All posts by Charlie

5 Ways to Extend The Life of a Circular Saw Blade

Morse CSM14B

Tools are an investment, and you want to make sure you get the best return on your investment possible. Even after you purchase the tools, replacement parts can be costly. Over the course of a year, the expense of pieces like saw blades or grinding wheels adds up. As with all tools, maintenance and selection are key to minimizing the amount you spend on replacements.

In the case of saw blades, it is important to know that the blades made to cut through metal are more expensive than the circular blades that only cut wood. That is to say that not all saw blades are alike. For example, the Morse Metal Devil® metal cutting saw blade is able to cut through a solid steel plate that measures 6” x ¼” in less than 12 seconds. By following these simple tips, you can extend the life of your saw blades and lower the overall cost-per-cut.

Dry cut technology

When you have to use a lubricant or coolant on a blade, you run the risk of using too much and causing a build-up on the blade as well as the saw. This compromises the performance of both. However, it is important to make sure the integrity of the steel is not reduced through friction-related heating. Some saw blades, Metal Devil® included, are engineered to use dry cut technology. That means they can perform the task without creating too much heat and without the use of any kind of coolant. The blades you choose make a difference.

Correct application

It may be possible to pound a nail with a pipe wrench, but a hammer would do the job better and with more efficiency. Not all blades perform the same functions. Choose the proper blade design for the best performance. Know whether you will be cutting steel, thin steel, or aluminum before deciding which blade you need. Using an aluminum blade to cut steel will not provide the results you want and will wear the blade down prematurely.

Secure the material

Before you cut anything with a circular saw, clamp it down well to keep it from vibrating or spinning. Such motions create unnecessary, additional work for the blade. If you are cutting a tube, Morse has V-block clamps available.

Use the entire blade

Allow the blade to reach as far out of the saw as possible and use a straight edge of some sort to make the cut. This expands the surface area of the blade being used and spreads the work more evenly across the entire blade instead of just the edge.

Take your time

Allow the rotation of the blade to reach full speed before beginning a cut, and do not push (or add pressure to) the saw as it goes through the material. Take your time and let the teeth make the cut and pull the saw forward.

Whether you’re using your circular saw to cut steel for a building or to customize a solar panel mounting, get the most out of each cut by doing your part to prolong the life of the blade.

 

The Importance of Code Compliant Anchors

When you’re shopping for anchors, you may notice that many of them will say that they are “code compliant.” If you’re new to the world of purchasing anchors, you may not fully understand what this means, and the value of them.  To help you become much more knowledgeable about purchasing the best anchors on the market, we’re going to tell you the meaning behind “code compliant anchors.”

 

About Code Compliant Anchors

When someone builds a building, the builder is expected to make the structure as safe as possible. This includes every type of structure imaginable such as condos, malls, hospitals, schools, and more. During the construction, everyone involved in the planning and building phases must be sure they are considering the structural safety of the building. The point of this is to ensure that once the structure is complete, it is stable and strong to withstand damage and most elements.

To hold owners, engineers, contractors, inspectors and code officials responsible for the safe construction of structures, International Building or Residential Codes have been implemented. Currently, 49 states have these codes in effect.

In these codes, all individuals working on the planning, design and construction of structures must use code compliant items to remain within the parameters of the code. Those not using code compliant items can and will receive ramifications.

It’s important to know that in these codes, there are some structures in which you do not need to use code compliant anchors. This includes non-structural anchoring. An example of non-structural anchoring is drywall fastening. Since the drywall doesn’t directly affect the strength of the structure, the code does not require code compliant anchors.

What the code does make a point to advise people involved in structure construction is that anytime steel anchors and adhesive anchors must be used, they must be code compliant. While most of these anchors are compliant, you may sometimes find some that do not mention code compliance. When a product doesn’t say that it is code compliant, it does not meet the compliance standards. It’s best to always check with the manufacturer of the product or call the distributor with questions about compliance.  (Tanner Fasteners is always happy to answer code compliance questions for you).

