The Different Types of Aluminum Profiles

September 19, 2020

What are the different types of aluminum profiles?

  1. Hollow Beam
  2. Square Profile
  3. SD Aluminum Profile
  4. RCW Profile
  5. Door Section
  6. Louver Profile
  7. T-Section

Aluminum profile types can vary greatly, depending on the application. Profiles or cross-sections can come in a wide variety of thicknesses, which is also critical in providing form or function to a particular structure. Manufacturers have greatly enjoyed the use of aluminum material in profile production mainly due to its many properties. It’s malleable, lightweight, and highly versatile. It also provides a lower-cost option in adding durability and foundation to a given structure.

Aluminum profiles are typically manufactured by way of metal extrusion. This involves the passage of an aluminum billet into a tooling die that has specific cross-sections. The resulting extruded product can either come in small pieces of more elongated versions, as both are possible. With this in mind, the different types of aluminum profiles can be said to be the product of the extrusion process. Continue reading to learn more.

Hollow Beam

Based on the name alone, hollow beam aluminum profiles simply refer to a hollow beam of aluminum which does not have specific cross-sections. These are usually found as part of modular installations, especially in constructional design.

Hollow aluminum beams can come in a wide variation of shapes, with specific sub-classifications for each. These may come in the form of rectangular beams, square-shaped, or one with a hollow top/bottom. The result is a beam that can be used as part of a support framework for buildings, bridges, and other types of industrial applications. They are highly useful in providing horizontal support, especially in the face of heavy loads.

Square Profile

Square aluminum profile

Square aluminum profiles can be classified as belonging to a subsection of hollow-beam aluminum. They’re used in similar applications to the hollow beams — the most distinct difference lies in that they can provide more stable support.

Square profiles can be found as part of wall load bearings, as well as support columns and pillars. They can be made either seamlessly or non-seamlessly, depending on the manufacturing process. This involves a non-time-consuming process of continuously flattening an aluminum sheet and joining the corners so as to form a square. A high-pressured piercing point is passed through the middle of the profile in order to smoothen out the inner edges.

SD Aluminum Profile

Aluminum profiles are useful not only in larger-scale applications, but in smaller-scale ones. In fact, they’re also widely-applied as part of a window’s framing. Apart from the lightweightness and flexibility of aluminum, its resistance to corrosion is also one reason why they can serve as stable window frames.

SD profiles make the best choice for sliding window frames. Windows are constantly exposed to different elements that are found in the external environment, such as dust, rain, and high temperatures. Both the SD profile’s sliding functionality and ability to resist different forms of weathering make it the best choice.

RCW Profile

RCW aluminum profile on a high-rise building

RCW profiles are abundant in high-rise buildings, and are usually applied to curtain walls, or mullions. These usually do not offer any structural function, as their primary use is for providing a barrier to prevent the entry of environmental elements inside a building.

Curtain walls are usually aluminum-framed and come in different sizings. It’s important that these profiles contain the necessary components in sealing off unwanted objects from entering the interiors of a building space. This is one of the main drivers behind why RCW profiles are usually fitted with other materials that help prevent leakages from occurring.

Door Section

Also named as the ED section, aluminum door sections are profiles used in heavy-duty glass doors for buildings. They are part of the entire mechanism of push doors and often work as an entire system.

Glass doors that come with a push mechanism are found in different types of commercial spaces. Its unmistakably classic design doubles down on the form, but also on the functionality. Aluminum door sections greatly secure the glass material in place, to prevent it from falling, or toppling over so suddenly.

Louver Profile

Aluminum louver in a building

A louver refers to an arrangement wherein slats are attached at regular horizontal intervals from one another at an angle. They come in the form of window blinds, or door shutters. Because of the structure, louvers are mainly used for the passage of natural lighting or ventilation. They also help keep debris from entering inside a building.

Aluminum louvers can be manufactured in different customized designs, depending on the building requirements. The aluminum material, while being able to let cool, natural ventilation inside, also aids in keeping out water. It also adds a layer of privacy to a building space, since the angled slats greatly diminish the visibility.


The T-section profiles are exactly just that — a T-shaped aluminum extruded product that gives support in different directions. T-sections specifically contain components such as the span, horizontal flanges, and vertical webs.

The structure of this type of aluminum profile implies that it can be found in corners and as part of a truss network. It can be easily fitted with other aluminum profiles like the hollow beam and the square profile. To add further durability, fittings are also attached to T-sections as a way of also improving the level of support.

Key Takeaway

The different aluminum profile types all serve to provide function, support, structure, and stability. Manufacturers have been able to include tailor-fit modifications on these profiles to accommodate different uses, such as sliding doors, window sections, louvers, and building frameworks.

The use of aluminum in construction has transcended merely architectural support and has gone beyond serving as protection from external elements. There is no questioning that these extruded profiles make one of the most enduring uses for aluminum.