What are P.A.F’s?

What are P.A.F’s? Well, they are most widely known in the construction world as powder actuated fasteners. First developed in the early 1920s by Robert Temple, they became commonplace in the construction world by the late 1940s. The power of powder actuated tools offers an efficient, reliable and safe method for many construction applications. Available for use with concrete, wood, and steel substrates.

Three different models of P.A.T’s (powder actuated tools) are commonly available; a single-shot, semiautomatic, and automatic.

Popular types of fasteners include drive pin and threaded studs. Drive pins are effective for permanent fastening while threaded fasteners are better suited for securing removable hardware.

The ICC-ES recently updated their Acceptance Criteria 70 for product evaluations of Fasteners Power-Driven into Concrete, Steel and Masonry Elements. These updates allowed for a wider usage of P.A.F’s on nonstructural systems.

Powder charges follow a color-coded system to identify application power. Browns, greens, yellows, and/or reds are used frequently for concrete, while yellows, red, and/or purples are frequently used for steel. Along with color coding, the higher the number, the greater the driving power.

A pro-tip is to never fasten into a hollow block because it can blow out a crater, leaving little material to grip the fastener.

A very common use for P.A.F.s are for fastening the sill plate of a wood frame into a concrete substrate. To avoid concrete splitting, fasteners should be spaced 3” minimum, the thickness of the slab should also be 3x as deep as the fastener penetration. Also, minimum edge conditions in accordance with the manufacturer specifications should be observed.

A center punch test is recommended to use since one can see whether the fastener point makes a clear impression in the material without blunting. If the fastener blunts the material, it is too hard, if it cracks or shatters, it is too brittle, and if the fastener sinks, the base material is too soft.
For all your powder actuated fasteners and other hardware needs contact Fastening Specialists Inc.

Author: Sofia Covelli