The Importance of Struts, Channels, and Fittings

A strut is a structural part found in architectural construction projects used to resist longitudinal compression. They provide supplemental outward-facing support to a structure in the direction of their length, and can be used to separate individual components from each other, essentially providing the opposite function of ties. Struts are typically made from fiber-reinforced plastic, steel, or aluminum and are often installed along with support cables or other additional systems. While they are predominantly used for building constructions, struts also have many an application in the timber framing industry, where they are utilized to provide support and bracing to lighter scantlings easily. There are two main parts used to supplement struts: channels and fittings.

Strut channels are used to provide structural support to wires, piping, and related equipment in buildings or other constructions. They are typically used for air conditioning, heat ventilation, or HVAC applications as a way to suspend the wiring from the roof or ceiling. A standard strut channel consists of a long metal sheet, bent or folded to create a stiff, U-shaped channel. This turns the edges to face each other, creating a groove over the top of the equipment. This makes installation far easier by allowing the operator to interlock components by fastening nuts and bolts into the channel.

The installation of struts and channels would not be possible without strut fittings. Strut manufacturers produce an extensive array of fittings in order to provide the strut system with the extra structural support and strength. Among the most commonly used types of fittings are angle fittings, beam clamps, channel brackets, braces, strut end caps, hangers, electrical accessories, pipe clamps, strut trolleys, post bases, and pipe straps.

Struts, their channels, and fittings, are machined in a variety of different sizes, shapes, and finishes. The most important characteristic in their strength, however, is the material from which they are made. Most struts are made from stainless steam due to their protection against corrosion. Stainless steel struts are made from a long sheet of steel and finished with either zinc, epoxy, powder coating, or paint. In cases where lighter materials are needed, struts can be made of aluminum alloy. 


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