Until 1984, when the Building Research Establishment (UK) published a paper on the ‘Performance Specification for Wall Ties’, there had been no examination of the performance requirements of wall ties and no basis for their design and testing. Mild steel twist ties, were weak and subject to corrosion while remedial ties were based on masonry fixings and in many cases were often ineffective or, due to their rigidity, actually caused further masonry damage by creating additional stresses and cracking.
Recognising the need for a purpose-designed wall tie, Helifix engineered an entirely new style of remedial tie, using austenitic stainless steel, with a unique helical shape. A non-expansion mechanical resin fixing, this new tie was very strong axially, to resist wind suction, yet sufficiently flexible to accommodate natural building movement, introducing no further stresses and avoiding expansion.
An on-going programme of research and development has, over the years, produced a variety of innovative wall ties, fixings and repair systems. These include: RetroTie, the first of the stainless steel helical wall ties; InSkew, a high performance, self-tapping warm roof batten fixing; TurboFast a multi-purpose timber to masonry flush fixing; DryFix, a rapidly installed remedial wall tie requiring no grouts, resins or mechanical expansion that uses a specially developed power-driven tool for a recessed installation; the Helibeam System of structural beaming, using existing masonry, that reinforces the structure, spreads loads and minimises the need for mass underpinning.
All Helifix products have undergone extensive independent testing at a number of universities in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and around the world, and at well recognised bodies such as the BRE, TRADA and the TRL. Full details of the complete test programme are available here. Furthermore, Helifix products are manufactured to exacting standards in Helifix’s own UK factory, under the ISO 9001 quality assurance scheme, ensuring high levels of quality control and traceability.