Answers to FAQ

1. Are ET&F® pins covered under local building codes?

ET&F® pins are recognized by the ICC Evaluation Service, Inc., IAPMO UES Evaluation Service, and several local or regional agencies. See ICC Reports ESR-2398, ESR-1777, ESR-1844, ESR-2290 and IAPMO Report ER-335 for details.  Most local jurisdictions recognize these reports, but this needs to be verified by the responsible design professional on a specific project. ET&F® pins also have been recognized in reports from the Florida Building Product Commission. Contact us for to obtain copies of these reports.


2. Do pins meet or exceed the holding strength of screws?

On a one-to-one basis, screws usually offer greater holding strength than pins when withdrawal strength is measured.  This may not be true when pull over strength is compared, due to similar head diameters of the two fasteners.  However, for most applications, the installation of a few more pins than screws, allows the assembly made with pins to carry the same loads as an assembly built with screws. Installing more pins than screws can be easily justified due to significantly reduced labor to install pins.


3. The specs on my project require I install screws at 8 on center.  Can I just go ahead and install ET&F® pins at 8 on center?

Probably not.  Screws and pins are different types of fasteners and have different allowable design values.  Before making a change, we suggest a request for substitution be submitted to the responsible design professional.  Using our code approved allowable load tables and the design loads on the project, the correct pin spacing can be calculated.  ET&F® can provide submittal packages with a Request For Substitution form and design information to you for this process.


4. Your technical reports refer to steel framing.  Can your pins be used to attach plywood to steel decking?

Yes, our AKN-100 series or AGS-100 series pins can be used to attach plywood panels to corrugated metal roof deck 22ga to 14ga thickness, subject to the design values shown IAPMO Report ER-335.  Refer to Table 3 of the report for nominal withdrawal values for various combinations of plywood thickness and steel gauge.  Although this table specifically refers to steel framing, the design values are also appropriate for use in comparable gauges of steel decking.

Using the allowable withdrawal values shown in this table and wind uplift loads for a specific project, the actual pin spacing can be calculated by the design professional. Select pins long enough to penetrate the valley of the corrugation.  If pins are sized to only penetrate though the plywood and top of the corrugation, and the installer misplaces the pin and misses the top of the corrugation, the pin will not penetrate the steel as required.

Prior to finalizing the design, check if there is a requirement for the plywood to resist diaphragm shear load and if Factory Mutual Approval is required for fasteners used to attach the plywood deck.

Also confirm that fastener spacing provides adequate strength to meet APA minimum requirements for plywood panel installation to prevent panel buckling.


5. I have a very lightly loaded plywood roof deck (or wall).  Is okay to space ET&F® pins at 12 on center everywhere?

No.  The maximum spacing of fasteners for plywood attachment should be 6 on center at supported edges and 12 on center at intermediate supports.  Be sure to confirm maximum uplift values do not exceed allowable pin pullout values published in IAPMO ER-335.  Also see the IAPMO and ICC Reports for horizontal diaphragm and shear wall values respectively.


6. What should I use for blocking on shear walls and horizontal diaphragms?

A single flat strap, screwed to the stud, on the side of the stud to which the plywood is to be fastened can be used.  The strap must be of the same gauge as the stud.  It is not necessary to use a full section of stud or a second strap on the backside of the stud as blocking.  A single strap is sufficient to provide the allowable shear values as shown in IAPMO ER-335 and ICC ESR-1777 for blocked diaphragms and shear walls. See applicable code for specific requirements.


7. The specs on my job require that the fasteners comply with ASTM C954, ASTM C-1002 and SAE J78.  Do your pins meet these specs?

The complete referenced ASTM standards are Standard C954, Standard Specifications for Steel Drill Screws for the Application of Gypsum Panel Products and ASTM C1002, Standard Specification for Self-Piercing Tapping Screws. These ASTM standards for screws specify such attributes as metallurgy, dimensions (e.g. head recess, major thread diameter), performance requirements (e.g. spin out/backout), and test methods (e.g. drill speed in rpm, driving pressure) SAE J78, Standard Specification for Self-Drill Tapping Screws specifies similar screw qualities. Our fasteners are not screws, are not installed by screws guns and as such, require a different metallurgy and heat treatment, do not have recessed heads for various drive styles, and do not utilize standard thread forms.

Our fasteners do however have ICC and IAPMO recognition for installing plywood, exterior gypsum sheathing, and DensGlass brands of sheathing to light gauge steel studs. Utilizing the design data published in ICC ES Reports ESR-2398 and ESR-1777 and IAPMO ER-335 in most cases, a project originally designed for screws can be redesigned utilizing pins.


8. Pins cost more than the screws Im using now.  Why should I use pins?

Consider the installed cost of the fasteners.  ET&F® pins can be installed at rates 5 to 10 times faster than screws.  The labor savings costs more than offsets the higher material costs.  ET&F® offers a worksheet which allows you to calculate the cost savings of pins based on your specific labor rates.  Contact ET&F® for a copy of this form.


9. The ET&F® tool I purchased came with a 3/8 air fitting.  All my other tools use 1/4 fittings.  Can I change the fitting on your tool to 1/4?

We recommend that all ET&F® tools be used with 3/8 fittings.  The tools may perform fine in 20 ga and 18 ga steel (Models 500, 500M, 510 and 610) or in low strength concrete (Aerico® 90) with 1/4 fittings.  But, when more power is needed for thicker steel or higher strength concrete, 3/8 fittings are necessary.


10. Can I shoot AKN-100 pins in a Model 510 tool?

No, it is not recommended.  The large barrel of the Model 510 tool will allow the headed AKN-100 pins to drift as they are driven.  This may cause the pins to not drive straight, particularly in the heavier gages of steel.  Only AGS-100 series pins are recommended for use in the Model 510 tool.


11. Can I buy tools and pins directly from ET&F®?

ET&F® products are sold through independent distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Contact us for a list of distributors in your area.


12. Does the use of pins affect the warranties offered by suppliers of other materials?

Terms of warranties vary by manufacture, and may or may not be effected by substrate attachment or the type of fastener.  For example, manufactures of EIFS wall systems, exclude the substrate attachment from the scope of their work, so the substrate attachment is usually not in their warranty.  Manufactures of other materials such as Georgia Pacifics DensGlass®, and James Hardies fiber cement siding do address fasteners in their warranty and do offer their standard warranties when ET&F®  pins are used. The supplier providing the warranty for the project should be contacted directly for terms of their warranty.