Anchors improve the hold of threaded fasteners in concrete, drywall, hollow-core doors, plaster, paneling and masonry by expanding behind the material or around the hole as the fastener is driven in. Anchors are used primarily for mounting fixtures, wall construction and machinery. There are essentially two types of anchors - mechanical anchors and chemical anchors. Knowing the properties of both types will help you to decide which anchor will suit your project.

Mechanical Anchors vs. Chemical Anchors

Mechanical anchor fasteners utilize friction to form a secure hold. This friction is most commonly achieved via an expansion mechanism. After installation in a pre-drilled hole, the anchor is designed to expand in diameter, forming a tight wedge against the base material. Wedge anchors, wall plugs, hollow wall anchors, drop-in anchors, shield and expansion anchors all make use of this expansion method. A key benefit of this type of anchor is that it can bear a load immediately upon installation, making it ideal for speed-critical applications.

Chemical anchors are special adhesives that anchor a bolt into the base material. A hole larger than the bolt is drilled and fully cleared of debris. The hole is then filled with the chemical adhesive and the bolt inserted. After setting, the chemical adhesive anchor will fully fill any gaps between the bolt and the walls of the hole, forming a water-tight seal. The adhesive will then need to cure for up to 24 hours before it is ready to bear weight which limits its usefulness in some applications where speed is a critical factor. However, adhesive anchors are often a better choice for external fastenings where leakage is a concern because of their ability to form a water-tight seal.

Both mechanical and chemical adhesive anchors are available in a wide range of load ratings and specifications including code-listings and ASTM qualifications. AFT carries a variety of brands you trust such as Powers, E-Z Ancor, Mungo, and Power-Con in small package sizes as well as bulk quantities at wholesale prices. Choose your anchor type from the menu on the left to start shopping, or contact us to speak to a knowledgeable sales representative. We're here to help!