11 April 2017
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Diving in

A portfolio of specialist fasteners with a range of self-cutting thread inserts has surfaced – and the inspiration behind these was a professional diver.

Technifast has expanded its specialist fastener portfolio with a range of self-cutting thread inserts designed to provide a high-strength thread in plastics, wood and soft metals – and it was all prompted by Ben Burrows, a professional diver!

The manufacturing for the inserts began after the firm were approached by the diver, who needed a secure means to bolt down equipment, gas bottles and diving gear in his RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat). The diver initially enquired about Technifast’s 300 Series Inserts in marine grade stainless steel, but, after discussing his needs, the production team soon established that the grip of these would not be sufficient for the chaotic environment of a fast RIB in a choppy sea. The risk of a pressurised gas bottle breaking loose within the confines of a fast-moving boat was something to be avoided.

Technifast’s production team worked closely with Burrows, who identified that a blind insert would be a better solution, as it would prevent any water ingression into the hull cavity and wood sandwich layered within the fibreglass, so as not to drastically reduce the grip of the insert, cause wood rot, and compromise the integrity and strength of the fibreglass.

“We worked with Ben’s specification to manufacture an insert that incorporated a deep and coarse self-tapping thread to provide sufficient grip, a minimum of 15mm usable internal thread, a shoulder at the top to enable a good watertight seal and three interruptions in the thread to remove the host material cleanly on insertion,” explains Technifast senior engineer John Garner.

“We manufactured a prototype batch with an M10 internal thread and sent the diver some samples to test. He reported back to us that they functioned perfectly and placed an order. We then manufactured a longer M12 version, which he also tested successfully for us.”

“Having a customer you can liaise with over their initial design and function, who can then help test and develop products, is invaluable,” adds Garner. “This is something we try hard to cultivate in our manufacturing department, as it’s the best way to learn what our customers need and, most importantly, where we can improve on our product range for them.”

The inserts have an internal and external thread and are self-cutting, and are supplied in a choice of steel, stainless steel 303 or stainless steel 316, with a range of thread size.

Brian Wall

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Technifast Ltd


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