It’s for the Best

The International Building or Residential Codes aren’t put into place to make your life more difficult or cause you to have to spend more money. They are enforced to ensure the safety of everyone living, working, or visiting newly built structures. When you think of the devastation of a building falling apart while people are inside, it can make you feel much more compelled to seek out the items under the code’s compliance guidelines.

At Tanner Fasteners and Industrial Supplies, we provide the best supply of code compliant anchors. We also have a wide selection tamper proof screws and grinding wheel. No matter the construction project you’re facing, we will do everything in our power to provide you with the supplies you need to get the job done quickly, easily, and safely. Call us today with any questions at toll free 800-456-2658.

Fastener Facts and FAQs

Keeping up with technology is a challenge. Each new gadget has a different feature than its predecessor, but who really knows the difference between the two? If you want to know the difference between the iPhone4 and the iPhone5, you ask someone who works for the company. If you want to know the pros and cons of HDTV versus 3D, you ask somebody in the television industry. If you want to know about construction fasteners, ask us. Below are some questions we are asked more often than others.

What type of screw gun should be used to install self drilling screws?

For optimal performance, the screw gun should meet the following characteristics:

  • 1800 to 2500 RPM variable speed
  • 6 to 8 amp motor
  • adjustable torque sensitive clutch mechanism
  • depth adjusting nosepiece

What is the difference between a self drilling screw and a self tapping screw?

Just because the names sound similar doesn’t mean they are one in the same. A self drilling screw is designed with a drill bit point. That special point helps to drill into metal without requiring holes to be pre-drilled. Primarily used for metal only, self drilling screws are also known as “tek” screws.

A self tapping screw, on the other hand, has a sharp point with threads and is usually designated as either type “A” or “AB”. (The difference between the two types is the thread size and pitch.) A self tapping screw carves its own thread as it’s being installed, similar to a tap. The difference lies in the fact that a self tapping screw, unlike a tap, requires a pre-drilled hole.

What is the difference between 304 and 316 Stainless Steel?

Not only does the shape of the screw, the style of the tip or the pitch of the threads matter, so does the material that makes up the screw. 304 Stainless Steel contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. Molybdenum (“Moly”) is added in the 316 Stainless Steel so the percentages differ slightly, with 316 containing 16% chromium, 10% nickel and 2% molybdenum. The purpose of adding the moly is to help the fasteners last longer by resisting corrosion to chlorides like salt water or de-icing materials.

What is a flat undercut screw head?

There are circumstances in which you need more thread and less head in a small amount of space. Flat undercut screw heads are supplied to allow more room on the body of the screw for usable thread. The head height of undercut screws is approximately two-thirds the height of standard flat head screws. Drive depths are reduced proportionately.

Is there a security nut available that cannot be removed?

Security fasteners protect property from theft and misuse. Security screws are constructed with specialty heads that prevent any unauthorized person (anyone without the proper, hard-to-obtain tool) from removing them. And, yes, there are security nuts, too. After tightening to the proper torque, the hex section of a break-away nut shears off leaving a conical nut that cannot be removed.

Abrasives FAQs

In the same way that not all fasteners are the same (self-drilling, nuts and bolts, security fasteners, etc.), not all grinding wheels are the same. All the differences raise any number of questions about our grinding wheels.

What factors should be considered when choosing a grinding wheel?

Before selecting a grinding wheel, you should know exactly what task you want to accomplish with it. Wheels vary in the following ways:

  • diameter
  • type of abrasive
  • optimal speeds
  • grit
  • wheel thickness
  • shape
  • grinding area
  • material

What are the different grinding wheel configurations?

Grinding wheels are categorized according to shape and purpose. These categories are called types and labeled with a number. Occasionally types are subcategorized, and the number is followed by a letter (Type 27A, for example). There are numerous wheel configurations, but the four most common are Type 1, Type 27, Type 28, and Type 29.

