What Is U channel trim?
U channel trim is a tall, skinny metal formed product. Deeper channels (a little deeper and more narrow than what you see above) can only be achieved through roll forming. Other forming methods can reach into the U shape as well as they can with standard steel channels. So if you’re looking for an especially deep U channel, check out our MeshTrim offerings here.
U channels are commonly used to frame thin panel and mesh products. This includes metal fabrics, glass panels, wire mesh, and other flat panel items.
Benefits of U Channel Trim
Without further ado, the top benefits of U channel trim include:
- No more sharp edges
- Attractive structural edging
- Reduced fabrication costs (sometimes)
1. Eliminates Sharp Edges
In many applications, the naturally sharp edges of wire mesh and metal panels are undesirable, and even detrimental for their intended use. This is true in the case of animal cages, screen doors, and other items that humans and animals use daily.
In these cases, we want to eliminate injuries and snagging associated with sharp edges. U channel trim fits perfectly over the edges to create a safe and attractive frame for your product.
2. Attractive Structural Edging
U channels are also a viable architectural trim solution. Most architects try to avoid a bare mesh or panel edge - it’s simply not as attractive as a framed edge. U channels can be made from a variety of metals to suit any architect’s or engineer’s aesthetic needs.
3. In Some Applications, Reduces Fabrication Costs
A frame that covers the entire perimeter of your product can remove the need for costly fabrications.
U Channel Trim Applications
1. Wire Mesh
Wire mesh, also called wire cloth or metal fabric, is required for many daily life and specialty applications. These include:
- Fences (security and animal)
- Animal cages
- Industrial conveyor belts
- Materials handling
As mentioned above, many of these products come into contact with humans and animals daily. U channels protect users from injuries and snags associated with wire mesh.
2. Metal Panel Products
Metal panel products are very desirable in modern architecture. They’re sleek, professional, and futuristic. Metal panels are used in both:
- Architectural and structural wall panels
- Construction of commercial and industrial buildings
In all of these cases, u channel trim provides attractive architectural framing and expanded design opportunities.
3. Glass Panels
Everyone is familiar with glass paneling in:
- Photo frames
- Glass shower doors
- Safety barriers
Stainless steel U channel trim, for example, accentuates glass panel products by providing an outline for the eye to follow. Metal framing enhances the delicate aesthetic quality of glass architecture.
U channels are used as trim for hand and stair railings in commercial spaces. Metal railings are easier to maintain and longer lasting than their plastic or wood counterparts.
Metal u channels are perfect for commercial and industrial tracks. Tracks are required for:
- Wheel covers
- Guide tracks
- Sliding doors
- Automated machinery
Can U Channels Elevate Your Product?
If you're interested in a standard steel channel (or a different metal type or shape), contact us or your favorite roll former to find out more.
(Editor's note: This article was originally published in January 2016 and was recently updated.)
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As with all manufacturing processes, the way you design your component impacts your overall costs, lead times, and quality consistency. Follow these roll forming design tips to avoid the common pitfalls of custom tooling and forming.