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Versatile semi-finished product for a wide range of applications: The U-profile

The U-profile is a simple semi-finished product. It is characterised by its open design and high transverse stability. This gives this long material a particularly wide range of uses.

Properties of the U-profile

The U-profile is one of the standard profiles. It offers a higher transverse stability than the L- or the flat profile. This makes it suitable for high-strength welded constructions with demanding statics. Once firmly integrated into a construction, U-profiles can be loaded from practically all sides. Its semi-open design is particularly interesting. This makes it suitable for use as a channel or as an easily accessible channel for cables, hoses and pipes. It does not offer the protection of a completely closed pipe. However, it can easily be extended with a cover so that the elements inserted or liquids passed through are fully protected.

Materials for the U-profile

The versatility of the U-profile continues in its unpretentiousness when it comes to its materials. Unlike window profiles, for example, the choice of materials for U-profiles is not limited.

Common materials for this long material are as follows:

  • Plastic
  • Sheet steel
  • Aluminium

Composite materials such as GRP or CFRP are also processed into U-profiles. Even ceramic materials or artificial stone such as concrete or brick are available in short profiles in U-shape.

Manufacture of the U-profile

U-profiles made of plastic or aluminium are extruded. For this purpose, a pre-material - for example plastic granulate or aluminium blocks - is heated and pressed through a die. The profile is cooled down behind the die. This creates an endless strand that is simply cut off at the desired length.Steel profiles in U-shape are edged from thin sheet or continuously cast. The continuous casting variant is considerably thicker-walled, heavier and more stable.

Processing U-profiles

Shortening or mitre cutting U-profiles is a challenge compared to cutting flat sheets. As long as only individual pieces are to be cut, the following methods are suitable for cutting these profiles: - cutting to length

profiles, the following methods are suitable:

  • sawing
  • abrasive or thermal processes
  • cutting

The clamping and sawing of a U-profile ensures high precision with low distortion of the pre-material. Abrasive processes such as water jet cutting or plasma cutting additionally reduce the mechanical stress during the cutting process and offer increased precision compared to sawing. Cut-off grinding is a fast, manual process. It is chosen when only little importance is attached to the dimensional accuracy of the cut.

After cutting, the U-profile can be shaped into the desired product using all common machining processes.