Blind Bolts were introduced to the construction industry 8 years ago, and in the time since they’ve radically changed civil engineering choices all over the world.
Designers, architects and builders can work in the knowledge that all parts of a structure will be accessible, and any component parts can be attached safely.
Blind Bolts provide an efficient, affordable fixing system for a huge range of projects – from repairing the roof of a sports stadium without closing it down to fixing the underside of a bridge span without using large scaffolding systems, Blind Bolts can help to bring any project in on time and under budget. The fact that they can be attached without special tools or oversized holes means that they replace the need to use welding, offering a much more stable and predictable solution.
The versatility of Blind Bolts transforms the range of connections and load bearing structures that can be built, and opens up the possibilities available to private companies, government projects and everything in between.
Blind Bolts make it possible to utilise girders and beams when constructing buildings in the widest possible range of environments. The disruption which is often part of large scale construction projects is minimised by the fact that Blind Bolts can fix beams and girders of this kind in place quickly and easily and without needing to use specialist equipment.
In addition to this, previously inaccessible parts of a building can be worked on without needing to use scaffolding, keeping disruption for clients, members of the public and service users down to an absolute minimum. This helps to make Blind Bolts the ideal solution for repair or construction jobs in transport hubs, shopping centres and sports stadiums.
Blind Bolts are the ideal fastening for a huge range of projects, but in particular for those which have to be delivered in difficult circumstances.
This might include a section of a construction which is difficult to access, such as the roof of a large building, or a complete project which has to be delivered in a problematic environment. One example of an environment which is likely to throw up difficult weather conditions is the sea, whether the project in question involves actual shipbuilding or marina construction and repair.
The first factor which has to be dealt with when working in or near to the sea is the corrosive nature of salt water. In order to combat this problem, all Blind Bolt fasteners, from thin wall to heavy duty bolts, are made out of 316 grade (A4) stainless steel, which means they can survive in a corrosive environment without the strength of the fastening they offer being affected.
Another factor which is bound to impact on work being carried out in a marine environment – from building ships to maintaining infrastructure – is the weather. No matter how carefully work has been planned, it could be slowed down by poor weather conditions, so the speed with which Bind Bolts can be applied becomes even more vital than usual. When any spells of good weather are likely to be brief, being able to work quickly will enable contractors to deliver without falling behind schedule.
Any maintenance and repair to be carried out on ships and other vessels has to be done quickly, safely and effectively. The work in question often has to be carried out in extremely challenging situations, and the fact that Blind Bolts don’t need specialist tools or oversized holes makes them the ideal solution. Once that solution has been put in place, it will be more than ready to handle everything that the sea might throw at it.
A large number of the biggest and most famous rail stations around the world were originally constructed during the Victorian era. This means that carrying out repair work or adding to the original buildings often comes with a particular set of challenges. The solution itself has to be fit for purpose and, in addition to this, it has to be delivered in a way which is completely sympathetic to the original structure of the building.
Even if the building is more modern in nature, any work which is carried out has to be done with the minimum of disruption. Both providers and commuters face enough challenges when it comes to the rail service without building work being added to the list of things which might slow their journeys down. When contractors’ use Blind Bolts there is no need to use disruptive methods such as welding or specialist drilling, the work will be carried out as quickly as possible and hard to access parts of a structure can often be reached without having to put up scaffolding.
Many big rail refurbishment projects utilise Blind Bolts because they allow the work to be carried out with the minimum of disruption to people using the station. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that Blind Bolts have been certified as the official fastening of choice when engineers install AWS (automatic warning system) units onto steel sleepers.
AWS units have played a central role in maintaining safe standards on the UKs mainline rail network since the 1950s.
They provide an early warning system for drivers, informing them of the status of the signals on the line up ahead of them. The system is only effective if these units are fitted in a way which is reliable and convenient, and signal and track engineers came to the conclusion that the only way to guarantee this is to make use of Blind Bolt fastenings.
Blind Bolts offer a combination of ease of use with strength, durability and security. M20 Blind Bolts can attach the AWS units to the steel sleepers between rails without having to be welded, and the fact that they can be relied upon to cope with the elements and constant wear and tear means that they will stay in place once fitted. As a consequence, Blind Bolts are now used on all AWS systems throughout the UK.
As well as being used to fit safety systems, Blind Bolts play a large part in maintaining rolling stock for providers like London Underground, as well as being used by track component manufacturers and in vintage steam engine maintenance.
A construction project which makes use of girders and beams – as many do – is bound to be made easier by the use of Blind Bolts, and in particular the fact that they don’t require specialist equipment and the drilling of adapted holes. The speed with which they can be applied is a huge advantage to contractors who, in the past, might have had to make use of welding.
The problems with welding are that it is slower and more disruptive than using Blind Bolts, which makes it more expensive, and it delivers results which aren’t as stable and consistent. In many projects, Blind Bolts can be applied in hard to access places which would otherwise require the construction of scaffolding, another factor which could delay delivery of a project, putting deadlines at risk and driving costs higher.
There are some construction projects which can’t be carried out without scaffolding being put in place. Contractors who use Blind Bolts can do this without access to the relevant building being disrupted. This is especially important when the building in question is a hospital, airport or hopping centre – the kind of building which relies on service users and staff being able to enjoy unbroken access.
In most projects, Blind Bolts are used to attach scaffolding to the steel skeleton of a commercial or industrial new build unit. Because no welding is required, and the anchor system of the bolts can be released quickly, the scaffolding can be installed quickly and easily and the fabric of the building remains perfectly safe.
Carrying out construction or repair work on bridges throws up two main challenges. The first of these, during any construction, is that parts of the bridge such as the underside of the span will be very difficult to access. If the work in question takes the forms of repairs, on the other hand, then access to the bridge may have to be maintained.
This often means that the contractors carrying out the work will have to operate during the night, when darkness and poor weather are likely to slow down delivery.
Taking all of this on board, the speed and simplicity of Blind Bolts will help to keep timings and costs down in all cases.
Renewable Energy Fastening Solutions
With the issue of the environment becoming more urgent all the time it seem inevitable that renewable energy solutions will be in ever more urgent demand. One issue which this throws up is the fact that large scale projects such as wind turbines and tidal energy barrages require moving parts to be constructed and maintained in difficult circumstances. Blind Bolts represent the perfect solution in cases such as these, being easily fixed, robust and extremely versatile.
The quick and easy ‘drill, rotate and tighten’ operation of Blind Bolts is a huge advantage when working at height on wind turbines or in the sea water environment of a tidal barrage, enhancing both delivery and the safety of any workers. Maintaining vital power supplies is a key part of any national infrastructure, and Blind Bolts will have a huge role to play in this.