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Everything about 80x20 Aluminum Extrusion

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Extrusion produces aluminum profiles in different fields by pressing a malleable aluminum billet through a mold opening with a precise cross-sectional shape. Thanks to the rising demand for extruded aluminum, it's one of the fastest-growing aluminum manufacturing processes. 


One of the most extruded frameworks is 80 X 20, named after the company that popularized the design. 80 X 20 is a modular framing system that consists of T-slot structures with built-in grooves that allow you to join them with other profiles or parts like panels, casters, or linear bearings.


The T-slots allow fasteners to slide through and hold frame pieces together without requiring many fastening accessories. Anyone can use 80 X 20 to mix, match, and create custom solutions for their unique projects.


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A Brief History of the 80 X 20 Framing System


When most folks hear the words t-slot aluminum, they think about the 80/20 brand. However, 80/20 Inc. did not invent these types of aluminum profiles. The first patent for the extrusion process was issued in 1797 for creating lead pipes. The process was simply known as “squirting” and was rather manual until 100 years later when Alexander Dick invented the hot extrusion technique and applied it to aluminum billets. 


The first channeled aluminum profiles were created in the early 1900s for certain industrial use only. They were meant to be a one-time thing until the 80/20 brand increased the structure’s capabilities, transforming it into an essential framing system complete with its own hardware, fasteners, and accessories such as T-nuts, hinges, connector angles, cover caps, and unblocks. The company is over 3 decades old, and during this period, it has become synonymous with T-slotted aluminum.


Although many different companies manufacture or offer their own T-slot aluminum now, the 80/20 branding persists. Each sheet metal fabrication shop has its own manufacturing capabilities, products, and services. Don’t forget to do your homework on their capabilities to see if their T-slot extrusions and accompanying hardware, add–, and solutions suit the requirements and scope of your project. 


The last thing you want is selecting a factory that is so large it can’t deal with clients on an individual level or one that is so small it can’t scale to your project's requirements. Call metal shops and arrange an on-site visit to see a sample of their products and manufacturing processes to determine if they are a better fit for your project.


When considering different sheet metal fabrication shops, here’s a look at all you need to know about 80 X 20 aluminum extrusion.


What Alloy Is Used to Make 80 X 20 Frames


80/20 extruded frames are made from 6105-T5 aluminum, which is a tempered version of 6105. The latter is an aluminum, silicon, magnesium, zinc, and copper alloy with a yield strength of 35,000 psi. It is one of the rarest alloys in the 6000 series, usually produced via extrusion and heat treatment to create versions such as 6105-T1 and 6105-T5.


The former goes through a natural aging process and is mostly used in applications that require bending, whereas T-5 is aged artificially until it shows desired mechanical properties.


6105-T5 aluminum has similar tensile and yield strengths as 6061-T6 aluminum, even though the latter has more silicon. It also has better strength and machinability properties compared to 6063-T6.


It’s often extruded to create T-slot framing systems for applications requiring medium strength. Commercial welding or brazing techniques are allowed. You can also treat the frames with anodizing processes to improve appearance and corrosion resistance.


Benefits of 80 X 20 Aluminum Frames


80/20 aluminum frames are suitable for use in both construction and industrial applications. There’s no shortage of reviews praising the excellent heat and weather resistance, high strength-to-weight ratio, and recyclability of aluminum. It also has high mechanical properties and conducts heat and electricity well, making it suitable for various industrial applications, including solar panels, machine frames, workstations, benches, shelves, ladders, etc. Advantages of 80 X 20 frame designs include:




Of course, the thing that makes 80 X 20 frames popular among engineers, architects, and product designers is the modular design. You don’t even need special training to work with these frames. Thanks to the T-slots, you can connect the frame system to virtually anything, including other profile panels, casters, or linear bearings.


The T-grooves allow you to fasten various pieces together without the need for welding. This also makes it easy to disassemble and reassemble the design according to evolving needs. You won’t be forced to purchase new set-ups to keep up with changing demands.


Easy Assembly and Installation


You can use 80 X 20 extruded frames to set up your mechanical equipment quickly. You don’t need special skills or the help of professionals to work with these frames and assemble the structure you want. There are no intricate pieces and configurations to deal with.  Of course, this will save you time and the cost of hired labor.


Aesthetically Pleasing


T-slot frames have an aesthetically pleasing profile, making them ideal for making display racks, benches, shelves, workstations, and other interior design structures. Also, different manufacturers offer different surface treatment options, meaning you can choose polished or coated frames depending on your tastes and preferences. The supplementary processing techniques improve the frames' appearance and performance against hash environmental elements.


Fast Assembly


Anyone can assemble structures fast using 80 X 20 frame systems. T-slots and their hardware and connectors are designed to allow other profiles or panels to slide into place and attach via connectors and fasteners. You can add or remove profiles as you want.


