Tag Archives: specialty fasteners

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.

Specialty Fasteners Improve Job Productivity

My old bike

When I was young, I bought my first bicycle from a friend at the end of the block. It had been sitting in their backyard for a few months, and I don’t think I could describe all the things that were wrong with it.  To add to my dilemma, I didn’t have a tool box or wrench set to my name, and my Dad was in the habit of keeping his tool boxes locked, or hidden in the garage. Before the summer was over, I learned to repair almost anything on that ten dollar bicycle with a hammer, a pair of vice-grip pliers, and a large screw driver that I borrowed from Dad’s tool box when he wasn’t looking. I wasn’t very efficient, but at least I could change a flat tire, or adjust the seat and handlebars.

Unfortunately, the professional repair technician is often faced with the same dilemma when he is in the field. How often does a technician or contractor roll up on a job, and have the wrong tools and inadequate fasteners to complete a project efficiently, and with equipment that will stand the test of time?

As manufacturing moves away from one-size-fits-all approaches to the products they manufacturer, and becomes more segmented, specialty fasteners are becoming more common place. In the same way a contractor wants to have the right tool for the job, projects are becoming increasingly tied to having the right fastener as well as the right tools.

Rivets

Marson blind rivets are a perfect example of an older fastening device that has been redesigned for today’s construction industry. Standard rivets used in metal fabrication are short pieces of steel which are put through holes in two pieces of metal, and then both sides of the steel bar are pounded over into mushroom-shaped heads. The joint is reliable, and the metals pull themselves together.  However, when only one side of the material is available, a blind rivet is the perfect adaptation of this device.

A blind rivet features a hollow, soft metal sleeve with a stiffer shaft inserted into the center. The rivet is pushed into the holes in the fasteners and then anchored in place with a specialized tool. Once the blind rivet seats itself, the center shaft snaps off, leaving a strong metal-to-metal joint that is unaffected by vibration.  Some of these fasteners feature threaded rivets. Once the rivet is fastened in place, a machine screw or stove bolt can be inserted. This fastener is the perfect solution when a threaded hole is needed in a piece of sheet metal.

Torx plus security screw

The Torx head fastener is one of the most innovative products in the last 20 years, and now Torx head fasteners are used in manufacturing and assembly plants around the world. This fastener is perfectly suited as a security fastener, and with a small change, Torx pin head security screws allow technicians to install equipment in public places with assurance that neither their fasteners, nor their equipment will not be tampered with.

Specialty Fasteners Save Time and Money

If you are a maintenance technician or installation contractor, you know the value of specialized security fasteners or self drilling screws.  Although these fasteners cost a bit more when you pick them up at the local supplier, specialized security fasteners speed up a job, saving the contractor and the project owner both time and money.

One of the recent applications of self drilling screws is in the area of steel stud construction. In the past, commercial buildings and homes were constructed entirely of wood studs and structural members. In the 1980’s and early 1990’s, because of the abundant supply of scrap and recycled metals, steel studs entered the market at competitive prices, and they feature a number of competitive advantages.

Steel studs are lighter than traditional wood framing materials. They don’t have to be drilled for access holes for electrical and plumbing, because the wide side of the stud is already designed with access holes. Installation contractors cut steel studs with a tin snip they carry in their tool belt rather than high power circular saws. Steel studs are fastened together with sell drilling screws, that are both lighter and less expensive than 3 ½ inch long spike nails.

Steel studs are only one application for self drilling screws. Any sheet metal fabrication project is faster and easier with using a self drilling screws, and self drilling screws are used extensively in manufacturing. The screw serves as its own drill bit. Thus the installation contractor can insert the screw in one step, instead of two.

Another important fastener for commercial and industrial contractors are tamper-proof screws and anchors. Often seen in public bathroom stalls or other building projects used by high numbers of the general public, the heads of a tamper proof screws are custom shaped so that both installation and removal requires specifically manufactured tools.

Tamper proof screws originally appeared in the marketplace as a modified slotted screw. The head of the screw was shaped so that it could be turned into place, but it could not be removed by a standard flat head screwdriver. These fasteners could only be used once, because removing them from the wall usually destroyed the fastener’s appearance.

Today, with the wide acceptance of Torx and square drive style fasteners, tamper proof fasteners have been redesigned. These fasteners are called pin-head security fasteners. In the center of the Torx, or Square slot is a small pin. Installation contractors must have a specialty designed tool to install, or remove this fastener.

So when you are looking for a supplier for industrial tools and fasteners, make sure you select a supplier that can ship the right part the first time, and on time. You will want to find a partner that can provide a wide selection of parts, grinding wheels, and the tools which go with them. Another advantage for the installer is finding a partner company that can provide all your specialty fasteners and tools from one location. Maintaining an efficient and profitable shop is much simpler when you can go to one supplier and order all your regular shop supplies. Picking a partner who will ship quickly, reliably can help your shop run smoothly, which creates satisfied customers, and a growing business.

Find a reliable vendor for your specialty fasteners

If you are a maintenance technician and serve commercial or industrial clients, some of the most important parts and tools, which you use every day, can be the hardest to find.  When a service technician arrives on a job site, nothing slows down a project, and therefore eats away a company’s profit margin, like having to leave a job site and run around town, looking for hard to find parts. So when you need to stock up a truck with commercial and industrial tools and fasteners, look for a supplier that can provide a wide range of equipment and fasteners with a single order.

One of the most important fasteners for commercial and industrial installations are tamper-proof screws and anchors. Used most often in public bathroom stall installations, the heads of a tamper proof screws are custom shaped so that both installation and removal require specifically manufactured tools.

Tamper proof screws originally appeared in the marketplace as a modified slotted screw. The head of the screw was shaped so that it could be turned into place, but it could not be removed. Removing these fasteners required a vice grip style locking pliers that would grip the screw head by clamping onto the outer edge.  These fasteners could only be used once, because removing them from the wall usually destroyed the fastener’s appearance.

Today, with the wide acceptance of Torx style fasteners, tamper proof fasteners have been redesigned. Torx head tamper resistant screws are made with a modified Torx style head. The screw can be installed, removed and reused when the installer has the correct tip for his cordless drill.

Another highly useful and disposable tool for commercial install and repair contractors are grinding wheels.  These round abrasive wheels attach to drills and grinding tools are indispensable in many settings.  Grinding wheels are used to clean off debris or rust scale from parts, or cut fasteners which are sealed in place by rust. In a commercial setting, plumbers, masons, framing contractors, steel workers and repair persons regularly rely on these tools.

Just like a drill bit or wood saw blade, the friction that the wheel creates during use slowly wears away at the abrasive characteristics, and the physical size of the tool As a result, these tools are disposable. In a heavy use setting, a contractor can wear out two or three grinding wheels in a week.

So when you are looking for a supplier for industrial tools and fasteners, make sure you select a supplier that can ship the right part the first time, and on time. You will want to find a partner that can provide a wide selection of parts, grinding wheels, and the tools which go with them. Another advantage for the installer is finding a partner company that can provide all your specialty fasteners and tools from one location. Maintaining an efficient and profitable shop is much simpler when you can go to one supplier and order all your regular shop supplies. Picking a partner who will ship quickly, reliably can help your shop run smoothly, which creates satisfied customers, and a growing business.