IN DEPTH: FASTENERS

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Concrete fasteners also are growing, Ruch says, with USP relaunching its epoxy line. “We’ve gotten back into it on a bigger scale due to growing demand. We’re putting more resources behind it to provide more visibility. There’s more use of steel moment frames and shear panels anchored into concrete foundations now. We’re also seeing more retrofits of walls into existing footings. It’s getting to be more national in its use rather than just on the West Coast as it was two years ago.”

“Concrete screws are gaining popularity,” agrees Jim Miller, president of Screw Products. “We’re looking into offering them by early 2015 because we see a growing trend.”

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Hidden deck fasteners continue to be popular, too. Bob Hafner, president of Tiger Deck, reports that customers are using its proprietary hidden fastener system even when they aren’t using the company’s deck materials.

“There are more composite decks going to hidden fasteners, and our system offers benefits for that.”

Hidden fasteners not only provide a smooth appearance, but they aid durability, Grabber’s Wulfenstein notes. “They eliminate penetrations in the face of the deck, which makes it harder for moisture to penetrate around the holes and reach the joists.”

Fasteners that connect to steel framing also are becoming popular, including steel framing for decks. “There has been an increase in demand for steel and aluminum joists for decks, both for commercial and residential construction,” says Larry Crossley, vice president of sales at Starborn Industries.

Mike McFarland, director of nonferrous product lines at PrimeSource, agrees. “The steel-stud market is growing, but mostly in commercial projects. It’s a niche that’s opening more potential sales for stainless-steel fasteners.”

The rapidly returning commercial market represents a key reason for the expansion of fastening options. “The strong growth in the commercial market is helping the popularity of concrete screws,” Screw Products’ Miller says. “That market is growing very well. We’ve diversified; as we know there is a lot of business right now beyond residential out there.”

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