PFCs – What Are Their Uses?

Parallel flange channels stored on top of each other in a pile


Parallel flange channels or ‘PFCs’ or ‘C section’ as commonly referred to within the construction industry, are C-shaped channels frequently used within civil engineering and construction buildings to offer structural aids for floor joists or columns as they are essential steel items to obtain a sound load-bearing profile. Made from hot-rolled structural steel, PFCs can come in various sizes with varying dimensions and thicknesses that can be sized to meet specific project requirements.

PFCs contain a cross-sectional shape which is what allows this type of channel steel to be able to bear a significant amount of weight without giving way, which is why they are so popular within construction and civil engineering applications.


What’s The Difference Between A PFC And Other Beam Types?

A PFC is a form of steel beam and is similar to other types of beams commonly used for structural supports, including RSJ beams and universal columns. All offer great levels of structural integrity but what differs between the PFC and the other two beams is the noticeable C-section appearance and load-bearing capabilities. For each normal-size beam product, their different sections will vary with different flange and web thicknesses which is what allows engineers to determine which beam will be best suited for different parts of the project.


Steel PFC centred with a white background

What Are Their Uses?

As we have discussed, PFCs are used in a number of different structural engineering and construction applications. The most common uses for PFCs are:

Floor Joist Support

PFCs can be adapted to provide extra support to different floorings, including mezzanine floors. Steel specialists, including us here at South West Steel Supplies, will be able to weld a PFC so that they will be able to support nearly all kinds of floor applications.


Used for a number of different roofing applications due to the structural integrity within a PFC, PFCs help support heavy load-bearing roof decks and can be applied to act as reliable trusses.

Wall Structures

PFCs are used to create structural stability for wall structures when two channels are placed on either side and bolted together.

Windows And Doors Frames

PFCs are used for windows and door frames due to their structural properties and are used to create a solid lintel when slid over the wall where the window or door frame lies.


How South West Steel Can Help

If you would like to find out more about the uses of PFCs, then contact our team of steel experts today. We also supply a quality range of parallel flange channels that we can cut to measure and deliver throughout the South West of England.


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