Metal Stud Nomenclature for framing in North America

metal stud naming slit track 600SLT250-43

In this article, we will delve into the components of the Metal Stud Nomenclature system and explain how it provides essential information about the stud’s characteristics. When it comes to constructing interior walls, ceilings, and partitions in buildings, metal studs have become a popular choice due to their durability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of installation. To facilitate the identification and selection process for builders, architects, and contractors, metal studs are named using a standardized convention in North America.

Standard Metal Stud Nomenclature

Graphic from knudsonmfg.com

Width or Web:A

The first part of the metal stud’s name indicates its width or web. This dimension is crucial as it determines the stud’s stability and load-bearing capacity. Common widths for metal studs include 2.5″, 3.5″, 4″, 6″, and 8″. The width is measured from the outer edge to the opposite outer edge.

Flange Size or Legs: “B”

Next, the name may include information about the flange size. The flange is the portion of the stud that provides a larger surface area for attaching drywall or other finishing materials. The flange size can vary, but popular options include 1.25″, 1.625″, and 2″.

Gauge (Thickness): “t”

Metal studs are available in different gauges, which represent their thickness. The gauge value is measured in mils, where one mil is equivalent to 0.001 inches. Common gauge options include 25, 20, 18, 16, and 14 gauge. The gauge affects the stud’s strength and load-carrying capacity, making it a vital factor in structural design.

Gauge Thickness (mils)
14 68
16 54
18 43
20 33

EQ Studs (Equivalent Gauge)

In some cases, the name may include additional information about the stud’s design features or special coatings. For instance, a metal stud may be named “EQ Stud” (Equivalent Gauge Stud) if its design allows it to have the same load-carrying capacity as a thicker stud of a lower gauge.

Example Metal Stud

Let’s take the example of a metal stud named “600S200-43” to understand its characteristics. In this case:

  • Width: The stud is 6 inches wide.
  • Flange Size: It has a flange size of 2 inches.
  • Gauge: The stud’s thickness is 43 mils (0.043 inches).
  1. A “600” refers to the width of the stud, also known as the web. In this case, it’s 6 inches (6″).
  2. Flange Size: “S200” indicates the flange size of the stud. The flange is the part of the stud that provides a larger surface area for attaching drywall or other materials. The “S200″ likely means it has a flange size of 2 inches (2”).
  3. Gauge: The gauge of the stud represents its thickness. “43” likely means it is 43 mils thick, which is approximately 0.043 inches (or about 1.09 mm).

Example Nomenclature for Metal track

So, the metal track named “362T200-54” is a metal track with the following characteristics:

  • Width: 3.625 inches (3 5/8 inches)
  • Profile indicator, “T” for track
  • Flange Size: 2 inches
  • Gauge: 54 mils (0.054 inches, also known as 16 gauge)
Metal Stud Gauge Colors

Metal Stud Gauge Colors and Thickness

Gauge Thickness (mils) Color
12 97 mils Red
14 68 mils Orange
16 54 mils Green
18 43 mils Yellow
20 33 mils White
20 non-structural 27 mils Pink
25 non-structural 25 mils Black

Cold-formed Steel Hat channel

Hat-Channels go by 087F125-30, were the 87 is the height of the channel. 125 is the width of the top of the hat. and the 30 is the thickness in mils.

Cold-formed steel slotted track

Slip track/Slotted track is named very similar to the regular metal stud track but instead of a S or a T the center letters are SLT. An example of 6″ slit track would be 600SLT250-43.

Slip track is used in metal stud framing to allow for vertical deflection of the wall. This helps to prevent cracking of finishes applied to the wall, such as drywall. In other words, slip track is used to prevent the wall from bowing or sagging due to the weight of the ceiling or roof above it. This is especially important in tall walls or walls that are located in areas with high winds.

Bridging Cold-rolled channel

150U50-54 is a typical bridging member name. The 150 refers to the width, which is 1.5 inches. The U refers to the U shape. The 54 refers to mils, which is a 16-gauge thickness. Bridging is run between studs through the service hole, which allows for a more rigid wall.

Resilient Channel

Resilient channel (RC-1) is a building material made of flexible metal used to improve soundproofing in walls and ceilings. It creates an air gap between the framing and finished surface (e.g., drywall) to reduce sound transmission. RC-2 has simply two wings.

Flat Strapping

Flat strapping is used in the same way as resilient channel is used for lateral bracing. A two-inch-wide 18-gauge flat strap would be named FS200-43. The width can range from 2 inches all the way to 16. The last type of flat strapping we use in our projects is FS750-43, which is 7.5 inches wide and used for X bracing.

Additional Recourses

Structural Metal Studs

Residential Metal Framing Kits

Drywall Metal Studs

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