Thinking about using these Hurriquake nails when I build my house in a few
on Vancouver Island. It would only add about $100 to the cost of the house,
the earthquake potential here it seems like a prudent move. It will be a
2500 sq ft rancher
with 25 ft valulted roof.
Has anyone have a comments in regards to these?
BTW you have a nice portfolio Mike.
Thanks: Dean bccomoxvalley At yahoo.ca
I don't have any experience with them, but from everything I have heard/read
they are a good choice. They solve three issues at once, that are found in
hurricanes, and I am sure that they would help in earthquakes too. Not to
mention the occasional wind storm that has swept through the lower mainland
The three most common failures of a nail during a storm are:
1) nail shears off where the wood pieces meet. These nails have a straight
shaft to maximize their strength at this point.
2) wood gets pulled off nail. These nails have a larger head, to minimize
3) nail gets pulled out of wood. The spiral end of the nail has a better
hold in the wood.
So, enjoy the island and spend the extra $100 to help ensure it is a long
Thank you for posting this. I've been through earthquakes and am interested
in something new like this. I found the link below and a video at the bottom
of the page...
or (if above link does nto work)...
Go here and click on the Hurriquake graphic, get rid of the pop-up, then
click on the "Product Demonstration" video on the bottom.
The links all lead back to the flash cartoon. No specific engineering
studies of any kind are discussed there.
I've heard excellent things about everything they're purported to do, which
is increase holding strenght against shear, pullout and pullthrough.
However, contractors hate them because you can't "undo" them - ie, if you
fasten something incorrectly (in the wrong place, to the wrong thing, upside
down etc) you're kinda skunked. Any attempt to undo the mistake results in
taking action that the nail is specifically designed to counteract (and does
so amazingly well).
This is the biggest issue when using them in a gun, where it's easy to just
shoot without thinking.
A properly nailed house with regular nails will perform just fine in an
earthquake. The nails shown appear to be a fancy form of ringshank. They
might be worth the cost in a hurricane zone IF the rest of the house has
been properly designed for 170 mph. Otherwise, they are a waste of money.
I wouldn't spend the money on my house. I would just make sure the house
was correctly nailed according to the code and my design criteria.
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
Warning: Long & potentially boring post
I would generally concur with Mr. Morrison's comments on the this nail
plus I'll had my testing experience with shearwalls.
When we cyclically tested shearwalls in the lab we classically got
nail failure just below the surface (~1/8 to 1/4") of the framing
member. I argued that this was due to the excessive number of cycles
that the test sequence imposed on the shearwall & not necessarily the
kind of failure one would get in an earthquake or high wind situation.
Occasionally we got nail pull through but again since we had lots of
cycles in our tests we tended to "force" nail fatigue failure to
Additionally, since the introduction of nail guns....nail heads have
gotten smaller PLUS nail heads are the same size for a 6d gun nail
thru a 16d. Per FF-N-105 (old nail spec) gun makers got to spec head
size, the newer nail spec probably allows this as well.
So with gun nails, even as withdrawl resistance goes up (long nail &
bigger wire diameter) pull through resistance actually goes down. On
hand driven nails head size increases with nail size.
About 10 years again I suggested a "Super Shearwall Nail" to my CE/SE
bigger head (not just a wimpy 25% increase in head area but an even
bigger head than "old school" hand driven nails, a head more like a
ring shank only on 1/2 of the shank
everyone said...."Cool idea, Bob but nobody will use them unless
they're cheaper than current nails" and based on the realities of
the construction business they were correct.
Since these nails appear collated for gun use, my guess is that the
"inventor" probably just bumped up the head diameter to the limits of
guns currently on the market......not nearly enough increase in head
diameter to make a real difference. Plus since these are .113"
diameter, they're at the low end of nail size so as to get the best
head diameter to shank diameter ratio. A .113" diameter nail is
pretty small for shearwalls, .131 is a better choice.
The screw feature under the head (IMO) is baloney......."filling" the
void caused by the rings, Not!
But since using them won't cost anything more than the cost of the
nails......I guess you could give them a try.
If you really want to improve the wind / eq performance of your
up sizing your shearwalls (1/2 ply not 3/8), use some burly hold
add some more shearwalls than just code minimum.
BobK is correct. A 0.113" diameter is the same as a 6d common. Pretty
small for shear wall nailing. Using 6d nails @ 6" o/c with 3/8" sheathing
will get you 200 plf allowable shear. Go to 8d nails @ 6" o/c and 15/32"
sheathing and the capacity jumps to 260 plf (30% increase). Close the
spacing to 4" o/c and the allowable capacity is 380 plf (or almost twice).
I don't specify anything smaller than 0.131" x 2-1/2" (8d common).
Note: I'm now specifying diameter and length. The framer can decide how
best to meet that spec with the equipment he has available.
Except for roof sheathing in high wind zones, withdrawal resistance isn't
all that important for shear wall/diaphragm nails. If withdrawal
resistance is an issue I suggest using screws. Simpson Strong-tie has a
screw system that has been tested and has ICBO/ICC certification for use
in diaphragms and shear walls.
And don't forget the 3" square plate washers on your anchor bolts.
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
Thanks for the information. We have a wealth of knowledge here, and
I will use them if my contractor has no real issues. I will have to check
local code also I guess. For less than $ 100.00 it seems like a nominal
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