Different Types of Stainless Steel Channels

PUBLISHED 15 June 2017

Stainless steel is most commonly used in the construction industry due to its strength and durability. So stainless steel channels can offer many advantages to a steel construction.

stainless steel channels come in different shapes

Benefits of Stainless Steel Channels

These advantages do not only include an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. Stainless steel channels also have the ability to both join metals together easily and to form efficient shapes. Stainless steel should also be corrosion resistant for a specified application. This also keeps the environment green. So the selection of a particular shape and grade must initially meet the corrosion resistance requirements. One may also need to consider additional mechanical or physical properties. Hence, it can achieve overall service performance requirements.
Structural steelwork is generally used to form a skeleton frame of a building or other built asset typically consisting of columns and stainless steel beams, which are riveted, bolted or welded together.

The Industrialized Solution

At Montanstahl, we have more than 30 years of industry and production experience. So we can supply high-quality special stainless steel profiles and also a large selection of standard stainless steel structurals. Stainless steel channels come in many sizes but we focus solely on stainless steel grades, producing structural profiles by using highly automated hot rolling mills and laser welding lines in different locations.

Stainless Steel Channels in Europe

UPN  – European Standard

UNP and UPN stands for standardized stainless steel channels
UPN or UNP is the short form for standardized stainless steel channels and UPN in stainless steel are used in all kinds of industrial applications, machinery and equipment building. The use of stainless steel channels is characterized by high design flexibility and by fast and cost effective construction (through the possibility of prefabrication in the steel production). Stainless steel channels are produced mainly from scrap and can be recycled again after utilization so new resources can be conserved. Commonly known as ‘U channels‘, the construction industry uses them a lot.

UPE  – Parallel Flange Stainless Steel Channels

UPE - stainless steel channels with parallel flanges
UPE is the short form for stainless steel channels with parallel flanges. They also provide an interesting alternative to the UPN series.
The UPE profiles have thinner material thicknesses, but slightly wider flanges than the UPN profiles. However, their static values are quite comparable.
Due to the characteristic of the UPE channels, architects and engineers are able to reduce weight by nine percent when calculating around the strong axis. Furthermore, weight can be reduced even 24 percent when referring to the weaker axis.
Using UPE profiles results in weight saving up to 30 percent by keeping the same static conditions.
The new UPE series matches perfectly with the dimensions of the IPE series.

UPA  – Parallel Flange Stainless Steel Channels

UPA is another group of stainless steel channels with parallel flanges
UPA is short for a further group of stainless steel channels produced with parallel flanges. In comparison to the UPE series, flanges and webs have the same material thickness.

UPA channels are a cost efficient alternative for a wide range of applications, although they achieve lower static values than the UPE. This counts even at equal profile height thanks to a low weight per meter. In addition, stainless steel channels with parallel flanges are much easier to assemble. No conical flat washers have to compensate the natural conicity of the UPN flanges.
Parallel flange stainless steel channels are one of the most effective forms of structural steelwork. Columns, lintels above doors or even as a beam supporting floor joists commonly consist of them.


For all three types, according to EN 10088-3: 1D the following austenitic grades are predominantly used for stainless steel structurals: 304 (1.4301), 304L (1.4307), 316 (1.4401), 316L (1.4404) and 316Ti (1.4571).
For those material grades the channels are available from stock. In addition we can also produce c-channels in special grades: like duplex or ferritic stainless steel. Tailored stainless steel channels can be realized on demand.

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