What are purlins?

Back to blog

Do you want to ensure your next construction project is reliable and long-lasting? For structurally-sound roofs, you want to use purlins. But what exactly are purlins, and what kinds are available?

What are purlins and why are they important?

Purlins are essential construction components, particularly when it comes to roofing. These horizontal beams are usually supported by rafters or building walls and support the roof deck, which is laid upon them.

Purlins have the capacity to hold roofing sheets, cladding and insulation, all of which slot into the steel beams.

As they need to bear great weight, it’s vital that purlins are structurally sound.

As well as being an important part of roofing construction, purlins are also incredibly versatile and multi-purpose. You can use them for flooring, wall support, aesthetic finishes on window trimmings and door frames. For instance, purlins are ideal for constructing mezzanine flooring to add additional space without carrying out any major construction work.

What are the different types of purlins?

Purlins come in a variety of materials and shapes to suit different building requirements. Here are a couple of the most popular purlin types:

  • Timber purlins: Timber purlins are the most common material used in property or interior projects for their wood finish. While they offer an appealing aesthetic, it’s worth noting that timber purlins can be susceptible to rot if they are not fully dry before installation.
  • Steel purlins: Steel roof purlins and galvanised purlins are used for their strength, durability and cost-effectiveness. This type of purlin can safely withstand heavy loads and high pressure and are able to support metal sheeting. They are the most popular type of purlin for the construction of large projects or high-rise buildings. In fact, steel purlins are the reason skyscrapers and warehouses are able to stand so tall!

Purlin shapes

Depending on your needs, you can also find steel purlins of different shapes. By using hot and cold steel pressing processes, manufacturers can mould purlins into the following shapes:

  • C purlins: These purlins are set in a square ‘C’ shape commonly used over walls, floor joists, rafters, and studs for walls.
  • Z purlins: These purlins resemble the letter Z and are used for their efficiency at overlapping a joint.

Does your construction project require purlins?

Construction with purlins guarantees a structurally sound building for years to come. They are a wise choice for your upcoming building investment. You only have to take a look around a warehouse or stable to see how essential purlins are for creating a building structure.

At Rhino, we take the edge off the installation process. Fixing purlins has never been easier for you or your business. With a range of C and Z purlins in a variety of thicknesses, we can manufacture to your exact lengths and requirements. We supply un-drilled purlins or those with pre-drilled holes at 18mm (or smaller) depending on your needs and preferences.

Whatever your purlin requirements, we can help. Why not contact us today for more information and to discuss your project? Alternatively, you can simply order your purlins online.

8 Reasons To Use Corrugated Metal For Your Roof

Corrugated roofing sheets are an affordable and sustainable option for replacements and new builds.

Read More

What are Fibre Cement Sheets and why should you use them?

Planning a refurbishment? If you are upgrading your roof, you might want to consider fibre cement sheets.

Read More

Where Can Roofing Sheets be Installed?

Roofing sheets are versatile, hardwearing, easy to install and can be used just about anywhere.

Read More