T-Slot Terms to Know

In the world of t-slotted aluminum framing, there are many terms that are specific to the material. With t-slot, three different things make up the framing system: extrusions (profiles), hardware, and accessories. Below we have listed t-slot terms in alphabetical order along with their definitions. 


Aluminum Alloy – a composition containing mostly aluminum with elements such as zinc, manganese, tin, magnesium, silicon, and copper.

Aluminum Extrusion – aluminum that has been pushed through a mold to form a specific profile. 

Anchor Fastener – a fastener used to join two t-slot profiles at right angles.

Anodizing – an electrochemical process that etches metal, allowing a pigment to enter the surface and then be sealed.

Button Head Socket Cap Screw – a BHSCS is a type of screw with a cylindrical head and hexagonal drive hole driven with an Allen wrench or hex key. 

Bushing – a metal lining for a round hole.

Fastener – a fastener used to join two profiles from end to end.

Caster – a wheel that can either be rigid or swivel that allows mobility for a t-slot solution.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) – a software that assists engineers in designing and calculating the load strength of t-slot solutions.

Clearance Hole – this is a hole that provides a fastener clearance.

Deflection – in engineering, deflection is the degree to which a profile is displaced under a load.

Deflection Calculator – calculates the approximate deflection of a profile.

Double T-nut – a t-nut that contains two threaded holes.

Drop-in T-nut – a type of t-nut that drops into the “T” channel at any point on the profile. These can come with and without flex handles, bearings, or set screws. These also come in Z-nut style.

DynaLift – a company that makes hydraulic lifts for a variety of applications, including t-slot.   

End Cap – a cover that goes on the end of a profile to captivate the piece, locking in the fasteners.   

End Fastener – a fastener that has a connecting slip and screw that allows for a hidden connection.

Extrusion – another name for a t-slot profile.

Flanged Button Head Socket Cap Screw – a flanged BHSCS that is driven with an Allen wrench or hex key. 

Fractional – inch measurement (imperial).

Glides – bolts directly to the profile and used in the “T” channel for doors and panels to move freely. 

Gusset – an angle bracket that is 45 degrees that are used to attach profiles at right angles.

HDPE – this is a panel material used with t-slot. It stands for High-Density Polyethylene. 

Leveling Base Plate – pre-drilled plate used to mount both leveling feet and floor anchor bolts to a t-slot frame.

Mesh Panel – a wire or plastic grid panel. 

Metric – measured in meters or millimeters.

Nylon – strong elastic thermoplastic material used in linear slide bearings and wheels.

Nylatron Roller Wheels – used for guided linear motion.

OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration which regulates the use of t-slot for machine guarding, stairs, and perimeters.

Panel Blocks – a mounting option that features an adjustable block to mount panels.

Panel Gaskets – used on one side of the panel to prevent rattling.

Panel Retainer – a retainer acts as an anchor to attach plastic or metal panels to profiles.

Pre-load – to pre-load means to put in all fasteners before captivating the ends.

Profile – a common name to describe t-slot extrusion.

PVC – Polyvinyl chloride is a coating used in lightweight mesh plastic sheeting.

Rollers – wheels mounted directly to the profile’s end or channel. 

Roll-in T-nut – roll-in t-nuts load directly into the face of the “T” channel.

Slide-in T-nut – a t-nut that slides in from the end of the profile    

Socket Head Cap Screw (SHCS) – machine screws with a barrel-shaped head with a hexagonal socket.

Stanchion – a frame forming support. With t-slot, stanchions are used to hold tubing for an additional axis. 

Tensile Strength – also called ultimate strength, is the ratio of maximum load to an original cross-sectional area. 

Tolerance – an allowable variation of an object’s weight or hardness.

Triple T-nut – a t-nut with three threaded holes.


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