Why slot-and-blade is better than the widely used hole and dowel?

Contains the title, slot and blade vs hole and dowels in big letters, masked on top of a facade photo

Rainscreen Cladding is the best choice for the opaque part of the building envelope. Among the different side fixing methods available for cladding panels, slot-blade is gaining popularity by winning over the widely used dowel-hole lately. We bring you the reason for this changing trend underlining the major advantages of slot-blade over the other.

A 3d detail of slot-and-blade fixing
Slot-and-blade fixing with BILDA Rainscreen Cladding System
A 3d detail of standard hole and dowel fixing
Hole and Dowel Fixing, source - Ancon Stone Support

The main difference between the slot-blade and dowel-hole fixing are:

High Wind Resistance: F1>F2: Wind load performance is better with the slot-blade fixing method as the load is uniformly distributed along the width of the blade, unlike the dowel where the load is acting on a single point.

2d graph showing the high wind resistance of panels, using a slot-and-blade fixing system.

Infographic about slot-and-blade vs hole and dowel fixing

Low Panel Thickness: a1<a2: The thickness of the slot is 2-3 mm while the dowel-hole’s diameter is usually 8-10 mm; This results in a lesser depth of material left to resist the load actions;

2d graph showing the decreased panel thickness when using slot-and-blade fixing.

Easy Panel Processing: Slots achieved through a simple linear cutting that takes much less time compared to drilling circular holes on the panel

Low-cost: Cladding panel downsizing, less time in panel machining results in a saving of 12-20 euro/sqm;

High Overall Performance: Slot-blade fixing method offers better static performance due to the possibility of wedge and clasp fixing along with other benefits of profiled cladding system;