The Key Difference between Stainless Steel Screws and Galvanized screws

Are you done looking for screws? you’ve likely seen that some of them are made of 100% stainless steel, while others are made of galvanized steel. Because of this, it’s hard to recognize the difference between them. Keeping in view everything, the two of them look and function similarly. So, what’s the contrast between stainless steel and galvanized steel?

These two kinds of screw materials are sold by every home-improvement retailer on the planet. There’s no simple response to this inquiry that which is best since the two kinds of steel have their pros and cons. All things considered, stainless steel screw and galvanized steel have the equivalent common objective of ensuring against rust and corrosion and they accomplish this objective astoundingly well. Before selecting one for a utility, first, we have to do a deep analysis of both these materials. Their quality, strength, pricing, hence everything matters.

Stainless Steel Screws

The term stainless steel is utilized to portray steel that has been blended in with at least 10% chromium. The expansion of chromium as a composite assist with securing against rust.

Properties
Stainless steel is shinier and progressively refined looking. While stainless steel isn’t invulnerable to rust, it positively has a more significant level of opposition than 100% steel. This is the reason stainless steel is frequently utilized in open-air conditions where there’s a lot of dampness. The chromium attempts to secure the metal against rust.

Composition
Stainless is a soft metal due to the low carbon content, therefore most stainless steel materials are cold-formed and are not exposed to heat treatment. Threading and cold forming cause stainless bolts to become slightly magnetic, some fasteners will be more magnetic than others depending on size and how quick the cold forming process is. The detailed composition of stainless steel types are listed below;

Screw TypeChromeNickelMaximum CarbonMaximum Molybdenum
18-8 Stainless Steel18%8%0.08%0%
305 Stainless Steel17%-19%8%-10%0.12%0%
316 Stainless Steel16%-18%10%-14%0.08%2%
410 Stainless Steel11.5%-13.5%0%0.15%0%

Galvanized Screws

Galvanized steel, then again, is a sort of steel that has been covered in a layer of zinc. Much like its partner, galvanized steel is additionally made to secure against rust. The zinc goes about as obstruction of assurance between airborne dampness and the steel, shielding it from rust.

Properties
Galvanization is a procedure that plates steel in a way that shields it from rusting or eroding. This makes galvanized steel incredible for indoor and outside use. It additionally implies that you can support the galvanized tie or metal piece in a way that reaches another metal or material and do so by utilizing a different fastener or screw. It has different coatings;

Composition

Galvanized steel comprises of plunging a completed steel item into a hot shower of zinc. In this procedure, a bond happens, mixing the zinc to the outside of the steel. The zinc plate bonding develops until the external layer is fully composed of zinc. The external layer of this new steel item is harder than the steel in which it is attached to. The steel currently has a defensive layer plating shielding it from rust. It has different coatings;

MaterialCoating ThicknessTemperature rangeExpected DurabilitySuitabilityConditions
Hot Dipped1.7 – 3.4 mils-100 C–200 C50+ yearsIndoor & Outdoor bothIndependent of weather
Zinc PlatedUpto 1mil-100 C-200 C15+ yearsIndoor & Outdoor sparinglyIndependent of weather
Electroplated0.2 mil -100 C–200 C10+ yearsIndoor & Outdoor bothIndependent of weather

Comparison

Strength Analysis

Both galvanized and stainless screws are the absolute best materials for strength and quality. They are particularly valid for metal fixation, that’s why they are commonly known as self-tapping metal screws. Nonetheless, there are some measures you will need to observe while selecting between the two.

Stainless steel screws are made out of a few components, with chromium being the most noteworthy of the added substances and nickel a nearby second. The greatest and most significant point is that the whole of the clasp is stainless. It isn’t only a covering. It’s quality and rust insurance are all through. That represents its higher rigidity rating. Companies did pressure tests on latches to mention that, what sort of crazy burden-bearing limit these stainless steel machine screws have. Stainless steel has a tensile PSI quality of 100,000 to 150,000. Hot Dipped galvanized screw has a rigidity of 62,000 PSI since they are grade 2 fasteners.

MaterialTensile StrengthYield Strength
Stainless Steel screws100000-15000030000-40000
Galvanized Screws38000-6200021000-31000
Rusty Nature

Galvanized screws are dark steel within with molten zinc on the core. It’s truly hard to tunnel your way to the first steel, however, it’s been known to occur through wear and tear.