What are the applications for some of the different wheel shapes?

Type 1 is called a straight wheel because from the edges through the center, the wheel is a straight line. This is the type of wheel most people envision when they think of grinding wheels. Straight wheels differ from other types in that their grinding surface is the outside edge of the wheel. Because of the shape of the grinding surface, straight wheels may be used on cylindrical surfaces with a concave shape. Typically attached to a bench, they are also used to sharpen other tools. 

Type 27 is a depressed center wheel. As the name implies, the center of the wheel is lower than the rest of the surface of the wheel. This creates a larger grinding surface because the flat area of the wheel can be used without interference from the center connection. Type 27 is great for grinding flat surfaces or cleaning edges. 

Type 28 is a saucer-shaped wheel. It looks similar to the depressed center wheel except for the surface of the wheel is angled rather than flat. The angles make for easier visibility because the entire surface of the wheel is not being used at one time. Saucer wheels are helpful for corner and side grinding as well as de-burring work. 

Type 29 is a flexible wheel. As the name indicates, it is more flexible than the other wheels discussed so far. The flexible nature of this type of wheel reduces vibrations the user experiences, which, in turn, reduces user fatigue over long stretches of time. Flexibility also provides a closer fit for smoothing and grinding contoured surfaces.

Where is the best place to store a grinding wheel?

While most tools are typically stored in a garage, workshop or truck bed toolbox, it is best to store grinding wheels somewhere with a bit more climate control. Like paint, the bond that holds the abrasive to the wheels can become comprised at extreme temperatures or humidity levels. If the abrasive does not adhere to the wheel, the grinding function will be poor. Store your grinding wheels in a dry location with a fairly constant temperature.

Do I Really Need Special Fasteners for My Solar Panels?

Source: http://www.sxc.hu/profile- /hovard

 

Do you really need a lock on your door? Statistically speaking, depending on where you live, your lock may never be tested by a burglar. It may never serve its created purpose.  The greatest accomplishment it may boast is that it kept practical jokesters, like your fraternity brothers, at arm’s length. But should a thief or criminal try to open your door, whether or not you are at home, you will be glad the lock is there. The peace of mind is worth far more than the cost of the lock.  Some people go so far as to install an alarm system in their home, just on the chance somebody might break-in. They are not paranoid; they are protecting their investment. The same could be said of solar panel fasteners.

Solar panels provide a great return on the investment, but the initial cost can be sizeable. What if somebody decided to climb up on top of your roof and help themselves to your solar panels? In a day and age when thieves are brazen enough to steal copper tubing from church properties, it is not farfetched to think solar panels could be the next hot underground market item. If all it takes to protect your investment (and your peace of mind) is a specialty fastener, it makes no sense to use anything else. There are no guarantees in life, but you might as well make it more difficult for someone to take what rightfully belongs to you.

EJOT 3130851905 Solar Fastening System

Secure solar panel installation involves more than simply securing the panels to your roof. Truly secure installation includes methods that keep your property safe from thieves, too. Basic solar panel rack systems use regular, commercial hardware to fasten the panels to the racks. This means that anyone with a wrench the proper size could remove them. Security fasteners, on the other hand, require a special tool, making it more difficult for the average person to remove them without using something drastic like a grinding wheel to detach the panels. And any resident is sure to hear a grinding wheel being used on the roof.

When the philosopher, Socrates, was asked a question by one of his students, he typically responded with another question. The method came to be known as the Socratic method and is still used in educational circles today. So, to answer the question, “Do I really need special fasteners for my solar panels?” consider the following questions:

  • Does an automobile need a car alarm in order to function?
  • Does a house need dead bolts in order to be structurally sound?
  • Does your Wi-Fi need a password in order to connect to the Internet?

The answer, of course, is no. Your solar panels will collect solar energy whether or not they are installed with security fasteners. However, when you consider how the fasteners protect your investment, you quickly realize what a wise decision it would be to insist on them.

