T-slotted aluminum profiles are modular by nature. There are many types of systems available that all utilize a basic t-slot geometry to allow near infinite mounting positions of components, etc. We are always concerned not only by the engineering characteristics of a structural frame project but also by the aesthetic value it brings to our clients project. Many times, the profiles surround & define the equipment inside, so we are always looking for the cleanest presentation possible. This is why we feel the internal connection vs. the external clad-plate (boiler plate = last century) mentality is superior. The plate method also does not insure that the two joining profiles are pulled together & a gap is possible leaving the resultant assembly out-of-square. High Aesthetic: (quick-connectors face inside of assembly) Old-School: clad-plate

By nature the cross-sectional shape of the aluminum extrusions make them very strong. So why not use this strength when connecting them together? Using our quick-connector (eg. QC10V) series requires a drilled or milled pocket at each end of the profile (typically a horizontal member) & will allow placement anywhere along a perpendicular t-slot. The tightening of the QC (placed in the center bore) draws the two profiles together forming an extremely strong, vibration-proof connection. This connection is also contained within the extrusion & the [tightening] set-screw can be oriented to face internally so as not to obstruct the external t-slots which can later be covered or have a panel installed. If this rail needs to be re-positioned, it’s a simple matter to loosen & place wherever is more beneficial. Here’s how it works


Another hardware advantage with our system is a wide array of accessory hardware used to fasten components to our t-slots. The most common of these would be the t-nut. These are a post-assembly or drop-in design allowing insertion anywhere along the profile. They are very simple & fast to use, having an elliptical shoulder that locks into the t-slot & allows the multiple threads to be used with standard (10-32-5/16-18) or metric (M4-M8) fasteners. A tip when using the TN series t-nuts to bolt panels onto an extruded frame would be to pre-load the panel with the appropriate screw size & start the t-nut on 1-2 threads. Then place the panel on the frame-work ensuring all the t-nuts are in the slots & tighten. If there is a requirement for a frequently removable panel in a vertical orientation, it might be helpful to use a t-slot nut that will maintain its position in a vertical orientation. This is achieved by using one of our drop-in (DTNB), or roll-in (RN10L) t-slot nuts with either a ball-spring or leaf-spring that will allow leaving the nut in position & leave it in the slot for speed of panel re-assembly. Drop-in with ball-spring: Roll-in with leaf-spring:

Chris Hill is the President and CEO of Framing Technology, Inc. Connect with him on  and Twitter.