrusion

If you want a copy of the Alusic catalogue to view on your own PC, go to our site main page, fill in your name and email address and click the Send button. We will then send you an email with a download link for the PDF file.

T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints – pawl clamp

Profile Joints – Part 5

Pawl clamp

In this post the focus is on the pawl clamping connector fastener, or ‘pawl clamp’ for short.  This is the fifth in our series of posts on aluminium profile joints.

pawl clamp

Pawl clamping connecting fastener

A joint constructed using a pawl clamp can have the relocatable advantage of a fixing plate, but via a single fixing screw rather than two. This means less stuffing about on those occasions when a joint needs to be moved.

Information about different styles of pawl clamp can be found on pages 2.53 to 2.56 of the Alusic catalogue.

Adaptable

The Alusic catalogue shows a pawl clamp for almost any joint type your application might require. The basic pawl clamp can be used in place of the standard connection to make a simple square joint, whether T or corner.

There are also pawl clamps that can be used to join profile pieces end-to-end, at an angle or straight, as shown in the diagram below.  This type of joint is stronger than the simpler linear joint or angular joint.  As a result, it can be used to construct a joint that can carry a bigger load, in tension, than a linear joint.

pawl clamp

Preparing the joint

Preparing the joint simply involves machining a hole of the correct diameter and depth in the first of the profiles to be joined. Exact dimensions for the holes to suit each pawl clamp are shown in the Alusic catalogue. The number of holes is determined by the number of pawl clamps the joint needs (2 in this example).

pawl clamp

Ready for assembly

pawl clamp

Joint partly assembled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assembling the joint

We can use two pawl clamps to join an 18.5×90 (084.101.006) to almost any profile with an 8mm t-slot. In this example we show it joined to an 18.5×32 (084.101.003), a 1 slot 40×40 (084.102.006), and a 6 slot 45×90 (084.101.019).

Start by putting the pawl(s) into the hole(s) machined in the first of the profiles to be joined.

The joint is completed simply by sliding the pawl clamp square nuts into the t-slot of the second of the profiles to be joined. When the required joint location is reached, simply use a hex key to tighten the fixing screws in place.

pawl clamp

18.5×90 joined to 18.5×32

pawl clamp

18.5×90 joined to 40×40

pawl clamp

18.5×90 joined to 45×90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there you have it.  The pawl clamp; used to construct strong joints in extruded aluminium profiles, can be adapted to a variety of different joining requirements. The pawl clamp is so adaptable that it could readily be used in applications outside the realm of aluminium extrusions.  Use your imagination, almost any joint requirement can be fulfilled using pawl clamps.

If you want a copy of the Alusic catalogue to peruse on your PC, go to our site main page.  There is a place where you can enter your email address and click the Send button. We will then send you an email with a download link for the PDF file.

 

T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints – Linear joints

Profile Joints – Part 3

Linear joint.

This is the third in our series of posts on aluminium profile joints.  In this one we focus on the linear joint.

A few months ago, we had a customer who was building a display stand to use at various trade shows around the country. The interesting things about this stand were a) the finished height needed to be changeable, b) it needed to be quickly and easily assembled and dismantled, and, c) it needed to be readily packed up for transport to and from venues.

Complying with c) was easy. Extruded aluminium profiles are readily amenable to being stacked and tied down to a pallet for easy handling and transport.

To make the thing quickly and easily assembled and dismantled (requirement b), we decided to use clamping plates for most of the joints. See this blog entry for more information about using clamping plates.

The reason for the changeable height was that some of the venues for these trade shows don’t have the ceiling clearance for their particular rather tall display stand. So we decided to make the top section in two parts. One of which could be left out of the assembly when ceiling height decreed.

Now, there are a number of methods to join aluminium profiles end to end. On this occasion though, the customer wanted to maintain the clean neat lines of the aluminium extrusion.  As a result, we elected to use linear joints in this case.

The linear joint is ideal when the joint is under a compressive axial load, as was the case here.  This joint type is not recommended for high bending load applications such as the middle of a long span beam.

