Concrete anchors: if you’re fastening a material to concrete, few solutions are as powerful, nor as convenient. However, with all of the choices in the market, specifying the perfect wedge anchor can be a challenge. Luckily, Armaflo is making that decision-making process easier than ever, highlighting the various options on offer and what they’re used for. Check it out!
Before we delve into our advice on concrete anchors, let’s slow down and answer one key question first: what are concrete anchors, and what do they actually do?
Concrete Anchors Explained
It’s all quite simple. A concrete anchor (regardless of the manufacturer) is composed of two separate pieces that are permanently pre-assembled into a single unit. One piece is a carbon steel rod that’s threaded for a portion of its length and the anchor features a necked-down diameter (or conical space) that tapers back to the diameter of the rod.
Meanwhile, the second element of a concrete anchor is a simple steel slip (or a ‘sleeve’ as it’s commonly referred to in the industry). This part is permanently pre-assembled around the conical section of the rod.
When both of these parts are combined with a nut and square washer, you’ve got yourself some seriously strong concrete support. Indeed, it’s important to note that whilst concrete anchors can be used in numerous applications, they cannot be used in block or brick.
Whilst there are a lot of options out there, wedge anchors all work according to the same principle. They’re also largely made from the same basic materials and provide a similar level of high-quality performance. So – what’s the real difference? How can tradies be sure that they’ve chosen the right kind of concrete anchor?
How to Choose the Right Concrete Anchor
Regardless of the task at hand, your anchor must be industry-approved and fully certified to have undergone rigorous testing. This is where European Technical Assessments come in.
The Construction Products Regulation legislates that all anchors sold for safety-critical applications should have suitable approval. Those that achieve that level of approval will carry a CE mark, as well as the manufacturer’s ‘Declaration of Performance’ which is a guarantee of the loads they can take. Anchors are safety-critical, and these regulations reflect that.
So, when it comes to choosing the right anchor, start out by ensuring your available options are covered with CE marking and a Declaration of Performance. For help and advice on making the right selection, don’t leave it to guessing – get in touch with Armaflo!
Once you’ve taken this critical step, you can get to work on choosing the perfect concrete anchor. Keep reading to learn more about these unique products and the various benefits they offer!
① Lipped Wedge Anchors
Lipped wedge anchors provide a permanently fixed threaded socket in
concrete, and allow for the easy installation of bolts and rods without damaging the anchor itself.
These anchors perform in a similar way to a standard wedge anchor. However, the lip stops the anchor from dropping into the bottom of a deep hole.
Commonly referred to as red eyes and redheads, these can be set using a tool and a hammer and are ideal for suspending building services from a ceiling or wall.
② Loose Bolt Shield Anchors
Loose bolt shield anchors are unique in that they provide a three-way expansion shield suitable for use in brick and concrete. This product features thick walls in its expanders, giving it exceptional grip. It also allows it to accommodate larger, oversized holes caused by powerful drills in weaker materials such as brickwork.
These anchors are suitable for both medium and heavy-duty loads and can be used to mount brackets (such as satellite dishes, for example) to masonry walls. The unique design of this anchor means that as the bracket is pulled forward the bolt expands, creating a stronger grip.
③ Wedge Anchors
Designed for use with concrete only, wedge anchors fit into a concrete hole permanently: simple.
Featuring a simple yet highly convenient mechanism, wedge anchors allow consistent holding values to be achieved. Indeed, watching these products work can be a highly satisfying experience.
To start, an anchor is inserted into the concrete hole and the nut is turned clockwise. This action pills the anchor body upwards, which then slides the expansion clip down the cone-shaped working end of the wedge anchor. Following this step, the clip is expanded and effectively ‘wedges’ between the anchor’s body and the concrete itself.
Anchorbolts often form vital parts of virtually any building or renovation project, and are largely unavoidable when you need to attach anything to a wall that’s made of bricks, stones or concrete. Generally used to connect two or more structural parts to bricks, plaster or concrete, these products feature a sleeve. The sleeve expands in a pre-drilled hole causing a tight fit and extremely strong anchoring. That’s why these products are commonly referred to as ‘sleeve bolts’.
Adding to the convenience of these products is their easy and convenient removal. If you ever need to remove yours, it’s a simple matter of twisting the nut using a basic wrench.
⑤ Through-bolt Anchors
Through-bolt anchors are entirely different from other concrete fastening options. Unlike other anchors, these torque-controlled solutions rely on friction and must be installed using a torque wrench.
These products are suited to through-fix installations because they fix straight through the fixture and into the substrate.
Our main piece of advice when using through-bolt anchors? Don’t get carried away with tightening them! We often deal with installers who over-tighten these bolts with a long lever. However, this places stress on the anchor and should therefore be avoided.