Whether we’re talking about screws, nails, or any other type of fastener, there are several different types at your disposal. Each one has a specific use case and works best for a certain application.
Concrete anchor bolts are no different. Depending on the type of work you’re doing with concrete, your choice of anchor will vary.
Let’s look at some of the different types of concrete anchor bolts that you can use. But first, we’ll define what a concrete anchor bolt really is.
What is a Concrete Anchor Bolt?
Concrete anchor bolts are a type of fastener used to fasten both structural and non-structural to concrete. In contrast to concrete screws, which are appropriate for lightweight fixtures, concrete anchor bolts are necessary in situations where load-bearing requirements are much higher.
For example, concrete anchor bolts would be used to fasten a structure, such as a shed, to a concrete slab to ensure structural integrity.
Types of Concrete Anchor Bolts
Concrete anchor bolts come in a variety of types and sizes. While all concrete anchor bolts function in a similar fashion, they all differ in their available features and the way that they fasten elements to concrete.
Let’s look at some of the different concrete anchor bolts at your disposal.
Concrete Wedge Anchors
Concrete wedge anchors function by opening up and expanding at the base when the bolt is tightened. Wedge concrete anchors are a common choice for heavier load applications since they’re one of the strongest types of concrete anchor bolts. They’re also corrosion-resistant and are simple to work with.
Best used for: Concrete wedge anchors are best used for heavier loads and heavy shear applications.
Concrete Sleeve Anchors
Concrete sleeve anchors operate using a threaded bolt which is enveloped by an expander sleeve, and a washer/nut system at the other end. Once the nut on the bolt is turned, the bolt is pulled up through the expander sleeve and flares out to fasten the fixture to the concrete.
Best used for: Concrete sleeve anchors are versatile and work well with concrete, mortar, stone and more.
Drop-In Concrete Anchors
Drop-in concrete anchors function similarly to wedge concrete anchors: By expanding to create hold inside the concrete.
Drop-in anchors are inserted into a drilled hole and prepped using a setting tool. A bolt is then inserted through the fixture and into the hole with the anchor to fasten the fixture.
Best used for: Drop-in concrete anchors tend to work best for solid concrete and should be avoided when using stone or mortar.
Lag Shield Concrete Anchor
Lag shield anchors use a ribbed sleeve which is also slightly tapered. Once inserted into the drilled hole, a lag screw goes into the anchor and expands the material, pressing it against the sides of the concrete base and creating hold.
Lag shield anchors come in both long and short sizes, depending on the diameter of the bolt that is to be inserted into the anchor itself.
Best used for: A simple rule of thumb is that long sizes work best for softer and less dense materials, while short sizes work better for harder or denser materials.
Split Drive Concrete Anchor
A split drive anchor is a one piece anchor with a split base that expands and maintains outward pressure against the walls of a hole when it’s hammered in. This pressure helps create hold and fastens the fixture to the concrete. When using split drive anchors, it’s important to ensure that the drilled hole diameter is the same size as the base of the anchor itself to create maximum hold.
Best used for: Split drive concrete anchors work best for light-duty applications and are suitable for concrete, block, and brick materials.
Different Concrete Anchor Bolts for Different Applications
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all application for concrete anchor bolts. Depending on your project, you’ll want to select the appropriate concrete anchor bolt. Everything from the materials involved to the weight of the fixture comes into play when selecting the proper anchor.
Use these examples to help you select the right concrete anchor bolts for your next project.
Get Your Concrete Anchor Bolts From Tanner
At Tanner, we have all different types and sizes of anchors to suit any job, from wedge concrete anchors to concrete sleeves and more. Shop our collection today for all of your concrete anchor bolt needs.