Tapcom

Tapcom is the wrong spelling for a product called Tapcon.  Tapcon is a self-tapping concrete screw designed for use in concrete, brick or block base materail.  Tapcon is a brand name for ITW/Buildex concrete screw that is made in America and sold by Concrete Fastening Systems, Inc. and can be purchase on-line at www.confast.com.

Diameters

The standard tapcon comes in two diameters of 3/16” and 1/4”. The large diameter tapcon comes in diameters of 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8” and 3/4”.  The larger the diameter then the better the holding values will be in different base materials.   The diameter of tapcon to use for any application is determined by the required holding values, the diameter of hole in the fixture or the specification given by an engineer.  All diameters can be used in solid concrete. Brick and block base material can only use the 3/16”, 1/4”, and 3/8” diameter tapcon.


 

Lengths

Tapcons come in different lengths ranging from 1-1/4” to 6-1/4”.  The length of the tapcon to use for any application depends on the thickness of the material being fastened and the embedment depth.  To determine the minimum length of tapcon to use, add the thickness of the material to the minimum embedment depth of 1”.  To calculate what the longest tapcon length is, add the thickness of the material being fastened to the maximum embedment of 1-3/4”.  The hex head tapcons length is measured from underneath the head, while the flat-headed tapcon is measured as an overall length including the head.

 

Minimum Embedment

The minimum embedment depth for the 3/16” and 1/4” tapcon is 1”.  Both these diameters must be installed into the base material at least 1” for the tapcon concrete screw to obtain minimum holding values.  The large diameter tapcons’ minimum embedments vary with each diameter of tapcon.

 

Large Diameter Tapcon

Minimum Embedment

3/8”

1-1/2”

1/2”

2”

5/8”

2-3/4”

3/4”

3-1/4”

 

Maximum Embedment

Both the 3/16” and the 1/4” maximum embedment is 1-3/4”.  Trying to embed the tapcon concrete screw deeper than 1-3/4” may cause problems, such as having the tapcon become stuck in the hole or applying too much torque which cause shearing. The maximum embedment is also affected by the hardness and abrasiveness of the base material. The harder and the more abrasive the base material is then the shallower the maximum embedment might be.  The maximum embedment of large diameter tapcons is different for each diameter.

 

 

Large Diameter Tapcon

Maximum Embedment

3/8”

3-1/2”

1/2”

4-1/2”

5/8”

4-1/2”

3/4”

5-1/2”

 

Hole Diameter

Each diameter of tapcon requires a specific diameter hole be drilled into the base material.  Holes size is critical for the tapcon to have holding values and must be drilled using a hammer drill with a carbide tipped drill bit that meets ANSI standards.

 

Diameter Tapcon

Maximum Embedment

3/16”

5/32”

1/4”

3/16”

3/8”

5/16”

1/2”

7/16”

5/8”

1/2”

3/4”

5/8”

 

Hole Depth

The hole must be drilled to a depth of 1/4” to 1” deeper than the tapcon will penetrate the base material.  This leaves space for any dust to fall into that is created during the installation process.  As the tapcon is inserted into the hole, the lead threads tap threads into the base material.  This tapping process creates dust which must have a place to go or it will interfere with the proper installation.

 

Head Size

The size of the head determines the size of the socket that must be used to install the tapcon.   Each diameter of tapcon has a different head size and socket size.  The flat head phillips tapcon requires a #2 bit tip for the 3/16” diameter and a #3 bit tip for the 1/4”.

 

Diameter Tapcon

Socket Size

3/16”

1/4”

1/4”

5/16”

3/8”

9/16”

1/2”

3/4”

5/8”

13/16”

3/4”

15/16”

 

INSTALLATION:

 

Installing Tapcon 3/16” and 1/4” Diameter

 

  1. Use hammer drill and 5/32” carbide tipped drill for the 3/16” diameter tapcon and a 3/16” carbide tipped drill bit for the 1/4” tapcon. The bit must meet ANSI standards.

  2. Drill hole in base material a minimum of 1/4” deeper than the tapcon will penetrate the base material.

  3. Clean out the hole of all dust and debris created during the drilling process.

  4.  Insert the tapcon through the fixture and into the hole in the base material.

  5. Using the correct driver, turn the tapcon clockwise until the head of the tapcon is   snug against the material being fastened.

Installing Large Diameter Tapcon
   CONCRETE

  1. Use a hammer drill and the correct diameter carbide tipped drill bit that meets ANSI standards.

  2. Drill hole in base material a minimum of 1” deeper than the large diameter tapcon will penetrate the base material.

  3. Clean out the hole of all dust and debris created during the drilling process.

  4. Insert large diameter tapcon through the fixture and into the hole in the base material.

  5. Using the correct diameter socket wrench or electric wrench, turn large diameter tapcon clockwise until the head of large diameter tapcon is fully seated.

CONCRETE BLOCK (CMU) - electric wrench not recommended for hollow block

  1. Use a hammer drill and the correct diameter carbide tipped drill bit that meets ANSI standards.

  2. Drill hole in base material a minimum of 1” deeper than the large diameter tapcon will penetrate the base material.

  3. Clean out the hole of all dust and debris created during the drilling process.

  4. Insert the large diameter tapcon through the fixture and into the hole in the base material.

  5. Using the correct diameter socket wrench, turn large diameter tapcon  clockwise until the head large diameter tapcon is fully seated.

 





 

Please remember with all fastening jobs to keep safety in mind. Always follow safety instructions on all tools, and refer to manufacturer's installation instructions when available and always remember to wear safety goggles!

Article written by: Bob Carlisle, President Concrete Fastening Systems, Inc

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