5 Great Reasons To Build With T-Slot Aluminum

There are 5 main reasons why people choose to build manufacturing and laboratory items out of t-slot aluminum extrusions.

Custom Structures

80/20 t-slot aluminum extrusion corner

While it may be convenient to buy off-the-shelf items from local hardware stores, discount retailers or suppliers, those items are general-purpose structures that won’t do exactly what you want or need them to do. By building items from t-slot extrusions, you can design and build framing solutions that fit your needs and your applications exactly. In almost every case, a custom frame provides immense value to your company. For example, a custom workstation will usually translate into employees being more efficient and effective at their tasks, happier, and safer than if you used a general purpose workstation.

What your employees do on your work benches, how they do it, and the tools they use are unique to your business. So doesn’t it make sense to have a work bench built specifically for your business and unique requirements? Good t-slot designers create custom t-slot products that provide all of these advantages. Talk to us at F&L Industrial Solutions. Our staff of very experienced t-slot CAD Designers will help you capitalize on the benefits of a custom t-slot solution.


80/20 t-slot aluminum lab table

The t-slot extrusion line of products from 80/20, Inc. is the most comprehensive in the industry – providing over 8,000 compatible bars and parts. Virtually anything can be built with these quality, tested components. That’s why F&L Industrial Solutions uses them almost exclusively. 80/20 t-slot aluminum extrusions are known as “the erector set for engineers”, and have been the #1 t-slot extrusion for over 25 years. They make it easy (some say fun) to build anything with t-slot aluminum extrusions (bars) and fasteners. Once you get the hang of building t-slot structures, it’s pretty easy and straightforward – and ultimately, you will only be limited by your imagination.

Aluminum Offers Multiple Advantages

T-slot aluminum extrusion bar

T-slot aluminum extrusions offer multiple advantages over other options such as welded steel or wood. In general, aluminum is ½ the weight for the same strength compared to steel. So if you have any project that will move such as workstations, rolling carts, lab tables, racks, etc., having that item made from aluminum will make it a lot easier and often times, safer to move.

Aluminum frames are much cleaner than painted steel structures. Aluminum doesn’t corrode like steel.  It lasts longer and generates less airborne particulates – important if you have a clean-room like application.

Aluminum structures and products can also be assembled in the room where they will be used – so you are not limited by the door size. Welded steel is usually welded, sanded and painted off-site using specialty equipment, and then brought to the final location by truck/forklift. For many locations, this is neither practical nor affordable.

The list of why aluminum is better than other materials is extensive and cannot be adequately covered here. But you can click on this link to learn more about the advantages of aluminum t-slot extrusion over welded steel products: https://www.slideshare.net/PatrickRyan46/10-reasons-that-8020-tslot-aluminum-is-better-than-steel-73813616

T-slots & T-nuts

T-nuts used for mounting items to t-slot aluminum extrusions

The original t-slot aluminum extrusions were designed to offer more utility than standard square or round tube extrusions. While standard square and round tube frames can offer adequate strength for many applications, connecting to them is difficult and often compromises the overall strength of the bar itself. T-slot extrusions provide a slot on each side of the bar where multiple items can be attached without compromising the strength of the bar itself.

Working in concert with the slot design, is a simple but extremely effective fastening system which uses “T-nuts”. T-nuts are threaded plates that slide in a T-slot and allow a standard bolt to attach to them – effectively connecting with the underlying bar. This makes fastening almost anything to any t-slot bar so simple that its actually amazing. The simplicity and strength of the t-slot/t-nut combination is a big reason why manufacturing engineers and facility managers love t-slot aluminum extrusions. It provides utility and connect ability for their structure for years to come.


Tool cart made from 80/20 t-slot aluminum extrusion

One of the biggest long-term benefits of buying a t-slot aluminum structure or product is the ability to disassemble it in the distant future and build something else out of it. As nothing is permanently fastened together like welded frames are, the entire structure can added to, modified, or completely disassembled later in life. For example, you could disassemble a rack or shelving unit you no longer use and build a new one to fit todays products or build a completely new workbench or a couple of rolling carts. The long-term value of owning t-slot aluminum structures is a key advantage over welded steel structures – that often end up in landfills when their useful life ends.

Take The Next Step

If you are considering having something built out of t-slot aluminum extrusions, give us a call at F&L Industrial Solutions. We offer free and quick CAD designs and quotations for most types of products. To learn more about 80/20 t-slot aluminum extrusions or building t-slot aluminum structures, visit our website at www.fandl8020.com.

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