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?
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 can be easily damaged, especially 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 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. For swimming pool roofs, we recommend A5 fasteners for additional security due to the extreme corrosive environment. 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.
The decision to move away from injection moulding to powder-coating fasteners was taken about 20 years ago by SFS. In the 1990s, the plastic moulded inserted heads were perceived as big and bulky and production volumes for all suppliers reduced considerably.
Using state of the art powder-coating, SFS resolved the issues presented by dated plastic moulded heads or push on caps. It is now seen as the modern, more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional wet painting, producing a more aesthetically-pleasing product with a better warranty on colour stability. The powder-coating helps prevent galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals and rust, resistant to lubricants, fuels, hydraulic fluids and most commercial solvents. It's durable and complies with major OEM specifications. The finish can be applied to a wide range of metals and components and is suitable for both internal and external applications, it is this diversity that is seeing a rapid growth in the demand for powder coatings, combined with the development of new materials, formulations, equipment, and applications advancements.
SFS provides innovative mechanical fastener solutions for all flat roofing substrates, plus installation tools that ensure correct fixing and reduce installation costs compared to traditional adhered products.
The new field-fastening system, isoweld® works with induction technology and is non-penetrating. Secure attachment is achieved through the welding of the membrane to a dedicated stress plate, independent of the membrane overlaps. The complete system is rounded off with a comprehensive support package. More than 3million m2 of flat roof membrane has been successfully installed with isoweld® to date. Our Application Technicians can support you with wind load calculations and onsite pull-out testing.
More information can be found in the Building Envelope section of this website.
SFS supplies the widest range of innovative, high performance, roofing and cladding self-drilling fastener systems in the UK. Products are CE compliant and can be locally powder-coated in a huge variety of colours to complement any building design whilst ensuring performance and longevity. The range includes self-drilling fasteners, blind rivets, accessories and installation tools for single and twin-skin cladding systems, standing seams, composite panels and metal and non-metal rainscreen panels.
Recent growth in the wider use of decorative façades has resulted in huge innovation growth adding a new range of specialist fasteners for Rainscreen and Façade systems. Offsite manufacture continues to drive out cost using the latest in labour saving high performance fastener solutions.
More information can be found in the Building Envelope section of this website.
In 2016, SFS Group acquired Ncase Limited, the leading supplier of subframes for rainscreen cladding based in Welwyn Garden City in the UK. Ncase develops, produces and markets high-quality cladding subframes under its well-known brands Nvelope and Kladfix.
Nvelope brackets, rails and carriers have achieved full British board of agrement (BBA) certification and are manufactured under the ISO 9001 quality management system. The Nvelope system is safe, economic and effective. Rail lengths are optimised (off site, cut to length) and with split boxes to supply precise numbers of brackets required, when they are required. Anodisation and Polyester Powder Coating are available for both brackets and rails. Nvelope content is BIM level 2 compliant.
Easy to specify – our rainscreen cladding systems are available as NBS plus specification clauses and with autoCAD files. Optimised system and rail layouts with specialist engineered solutions. Project vision and transparency provided through our support service (static calculations, thermal values and M2 budget pricing). We are versed in supporting most key façade manufacturers' materials. We always aim to hold extensive stocks of our brackets, rails and accessories – which means stock allocation is always available to get a project underway.
For more information, visit www.nvelope.com.
The innovative fall protection systems developed by SFS protect people who work at heights. The easily-fitted systems are suitable for all conventional roof structures. Alongside the horizontal safety systems, SFS also offers overhead cable safety systems as well as a solution for vertical applications and single anchor point systems.
Our industry-leading Horizontal Lifeline System allows users to safely work at height without restrictions to their movement. Fitted to the outer roof skin, the system uses innovative shock-absorbing technology to spread and dissipate the shock load of a multi- or single-user fall, protecting both users and the roof structure.
The range also includes the Vertical system, the Overhead system and the Single Anchor Point.
For further details, including product information, testing and approvals and BIM downloads, visit the Fall Protection section of our website.
SFS has been manufacturing high performance door and window hinges in Europe since 1980 and offers one of the industry’s most advanced hinge ranges to suit PVC, composite, timber and aluminium entrance doors and internal doors for both the residential and commercial sectors.
Engineers at SFS develop solutions to meet the high expectations of final customers and architects, often bespoke to specific customer needs. Our portfolio includes the following ranges: the Dynamic 2D, 3D and Estetic 2D for both entrance and interior PVC, composite, aluminium or timber doors, the W-Tec 3D+ Concealed hinges created for designer interiors, the pivot CAB-R hinges, the ‘invisible’ CIR, the Easy 3D recessed hinge for entrance doors, the flush-mounted Just 3D and the JB-D system for adjustable window installation in thermally insulated wall structures.
While the high quality of our hinge range is valued by leading window and door producers, other key features such as their high load bearing, easy adjustment features and their “fit and forget” reliability are greatly appreciated by installers too. Aesthetics is also a key range feature that is increasingly important for architects, fabricators and customers alike and our range is available in a wide range of standard colours.
For more information, visit our Fenestration section of the website.