Strong Structure


The alloy used to make 80 x 20 frames is strong. Even though it’s not one of those silicon-rich alloys, you can make it unbreakable and stubborn like 6061-T6 by producing it to T-5 temper for use in industrial applications requiring high strength. Popular applications that use 80 X 20 extrusions include:



Machine frames





Automotive connectors


How is 80 X 20 Aluminum Made


80 X 20 frames are extruded through the typical process of forcing heated aluminum alloy billets at extremely high pressure through a die to give it the desired cross-sectional profile. In this case, we use a die featuring a central bore and negative spaces, resulting in frames that feature T-shaped slots on the sides.


It’s standard practice to keep the T-slots 3.25 inches wide and 0.8 inches deep, but the central frames can be rectangular, square, or cylindrical.


We use 6105-T5 aluminum alloy because it has excellent strength and corrosion resistance properties. After exiting the die, the extrusion is quenched using fans or in a water bath. The reason for quenching is to allow the crystal structure to set in; otherwise, the frames will deform when cut.


It also allows the frames to gain good metallurgical properties. Once off the run-out table, the frames are cooled further and stretched to remove unwanted twists. We then cut them to desired lengths and apply various treatments to improve looks and corrosion resistance.


Choosing The Right 80 X 20 Frames


Just because the 80 X 20 aluminum series is easy to work with and compatible with other profiles and panels doesn’t mean you throw caution out of the window when shopping for these frames. 

Decide on a measurement system.

Consider the shape of the frame: square, rectangular, angled, or radius

Figure out how many open T-slots you want available

Pay attention to the frame's weight and strength

Prioritize compatibility with subsequent products, including fasteners and accessories.

Consider the color and surface finish

Consider the overall cost of the frame system


80 X 20 Frames Measurement Systems


Profiles produced through T-slot extrusions can be divided into two categories depending on the measurement system used.




Fractional T-slot extrusions use an imperial (inch) measurement system, resulting in about 57 profiles within the 10 - and 15-series aluminum series. The former comprises all 1”-based aluminum profiles, while the latter comprises profiles based on a 1.5” standard. These frames are useful when aligning or squaring corners and joints of structures during equipment assembly.




The 80 X 20 extrusion metric series is based on millimeter measurements and is available in 20mm, 25mm, 30mm, 40mm, and 45mm profiles. There are over 51 different profiles across this measurement range. You can tell which profile belongs in this category by simply checking the dimensions.


Indeed, the dimensions of the profile match with the series such that a 20 series profile has sides that measure 20mm by 20mm, a 25 series profile has 25mm by 25mm sides; a 30 series profile has 30mm by 30mm sides, and so on.


Usually, larger extrusions have various weights. Manufacturers can extrude out pockets down the length of the bar, resulting in light frames with less aluminum and less weight. These are useful in applications that don’t need great structural rigidity.  You can save some weight and some expense on your project by switching to a light or ultra-light frame.


What To Look for In An 80 X 20 Extrusion Company?


Not all providers of 80 X 20 extrusion services and products are the same; consider the following things before deciding on your purchase:



Inquire about the age of the company and their previous project to see if they have useful experience and solutions in the extrusion industry. It’s always easy to tell how good a company is by reading reviews left by past clients and also checking for certifications.


T-slot Compatibility


Prioritize T-slot compatibility with subsequent products, including fasteners and accessories. This is important for projects you plan on integrating into already-existing applications.


After Sale Services


What kind of after-sale services are available? Look for companies that provide free design and engineering advice to help you get your project up from the ground. It will be best if these services are free to avoid raising the cost of the project beyond the scope of your budget. 


Profile Pricing and Customization


Look for companies with competitively priced T-slots. Make sure the price you are paying matches the quality of the products you are getting. Also, ask about the possibility of customized services so you can get profiles that suit the requirements and needs of your project. Depending on the company policy, you may have to pay more for customized profiles.


Minimum Order Requirements


Some companies demand that orders reach a specific set magnitude before they can execute them, while others have no minimum order requirements. Find out what type of company you are dealing with lest you land in a waterloo.


Companies with minimum order policies are not beneficial for individuals or small businesses that simply want a small quantity of materials for a one-time project. Whether you are looking for a single piece of aluminum profile or fastener, look for a supplier that doesn’t require you to spend a particular sum before they take on your order.




80 X 20 extrusion is an aluminum profile known for its modular design that makes it possible to use different profiles, panels, and structures to bring a project to life. It can be used to make furniture, workstations, machine frames, display racks, robot parts, automotive connectors, guard rail parts, etc.


The extrusion uses 6105-T5 aluminum, which has strength similar to steel but weighs and costs significantly less. The frame features T-slots for easier attachment of other pieces without the need for welding or machining. 80 X 20 designs use fasteners, nuts, and locks to keep pieces together.


This modular design allows you to customize structures how you want by adding or removing different components. Anyone can use 80 X 20 extrusions to mix, match, and create custom solutions for their projects. Regardless of your project type, Weiye Group is with you throughout the journey.


Our technicians are keen to answering your queries, reviewing your proposals, and offering advice on your designs. With panel machining, custom machining, surface treatments, and building services, we provide convenient, easy-to-use products along with the services needed to amend your order to your exact specifications.  Give us a call to learn more about our extrusion services and solutions.