T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints – Linear joints - aluminium extrusion

As you can see in the diagram above, the joint piece(s) fit neatly inside the t-slot in the extrusion and there are no parts extending beyond the perimeter of the profile.  This diagram shows a 90mm version in the slot 8 series 40 x 40 profile.  The number of linear joint pieces used in any given joint is limited by the number of t-slots in the extrusions being joined.  The number actually used depends more on the strength and rigidity of the joint required.  In many cases, only one or two linear joint pieces are used even though there may be four or even six t-slots in the extrusions.

 

 

Joint construction.

T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints – Linear joints - aluminium extrusion

Linear joint ready for assembly

T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints – Linear joints - aluminium extrusion

Linear joint partly assembled

T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints – Linear joints - aluminium extrusion

Linear joint completed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The linear joint is completed by pushing the ends of the extrusions to be joined firmly together, then tightening the grub screws so that their flat ends bare down on the bottom of the t-slot.  This holds the joint piece(s) firmly in place and the two extrusions cleanly together.

 

T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints – Linear joints - aluminium extrusion

Linear joint – 90mm & 180mm

 

Linear joints are available in a number of different sizes for the slot 6, slot 8, and slot 10 series of Alusic extruded aluminium profiles.  Also, they are available in anodised aluminium, zinc plated steel, and stainless steel.

 

If you want your own copy of the Alusic catalogue, go to our site main page, fill in your name and email address and click the Send button.  We will then send you an email with a download link for the PDF file.

 

T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints – Stronger connection

Profile Joints – Part 2

Working with Alusic t-slot aluminium extrusions, I get to build all manner of different things on a regular basis.  Most of the time the standard connection is the ‘go to’ joint to use.  Occasionally, I come across a situation where the simple standard connection just doesn’t cut it.  So, today I’m introducing you to just a few of the other many different t-slot aluminium connection methods.  In doing so, I’ll be using some of the items found in the Fixing Accessories section of the Alusic catalogue.

The Project

Late 2016 I was putting together a batch of custom designed workbenches when the customer announced that they wanted an LED light panel mounted above the main work surface of each workbench.  No problem, I thought.  Just tell me exactly what height these lights need to be, and, send me a certified drawing for them.

I needed the certified drawing to work out panel frame dimensions and support structure. A few days later, one of the light panels arrived at the front counter in lieu of a certified drawing. Much better option! This would help ensure the panel support frame would fit exactly. I was also informed that the panel height was to be 1200mm above, and centred over, the bench work surface.

We quickly deduced that adding a pair of uprights at the back of each workbench to hold the light panel mounting frame would be more than adequate to hold the static load. I decided on a cantilever design held together using standard connections.

The Problem

That was all fine until it was let slip that some of the workbenches would be indirectly attached to pieces of equipment that would put some not insignificant vibrations into the workbenches a number of times per day.  I soon realised that the simple jointed cantilever design would, in the long term, likely not cope with the dynamic loads caused by vibrating machinery. Of particular concern was the mass of the light panel, in it’s frame, swinging on the end of 1200+mm uprights.

The Solution

So, a quick design review later.  It was decided to use fixing angles (084.305.033) for the main joints and make braces for the uprights using some joint angles (084.305.011).

The fixing angles made the joints stronger and more rigid than they would have been otherwise.  Using joint angles to make braces for the uprights stiffened the structure enough to almost completely eliminate oscillations that would be generated by the vibrating machinery.  Thinking about it now, just the braces would probably have been adequate to keep oscillations, and hence joint loads, down enough for the original simple joint design to cope.  Oh well … I think there is a saying in the engineering world that has something to do with “belts and braces”.

Another Problem

A few months after that, the same customer said they wanted some more workbenches (different design of course) also with the LED light panels.  This time though, they wanted to be able to adjust the braces up or down a little for operator head clearance.

At first that seemed a bit complex, not to mention costly.  A stock of different length braces to be removed and replaced by maintenance personnel as and when required.  I could see there would be no way to guarantee that adequate length braces would not all soon be replaced by under size braces, or even removed completely.  Not a viable option.