Benefits of Solar Panels

Solar panel. Source: sxc.hu

If you have been considering making the switch to solar energy but need just a bit more of a nudge, keep reading. There are numerous reasons to add solar panels to your home or business. Here are just a few of them.

Environmentally friendly

Using solar energy reduces the carbon footprint you leave on the planet. It means you no longer have to rely on electricity or natural gas to power your home. The sun will shine whether inhabitants of the earth use its energy or not, and it doesn’t cost a cent to collect its energy. Additionally, solar panels on your structure can also contribute energy to the surrounding community when you sell the excess solar energy to the local power company.

Save money/make money

Because you no longer need the services of the local energy companies, you save the funds you otherwise would have spent paying bills to those organizations. The other monetary benefit is that you will likely gather more energy than you can use, and you can sell the excess energy to the local company, reducing their dependence on other energy resources as well. In essence, you can save the planet and some cash at the same time.

Source: sxc.hu

Quiet energy

Generators, certain windmills and digging for natural gas all have something in common: they produce power… and noise. Another benefit of solar energy is that it provides energy without producing noise as a side effect. The sun makes no noise as it heats or lights, neither does it make noise when it provides energy for your home or business.

Increase property value

All the benefits of solar energy do require the installation of solar panels. Calculations reveal that it takes approximately 10 years for the panels to pay for themselves. Some argue that the investment is not worth it unless you plan to remain at the same residence for at least that period of time. However, what those individuals fail to mention is that the solar panels actually add to the property value of your home. So even if you don’t remain in the same location for 10 years, you still have the opportunity to recoup your expenses. All the while, the benefit to the environment is priceless.

Unlimited resource

The sun is in no danger of burning out. As long as it shines, it will continue to be a resource for power. Natural gas and fossil fuels can be depleted. There are very few resources that promise an endless supply. The sun is one.

Stable cost

Because the supply of other energy resources fluctuates, so does the price of those resources. This can most easily be seen at the gas pump. Since you don’t pay for the use of the sun, the price does not change. Its energy will be just as free today as it will be in 50 years.

Whether it’s solar panel mounting systems for your solar energy purposes or premium United Abrasives cutting wheels, Tanner Bolt has the supplies to help you get the job done.

It’s Not Rocket Science… But It Is Science

Those of us who work in construction may be respected for our ability to withstand weather and do manual labor hours on end, but rarely do you hear somebody reference our intellect. However, there is a science to what we do. It may not be rocket science, but it is science nonetheless, and the amount of science being implemented in the industry is steadily increasing. Consider what we’ve learned from past experiences with asbestos, lead paint and black mold. Degrees given in construction science are legitimate science degrees and should not be confused with engineering or architecture. Here are some other sciences you may encounter at the work site on any given day.

Geology

There is an old story that talks about a wise man building on rock, while a foolish man builds on sand. Geology matters because foundations matter. If the ground shifts, the structure of the building on top of it is compromised. Understanding different soil materials helps to plan a better foundation.

Construction Site. Source: http://www.stockfreeimages.com/

Physics

A construction site is a virtual laboratory for physics “experiments”. Hard hats are worn because gravity exists. Pulleys make for easier lifting. Just because the crane stops doesn’t mean the item it’s carrying does. Making allotments for buildings and pavement to expand and contract with temperature changes is also physics. Even construction fasteners have scientific merit. Because nails are smooth, there is less friction to hold them in place. Screws, on the other hand, create friction with well-made threads. If the threads crumble, so does the added friction.

Environmental

As we learn more and more about our impact on the environment, there are more and more requests for energy efficient building, solar installations and recycled building materials. This comes in addition to ensuring the construction site does not clog nearby drainage systems or inadvertently rupture a gas line.

Biology

Biology is the study of living things. Like it or not, living things include pests like termites. Knowing which locations are most susceptible and using building supplies and treatments to prevent future problems as much as possible will endear you to the building’s occupants.