Stainless steel screw, then again, is secured by its chromium compound nature. Chromium utilizes oxygen to make a layer of rigidity to rust on the outside of the screw. That leaves one glaring shortcoming. Without the oxygen expected to proceed with this procedure, this metal will rust similarly as fast as the above discussed galvanized screw. While there aren’t such a large number of circumstances without oxygen, yet with water present, it may rust.

Conclusion

Both have their distinct properties acquainted with their utility. Galvanized steel screw is cheaper than stainless steel screw but stainless steel screw is much durable due to its anti-rust chromium property. This isn’t generally an immediate challenge. Galvanized screws have that solid, dull, mechanical look, while stainless steel is shinier and refined looking. Thus, galvanized wins with regards to its cheap price, stainless steel with regards to quality and rust insurance.

References

  • Albany County Fasteners
  • https://blog.swantonweld.com/galvanized-and-stainless-steel-differences
  • https://monroeengineering.com/blog/stainless-steel-vs-galvanized/
  • https://dengarden.com/home-improvement/Why-to-Use-Stainless-Steel-Over-Galvanized-Zinc-Screws-For-Your-Deck-or-Porch
  • https://galvanizeit.org/uploads/publications/Galvanized_Steel_Fasteners.pdf

What Kind of Fasteners for Installing Deck Boards

What Kind of Decking Fasteners Should You Use?

wooden deck boards

Building a deck is one of the most rewarding home additions you can make to your house. Not only do they add value, but they are also an excellent place to lounge and relax or throw that summer barbecue for all the people who just won’t fit inside. One of the issues that many DIY deck builders come across when building their deck is determining what kind of fasteners to use.

There are several versions of fasteners that can be used depending on the effect you want to achieve. To demystify the deck building process, let’s go over the types of fasteners that can be used for installing deck boards.

nails vs screws

Nails or Screws?

Screws or Nails is one of the biggest questions when it comes what type of fastener to use. We’ve already gone over that in-depth in another blog post: Screws vs. Nails. The basic premise is that using each depends on the kind of force acting on them. For example, deck framing often uses nails. While nails often seem inferior to screws, they have three benefits that make them worth using in your framing:

  • Shear Strength
  • Cost
  • Speed of Install

Nails have one huge advantage over screws when building a deck – they bend. Decks are often subject to the force of heavy winds. Due to the way wind can get beneath a deck and pull on it, nails will bend and prevent the deck from moving while screws, which have a significantly lower shear strength, will break. So normally a combination of screws and nails are best for the framing process.

For deck boards, screws are the fasteners you want to use for holding strength. They provide excellent retention of the boards and prevent the dreaded board squeak that occurs when nails are used. Board squeak is what happens when there is distance between the deck board and the frame. As the board travels while weight is applied to it, the squeaking occurs. Using screws will limit this, as they have much better holding strength than nails.

Deck screws have a shank, or shoulder, and sometimes a notched point. This notch point is used to remove the need for drilling a pilot hole, however, we still recommend drilling pilot holes where-ever possible to prevent accidental splitting of the wood.

316 and 305 stainless steel deck screws

The Best Fasteners for Deck Boards

305 or 316 Stainless Steel Deck Screws

Stainless steel deck screws usually come in 305 stainless steel. This is a must for deck screws. Deck boards need to have corrosion resistant screws because they are constantly exposed to the elements. If you are in a highly corrosive environment, such as within 20 miles of a body of salt-water, make sure to use 316 stainless steel deck screws. Having the right grade of deck screw is essential for a long-lasting application.

Painted Head Deck Screws

painted head wood screws

Painted head deck screws are the next level of deck screws you will want to consider. They often come in multiple shades of brown but can also be found in other colors. These screws are still stainless steel but have a painted head designed to camouflage them in wood. In many cases, they are not a perfect match but tend to be much less noticeable than the silver of a standard stainless steel screw head.

Wood Plugs

decking wood plugs kit

Wood Plugs are an excellent in-between for a hidden fastener system. Each hole drilled in the deck boards is counter-sunk into the wood. The screw is then installed below the surface of the wood. Once the screw is fully installed a small wood plug, that’s the same diameter as the hole drilled, is glued into the hole. This hides the fastener completely. If you want a specific color, there are also tools to make your own wood plugs, so they match the wood perfectly every time.

