Steel Channel is a Hot Rolled product (typically grade ASTM A36). When looking at a cross section it has a vertical web with horizontal top and bottom flanges. It comes in a wide varying range of sizes and web thicknesses. The shape of this type of product provides a great amount of structural strength, making it an ideal product for making frames and bracing. Typically it is used in the manufacturing of machinery, enclosures and vehicles. It is also used in the construction of buildings for structural support. The Structural Channel, also known as a C-Channel is distinguished from I-beam or H-beam or W-beam which has flanges on both sides of the web.
In the Canada and the United States, steel channels are commonly specified using the depth (in inches) and weight of the channel (in pounds per foot). For example, a “6 x 13” channel is approximately 6 inches in depth and weighs approximately 13 pounds per foot.
In the UK, steel channel (or C-section) can also be called parallel flange channel. They are measured very similarly to universal beams: the depth, the flange width and the kilograms per metre.
The only exception to the above method in channel measurement would be U-Channel or Bar Channel, which are measured by the depth, then the flange height, and lastly the web thickness. Dimensions in North America are typically in inches and in the UK, millimeters.