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High levels of invisible 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.

As Simon Monks, MD of hardware distributor VBH (GB) highlighted recently in an article, air pollution is a global problem, so no part of the UK can be immune to its effects. 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. And it is not just atmospheric conditions that pose a risk – 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 says: “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.

“It is vital to remember that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to fasteners. Other types of corrosion such as galvanic can also easily impact on longevity and performance. Seek the right advice and you can avoid the risks and ensure that the fasteners are right for every application.”

Rapierstar’s technical team, based at its Cheshire HQ and research and development (R&D) centre, has a combined experience of more than 150 years in fastener design and development, which means it is ideally placed to recommend the right grades of steel fasteners to use with friction stays, hinges, locking systems and all other hardware.

With a 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre near Macclesfield, where more than one billion items are held in stock, Rapierstar works with fabricators and installers across the UK and Ireland to provide a complete product range, competitively priced and delivered next day. The Rapierstar service is backed by an industry-leading technical support team and in-house R&D and technical centre which, in addition to testing every single batch of fasteners for quality assurance, helps industry manufacturers and fabricators to deliver safe, secure, high performing finished products.

For advice on how to avoid hardware corrosion call 01260 223311 or contact us.

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