In the discussion and charts of this section, Simpson Strong-Tie presents a three-step system to determine which product coatings and base metals to use in a range of corrosion conditions. These are general guidelines that may not consider all relevant application criteria. Refer to product-specific information for additional guidance.
Simpson Strong-Tie evaluated the AWPA Use Categories (See AWPA U1-16) and ICC-ES AC257 Exposure Conditions and developed a set of corrosion resistance recommendations. These recommendations address the coating systems and materials used by Simpson Strong-Tie for fastener, connector and anchor products. Although the AWPA Use Categories and ICC-ES AC257 Exposure Conditions specifically address treated-wood applications and some common corrosion agents, Simpson Strong-Tie believes that its recommendations may be applied more generally to other application conditions, insofar as the service environments discussed are similar. You should consult with a corrosion engineer concerning the application where advisable.
Guidelines for Selecting Corrosion-Resistant Connectors and Fasteners
Step 1 — Evaluate the Corrosion Conditions
- Dry Service: Generally INTERIOR applications including wall and ceiling cavities, and in raised floor applications in enclosed buildings that have been designed to prevent condensation and exposure to other sources of moisture. Prolonged periods of wetness during construction should also be considered, as this may constitute a Wet Service or Elevated Service condition. Dry Service is typical of AWPA UC 1 and UC 2 for wood treatment and AC257 Exposure Condition 1. Keep in mind that dry-service environment may contain airborne salts. AC257 Exposure Condition 2 reflects the presence of airborne salt in a dry-service environment and corrosion hazard to exposed metal surfaces. It does not include effects of treatment chemicals. This condition is generally considered in Elevated and Uncertain assessments.
- Wet Service: Generally EXTERIOR construction in conditions other than elevated service. These include Exterior Protected and Exposed and General Use Ground Contact as described by AWPA UC4A. The AWPA U1 standard classifies exterior above-ground treatments as Use Categories UC 3 (A and B) depending on moisture run-off; and for exterior ground-contact levels of protection, it has Use Categories UC 4 (A-C). ICC-ES AC257 considers the exterior exposure to be limited by the presence of treatment chemicals, and corrosion accelerators. In general, the AC257 Exposure Condition 1 includes AWPA Use Categories UC 1 (interior/dry) and UC 2 (interior/ damp), while Exposure Condition 3 is a surrogate to UC3A, 3B, and 4A (exterior, above-ground and ground-contact, general use). The ICC-ES AC257 Exposure Conditions 2 and 4 are exposures that are salt environments.
- Elevated Service: Includes fumes, fertilizers, soil, some preservative-treated wood (AWPA UC4B and UC4C), industrial-zone atmospheres, acid rain, salt air, and other corrosive elements.
- Uncertain: Unknown exposure, materials, or treatment chemicals.
- Ocean/Water Front Service: Marine environments that include airborne chlorides, salt air, and some salt splash. Environments with de-icing salts are included.
Step 2 — Determine Your Corrosion Resistance Classification
To determine the appropriate classification, please refer to the Corrosion Resistance Classification table on the General Corrosion Information page.
Step 3 — Match Your Corrosion Resistance Classification to the Coatings and Materials AvailableTo match your classification to the available coatings and materials, please refer to Materials and Coatings for Connectors or Materials and Coatings for Fasteners.
Preservative-Treated Wood Information
Simpson Strong-Tie is aware of issues regarding corrosion around the perimeter of some slab-on-grade foundations in the State of Hawaii, related to steel products that are made by multiple manufacturers, and which are either in contact with, or embedded in, the concrete. As this has involved some of our products, Simpson Strong-Tie takes these instances seriously and has been investigating the causes of the corrosion.
In general, we have identified a number of factors that may contribute to the corrosion of steel products in contact with, or embedded in, some concrete slabs in Hawaii, including: misinstallation, the local environment, and construction practices and materials, including quality and composition of the concrete. Steel products in contact with, or embedded in, the foundation, such as bottom CFS tracks, anchor bolts, reinforcing bar, and steel straps and anchors have all been observed to be experiencing accelerated corrosion in some instances.
Consistent with its generally applicable guidelines and warnings, Simpson Strong-Tie recommends that builders work closely with their specifiers and corrosion engineers to make sure they understand the corrosion issues that may present themselves on any given project. Many environments and materials can contribute to corrosion, including ocean salt air, condensation, duration of wetness, chlorides, sulfates, preservative-treated wood, dissimilar metals, soils, and more. The building design and implementation, quality of construction, and incidents of misinstallation can directly affect the exposure to corrosive conditions of products in contact with, or embedded in, concrete. A product intended and installed for use in a dry-service environment may corrode if the structure design or building materials allow moisture intrusion, or expose the product to corrosive conditions, such as moisture or chemicals contained in the construction materials, soils, or atmospheres.
Specifiers should also take into consideration specifying the appropriate design mix for the concrete foundation and follow the durability provisions of the latest building code and the standards set forth by the American Concrete Institute. Chloride deposition rates for Hawaii should be considered as well as chloride content in the soils. Designers must take all of these factors into account when deciding which Simpson Strong-Tie products to use with which corrosion-resistant coatings or materials, especially when in contact with other materials such as concrete. For additional information on corrosion and corrosion resistance of Simpson Strong-Tie products, please go to strongtie.com/solutions/corrosion.
In order to obtain optimal performance from Simpson Strong-Tie products and achieve the allowable design load, as well as meet the requirements of Simpson’s limited warranty, the products must be properly installed and used in accordance with accepted design principles, the corrosion information, installation instructions, and design limits provided by Simpson Strong-Tie. For more information on Simpson Strong-Tie’s Warnings and Limited Warranty, please go to strongtie.com/information/limited-warranties.
Simpson has not seen the patterns of corrosion incidents referenced above outside of Hawaii. However, if you are aware of incidents of corrosion around the perimeter of slab-on-grade foundations occurring outside of Hawaii involving Simpson products, please contact the Simpson Strong-Tie Engineering department at (800) 999-5099. If you have additional questions or need further assistance regarding this matter, please contact our Hawaii representative at (808) 479-1216 or ask for the Simpson Strong-Tie Engineering department at (800) 999-5099.