Launched in 1967, Spax has set the standards in the field of joining technology as a chipboard screw with patented ground serrations starting in the tip of the screw. For decades, Spax has stood for innovation and quality in the manufacturing of screws.
By Faitsch | Photos by Spax
The History of the Spax screw dates back as far as 1823, when Altenloh, Brinck & Co. became the first German company to manufacture the industrial production of screws. But it was the year 1967 that saw the rise of the Spax screw. The screw included a cross recess head, which is slim and makes turning the screw easier.
Today, Spax is an international independent division of the Altenloh, Brinck & Co Group – a global operational corporation, trading globally. Spax are exclusively produced at the company’s domestic location in Westphalian Ennepetal, Germany, and delivered to customers around the world.
Some of the features that make Spax stand out include the screw’s ability to penetrate quickly, particularly in laminated timber products. This saves time and costs, preventing flaws in the work piece. Other impressive features are the new and improved Wirox and Yellox coatings which offer an extremely high corrosion protection. In addition, the surface of the screw is far more resistant than any galvanized or yellow passivated screw on the market today.
Spax with optimised Wirox surface fully satisfy the requirements for Class T2/C2nw of the future standard EN 14592 for dowel-type fasteners in timber structures. Spax is already fit to meet future European requirements. Compared with conventional zinc plated screws, Spax with optimised Wirox surface offer significantly higher corrosion protection. The zinc coating thickness has been increased by 25% and it is now 10µm. Spax reach with Wirox Class 4 (very high resistance) according to the European standard for the corrosion resistance of building hardware.
Another feature of the Spax is the T-Star Plus force application. This feature is found on the tip of the secure fit bit (a round pin). It is also found in the head of the screw, below the Torx drive. The T-Star Plus provides a superior guidance of the screw, especially if one is working overhead. In addition, the colour codes of the bits ensure a fast and easy allocation of the tool to the screw.
The milled end tapered square cut point 4CUT makes pre-drilling unnecessary. It also prevents the splitting of wood. For example, like a serrated knife, the typical ground serrations to the point of the screw ensure a fast and steady connection to the wood and pulls the screw without effort into the material.
When the screw penetrates the wood, the multi-head strikes its effect of milling flush and neat countersunk into the wood. When fixing metal onto wood, the brakes feature comes into operation. Immediately after the bottom side of the multi-head meets the metal part, the screw stops and does not allow them to overturn.
Catering for the decking market
The Spax outdoor range is suitable for professional deck builders and is equipped with various auxiliary materials.
It is important for the footings and foundation of a deck to be sturdy. Sometimes height adjustments and fixing the foundation and fittings to the ground may be required. Spax screws offer lift and free-lift solutions which help ensure that a stable deck is built. The Spax pads offer more comfort, and serve as an alternative for levelled concrete. The rubber pads are also able to keep rising damp at bay.
Another decking product from Spax is the Tape87, which is used in terrace construction and sticks onto the horizontal surface. The tape is made from a low-density polyethylene self-adhesive, and as such, the tape requires no use of hammering and nails.
Upon the completion of the footing and foundation, the wooden planks then need to be installed. For straight and consistent distance between the planks, Spax has developed the Kaiman Pro for aligning warped decking boards, and spacers to keep the same distance between the planks.
The actual screw connection is also a critical procedure where precision is crucial, since mistakes sooner or later, will lead to shakes, cracks and other problems in the decking. The two-step drill provides a solution for screw connection problems as it ensures a clean screw pattern and avoids tension cracks around the screw hole.
The Spax decking screw itself has a fixing thread below the head of the screw. This fixing thread on top holds the decking boards in position. The cylindric head reduces the impact of cracking. All Spax decking screws are made from austenitic steel and not hardened stainless steel. The screws are therefore rust-proof and flexible on the bending stress and strain in the course of moisture expansion and shrinkage of the wood.
For a hidden fixing, Spax recommends the stick system. The individual elements will be attached on the reverse side of the decking board which assures optimum ventilation.
In addition to decking, Spax also has products for floorboards and wainscoting on ceilings. For windows installations, the Spax frame anchor is the suitable product for this application. For other timber related jobs, such as the assembling of furniture and medium-density fibreboards (MDF) MDF, there is a specific Spax product that will meet the requirements for the applications.
Every day, millions of Spax screws are used by professionals in timber construction and interior applications — for floors, ceilings, in kitchens and bathrooms, at façades or in gardens – everywhere wood is used.
New Washer head form
Recently, the developers of Spax screws focused on the countersunk shank screw. These screws are used when two components get pulled together until they reach full tension. A flat washer head was developed and is now available on the market.
A flat washer head form allows a flush countersunk without the screw pulling too far into the material. At the same time, the new screwhead has the capacity for additional transmission. The shank was customised to suit the most common width sizes of wood. The partial thread is optimised to carry the higher load bearing capacity of the washer head. The form of the screw has all the typical Spax features: The T-Star drive and 4CUT point. The improvements allow for a better application of smaller thread diameters, for example a 5mm thread diameter instead of a 6mm.
Spax has made its mark in the timber industry with its impressive product offering. The combination of innovation and technology in the development of the corrosion resistant Wirox coating make Spax screws stand out in the market, giving them a competitive edge.