Another Solution

Then the Alusic catalogue came to the rescue.  Instead of using a joint angle at the end of each brace and making different size braces it was decided to use a screw swivel joint (084.311.010) at the end of each brace.  That would ensure every LED panel support would be adequately braced as well as have a degree of adjustment using just a hex key.

Adjustable brace
Adjustable brace

Conclusion

If you would like more catalogue information about Alusic products, just go to our brochures page and download whatever suits your needs. Alternatively, you can go to the Alusic online catalogue and search for what you need

T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints – Standard connection

Standard Connection

The standard connection is the simplest and most cost effective joint for Alusic aluminium T slot profiles.  It is a perpendicular (or square) joint using a single socket head screw (fixing screw) without the use of any fancy accessories.

In this simple joint the central hole in the first profile piece to be joined has a thread tapped into it.  The thread -diameter & depth- is to suit the fixing screw being used.  In the second profile piece, a hole is drilled perpendicularly through at the desired location of the joint.  The hole is to allow a hex key access to tighten the fixing screw.

T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints - Standard connection - aluminium extrusion

Details of how to make one of these joints are at this blog post.

Since this joint type is the simplest and most cost effective, it is by far the most commonly used in light, medium, and many heavy duty applications.  For more heavy duty and not so simple applications, other solutions are available.

The standard connection joint type is not limited to use with square profiles either.  It can be used to join rectangular profiles to square profiles as well as rectangular profiles to rectangular profiles.

Probably the only drawback of this simple joint is that it is not readily re-located along the second profile piece should the need arise.  Another hole needs to be drilled to suit the hex key at the desired new location.  Admittedly, this situation doesn’t often crop up, but it does occasionally.  For details of one of many alternative solutions, see this blog post; what are clamping plates.

Full Body Joint

One variation of the standard connection is known as a full body joint.  A full body joint can be used where slightly heavier duty demands.  The main difference in this joint variation is that the drilled perpendicular hole is to suit the fixing screw rather than the hex key.  This adds a small amount of complexity, and hence time, to preparing the joint, but it remains a very cost effective joint.

T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints - Standard connection - aluminium extrusion                            T-Slot extruded aluminium profile joints - Standard connection - aluminium extrusion

Diagrams from the Alusic catalogue showing two forms of a full body joint.

Joining the other size aluminium profiles

This basic type of T slot connection is not only cost effective it is also incredibly versatile. All of our profiles can be connected this way without the use of any accessories and different size profiles can be joined in this way.

Technical Specifications of T-Slot Aluminium Profile

Extruded Aluminium T slot profiles

Our extruded t-slot aluminium profiles generally come in one of the 3 standard slots as shown below. Please contact us if you need more information

6mm Slot – 30 & 60 Series

Detail of 6mm slot in 30 series extrusions

8mm Slot – 40 & 80 Series

Detail of 8mm slot in 40 series extrusions

8mm Slot – 45 & 90 Series

Detail of 8mm slot in 45 series extrusions

Technical Data for Alusic Aluminium Profile

All extruded aluminium profiles are manufactured by Alusic SRL (Italy) using a primary aluminium alloy EN-AW 6060 (Al Mg Si  0.5).  The metallurgical state of the extruded aluminium bars is T5/T6 (solution heat treatment, tempered and artificially aged) to ensure long lasting dimensional and mechanical property stability.

The dimensional tolerances for aluminium profile extrusion are in compliance with the European standard UNI-EN 12020-2 for precision extrusions.

