Aluminium profile fasteners
In order to make a structure out of aluminium extrusions you need a way to fasten them. The first step that is covered in this post covers the use of aluminium profiles or extrusions, here we will cover aluminium profile fasteners.
Types of aluminium profile fasteners
There are many types of fastening aluminium extrusions, here we will focus on right angle fastening. I have used these profiles extensively and I have never had a need to connect profiles at an angle. So the right angle connection is enough to cover most of your needs. Here we are talking about connection two aluminium profiles. For connecting other stuff to aluminium profiles the most useful connection is a T-nut or a T-bolt. T-nuts were mentioned in the previous post.
There are a lot of different types of fasteners for aluminium profiles. Some manufacturers even have their proprietary type(s). I will cover the ones that I have used so far and these are also most common ones. If you come by some other types I believe that they will be similar to some mentioned here.
First the obvious ones.
Aluminium profile fasteners – 90 degree flat plate
Probably the easiest way to connect two profiles together. It’s pretty simple. All that you need are T-nuts some screws, DIN 7380 or others, and a plate with holes. You can make the flat plate by yourself pretty easily. For angled connections flat plates can also be used.
Aluminium profile fasteners – Gussets
Gussets are a simple strong method of connecting aluminium plates. For a gusset connection you will need T-nuts with screws for each screw hole on the gusset. Using gussets in the aluminium extrusion frame is similar to using gussets in a welded frame. Advantage over using the flat plate is that using gussets gives you clean sides of the frame. These connections are for right angle connection only.
The names of the next couple of fasteners are borrowed from the resource’s dictionary. There might be different names from different manufacturers.
Aluminium profile fasteners – Automatic set
Automatic fasteners are advertised as “The fastest and most flexible profile connection”. The truth is that they are not very useful in my opinion. In the rest of this article you can see how to use them. For a secure connection you will need two of these fasteners. That just adds time in the assembly process. Also I personally do not see any benefit on using them over the other types.
Aluminium profile fasteners – Universal set
Universal set is one of the most commonly used. I believe that they are the highest strength connections. They are flexible connections because position of the profile beams can be adjusted even after the connection is set. Not all connections are like this. Standard set that we will talk abut later are clearly a rigid type. This fastener has always been the default one that I have used.
Aluminium profile fasteners – Standard fastening set
Standard fastening set is also a common one. A bolt and a proprietary washer make up this simple connection. This washer its into the groove of one of the extrusions. The other extrusion has thread cut into its center. The bolt secures the two profiles like in the picture bellow. This connection is rigid as that in order to tighten the bolt you need to provide a hole for a screwdriver or a hex key. These connections are commonly used as they are cheep and commonly available.