EJOT Colorfast’s promise confirmed in thirty years of real-life data

  • 12 Apr 2023

The EJOT Colorfast nylon headed self-drilling fastener system has been the go-to solution for roofing and cladding specifiers who are seeking to colour match the fasteners with the cladding for three decades. 

The team behind its development in the early 1990s believed it had the potential to revolutionise how the industry creates colourful facades by making it easier to achieve the installation quality required to deliver a building envelope with lasting visual appeal. 

And after thirty years in the market, and now three generations of the range, it is clear the team’s ambitions have been realised. How? Look at the real-life data collected over that period.


How Colorfast started

The key innovation was the design of the head, which was engineered to maximise structural integrity and performance through uniform compression of the washer. At the same time, the concept of over-moulding challenged the convention that colour matching could only be done by painting, powder coating or using cover caps. 

Given that all of these options came with compromises, EJOT believed that over-moulding presented a more holistic solution that could be developed long term. The concept was tested, approved, and the Colorfast brand was registered.

Initially the Colorfast range offered around 50 colours aligned with RAL and British Steel swatches. This palette was considered to be extensive at the time and ranged from the expected plethora of greys through to lesser used options such as ‘Petra Red’, ‘Terracotta’ and ‘Solent Blue’. There was even the exotically named ‘Eau De Nil’ or ‘water of the Nile’. By contrast, today there are nearly 400 colours available.

Designed to perform

With a head moulded over the fastener’s flanged, metal hexagon, Colorfast allows for a bi-hex torque to transmit directly for a positive and secure driving process. This design principle changed installation options forever, giving installers an easy way to achieve a dependable seal at the head, maximising corrosion resistance above the line of the roofing sheet. 

The design was a game-changer in that it drastically reduced the risk of over-driving when in tandem with the correct installation tool. This was achieved through various innovations in drill point design combined with the bi-hex drive – both allied to application-specific thread geometries requiring allotted drive speed and torque. These remain the key ingredients for a range of fasteners that aims to optimise installation and product-life performance. 

Key to Colorfast’s performance capabilities is its manufacture in both carbon steel and stainless steel which means it can accommodate the most demanding environments. The initial range of self-drilling Colorfast fasteners has been continuously evolving and today its third generation of head composition is available in a range as broad as EJOT’s vast portfolio of self-drilling fasteners itself. 

Colorfast, three decades on

With an estimated 640 million Colorfast screws now sold – including 26 million in 2022 alone to UK and international export markets – EJOT has amassed a wealth of performance data and anecdotal evidence to support its performance claims. This applies to both colour stability and corrosion resistance.

What has kept Colorfast at the forefront of the market for three decades is EJOT’s continuous development aligned to regular recalibration and testing. This is required to stay compliant with environmental legislation, both in the UK and internationally, which is regularly reviewed and updated.

This is necessary because the permitted chemical composition of coloured plastics is constantly changing, which means regular updates are needed to the nylon used for Colorfast heads. This, in turn, has the potential to impact on the product’s ‘light-fastness’ strength. As a result, ongoing testing and tweaking of the UV stability of all 382 colour combinations is required in line with the most recognised colour matching systems, including RAL, NCS and Pantone.

Ensuring that the fastener heads retain their original colour through the design life of the building is imperative from an aesthetic perspective. This is why a key part of EJOT’s process for maintaining colour stability is to archive key performance data from existing installations. This provides firm evidence on which to assess how well the colour has retained over time and a benchmark for future improvements should they be necessary.

From a specifier or contractor’s perspective, choosing products like Colorfast gives greater control and reduces risk, which is particularly important for fasteners given their role in creating weathertight, airtight and visually appealing buildings with future-proofed performance.

Find out more about EJOT Colorfast at www.ejot.co.uk.

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