Code Evaluation of Fastener Products
With the proliferation of new building materials and innovative building design, there has been an associated increase in the number of unique fasteners that are available for use in building construction. To meet the demand for evaluation of these innovative, proprietary fastener products, ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES), the world leader in product evaluation, has proactively taken steps to establish several new and improved Acceptance Criteria (AC) for a broad range of fasteners. In addition, commodity fasteners can now be recognized as complying with code-referenced standards in cost-effective ICC-ES Listing Reports.
The products that fall under the umbrella of the Fastener Hub at ICC-ES include tapping screws for attachment to steel; nails, staples and wood screws for attachment of wood or steel to wood members; power-actuated fasteners (PAFs) used to fasten sheathing materials to cold-formed steel members; and PAFs used to attach a variety of materials to steel, concrete and masonry base materials. See the accompanying Table for reference to the applicable ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria or listing type.
Nearly 100 ICC-ES evaluation reports on fasteners have been issued, based on qualification requirements contained in one or more of the eleven ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria related to fasteners. Through the ICC-ES website, these evaluation reports are available free of charge to all interested parties including code officials and engineers. They can be easily found by searching for the applicable evaluation report number (ESR-XXXX). If looking for multiple reports under the “Evaluation Reports” tab, the listing of Reports Arranged by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) category can be helpful. CSI numbers related to fasteners include the following:
- DIVISION 03 00 00 CONCRETE Section 03 16 00 Concrete Anchors (for PAFs used to attach materials to concrete).
- DIVISION 04 00 00 MASONRY Section 04 05 19.16 Masonry Anchors (for PAFs used to attach materials to masonry).
- DIVISION 05 00 00 METALS Section 05 05 23 Metal Fastenings (for tapping screws and PAFs used to attach materials to steel or aluminum).
- DIVISION 06 00 00 WOOD, PLASTICS AND COMPOSITES Section 06 05 23 Wood, Plastic and Composite Fastenings (for nails, staples, screws used for wood connections and screws and PAFs used to attach wood to other base materials).
- DIVISION 09 00 00 FINISHES Section 09 22 16.23 Fasteners (for tapping screws and PAFs used to fasten gypsum board and lathing materials to steel and PAFs used to attach cold-formed steel track sections to various base materials).
Most recently, significant criteria development activity has taken place related to tapping screws. For many years, the only established AC related to tapping screws was the ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria for Tapping Screw Fasteners (AC118). While this AC has been successfully used for many years to evaluate tapping screws for uses that are specifically addressed in the International Building Code and International Residential Code, it was found to be insufficient for addressing the full range of proprietary tapping screw designs that might be used in a modern construction project.
To expand the range of tapping screw products that can be addressed in ICC-ES reports, the following developments have taken place:
- The ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria for Self-drilling Tapping Screws Used with Aluminum (AC491) was approved in June 2017. Under this AC, screws used in aluminum-to aluminum, steel-to-aluminum and aluminum-to-steel connections can be evaluated. Evaluation reports will address both fastener strengths and connection strengths.
- The ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria for Self-drilling Tapping Screws Used to Attach Miscellaneous Building Materials to Steel Base Material (AC500) was approved in October 2017. Whether used for attaching insulation, sandwich panels or any other building product to cold-formed steel, fasteners can be evaluated under AC500 for fastener strengths and pull-out strength in steel base material.
- The ICC-ES Building Products Listing Program has been expanded. Tapping screws which comply with a standard prescribed in the code such as ASTM C954 or ASTM C1002 can be recognized in an ICC-ES Listing Report.
In the area of fasteners used with mass timber including cross-laminated timber, ICCES is working with industry to determine if new ACs are needed, in particular to assess the effects of seismic loading on mass timber connections. Fasteners used in conventional connections of solid sawn and engineered wood products continue to be addressed in several ICC-ES evaluation reports.
Structural requirements for these fasteners are included in the ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria for Nails (AC116), the ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria for Staples (AC201) and the ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria for Alternate Dowel-type Threaded Fasteners (AC233). In addition, corrosion resistance of fasteners intended for use in contact with treated lumber and/or severe environmental conditions can be assessed under the ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria for Corrosion-resistant Fasteners and Evaluation of Corrosion Effects of Wood Treatment Chemicals (AC257).
Power-actuated fasteners, regardless of their driving mechanism (powder, gas, electromechanical, pneumatic, etc.) can be addressed under several different ACs, depending on the intended use. For PAFs intended to attach miscellaneous building materials to concrete, steel and masonry base materials, evaluations rely on the ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria for Powder-actuated Fasteners Driven into Concrete, Steel and Masonry Elements (AC70). PAFs used to fasten gypsum board products to cold-formed steel are evaluated under the ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria for Power-actuated Fasteners Used for Attaching Gypsum Board Materials to Cold-Formed Steel Wall Framing (AC259). For fasteners used to attach wood structural panel sheathing to cold-formed steel, use in shear walls is addressed in the ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria for Power-actuated Fasteners for Shear Wall Assemblies Constructed with Cold-formed Steel Framing and Wood Structural Panels (AC230), while use in diaphragms is addressed in the ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria for Horizontal Diaphragms Consisting of Wood Structural Panel Sheathing Attached to Cold-formed Steel Framing (AC262). For PAFs used in steel deck diaphragms, the ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria for Steel Deck Roof and Floor Systems (AC43) can be used to evaluate diaphragm values.
As new fastener products continue to be developed, ICC-ES will work with industry and interested parties to establish additional ACs or revise current ACs as needed, to allow for the broadest possible scope of evaluated products. Follow our criteria development activity at: http://www.icc-es.org/Criteria_Development/.