Meteorology

Solar panel. Source: http://www.stockfreeimages.com/

You don’t have to know how to predict the weather to understand the damage it can do. Down burst winds, heavy snows, excessive rain, hurricanes and tornados may not be in the seven day forecast while you’re building, but there is a strong possibility any one of those events could occur in the future. To be a quality builder or contractor, you want your work to stand strong against whatever nature throws at you. When you choose solar panel mounting hardware, you want to select hardware that will secure the panels at the proper angles rather than settling for “good enough” and seeing your client’s solar panels fly across the road in a strong windstorm.

You may or may not have excelled at science when you were in school, but on the job, you understand the importance of scientific factors (even if you don’t call them scientific). Choosing the best fasteners is just part of your job.

The Difference is in the Details

Source: sxc.hu/gallery/nulus

To be the best at what you do, the difference is in the details. Some of those details are personal, like customer service and accurate estimates; some are skills, like certification, experience and knowledge; and some are the components you use to complete a job, like silicon carbide grinding wheels and specialty fasteners. It’s not uncommon to hear someone from an older generation to say, “They don’t make things like they used to.” While that is an accurate statement, it is equally accurate (with some items) to say, “No. They’re made better now.”

Technological advancements have occurred in industries outside of the Internet, computers, and smartphones. There have also been advances in tools and hardware for those whose work requires them to be away from a desk.

 

MAK TW1000 1″ Heavy Duty Impact Wrench

Power tools

From a hammer to a nail gun and from a screwdriver to a drill, power tools revolutionized the construction industry. When those tools could be used without being attached to an extension cord, it was that much better. Imagine the frustration of having a custom made piece of steel that was just a hair too long. Before, it would have to be taken back to the shop for grinding, but now construction sites have grinding wheels on hand to shave pieces to perfection and to smooth rough, welded edges after steel pieces are joined. Those small details save time and improve job quality.

 

 

Specialized screws

When nails were not enough in some instances, somebody came up with the idea to add ridges and make screws. Now fasteners come in all shapes and sizes, each having a different purpose. Security screws keep untrained individuals from tampering with panels or equipment they shouldn’t be, keeping them safe and ensuring that only a qualified worker has access with tools not found at the local hardware store. Wood screws are different than concrete screws, which are different than regular bolts. All fasten, but all do so in different ways. Those details provide a safer product and/or a more lasting hold.

 

AllFlex 302 Stainless Steel Fasteners

Fastening systems

Fastening systems could easily be considered a revolution of their own. There was a time when nobody had to think about how to hang a television on the wall securely or what it would take to keep solar panels on the roof in all kinds of weather conditions. As technology advances, so does the need for specialty hardware. In the case of solar fastening systems, there is a delicate balance between ensuring that a panel stays affixed to a roof during a major wind event and enabling the panel to easily be removed for cleaning or repair without compromising the hold. Additionally, the panels need to be placed at a specific angle on the roof for maximum efficiency. Fastening systems are precise pieces of hardware, and that precision is a detail that makes a difference.

 

Customers may never know the differences available among various pieces of hardware, and they may not concern themselves with the science behind screws, but they know when a job lasts, and they appreciate quality work.

Finding the Right Grinding Wheel

A24R Pipeline Industry

Grinding wheels are much like sandpaper. Depending on the task, there are many different types of grinding wheels, and each is suited for a particular task or tool. Grinding and cut off wheels from manufacturers like United Abrasives grinding wheels are designed for use in construction and metal trades. Surface grinding wheels are made from different materials and are more likely to be found on a stationary bench grinder or blade-sharpening tool than on a portable cut off tool. Below is a non-comprehensive list that describes the major categories of abrasive and surface grinding wheels.

Woven, Silicon Carbide Disposable Production Grinding Wheels.

