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Fixing steel sheet cladding Verulam has had another anonymous contribution in response to that from Mr Allan (19 May 1998). The problem where the fasteners fixing the steel spacer through a nylon ferrule to a structural rail had snapped overnight is well understood in the automobile industry and amongst manufacturers of bolts and self-drilling fasteners for roofing and cladding applications. The problem, known as ‘hydrogen embrittlement’, is created during the heat process. Very simply, hydrogen is trapped in the microcrevices of the fasteners. If the hydrogen is not removed a potential time bomb is introduced which, when exposed to moisture and certain salts, creates a small explosion which snaps the fastener.