Tapcons are coated with a special coating of Climaseal® which is applied in a number of different operations using dip-spin technology. This Climaseal® coating adds extra rust resistance and is colored blue, thereby giving the Tapcon screw its nickname of the blue screw. Other concrete screws are colored blue, but none meet the high performance of the original Tapcon in holding values, ease of installation and rust resistance.
The Buildex Tapcon® has been tested and meets some of the most demanding building codes:
Tapcons have also been tested by ICC-ES, the most widely recognized and trusted testing organization. ICC-ES is also a non-profit company that is a leader in code-compliant building products evaluation.
Tapcons are measured in two dimensions: the diameter and the length. They are available in two diameters 3/16” and 1/4” with the 3/16” diameter available in seven lengths and the 1/4” in nine lengths. The diameter of Tapcon to use on any application depends on the diameter of the hole in the fixture being fastened and the holding values required. The 1/4” diameter Tapcon has more holding strength in both shear and pullout than the 3/16’ diameter Tapcon. The length of Tapcon to use is determined by the thickness of the material being fastened.
The Buildex Tapcon is a versatile type of masonry fastener. The Buildex Tapcon can be used in solid concrete, brick, block and even in the mortar joints between the brick and block. The holding values for the Buildex Tapcon depends on the quality of the base material and when placed in a mortar joint, the quality and quantity of mortar in the joint.
Buildex Tapcons require that a hole is predrilled into the base material before using the Tapcon. Tapcon screws tap threads into concrete. They are not self-drilling and self-tapping screws. Both diameters require a different hole size, and hole tolerance between the Tapcon screw and the hole is critical in order to obtain holding values. The hole must be drilled using a carbide tipped bit that meets ANSI standards and the carbide bit must be used in a hammer drill to ensure proper hole dimensions. The 3/16” diameter Buildex Tapcon requires a hole size of 5/32”, and the 1/4” diameter Buildex Tapcon requires a 3/16” diameter hole.
The depth of the hole drilled into the base material must be a minimum of 1/4” deeper than the Tapcon will penetrate. This extra space ensures an area for the dust that is created during the tapping of the threads in the base material during installation to fall. If the hole is not drilled deep enough then the Tapcon screw will bottom out in the hole and be unable to be fully installed.
Buildex Tapcons are available in two different head styles, with each head style designed for use in specific types of applications. The hex slotted washer head Tapcon is for applications where the head of the Tapcon is on top of the surface of the material being fastened. The flat Phillips countersunk Tapcon is designed for applications where the head of the Tapcon is even with the surface of the material being fastened.
The length of the Tapcon is measured differently based on the head style of Tapcon. The lengths of the hex slotted washer headed Tapcons are measured from underneath the head. The flat Phillips countersunk Tapcon is measured as an overall length including the head.
The Buildex Tapcons are designed to be embedded into the base material a minimum of 1” and a maximum of 1-3/4”.
The length of Buildex Tapcon to use is determined by the thickness of the material being fastened and by the embedment depth into the base material. To determine the minimum length Tapcon to use, add the thickness of the material being fastened to the minimum embedment of 1”. To calculate the maximum length of Buildex Tapcons to use, add the thickness of the fixture to the maximum embedment depth of 1-3/4”
As with any anchoring project, it is important to keep safety in mind and follow instructions carefully. Always remember to wear safety goggles, handle all tools with extra care and follow all technical specifications. This article is meant to serve only as a basic explanation of concrete fasteners. Always refer to manufacturer's instructions or consult a contracting expert during any anchoring project.