Seen most often on 4 or 5-inch handheld grinding tools, these tough and durable abrasive wheels are the workhorse of the steelworkers and metal fabricators industry. Their woven silicon carbide materials is harder than ferrous steel, and will quickly and efficiently cut through steel, or grind off welding slag to leave a clean joint. Metalworking contractors use these 4 ½, 5 and 6-inch handheld grinding tools in the same way carpenters use their power saws and painters their paintbrushes.

The silicon carbide wheels are inexpensive and are designed as a disposable abrasive. As the wheel cuts or grinds steel, it loses some of its surfaces and abrasive characteristics. When the wheel is too small to be used effectively, the contractor replaces it with a new disk.

Fast Grinding Disks

Fast grinding abrasive disks, including aluminum oxide grinding wheels and zirconium grinding wheels, have a higher abrasive rating than other disks. These tools are designed for quick removal of surface imperfections on steel fabrications. Because of their highly abrasive rating, they are unsuited for applications where a smooth cut edge is desired.

Hard Edge Disks

Hard-edge grinding wheels by United Abrasives are impregnated with ceramic to create an even harder cutting edge. The hard edge disks are less abrasive than the fast grinding disks, but they last much longer. Hard-edge disks are suited for high carbon steels and stainless steel.

Soft Bond Disks

United Abrasive Soft Bond abrasive disks are designed to clear material from a work surface without becoming loaded with metal dust or ferrous debris. Soft bond disks will deteriorate faster than the disks listed above, but they are perfect for softer materials such as copper, brass, bronze, or other soft metals.

 

A24N

Surface Grinding Wheels

Surface grinding wheels are manufactured from composite stone abrasives rather than the fast cutting silicon carbide used in cutting and grinding wheels listed above. These wheels feature a different grain structure than the silicon carbide disk. These disks are manufactured for final preparation of a surface, or sharpening the edge of digging and cutting tools rather than removing metal from welded fabricated steel. Surface grinding wheels are more likely to be found on a stationary bench grinder than on a portable cut off tool.

Surface grinding wheels are also available in different abrasive strengths. Like sandpaper, disks that are more abrasive will remove material quickly, while the finer disks are more suited for finish work, such as putting a finely honed edge on a knife.

 

To learn more about grinding wheels, check out these other posts:

The DNA of a Grinding Wheel

How to Read a Grinding Wheel Label

Grinding Wheels for the Right Application

Saitech™ Pipeline Industry

United Abrasives is one of the industry-leading  manufacturers of grinding wheels and cut-off disks in North America. With a plant on the eastern seaboard, and warehouses in Ontario, Canada and Utah, USA, United Abrasives grinding wheels set the standard for reliability and durability for the steel and metal working industry. In the same way that a carpenter relies on their circular saw as an essential part of their tool box, metal workers rely in grinding tools and metal cutting saws which cut, grind and shape metals used in construction and commercial building fabrication.

United Abrasives main manufacturing plant is located in North Windham, Conn. This state of the art manufacturing facility is over 400,000 square ft, and has the capacity to supply products to the entire North American market.

Silicon carbide grinding wheels are used throughout the metal working and commercial construction industry. Metal fabrication is both a science and art, and the iron and steel workers together with the plumbers and pipe fitters rely on metal grinding wheels to complete their tasks. While steel used in building construction is manufactured to specific guidelines, the individual pieces of steel often have to be custom ground on the job site, before they fit together perfectly. Additionally, even when the steel members are perfectly shaped, after they are welded together, the metal welds are cleaned up by grinding off any access, so that the joint is ready for the next steps in the construction process.

C24N Concrete

Silicon carbide grinding wheels are also manufactured to different degrees of hardness. Each wheel has a specific purpose, and depending on the application, one grinding wheel works better than another.

