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What is a Purlin?


Purlins, sometimes known as roof battens, are secondary roof beams, the structural elements which run along the length of the roof between the primary roof beams or rafters which run up and down its slope.

Purlins are a fundamental feature of most pitched roofs, and the word is also used to refer to the secondary roof beams in flat roofs.

Purlins have historically been made of timber, and often were used in two sets, one below and above the rafters. In contemporary buildings, purlins are usually made from cold-formed steel, which is rolled by machines into the desired shapes (Z purlins and C purlins), or sometimes extruded aluminium.

Purlins transfer the structural loads of the roof, including the weight of any decking, shingles or tiles, as well as snow and wind loads, onto the rafters, thus reducing the need for as many rafters, and making the structure more efficient, as well as more stable through their cross bracing effect.

Eaves Beam

Metsec
The Metsec eaves beam is a purpose-designed profile for use as an eaves purlin, top sheeting rail and gutter support....

Z-Section Purlin

Metsec
Our zed purlin product range consists of a fully compatible range of Z-section profiles made from cold rolled steel in depths ranging from 142mm to 342mm deep. In addition, our zed section purlins come with a wide range of compatible accessories and can be sup...

C-Section Purlin

Metsec
Metsec offer a wide range of Z, C and Mezzanine floor sections designed to provide optimal levels of structural performance in roof, wall and mezzanine floor constructions....

Mezzanine Floor Purlin

Metsec
Metsec offer a wide range of Z, C and Mezzanine floor sections designed to provide optimal levels of structural performance in roof, wall and mezzanine floor constructions....

Heavy End Bay System

Albion Sections Ltd
Suitable on buildings of 5 bays or more, the heavy end bay system offers the economic solution for the larger, multi span type building. The system utilises the purlin continuity provided by the section or by the connecting sleeves, to reduce the gauge of the...

Albion Z Purlin

Albion Sections Ltd
Albion Z section purlin is manufactured by cold roll forming pre-hot dipped galvanised steel S450 having a guaranteed minimum yield strength of 450N/mm2 and a Z275 galvanised coating. Albion Z section purlins and rail members are designed for use as secondary...

C purlin - Purlins

Ruukki UK
Our pre-punched purlins are quick to install and suitable for both insulated and uninsulated roofs and walls. The thickness and height of the purlin selected depend on span length and loads. To optimise the design, use our PurCalc software....

Albion Sigma Purlin

Albion Sections Ltd
Development behind the Albion Sigma beam purlin has been to assist in combating rising materials costs with a lighter more efficient product. Whilst providing a cost-effective​ solution, the Sigma purlin is also designed in accordance with BS EN 1993-1-3:20...