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Salt spray test of fasteners for windows and doors

How can you be confident that the window and door screws you use every day will provide a high quality attachment, and stand up to the demands of constant use and harsh weather conditions? 

Fasteners may be the smallest component used in window and door manufacturing, but they are just as important as the glass, profile and hardware.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that any old screw will do because their unit cost is so tiny. The role they perform in creating top quality finished windows and doors is absolutely crucial!

Rapierstar fasteners are always put to the test

The need for confidence and long term assurance is why Rapierstar invests time and extensive resources in testing and product development. Knowing that you can trust your window screws is one of the cornerstones of fabrication quality, which in turn protects fabricator reputations and maximises profitability.

Our newly expanded, state of the art technical centre, which is part of the new Rapierstar learning and development centre, opens in 2022. This will be the fenestration sector’s leading resource for fastener development and testing, enabling us to collaborate even more with PVC-U systems companies and hardware manufacturers to continuously improve finished windows and doors.

Great skill and technical expertise is required to manufacture fasteners in huge volumes to a consistently high standard. In Rapierstar’s case, we have over 49 manufacturing and distribution processes for every screw. Keeping all these processes in check across eight main stages of manufacture is crucial to ensuring that fabricators can benefit from a reliable supply of top quality fasteners – and this can only be achieved by adopting a test and test again regime.

What types of tests does Rapierstar carry out?

All Rapierstar branded fastener batches are checked in the UK to assess the products’ suitability and quality – this involves eight main tests for every consignment of screws:

Checking long-term corrosion resistance

  1. Salt spray testing
    This test checks how the coatings and materials used in the product’s manufacture will withstand an accelerated corrosive attack, in order to predict how well it will perform in-situ.
  2. Depth of plating
    This must be sufficient to perform as promised and is checked using internationally accepted plating depth test equipment.

Checking for breakage potential

  1. Ductility
    Tested using calibrated test blocks conforming to acknowledged standards. Screws are only approved if no breakages occur and there is no sign of cracking.
  2. Torque
    The fastener’s optimal torsional strength and design specifications are checked to ascertain that the screw will not break, except under excessive forces.

Checking for fabrication safety and efficiency

  1. Dimensions
    Manufacturing consistency is monitored by checking fastener dimensions on every batch, including the depth of recess which is measured using finely calibrated dial indicator gauges. This ensures that the screwdriver bit fits perfectly for safer fabrication.
  2. Wobble
    Screws are tested for the extent that they wobble during insertion by using a certified plug gauge. The international recommendation allows for 12° of movement, but Rapierstar only accepts 6° of movement, making insertion and fabrication easier and safer.
  3. Speed of insertion
    Rapierstar also conducts a test for speed of insertion, done using custom designed equipment to ensure that the screws in every batch allow for fast, cost effective production.

Checking for hidden dangers

  1. Hydrogen embrittlement
    Every batch of electroplated carbon steel fasteners is tested to detect those that might fail after initial fixing due to 'hydrogen embrittlement'. If left unchecked, this could result in the screw breaking in-situ and costly remediation work.

In summary

Fasteners may well be a low unit cost component, but that should not make them a low priority when sourcing products. Rapierstar has an extensive testing regime in place because even the very smallest design or manufacture weaknesses in a screw can ultimately become the weakest link in your supply chain.

To help choose the right fasteners and use them in the right way to deliver high quality finished products in an efficient, safe and profitable way, Rapierstar offers fabricators a unique fastener Health Check. This starts with an in-depth audit on current usage and provides expert advice on how to improve performance, procurement and fabrication.

To arrange a fastener Health Check please contact us.


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Technical & Marketing Manager at Rapierstar 

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