3 Tips for Choosing T-Slot Aluminum Extrusion
When it comes to selecting a brand of T-slot aluminum extrusion for a project it’s difficult to distinguish one brand from another. Here are some things to look for:
Grooved vs Smooth Profiles
Grooved T-slots are most popular in America because of 80/20. The Europeans prefer smooth profiles. Grooves can help with alignment (not much) and will obscure minor scratches, but what they’re mostly good for is trapping dirt. We prefer smooth, but it’s more a matter of taste, not functionality.
Fractional T-slots vs Metric
Some profiles have slots that are measured in fractions of an inch; others are metric. The world would be a better place if all dimensions were metric . . . and if all the guns and missiles were melted down and turned into plowshares. I can’t wait.
There may be minor differences in the alloys used by various T-slot providers, but they aren’t noticeable. Like a lot of things, alloys are trade-offs. It depends on what’s most important to you: hardness, tensile strength, yield strength, machinability, or corrosion resistance.
The three most important factors in choosing where to buy T-slot aluminum extrusion—in my opinion—are:
- Technical expertise
In terms of service, one of TSI’s big advantages is our local inventory of extrusions in Stone Mountain, Georgia. We currently stock 16 different fractional profiles and three metric profiles. We are just one day away from any location in Georgia via UPS Ground, provided the shipment does not exceed their weight or length restrictions. Our turnaround time on assembled jobs and kits is excellent.
In terms of technical expertise, we have been working with T-slot extrusion since 1990. We have designed and sold countless machine guards, machine stands, enclosures, racks, frames, and work stations. We have learned–through experience–all the tricks associated with T-slot assembly.
In terms of price, because we deal direct with Futura Industries, whose main business is extruding aluminum, we are usually very competitive.
If you’re in the market for T-slot extrusion, whether it be a ready-to-assemble kit, a complete standalone machine frame, or just components, please give serious consideration to TSI Extrusions. For a quote on your next T-slot project, give us a call today at 770-879-3500 or e-mail us.