Thanks to the
typically British weather, the increasingly popular application of
rainscreen cladding is consistently put to the test. However, many
contractors which have adjusted their businesses and skills in
order to take on the new application of rainscreen cladding, have
come across many installation challenges due to the major
differences to traditional metal roofing and cladding.
But, by removing some of the complexity of handling and
installation, from the design process through to its construction,
system and component suppliers are now taking rainscreen to the
next level and ironing out any existing imperfections.
I have compiled my top five innovations in rainscreen fixing
systems which are helping to ease the installation of this popular
1. Primary fixings for masonry substrates: Universal fasteners
cleverly designed for all masonry substrate applications eliminate
the risk associated with installing the wrong anchor. They feature
a unique 'fin' design on the fastener sleeve which gives additional
grip, preventing the fastener from rotating and providing high pull
out resistance in application. The unique collar design also
ensures "knock in protection", avoiding premature expansion of the
fastener which would ultimately lead to loss of function.
2. Self drilling fastener for aluminium subframes: For secure
fastening of aluminium to aluminium subframe components, look for a
self drilling fastener with a 6mm diameter body, as it will give an
increased shear load value over traditional rivets and fasteners.
With specially designed thread geometry, installation error is
eliminated as it prevents overdriving or unwinding due to dynamic
loading, and gives the user a quick and secure fixing.
3. 316, 316, 316: When specifying fixings for high design led
materials like rainscreen, they have to be grade 316 stainless
steel. It's worth paying a little bit more at the outset to ensure
optimum performance in all but the harshest chlorine environments.
This grade of steel will protect your build against corrosion from
class C1 - indoor, no environmental stress, right up to Class C5-l
- severe industrial environment and pollution. The large headed
rivet for example, gives long lasting, high performance attachment
to steel and other materials. With a 15mm diameter head and a body
and mandrel made entirely from 316 grade stainless steel, the rivet
will deliver high tensile value strength and prevent corrosion in
even pollution and coastal environments. And with the additional
benefit of colour matching the rivet head to the façade panel, you
can create a truly blended fixing design.
4. Panel fixing kit: A panel fixing kit is a must for every
façade installer - whether a professional or rainscreen newcomer -
as it incorporates a drilling tool with interchangeable
self-centring nosepieces. The kit ensures the installer will have
accurate hole centralisation on every face fix, allowing for
optimum build speed in even the most demanding façade designs.
5. The "blind" rivet: New innovations on the market are making
the invisible attachment of high pressure laminate façades much
quicker and increasingly error free. Unlike many screw type
fasteners available for this application, the new "blind" rivet
cannot be overdriven. The new mandrel design pulls back through the
body of the fastener expanding it radially, creating a hollow
fastener body. This ejects any moisture or debris collected in the
pre-drilled panel hole through the fastener and not the front of
the panel, leaving a perfectly smooth, dimple free panel front,
just as the design intended.
All good things take time to bed in, but now that rainscreen has
evolved, these new advancements will make things much easier for
the industry overall.