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Structural member in a roof / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A purlin (or historically purline, purloyne, purling, perling) is a longitudinal, horizontal, structural member in a roof. In traditional timber framing there are three basic types of purlin: purlin plate, principal purlin, and common purlin.

A view of a roof using common purlin framing. The purlins are marked in red. This view is from the inside of the building, below the roof. The rafters are the beams of wood angled upward from the ground. They meet at the top of the gable at a ridge beam, which has extra bracing to attach it to the rafters. The purlins are the large beams perpendicular to the rafters; from this shot, it appears that there are three purlins on either side of the roof. The sheathing boards are sometimes called the roof deck and are painted white.

Purlins also appear in steel frame construction. Steel purlins may be painted or greased for protection from the environment.