A hat channel is similar to a C channel, except it has edges that form the “brim” of the hat. These channels are often used in construction applications to create space between two materials or create a piece that new materials can be fixed to. The space created by hat channels can help to reduce dampness and make room for insulation.
One example of this use would be the installation of siding on a new concrete building. Workers would attach hat channels vertically at regular intervals along the wall, like studs, and then attach the new siding directly to these hat channels.
Hat channels are almost always made out of metal, and aluminum is a popular choice because it is light and strong, so it can be easily installed during building projects without compromising quality. Hat channels are manufactured in metal fabrication shops by professionals who design, engineer and then manufacture them based on standardized or custom specifications.
Cold roll forming is used in some plants to slowly press the metal into the hat shape without heating it up, while other fabricators use a traditional mold at high temperatures to form the metal into the correct shape.
Some manufacturers, particularly larger industrial ones who create hat channels for major clients, will offer a team of in-house engineers who can design custom hat channels to meet a particular set of building specifications. The engineering team will then work with the production managers to establish an efficient process for building these custom hat channels with their equipment.
Process optimization is very important for speed and cost control. After manufacturing, hat channels are quickly distributed to suppliers and tradespeople to be used in building projects of all sizes. Because they are light, hat channels can be shipped via truck or train in very high volumes, making purchases convenient for large construction firms.
Hat Channel Informational Video