While the fasteners on a project only account for a small percentage of the overall cost, the failure of a fastener due to corrosion can have major implications for everyone involved, from the initial specification to final installation. There is however confusion over which fasteners best guard against corrosion. So what is the difference between stainless steel and carbon steel fasteners?
Protection against corrosion
Carbon steel fasteners have no natural protection against corrosion. In order to guard against corrosion they must be protected with an anti-corrosion layer, such as paint or plastic films. These protective coatings only offer temporary resistance against corrosion and especially plastic moulded heads can be easily damaged during installation.
In a typical fastener application, an untreated carbon item would be rusty within a few weeks. However, if the fastener is zinc plated, 10 years would be a reasonable rust free life.
Austenitic Stainless Steel
Austenitic stainless steel fasteners have an inbuilt Chromium Oxide layer that seals the metal surface, dramatically reducing corrosion. They need no further protection in all but the most aggressive environments. Ensuring that you have specified the right fastener for the job can be tricky but by using stainless steel fasteners you are genuinely reducing the chance of corrosion and the failing of a building.
Our products use austenitic stainless steel to ensure that the buildings they are used on won’t fail due to corrosion. Austenitic stainless steel fasteners will give at least 25 years trouble free life for most applications. As with any building element, the quality of installation, local environment, suitability for the application and exposure to sunshine and rainwater will have an effect on the service life of the component. However, by specifying stainless steel fasteners you are ensuring that the integrity of the fasteners will be kept for the 25 year life cycle of the building, if not longer depending on the stainless steel grade.
SFS are the only EU manufacturer of stainless steel construction fasteners in various steel grades. We provide carbon, A2, A4 and A5 fasteners. We support architects in specifying the right product for the application and sustainability and aesthetic attributes required.
With this in mind, we have developed our range of A4 fasteners to achieve better corrosion-resistance and a higher warranty of up to 40 years. We work closely with OEMs to continuously improve and develop our range of fasteners to provide better security, installation and durability and protection again external building factors.
To find out about all the fastening solutions available from SFS intec, please download our 2017 Roofing and Cladding Catalogue.
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For a quote or support with product selection, please contact our UK sales team.