The types of steel anchors

Here are a few basic points explaining the function of steel anchors:

  • these are anchors (sometimes called foundation anchor bolts or machine anchor bolts) that are typically utilised to anchor into steel or concrete;
  • they are often found as major construction components on things such as steel bridges, steel structures, concrete structures and in the automotive industry etc. They have a wide range of industrial and domestic applications and can even be found, in plastic, within computers and other electronic devices;
  • steel is perhaps the most common material for such anchors but those made of copper, brass, aluminium and fibreglass are also available;
  • the exact shapes and natures of the steel anchors required will, of course, depend upon the environment you’re operating in and the basis of your requirements;
  • these bolts are typically clearly rated to maximum load levels.  It’s important to understand the exact loadings (including the force mechanics such as sheer and tensile loadings) that they will need to support and to make sure that you understand the mathematics required to verify that in terms of total loads and appropriate anchor selection;
  • a good security-based rough rule of thumb is to plan to load each fixing to no more than around 25% of its rating;
  • the selection essentially also needs to take into account the rating of the anchor, the material it is made of, the purpose it’s being used for, the materials it’s being used with and the required shape and engineering geometry of the anchor bolt itself (they come in various shapes);
  • steel anchors for use in modest DIY type applications around the home or in general domestic applications might be selected based upon general understandings of these calculations.  If your job is structural or industrial, it might be advisable to seek specialist advice relating to the calculations and eventual selection of the most appropriate anchors for the job;
  • this isn’t something that is best assessed through casual conversations with sales staff at DIY outlets who possibly have limited expertise – it is something that might be best progressed via seeking specialist help from an expert supplier.

Using the right anchor bolts, fitted in the right way, can make a job relatively easy and the final result sound.

If you don’t get that right, the results might not only be sub-optimal but they could be positively dangerous. As you can also probably imagine, mistakes might also prove to be very expensive!


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