Why Choose Mechanical Deck Fasteners?

Get better results, from installation to inspection

Conventional methods for fastening to structural steel—such as puddle welding—can be costly and potentially unreliable. Hilti mechanical deck fasteners offer a more consistent and cost-efficient alternative.

The key to reliability lies in their engineering and design. And the key to productivity lies in the unique installation system. In fact, in the time it takes to make one puddle weld, installers can set eight Hilti mechanical deck fasteners. 

Hilti Mechanical Fastening System vs. Arc Puddle Welding

Puddle welds vs Deck fasteners

graph: arc time vs weld strength

The human element

Research conducted by Virginia Tech colleagues Gregory L. Snow and W. Samuel Easterling found that arc time has a tremendous effect on weld strength (as represented in the graph above). Proper arc welding for steel deck spot welding takes an average of 8.1 seconds for a 5/8" puddle weld and 12.8 seconds for a 3/4" puddle weld. A lack of consistency in human performance for puddle welding in the field can result in significant reductions in weld strength.

Read the Virginia Tech Weld Study Report
a welder working on steel deck

Weld inspections

In reference to a typical weld inspection, an official in Vancouver said: “[I] check the puddle size. Not really anything else you can do.”

But because weld diameter is confirmed by a visual inspection, welders may increase the amperage on their equipment to achieve a bigger puddle—without ensuring proper fusion. Mechanical fasteners do not allow for this kind of manipulation.

Mechanical deck fasteners

When asked about Hilti mechanical deck fasteners, the same inspector said: “[I] check to see that the pins were installed into the steel below. Pins are better because they are verifiable.” 

The physics behind Hilti mechanical deck fasteners

Get the physical integrity of a weld, a screw fastener, and a pin all in one mechanically installed Hilti mechanical deck fastener. With the consistent force of a powder-actuated Hilti mechanical deck fastener Tool, you’ll achieve consistent friction, mechanical interlock, soldering and brazing, and fusion performance—fastener after fastener—regardless of operator experience. The result is superior performance in shear and uplift with capacities that typically meet and often exceed the capacities of spot welds.

friction, mechanical interlock, soldering, brazing, and fusion help Hilti deck fasteners stay in place

Benefits of greater ductility

You know that even the strongest steel and concrete structures are subject to cyclic loading. And that’s where Hilti mechanical deck fasteners outperform typical puddle welds—which don’t allow for load redistribution and can’t sustain excessive deformations without fracture.

In the videos below, experts in the Hilti Fastening Systems Research Laboratory show how our mechanical fasteners—whether single or pairs—outperform puddle welds with respect to cyclic inelastic behavior under cyclic loading. Compare the sharp decline in puddle weld performance around the 0:50 mark of each video.

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Hilti Deck Fastener vs. Single Puddle Weld

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Hilti Deck Fasteners vs. Double Puddle Welds

Consistency. Reliability. Productivity.

top hat design of hilti deck fasteners

Achieve the trifecta of performance in your steel decking installations with the superior performance and ease of installation from Hilti mechanical deck fasteners.

Their unique top-hat design helps clamp the deck to the structure with proper penetration that improves the quality of fastening pin after pin. An adjustable power regulator on our easy-to-use installation tool lets you drive mechanical deck fastener into the base steel at an optimal depth to help prevent the pins from being overdriven.