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The Benefits of Using Strut Channels

Strut channels are a lightweight, easy-to-assemble option for wiring and plumbing projects of all kinds and all sizes. They offer a range of options for quickly and easily connecting various strut lengths.

White Cap supply building professionals with a huge range of strut channels and strut channel fittings and accessories, including custom lengths by the foot.

Strut channels work for DIY projects as well as professional construction jobs, as they’re very easy to use and offer great value compared to other options. If you treat them right, they’re also reusable and can be put together for temporary structures such as storage facilities for other materials.

Strut channels can be used to support almost anything below a certain weight, but most often hold up metal structures. You can find a lot of information and advice on the specifics of using strut channels (including downloadable materials) at G-Strut, but for an overview of why you should use strut channels over other options for metal framing systems, read on.

Why Choose Strut Channels

Using strut channels is often a cheaper and easier option than using steel bar stock. Steel bar stock requires welding, as well as bolting and drilling. Not only does this involve financial cost, it also takes more man hours and expertise.

The diversity of strut channels means they can easily be joined together to create custom lengths and structures. They can also connect pipes, and channels with holes can easily accommodate threaded rods and bolts.

When rusting or weight might be a problem, aluminum or stainless steel can be used to make strut channels.

The metal used for these channels is usually 12 or 14-gauge sheet steel. To make strut channels as strong as possible, they are often manufactured with two struts fitted together and welded that way. This also allows connections at both sides of the strut channel. Three or four can also be purchased already welded together to create useful connecting patterns.

You can, and should, use strut channels for any lighter-weight projects. The strongest strut channels can support up to 850lbs - so use strut channels in all projects that involve providing support up to this weight.

Common uses for strut channels include mounting, bracing, and supporting:

  • Venting
  • Pipework
  • Wiring
  • Aircon systems
  • Heating systems
  • Other mechanical systems
  • Shelving
  • Lighting

These are just a few options, of course - any metal frame can be easily assembled using strut channels as long as load limits are taken into account.

Which Strut Channels to Use for Your Job

At White Cap, we have a full selection of strut channels on offer. In general, the most popular sizes are 1 5/8” x 1 5/8″ and 1-5/8” x 13/16. Many more sizes are available - get in touch if you don’t see what you need or are looking for a custom-cut size.

Beyond size, gauge and strength, strut channels vary by hole pattern and coating.

Hole Patterns in Strut Channels

Hole patterns available when using strut channels are:
  • Solid (no holes), for drilling onsite for custom jobs
  • Punched, round holes for bolts or threaded rods
  • Half-slot, rectangular punch-outs at 2-inch centers
  • Full slot has longer slots (double half-slot), at
        4-inch centers
Struts and Strut Channels
Image courtesy of Unistrut Midwest
Consider your need for bolts or rods when you choose your strut-channel patterns. One of the reasons using strut channels can be so dynamic is that various hole patterns can be easily connected together. You may need a few punched or half-slot struts, while the rest are all solid and provide additional strength.

Coatings and Finishes

Coating options for strut channels are plain carbon steel, perma-green, perma-gold, hot-dip galvanized, pre-galvanized, and electroplated.

Carbon steel is preferred for welding, although no welding should be needed for most projects using strut channels. The carbon-steel finish isn’t really suitable for outdoor use and will corrode, but it can be painted or otherwise finished after any welding or construction.

Pre-galvanized and perma-green are the finishes you’ll run into most often and are best sellers at White Cap. They offer fair protection in humid environments, against the weather, and even corrosive agents if those are a factor you have to consider in your construction project.

Load Levels for Strut Channels
As discussed earlier, strut channels with slots of holes can hold less weight than solid channels. A combination of channel types is an option, but what you need will vary based on the job at hand.

Strut channel type (solid, punched, half or full slot), along with the length and diameter of the various channels you choose to use for your project, will dictate the weight they can bear.

Refer to the catalog of your strut channel manufacturer, such as the Unistrut Catalog, to work out what your strut channels will be able to hold.

You can also talk to the staff at White Cap for help finding the correct strut channels for the work you need to do. We will be able to talk you through the best choice for what you want to achieve, no matter how large or small your project or job is.

Buying From White Cap

If you’re building any kind of metal framing system for light to medium-weight bearing, using strut channels is absolutely the best choice. And buying them from White Cap, you can’t go wrong.

We supply strut channels from all major manufacturers, including Unistrut, ERICO, Superstrut, and Anvil America. We also sell strut channel accessories from Strut Pipe and Beam Clamps, Strut Plates and Angle Fittings, and Strut Washers and Nuts to spring nuts,  square washers, channels, post bases, nuts, etc.

Everyone who works at White Cap is an expert in construction, with many of our team members having worked in the industry themselves. We offer streamlined invoicing and 30-day credit to eligible buyers.
With 360 stores across the US, as well as online shopping options, you can always depend on White Cap Construction Supply to help you get the job done. If you’re interested in buying or renting from White Cap, request a quote or get in touch today.
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