02 March 2021
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Up, up and aligned

Steve Parkes, key account manager at leading fastening and fixing supplier TFC, shares quick tips for skyscraper curtain-walling success

The first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1885 — the Home Insurance Building. While it is no longer standing today, you can look across the skyline of almost any major city and see its successors. Picture London. Its skyline boasts a myriad of skyscrapers, including a host of distinctive glass towers; the Cheesegrater, the Walkie-Talkie, the Gherkin and the Shard, to name a few. Glass curtain walling is an attractive glazing option for building designers looking to create the memorable, attractive facades that we expect to join the skyline in the future.

Construction companies and glazing professionals are well-versed in the importance of efficiency and work hard to avoid project delays. However, there are still some sticking points — rework remains one of the highest costs to construction businesses. In curtain walling projects, accuracy is key — glass is an unforgiving material, which means it has to perfectly line up with the fixing brackets in the building’s structure. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of misalignment, there are limited options. You can either modify your fixing bracket and/or re-drill the anchor positions to compensate, both of which are time consuming and therefore expensive.

The good news for installers and construction companies is that there is another way available. The alignment washer is a fast, simple, low-cost product that enables flexible on-site fixing for M10, M12, M16 and M20 bolts. It has oversized or slotted holes to provide leeway when lining up the bracket and anchor location, as well as a mechanism to tighten it down before locking off. Its clever design means it can even be used upside down! Once in position, the washer can be permanently locked into place with a high-strength, rapid-setting construction resin. Due to the efficient locking off process, some contractors use alignment washers to lock off all brackets, whether there are alignment issues or not.

There are two types of alignment washer available. The first is rectangular, for use with cast-in channels, using a slotted hole to provide ± 25mm adjustment in one direction. Alternatively, circular washers are suitable for a variety of applications including stick curtain walling, balustrades and balconies, offering a ± 15mm adjustment in either direction. Both are hot-dip galvanised for long-term corrosion protection.


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TFC Europe Ltd

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