  • Soft bond grinding wheels are designed for softer metals. The wheel is designed so that it doesn’t load up with metal as it’s used. Soft materials, like low carbon ferrous metals, will clog a standard grinding wheel and reduce its effectiveness. The Soft Bond wheel prevents the metal from building up on the grinding wheel’s cutting surface.
  • General purpose cutting wheels are the work horse of the industry. Perfect for harder, high-carbon  steels and pipes, general-purpose  wheels balance their cutting ability with material hardness. These wheels are often used for the pipeline industry.
  • Hard edge wheels wear more slowly, and are designed for even harder alloys and ferrous steel. Hard edge wheels are often used for cutting notches in existing metals, or final fitting structural steel on-site for custom welding applications. Metal workers replace hard edge grinding wheels much less frequently because of their improved durability.

Additionally, other specialty wheels are designed for concrete, and stainless steel work.  Concrete is soft, and cuts quickly, so depending on the tool, concrete cutting blades are often made of stainless steel with diamond cutting edges. Concrete grinding wheels are designed to quickly clear the material without loading up with debris.

Stainless steel cutting wheels are some of the most expensive grinding wheels. Stainless steel’s extreme hardness demands that the grinding wheels be even harder. These grinding wheels are often used as a final surface preparation, or to remove burrs from cut lengths so the stainless steel can be fabricated smoothly.

 

More about grinding wheels:

How to Read a Grinding Wheel Label

The DNA of a Grinding Wheel

Specialty Fasteners Simplify Difficult Installations

Flat Head Trim Fit UltraCon with White Stalgard Finish

When the industrial revolution transformed industry, manufacturers quickly designed universal fasteners which were suited for virtually every applications. A simple wood screw was used through the furniture industry, while fine threaded bolts and screws were used in metal product fabrication. Not until the end of the 20th century did manufacturers re-examine their approach to fastener design. Maybe it was advanced manufacturing methods or maybe someone in the field looked at a problem and designed a new, better mousetrap to solve an old problem. In any case, one of the most significant improvements in concrete fasteners in the last century is the concrete screw, or Tapcon screw.

Tapcon screws allow installers to drill smaller pilot holes than traditional shielded anchors. A Tapcon screw is manufactured from hardened steel, and features an abrasive, aggressive thread. Once a pilot hole is drilled, the concrete screw is screwed into the concrete with a power drill in much the same way a wood screw is fastened into wood. Quick and efficient, contractors use the tapcons to install low-load fixtures to concrete and cement block walls.

Installers must be careful with Tapcons, or they will create problems for themselves. First the tapcon hole must be drilled to the proper depth. If the end of the screw hits the bottom of the hole before it is screwed all the way in, the screw will likely ream the hole out, and not be able to grip the concrete.  Secondly, installers must use the correct diameter drill bit. If the hole is too large, the tapcon won’t grip the walls. If the hole is too small, the screw will bind as it enters the hole. In this case, a powerful drill will strip the head completely off the screw in just seconds, thus complicating the installation.

Solar panel mounting hardware – JA3 thread for wood substructure

Another application using specialty hardware is solar panel installation. With our nation’s push toward more green energy solutions, solar panels are being designed into new building energy systems, and are typically mounted in multi-panel arrays on the building wall or roof planes. The individual panels are held into the arrays via custom solar panel mounting hardware. When mounting a solar panel array, the fastener needs to create a ridged structure, but also allow for the panel to be installed and removed for inspection, maintenance and repair. For new buildings, or retrofit installations, the solar panel mounting hardware is designed as a single fastener that screws or threads into the building’s structural shell and then allows the solar panel to be mounted to the end of the fastener which is still exposed to the exterior.

When solar panels are mounted to a building’s roof, these specialty fasteners firmly attach the panels to the roofing system and allow for quick and seamless installation of the panels at a later date. For new buildings, specialty fasteners are recommended which fasten the metal roofing systems to the building’s framework and at the same time provide the studs to which the solar panels mount.

When designing a solar panel installation, make sure to research the installation options ahead of time.  A proper installation requires the right fastener and proper preparation and planning.