SFS provides a single secret fix solution for Cembrit rainscreen range

An illustration showing how the SFS TUF-S rivet provides a mechanical secret fix for rainscreen cladding panels.

An illustration showing how the SFS TUF-S rivet provides a mechanical secret fix for rainscreen cladding panels.

According to SFS, installing Cembrit fibre cement rainscreen panels as thin as 8mm using mechanical secret fixings just became quicker, easier and safer thanks to its innovative new range of TUF-S rivets.

Extensive testing by SFS is said to have demonstrated how TUF-S challenges the convention that installers need to use different fasteners for different panel materials and thicknesses. Until now, no other rivet of this kind has provided a reliable secret fix for panels manufactured in both HPL and fibre cement.

The TUF-S range is said to be designed to eliminate the risk of overtightening which can ruin the aesthetics of a façade and result in costly damage. It consists of nine variants of A4 stainless steel fixings, with a carbon steel mandrel, that can be used to secure a range of panel thicknesses to the rainscreen support clips using the GESIPA Powerbird Pro tool. The rivet’s design is said to provide a wide range of installation benefits to save time and money, and deliver a safer, higher-quality result.

The performance of TUF-S for 8mm Cembrit panels was reportedly proven by SFS through a series of load tests conducted in its laboratory in Switzerland. This allowed for a set of technical values to be calculated to enable façade engineers to easily determine the number of fasteners and clips required to accommodate different locations, wind loadings, etc. This is said to have provided Cembrit with total assurance according to Ged Ferris, Cembrit UK marketing manager, who said: “We are pleased that SFS have developed an innovative mechanical secret fix system for use with the standard 8mm thick rainscreen cladding boards. Designed and tested by SFS for use with fibre cement cladding, the combination of SFS rear rivets and Cembrit boards create an attractive façade, uninterrupted by visible fixings.

“SFS has proven the rivet’s effectiveness in the clearest terms through its extensive testing and this gives us complete confidence in recommending the fastener’s use in any Cembrit rainscreen applications in the UK.”

According to SFS, installation of TUF-S requires just a standard hole with no need for complex undercutting – this is said to provide the installer with the flexibility to drill new holes on site if required to accommodate unforeseen issues. The rivet reportedly also eliminates the risk of overtorquing, which can damage the rainscreen panels, and has high pull-out values with no unwinding and uninstallation possible via a hex head.