Gala Tent has acquired a patent for Spirotite, a fastener that has dispensed with a thread and uses compression instead.
With no thread, Spirotite is not affected by vibration so won't work loose under vibration, cutting maintenance costs. Similarly, thread corrosion and cross threading are not an issue. The thread-free design also provides cost savings in production.
The fastener uses a coiled locking wedge which mates with an equal and opposite wedged groove. It provides what appears to be a parallel square section internal thread, the nut of which can be slipped over and pushed along a plain shaft until it is in the position required. The body of the fastener is then turned by hand, or with a suitable tool, closing it tight. A slight deformation on the leading and trailing edge of the locking element generates a consistent radial force, which grips the shaft tightly, doubling the fastening force, the firm said.
Spirotite was first developed at least seven years ago. Originally produced for the events industry to secure large tents, the fastener has the potential for use in production line products, including the automotive industry, according to Gala Tent.
“We are really excited about this innovation, which is suitable for a wide range of applications, from automotive to tool manufacturing to engineering," said Gala Tent Group CEO Jason Mace. "As well as being an extremely effective and user-friendly product, Spirotite is produced to the highest quality standards here in the UK.”
CEO Mark Thompson added: “We have developed an innovative fastener that is set to revolutionise the way fasteners are used in industry. The idea for Spirotite was originally developed for Gala Tent for its marquee joint and it means that all the company’s structures are easier and safer to erect. The fixing can also be scaled for the larger commercial modular structures, which will also enhance the security of the marquee, and speeding up the erection time in the process.”
Gala Tent is a supplier to organisations like the military, NHS, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, South Yorkshire Police Service, St John's Ambulance and AA, as well as businesses and homeowners nationally.
Andrew Scott, Director and Chief Engineer said: “Spirotite’s technology can be further developed for a wide range of applications, such as Motorsport, to enable a quick change of wheels with adjustable lock-buts, where long lengths of studding would normally be required. It is also ideal for quick-release systems, for example for use in replacement joints for other medical devices and purposes. Spirotite is particularly well suited for use in production line products, such as in the automotive industry."