Composite materials are now available with industry-leading warranties up to several decades long, demonstrating their resistance to weathering, low maintenance requirements and incredible structural performance. Wooden decks, by comparison, are prone to performance drawbacks, from fading to cracking, warping, splitting and rotting. They also require ongoing costly maintenance to keep them in a useable condition.
While it is relatively easy to compare the surface appearance and performance of composite boards, the performance of certain crucial elements of construction – the fasteners – usually goes unnoticed unless they are at a state of failure and boards are lifting or becoming hazardous.
Typically, wooden fasteners begin to rust over time and their hold on timber weakens through heating and cooling cycles as the materials expand and contract. This can cause dangerous situations where nail or screw heads become exposed.
“By comparison, Hulk Fasteners are custom engineered to prevent a build-up of debris, resist rust and even during expansion and contraction of boards will remain in place to maximise the aesthetic appeal of the composite boards themselves,” says Shaun Erasmus, product director for Hulk Fasteners at building materials group Eva-Last.
Eva-Last’s product warranties extend for up to 30 years on some ranges, requiring fasteners to stay the distance. There is no point creating products with outstanding longevity of performance if they are let down by the performance of their fasteners. This is no easy feat in corrosive and challenging natural environments such as tropical zones and volatile climates.
Conventional fasteners are simply not able to live up to the same maintenance-free performance standards as Eva-Last’s composite products. The solution was for the company to engineer its own range of fasteners that are specifically designed to be the most high-performance fasteners available today.
“Hulk Fasteners were created to prevent deck failures through corrosion and constant expansion and contraction of decking boards through seasonal changes. Every product in the Hulk Fasteners range has been carefully designed and manufactured to suit a specific composite application and is impervious to even the harshest weather – from baking sun to heavy snow and ice,” says Erasmus.
Hulk Fasteners composite trim and deck screws for top fixing applications come in a range of colours to suit any composite decking, making the aesthetic finish neat and clean with matching fasteners.
Included in the Hulk Fasteners range is the new Chain Collated Clip, which is a technological improvement on previous hidden deck clips, both in product design and ease of installation. Chain Collated Clips are made using a stainless-steel plate which is covered in a weather resistant polymer to make it as strong on the inside as it is on the outside. This new hidden fastener for grooved deck boards can be used on various materials and groove depths, making it a more versatile solution.
“Chain Collated Clips require no pre-drilling, to save time and labour, and now with the addition of Chain Collated Clips’ small specialised hand tool, installation of hidden fasteners is more efficient than ever before,” says Erasmus.
The Hulk Fasteners range includes options for both metal and timber applications in stainless and carbon steel, providing the perfect options for any installation.
“Today’s building projects are designed for a lifetime of enjoyment but this is only possible if the fasteners are up to the task. They may be small and designed to blend or be completely hidden from sight, but fasteners play a crucial role in the performance of composite products, year after year,” Erasmus says.