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As we fast-forward into a new calendar year we are reminded that 2013 brings with it mandatory CE Markings for the products we manufacture and promote on the market in the European Economic Arena.
From a manufacturing perspective, we at EJOT view this as a positive advance. With the CE Mark on a product, the manufacturer ensures that the product is in conformity with the essential requirements of the applicable EC directives. The first step is gaining the appropriate ETA.
European Technical Approvals will change the way specifiers choose fixings. Out will go the sole reliance on manufacturer's data, generally based on testing criteria set in the country of origin.
The testing procedures, originally set by ETAG 020, for anchor types used in rainscreen installation are extremely thorough and designed to make sure that approved products will function efficiently in every possible application environment. Selection by software means every possible mode of failure is considered. The value of ETAs to the specifier and installer are significant.
From a manufacturer’s perspective ETAs are recognised through the EU, so specifications can be made in one country for physical construction in a different country - without fear of on-site variations, given that manufacturers installation instructions are also obliged to cover all possible scenarios.
Engineers can also identify the installed product from obligatory markings. Regular manufacturing assessment for CE marking, means that the combination of CE marking and an ETA on an anchoring product is in reality a quality mark.
EJOT began a schedule of ‘re-engineering’ for our SDF façade anchor, as far back as 2010. The objective was not just to gain the ETA - our development team was challenged to ensure ultimate performance when compared to other products available to the market. The aim was to develop a new set of unique selling points.
Development focused on the new anchor’s radial expansion capability, embedment depths, a collared flange for thermal separation, a double safety lock system to reduce torsional stress during installation and a two-tier threaded screw.
The re-engineered SDF now has a radial expansion of the sleeve that expands in four directions as opposed to two on its predecessor. When combined with the screws increased diameter, the result is an anchor with very high load bearing capabilities. This has also allowed considerable reduction of embedment depths. Reduced embedment depths without loss of performance means less drilling and installation time on site. Anti-rotation fins on the shank of the anchor sleeve prevent the plug spinning when the screw is tightened.
Available with an A4 stainless steel screw, extensive development of anchor variants mean we now have ETA for multi-substrate use, covering most solid and hollow materials including cracked concrete. The anchor’s hexagonal head is for fixing metal components in addition to the countersunk version for fixing to timber.
The choice of stainless steel fastener and fastener material can be made to seem more complex that it actually is...
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