Hidden Decking Fasteners

Ipe clips hidden decking fastener system

Hidden decking fasteners are the newest and most visually appealing fastener type. Used with grooved boards usually made of Ipe wood, these fasteners grip into the grooves on the side of the boards to create a strong and hidden fastening system. Hidden decking fasteners can also be used in standard lumber by utilizing a slot cutting router bit to cut notches into the side of deck boards. These fasteners are lined up in the grooves, then screw directly into the frame of the deck. This provides an excellent finish as they help to evenly space the boards and hide fasteners completely from the top of the boards.

Installing Deck Boards

Now that you have your frame built and know what kinds of fasteners you can use for the deck boards, it’s time to start installing them.

Installing Deck Boards Using Standard and Painted Stainless Steel Deck Screws

When installing standard and painted head deck screws follow these steps.:

  1. Position the deck boards on the frame
  2. Using a tape measure and pencil, mark the screw locations on the boards
    • Make sure to keep the screw holes at least 1″ inside the edge of the board. This will help to prevent splitting and cracking in the boards.
  3. Drill the pilot holes through the boards and into the frame
    • Even though many deck screws have a notched tip for drilling, it is not the best solution and pilot holes should be drilled anyway.
  4. Drive the deck screws through the boards into the frame
    • Position the screw perpendicular to the board
    • Slowly drive the screws into the frame
    • Do not over-torque your fasteners. Once the flat portion of the head becomes flush, move to the next screw

Installing Deck Boards Using Wood Plugs

When installing deck boards using Wood Plugs follow these steps:

  1. Position the deck boards on the frame
  2. Using a tape measure and pencil, mark the screw locations on the boards
  3. Measure the length of the wood plug
  4. Using painter’s tape, mark of that depth on a drill bit that is the same diameter as the wood plug
  5. Drill the countersink portion to the depth of the tape on the drill bit
  6. Take the smaller bit and drill a pilot hole for the screw itself through the countersunk hole in the board all the way into the frame
  7. Drive the deck screws through the boards into the frame
    • Position the screw perpendicular to the board
    • Slowly drive the screws into the frame
    • Do not over-torque your fasteners. Once the flat portion of the head becomes flush, move to the next screw
  8. For each exposed hole, take a wood plug and coat it wood glue, then place them into the holes
    • If you are having a hard time inserting them, place a small piece of wood over the plug and tap it into place with a rubber mallet. This will prevent the plugs from getting marred by the impact.
  9. Quickly wipe away any excess glue before moving to the next hole
  10. Some wood glues expand while drying, revisit the holes periodically after installation and continue to wipe away any glue until it has dried, and the plug is set

Installing Deck Boards Using Hidden Deck Fasteners

Not all hidden decking fasteners are installed the same way, so we will be using Ipe Clips in this example:

*Before we begin: Ipe wood is valued over standard wooden deck boards, because Ipe wood will splinter and often comes with pre-cut grooves on the side of the board. Both of these features make them an excellent choice when using hidden deck fasteners.

  1. Cut notches in each board using a router cutting bit (if applicable)
  2. Install the first board at one end of the deck frame using standard deck screws every 24 inches. For a premium finish you can countersink and plug the hole with a wood plug.
  3. Align each clip in the groove of the board to a joist. With the clip in the groove, screw each clip into the crossing joist. Only one clip is needed where two boards meet on a single joist.
  4. Align the next deck board to the installed clips making sure the grooves match up with the first board.
  5. Use a Deck Board Straightening Tool (Hardwood Wrench) to hold the board in place tightly against the clips
  6. Install the next set of clips against the second board
  7. Remove the hardwood wrench and repeat until the last board
  8. The last board is installed the same as the first, only in reverse. Align the last board’s grooves with the last set of clips, then install with face screws every 24 inches.

Extra Tips

hidden deck finished results
Even Screw Placement

When using exposed screws to hold your deck in place, always mark screw locations prior to installation. You will want to make sure that the screws are all even to create an appealing and aesthetic finish.

Benefit of Ipe Wood

By far the biggest benefit of using Ipe wood is that it does not splinter. This protects the lifetime of the deck and your guests’ feet!

Get the Right Corrosion Resistance for Your Environment

Always double check to ensure your fasteners are ideal for your environment. After all the hard work of making a beautiful deck, you don’t want to start seeing rust stains on the wood from rusting fasteners.

Get a Pair of Knee Pads

Building a deck can be particularly hard on your knees. Find a nice set of knee pads to keep your knees of the wood for an extended amount of time.

Safety Gear

Always use safety gear no matter what you are building to protect your eyes and hands. Whether you’re cutting, drilling, or driving a fastener, always have the appropriate gear on to protect yourself.

