Are steel prices making strut too expensive?


Over the last 12 months, steel prices have been incredibly volatile, and the price increases seen in 2020 were unprecedented. According to structural steel specialist Billington, prices will continue to climb in 2021. This is having an impact on budgets and costs for plumbing and heating engineers who often use 41×41 slotted channel for their installations.

How much steel is used to make 41×41 channel?

41×41 strut channel is made with around 2.5kgs of steel per metre. So a typical 3m length would use around 7.5kg of steel. Whilst this makes for a strong piece of channel, it is significantly more steel than is required to support most standard heating and plumbing installations. With 7.5kg of steel in a 3m length, it also means when steel prices rise, the price per length will also increase quite significantly.

Are there alternatives that use less steel?

In short, yes there are! And now could be a good time to consider switching to a smaller strut profile  for plumbing and heating installations. Walraven’s RapidRail® WM15 channel is a 30×20 c profile slotted channel which has been tested and proven suitable for installing heating and plumbing pipes, cable trays, ventilation ducts and more. Load tables are available to prove the strength of the rail.

RapidRail® uses only 0.76kgs of steel per metre, making it 1.7kg lighter per metre than traditional channel. If you use 6ms of channel for an install, that’s only 4.6kgs of steel using RapidRail® WM15 versus 15kgs of steel using 41 x 41 strut. You can quickly see how the reduction in steel would add up on a large installation.

How much money can I save using a lighter channel like RapidRail®?

RapidRail® can be purchased for about half the price of 41 x 41 channel per metre, simply because of the reduced amount of steel used to make the product. If you use strut regularly, it’s clear how the savings could add up. Note: price check took place on 31st May 2021 and could be subject to fluctuation. Prices can also vary between merchants.

It’s not just about the price! RapidRail® is an all-round cost-effective solution

RapidRail® strut channel is available with fast-fit, pre-assembled slide nuts which means you can save hours of fixing time compared to using loose nuts, bolts and washers. Simply push and twist the pre-assembled nut into the channel and tighten in place. So there are also potential savings in labour time and costs on your project.

It’s better for the environment too!

On average, 1.9 tons of CO2 is emitted for every ton of steel produced making steel production a major contributor to global warming adding over 3.3 million tons annually to global emissions. So using a product with less steel will help towards reducing global annual steel production and harmful CO2 emissions.

Is it time to make the switch?

Find out more about RapidRail® including testimonials from installers already using the product. You can request an information pack from us which includes a small demo sample so you can see the quality of the channel and test out the time-saving pre-assembled nuts.

Find out how to save with RapidRail®