Fasteners lead fight against corrosion

High levels of atmospheric pollution across the UK could be undermining the long term quality of even the best manufactured windows and doors due to the wrong types of fasteners being used in their assembly, according to Rapierstar.

While the focus is usually on the serious dangers it poses to human health, wildlife and the environment, airborne pollution can have a catastrophic effect on certain grades of steel hardware used in windows and doors.

Specialist fastener supplier to the fenestration sector Rapierstar is already helping fabricators to reduce the risk of their windows and doors failing after only a short time in-situ because of preventable corrosion.

Contamination from cleaning fluids and building materials such as plaster will also accelerate corrosion if they come into contact with hardware long term.

David Furness, MD of Rapierstar, said: “High levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in our atmosphere, in combination with chlorides originating from the sea and even the road salt used in winter gritting, will cause rapid corrosion of carbon steel fasteners. These are routinely used in windows and doors away from coastal locations as the rusting effect of salty sea air is, thankfully, widely understood.

“Unfortunately, it is a misconception that it is only in coastal areas that we need to think of enhanced protection against corrosion – and that’s due to pollution from vehicle exhaust fumes and industry, which can be just as corrosive a force. Depending on the location of a given project, it may mean that fabricators need to upgrade their fasteners to austenitic stainless steel, or martensitic stainless steel for certain applications, to ensure their finished windows and doors are fit for purpose.”