Chemical composition of alloys:

 Alloy  Cu  Fe  Mn  Mg  Si  Zn  Cr  Ti  Al
 6060  0.10  0.1–0.3  0.10  0.35–0.6  0.3–0.6  0.15  0.05  0.10  Rest
 6063  0.10  0.35  0.10  0.45–0.9  0.2–0.6  0.10  0.10  0.10  Rest

The mechanical properties after heat treatment:

 Alloy Maximum Stress
(N / mm2)
Yield Stress
(N / mm2)
Extension
(A%)
Hardness
(HB)
 6060 190 150  8 70
 6063 215  170  8 75

Characteristics for the design of aluminium structures:

Elastic (Young’s) modulus 69000 N/ mm2
Electrical resistivity 0.033 Ω mm2/ m
Thermal conductivity 210 W/ mK
Melting temperature 615 – 655 oC
Thermal expansion coefficient 25 x 10-6 K-1

In addition to a guarantee of high quality and dependability of aluminium products, ALUSIC is also certified to comply with the international standard for quality assurance ISO 9001:2000.

Further information, including R&D advice can be obtained in collaboration with Profilium and Alusic’s technical and commercial departments.  Please contact us for more information.

Need more information?

If you want more information on how to use our profiles, the benefits of using the Alusic profile system or you simply want a brochure or catalogue, then go to the aluminiumprofile.com.au downloads page.

Alusic aluminium profile and accessories – faster, more cost effective assembly

Standard bolt connection

Alusic aluminium profile and accessories – faster, more cost effective assembly - aluminium extrusion

A simple, yet strong joint can be achieved by using a socket head screw, with a square washer, screwed into the core hole of the joining profile (see image on right). A small hole is drilled opposite where the joining profile is to be located. This hole is the access for a hex key to tighten the screw.

This is the standard joint type for the Alusic extruded aluminium profile range of products. It is the most cost effective and commonly used joint type.

The typical cost of this joint is around $0.34 using an M8x20 bolt (084.301.003) and 13×13 washer (084.303.001). And it can normally be assembled in under a minute. A leading competitor’s equivalent connection costs around $3.35 each and can take 3 times longer to achieve.

In some applications, an anti twist device can be used to replace the square washer in the standard connection.  The twin tabs on the anti twist device go into the slots of the connecting profile to prevent the joint twisting. A simple and effective solution on the rare occasions it is needed.

Save time & money

The total time taken to complete a Competitor’s standard connection is 2-3 minutes. This, of course, depends on available tooling. Without appropriate tooling being available, it could take even longer. So, if we add this (up to 300% greater) labour cost to the higher material cost of the competitor’s connection, the choice becomes simple.

Also, with the Competitor’s connection, the dimension from the profile end to the centre of the cross bush is critical to the connection effectiveness.  If the correct dimension is not achieved with sufficient accuracy, the length of profile effectively becomes scrap.  Whereas, with the Alusic connection system if the pilot hole location is not correct then it’s simply a matter of drilling another hole at the correct location. In some cases, the adjoining profile may need to be tapped accordingly, but those cases are quite rare.

No milling or special tooling

The dimension for the pilot hole with Alusic profile is predetermined by the drilling jig (084.818.001) with several millimetres of adjustment from side to side.  With the Alusic connecting system there is also the option of self tapping the screw into the adjoining profile as opposed to pre-tapping. This can ensure that the screw has the tightest possible fit to eliminate any possibility of vibration affecting the joint.  The potential for a loose joint can also be eliminated with the use of thread locking products such as Loctite. It must be said, though, that the need for either of these is extremely rare because the joint is highly effective in the first place.

Cost benefit

To demonstrate some of the labour savings that can be achieved using the Alusic system, a cost comparison exercise was undertaken on the structure shown at the top of this page.  The resulting time and motion study estimated the labour saving that could be achieved using the Alusic aluminium system when compared with another high quality European competitor’s profile.

With 350 individual connection points in the structure, a saving of between 300% and 500% in labour costs using Alusic standard connectors is possible.  In other words, if using a competitor’s connector that takes up to 3 minutes per connection point, you would require 1,050 minutes or 17.5 hours just to complete the connections on this structure. Then there is the cost of the connector parts themselves at around $1,170.

Using the Alusic standard bolt connection, taking less than a minute each, all the connections could be completed in 5.8 hours. The connector parts would only cost around $120. That is three times faster than the Competitor’s system representing an enormous saving in labour costs alone. This represents a saving of around 11.7 hours, on that structure, and about $1050 in parts.