The innovation of hammer driven helical fixings originated from a GKN/Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) programme undertaken in the 1970’s, headed by their Chief Architect John Ollis. Together with his son Henry they researched, tested, developed and patented a wide range of fixing and reinforcement technologies using extrusions, drawn tubes and wire sections.
As the originators and pioneers of the helical fixing concept, John and Henry Ollis founded HELIFIX Ltd in 1984, to exploit their early-patented technologies under licence. HELIFIX was licensed to manufacture under the Ollis’s two patents, EP0150906B1 and EP0171250B1 in 1986, and subsequently Target Fixings Ltd., (U.K.), and Brutt Helical Kft were also licensed. Many helical stainless steel ties and reinforcement wires bear the Ollis’s Pat. No. 171250. This is a European Patent No EP0171250B1 which had a priority date of 31/07/1984 which expired in July 2005.
In the late 1990’s the Ollises formed the Thor Helical product development team to progress and nurture new concepts, with highly consistent characteristics, using precision engineering to tolerance levels that had not previously been achievable. This comprehensive second generation range of Thor Helical fixings, wall ties, reinforcement wires and anchors have been designed to suit a variety of construction and repair applications. New patents have been filed on many products, manufacturing methods and building applications, as one innovation has followed another.
GKN/Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) study addresses the effect of timber shrinkage on the integrity of conventional nails. The project delivers headless helical rods that interlock with the fibres of the timber along the full length of the anchors’ helix.
• British Patent No: 1233175 – W Ollis
Original roll-profiled helical wire fasteners (and twisted tubular ties) are commercially produced under Licence.
The helical pitch is introduced through a clamping and twisting operation in which one end of a length of profiled wire is secured in a fixed position and the other end held and spun. The twisting forces work their way along the length of the wire to form the helix. The tightly twisted ends portions are discarded to leave a usable length of helical wire having a pitch consistency that fluctuates by less than 2mm.
• European Patent No: 0150906 – W Ollis
• European Patent No: 0171250 – W Ollis
Thor Helical development team design and build an energy efficient and zero waste twisting machinery, through which whole coils of wire are continuously forced to deliver consistent stress and pitch characteristics to tolerances that were not previously achievable.
Thor Helical twisting die technology delivers patented helical wire product with “precise pitch” accuracy to within 1mm per kilometre (0.001mm/m) to supersede earlier brands of helical wire anchors.
• European Patent No: 1307303 – W Ollis
• U.S. Patent No: 7269987 – W Ollis
Thor Helical develops helical fasteners having retaining heads or clips that offer great versatility when used to fix thin or friable layers.
This range of headed helical fasteners is ideal for use in fastening insulation layers to a comprehensive range of masonry and timber construction elements, combining high speed installation with excellent and consistent performance reliability.
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