The AFFIX Spider was developed, designed, modeled and tested in 2015 by the FGS Engineering Team. FGS decided to invest in a small, high quality team of Engineers with a wide range of skill sets. This combined knowledge was drawn upon to create the AFFIX Spider range. We decided that we did not want to follow the normal trend of sourcing generic spider fittings from around the world, so we took it upon ourselves to design and manufacture a spider range that was extremely strong, aesthetically pleasing and unique. It took many months to go through a rigorous process but we have come out of the other side with a world leading product range.
Spider fittings are structural fittings used to link cladding back to a building’s structure and the most commonly used type of cladding is Grade A safety glass. Glass has a density of 2500kgm-3 and it is not uncommon for a piece of glass used in commercial facades to weigh in the vicinity of 300kg, and be subjected to cyclonic wind pressures. Ensuring safety and performance in our spider product are our highest priority and we employ Independent NATA Accredited testing laboratories in Australia to conduct destructive testing on our spider range. Most of our competitors source generic spider fittings from China or India which claim to be tested, but we are the only manufacturer in Australia who can produce a nationally recognized testing report on request for verification.
Research and Development
The spider fitting was reimagined from the grounds up both functionally and aesthetically. Seamless surface transition between anchoring surfaces were achieved through investment in advanced industrial and engineering design software such as Rhinoceros and TopSolid.
Finite Element Analysis:
As the AFFIX took shape, we assessed the fitting performance using finite element analysis to identify areas with high stress concentrations and progressively made improvements to our design to reduce or eliminate these imperfections.[Picture to come…]
The final step in our design journey was to manufacture prototypes of our products to physically identify any design flaws from an installation or manufacturing perspective. We employed a local rapid prototyping company to print 3D ABS models in 1:1 scale using the STEP files we have prepared. This allows us to do a final check on the design before we invested in tooling for investment lost wax casting.
We at FGS strongly believe in stringent product testing in compliance to relevant Australian Standards to guarantee the performance of our structural spider fitting products. This is in the interest of the general public as failure or misrepresentation in the performance of a structural product will endanger lives.
We employed Melbourne Testing Services Pty. Ltd (MTS), a NATA Accredited testing laboratory to conduct destructive testing on all the spider products. MTS is accredited with the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and complies with the requirements of ISO/ IEC 17025 ensuring that all testing and calibrations are carried out in accordance with strict quality control initiatives and all relevant Australian and International Standards are adhered to. MTS has over 25 years’ experience in mechanical and structural testing.
We publish our factored load data in our product drawings, inclusive of 2.0 factor of safety and 1.15 variability factors in structural units. Raw test data can be viewed by sight and by appointments only.
At FGS, we are not here just to sell a product; we aim to provide a service to our valued customers. We offer a complimentary glass checking service and provide advice and recommendations on minimum glass thickness requirements in project specific applications.