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Fastening solution for wooden terraces increasing lifespan and saving mounting time

Country of Origin: Austria
Reference Number: TOAT20160531001
Publication Date: 31 May 2016

Summary

An Austrian SME developed and successfully markets a fastening system for outdoor ground covers made of wood. It minimizes damage caused by moisture and substantially increases the lifetime of the cover. It is easily, quickly and precisely mounted in half the time and not visible on the terrace surface. The SME is looking for companies from timber industry (wood-processing, retailer), horticulture, landscaping etc. for license and/or commercial agreements with technical assistance.

Description

Wooden outdoor flooring is becoming more and more popular. To form a terrace wooden boards are typically mounted parallel to each other (with a small lateral spacing) on a substructure, which is usually present in the form of transverse battens. In all common methods to attach boards to the substructure there are spots where moisture cumulates and is not removed by natural ventilation. This leads to local swelling and destruction of the boards. In addition moisture-related quite natural dimensional changes (swelling and shrinkage) of the wooden boards are not compensated by the mounting technique. Boards bulge or become loose and lifetime of the cover is reduced.

To overcome the above mentioned disadvantage the Upper Austrian SME successfully developed and markets an optimized solution for mounting of wooden boards to a substructure for outdoor ground covers. The award winning company is specialised in innovative fastening and fixing systems for wood construction for many years.

The fastening system is designed in a way that spots with cumulated moisture are minimized.
This is achieved on the one hand by applying boards with grooves on both sides with the following profile: its width is at least 3 times as large as its depth and it has no boundary surface which is inclined less than 50°.
On the other hand shape and material of the connector are chosen adequately: It consists of a base part, a neck part and projections (see picture 1). The base part in form of a flat rectangular prism lies between substructure and underside of the boards and secures enough distance between board and substructure for sufficient natural ventilation. The neck part (elongated prism)and the projections (shape of a cylinder) extend into the gap between two neighbouring boards. The projections fit into the grooves of the boards and are made of a rubber-elastic material. The boards are mounted in such a way that the elastic projections are slightly compressed, which ensures a sufficiently good fastening.
The projections are dimensioned so that their width is further compressible by a few more percent in order to compensate swelling and shrinkage of the boards without damage. The connector is screwed to the substructure by one countersunk screw (stainless steel) in the gap of the neighbouring boards.

The fastening parts can be manufactured by injection moulding.

The fastening solution can be applied for outdoor ground covers made of wood such as terraces, pool borders, footpaths in parks and gardens, reclining areas in open air baths, landing stages at lakes, benches on concrete bases and other applications in horticulture and landscaping.

So far its application was tested and approved for boards such as Accoya, "Dauerholz", Hevea Brasiliensis, Fundermax exterior, larch, teak, Ipe, Kebony, Thermo oak /ash (Natwood) /pine /spruce /fir, Western Red Cedar, WPC (Wood Plastic Composites) etc.

The Upper Austrian SME is looking for companies from wood processing and retailing industry as well as for companies designing and building leisure facilities, gardens, parks, pools etc. for commercial agreements with technical assistance and/or for license agreements. The partner sought is expected to produce and/or distribute / apply the innovative fastening solution in the respective region / country.
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Advantages and Innovations

The main innovative aspect of the fastening solution is the combination of boards with optimized groove profiles together with an ideally suited connector (tailored in terms of design and material).

The advantages of the novel system are:
- lifetime of wood terraces is substantially increased: for the fastening solution a warranty is issued for 23 years (the company is the only provider issuing guarantees for terraces); this is achieved by minimization of spots with cumulated moisture and by compensating dimensional changes of the wooden boards caused by natural shrinking and swelling.
- approx. 50 % of assembly time is saved: only one screw is used per fastening point (compared to two screws in other techniques); mounting is done in a simple, precise and quick way: a full set of suitable mounting accessories and instructions are provided;
- visually appealing: no screws are visible on the surface of the wood terrace (only the connector is screwed to the substructure and this is done in the gap between the boards); the boards are not harmed by screws and disassembly can be done in a simple and non-destructive way.
- a guaranteed distance of 5 mm between substructure and terrace boards additionally avoids spots with stagnant moisture (natural ventilation is able to remove moisture).
- the gap distance between neighbouring boards is at least 6 mm => reduces moisture in the gaps and is pleasant to walk on;
- the connector is heat- and frost-resistant and resistant to ultraviolet light (it is made of thermoplastic elastomer)

Stage Of Development

Already on the market

Stage Of Development Comment

Since 2012 successfully on the market in Austria, Germany and Switzerland: the fastening solution has already been used for 500,000 sqm of outdoor wooden flooring.

Requested partner

Specific area of activity of the Partner:
- manufacturer of wooden boards, rods, profiles etc. (saw mills)
- wood processing companies such as carpenter, joiner
- specialist dealer for wood products
- horticulturist, landscaping companies
- companies building leisure facilities, outdoor pools, public baths, landing stages, natural swimming ponds
- manufacturer of prefabricated houses

Task to be performed by the Partner:
- commercial partners for distribution / application of the fastening solution in the respective region / country: technical assistance to the partner is provided by the Austrian SME in the form of training, technical support, recommendations for the design of outdoor wood covers, individual testing and approval of applications with client specific types of wood.

- licensees for production and distribution of the fastening solution;

Ideally the partner should already have expertise in the field of wood products.

Only boards with the required groove profiles may be applied. Information about existing suppliers of such boards can be provided if necessary. The specific dimensions of the groove profiles also can be provided: the profiles can be manufactured in a simple way with common wood milling machines.

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