What is PFC? Parallel Flange Channel Uses & Specifications

Also referred to as C sections for their shape, parallel flange channels (PFC) are general-purpose hot-rolled structural steel channels used in various structural and load-bearing applications, such as floor beams, portal frames, columns, and trailer frames. PFCs are most commonly used in conjunction with steel beams, universal columns, and other forms of structural steel like RHS, SHS and CHS.

a collection of different types of steel sections

Parallel Flange Channels in Construction

Used for construction support thanks to their excellent deflection resistance and strength characteristics, PFCs are available in various standard lengths for use in residential and non-residential construction, transport and mining infrastructure, engineering applications and manufacturing.

PFCs offer a flat, flush back surface for mating with other building materials and are typically narrower than universal beams of a similar depth. A PFC can be used for columns, as a lintel above doors and more traditionally as a roof truss support beam.

Windows and door frames

A parallel flange channel beam provides structural support for openings like windows and doors like lintels. Slid over the top of the opening to create a solid lintel, a PFC can offer greater long-term stability than timber alone.


PFCs are designed for load-bearing purposes, making them ideal for supporting roof trusses (a framework that supports something) or other roofing materials.


A PFC can be installed within wall frames to strengthen and increase wind load ratings where there are large architectural voids or high wind ratings.

Floor Joists

Similar to its ability to support walls and roofs, C sections can be welded to support general floor areas, like mezzanine levels and a majority of other floor applications.

Configuring Your PFC

PFCs are ordered by depth and width. Steel Builders PFCs can be configured to any length, finish, section and plate size and include holes or no holes, available in various locations. Simply choose the section needed, then select if you would like primed or galvanised and the beam length. You can then select the hole position, size and spacing if required. 

Sections sizes available include, 75PFC, 100PFC, 125PFC, 150PFC, 180PFC, 200PFC, 230PFC, 250PFC, 300PFC, 380PFC. 

You can place hole positions on the top flange, bottom flange, or web.

Fabricated Lintels

When a PFC is used as a lintel, a bottom plate is welded on to increase support. Steel Builders can supply a range of fabricated lintels, including Parallel Flange Channel and Plate (PFC+FL) and 150x100x10mm angle with a flat bar stitch welded to it for strength. The flat bar and angle are galvanised separately and then welded together to avoid bowing with the 150x100x10mm angle. 

Visit our product drawings and brochures page to download all the necessary information you’ll need

Australian/ NZ Standards

AS/NZS 3679.1:2010: Specifies the requirements for the production and supply of hot-rolled structural steel bars and sections. All Steel Builders hot-rolled structural steel bars and sections are produced in accordance.

Order Parallel Flange Channels from Steel Builders

Our parallel flange channels can be cut to length with drill holes for timber fixing, either primed in zinc-rich primer or hot dip galvanised. Suitable for various applications and supplied to Australian Standards, our PFC can be configured online. For more specific requirements, give us a call. 

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