How To Put Deck Screws In Floorboards
  1. Position the floorboards in the anticipated positions and mark the screw points with a pencil.
  2. Pre-drill pilot holes on each point you’ve marked, using a bit with a suitable size for the screws you are using. The bit will be slightly smaller than the width of the screws. You can refer to a given screw’s specifications for the exact bit size recommended for pilot holes.
  3. Place a floorboard into the point and insert the sharp point of a deck screw into the pre-drilled hole. Drive the screw through the board and into the mounting with a bit driver, exerting pressure as you go. Repeat this process to place screws in all of the pre-drilled pilot holes to lock all floorboards.

The End Game

Now that your beautiful new deck is built, it’s time to sit back, relax and party on the newest addition to your home.

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5 Stainless Steel Facts You Need To Know Before Buying Fasteners

5 Stainless Steel Facts About Fasteners You Should Know

Stainless steel fastener

Stainless steel is a highly used metal and prized for its corrosion resistance. Did you know that stainless steel actually can corrode? It’s not even that hard to make it happen. Before you buy your fasteners here are five stainless steel facts you need to know before buying fasteners.

1. Stainless Steel Is A Soft Metal (Sort Of)

Stainless steel is considered a soft metal meaning it is not great for many high load applications that require intense strength. However, certain grades are hardened to create a stronger version. It may effect the corrosion resistance of the fastener however. A classic example of this is Grade 410 Stainless Steel.

2. Stainless Steel Can Still Corrode

Stainless steel is prized for its corrosion resistance. Beyond that many don’t know anything about it. Stainless steel comes in many different grades, 304, 305 and 316 are just a few examples and each come with their own benefits. If you are within 20 miles of the beach for example, you need to make sure you use 316 stainless steel.

3. Stainless Steel Is Not Non-Magnetic

It is important to know that stainless steel is not fully non-magnetic. In situations where the non-magnetic quality of a material is critical, stainless steel is not a recommended choice.

4. Stainless Steel Has An Invisible Self Repairing Outer Layer

Stainless metals form an invisible oxide coating that protects it from external factors. This is the main reason stainless steel is so resistant to corrosion. As long as the material is in an oxygen rich environment, even if the metal is damaged removing the oxide layer, it will reform and protect the metal again.

5. Stainless Steel Reacts Negatively With Aluminum

Stainless Steel and Aluminum are two separate kinds of metal. One is positively charged (anode) and one is negatively charged (cathode). As these metals are connected and an electrolyte is introduced, such as saltwater, a transfer of electrons occurs which will ruin the integrity of the materials resulting in galvanic corrosion. To avoid these situations either use some sort of in-between like a rubber material or simply do not use them together (recommended).

Working With Stainless Steel

Ultimately stainless steel can be a bit more complicated than you thought. Stainless steel fasteners are still an excellent choice for many situations. Just take these 5 things into consideration when buying your fasteners to help you choose the appropriate material and grade.



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What Do the Numbers Mean?

Stainless Steel Grades

Stainless steel fasteners are defined by the grade of the material. Now what exactly does this mean? See the list below for information on common grades of stainless steel fasteners including material and common applications.

 

 

    • Type 304: 17%-19% Chrome, 8%-12% Nickel, .08% Maximum Carbon. This is a superior grade of 18-8 stainless steel and is used for Machine Screws, Cap Screws, Sheet Metal Screws, Hex Cap Screws and all cold headed or hot forged fasteners. It is an equivalent to 18-8 Stainless Steel.

    • Type 305: 17%-19% Chrome, 8%-10% Nickel, .12% Maximum Carbon. This grade has been developed specifically to improve the cold heading qualities of 18-8. This grade does not work-hardened products are actually made from this grade even though they are referred to as being made from type 304 Corrosion resistance and physical qualities are equal to Type 304.

    • Type 316: 16%-18% Chrome, 10%-14% Nickel, .08% Maximum Carbon, 2.00% Maximum Molybdenum. This grade is greater corrosion resistance when used with certain acids as compared to general range of 18-8 stainless steel. 316 Stainless Steel is used in saltwater application such as boats and docks.

    • Type 18-8: 18% Chrome, 8% Nickel, .08% Maximum Carbon. Used in most fasteners and is the standard.It is an equivalent to 304 Stainless Steel.

  • Type 410: 11.5%-13.5% Chrome, .15% Maximum Carbon. This grade can be bright and hardened up to approximately 40 Rockwell C. This is used in roofing screws and finishing washers.

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