When it comes to fasteners, there are plenty of types out there, but if you’re anchoring something to concrete, wedge anchors are the go-to choice. These types of fasteners provide durable support for both indoor and outdoor projects. You can purchase sturdy wedge anchors from a trusted source online or through retail, but before you do, it’s important to know what type of wedge anchor to use.
There are actually several different types of expansion wedge anchors out there, and each one has a specific purpose. Before you get started on your next concrete project, take a look at the following three types of wedge anchors and their uses:
Galvanized Wedge Anchors
The galvanization process strengthens steel by adding an additional coating. When steel is galvanized, it actually receives three different layers of protection. First, galvanization adds an outer coating to the metal to physically protect the metal underneath. Next, another layer protects against corrosion. This layer may be sacrificed to protect the steel depending on the type of coating used. Finally, the third layer provides continuous protection against corrosion even if scratches occur.
Galvanized wedge anchors are a great choice for outdoor environments where frequent physical contact with a wedge anchor is possible. These environments may include playgrounds, outdoor seating areas and large outdoor event platforms. Galvanized anchors may also be suitable for wet environments.
Zinc-Plated Wedge Anchors
Zinc plating is applied to metals to resist corrosion by acting as a sacrificial barrier. This makes zinc plated wedge anchors ideal for use in environments where exposure to potentially corrosive elements is possible. Although zinc plating protects the steel beneath, the zinc’s level of thickness determines how suitable zinc plating is for outdoor environments. Zinc is applied to steel using various methods, including spray, dipping and electrolysis. The method used can determine the plating’s thickness, and therefore, its durability.
Stainless Steel Wedge Anchors
Stainless steel wedge anchors can be used in virtually any environment, but they are particularly useful in environments where rust is a potential problem. Because stainless steel resists rust, these types of wedge anchors are often used where moisture can be a problem. Some places where stainless steel wedge anchors are found include shipyards and other marine environments like boat docks.
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Your Installation Method Is Important
No matter what type of wedge anchor you use, installing the anchor correctly is the key. These anchors work by expanding once inside of a hole. Because of this method of operation, the diameter of the hole should not be larger than the diameter of the anchor itself. If the hole is larger, the expansion will not form as tight of a grip. This can ultimately sacrifice security by causing the anchor to sit loosely within the hole. Even if an anchor is firmly in the hole, physical impact or pulling can cause the anchor to become unseated.
Anchors also need to be spaced appropriately. If anchors are installed within close proximity, the foundational support that allows wedge anchors to work may not hold up. In most cases, you will want to space anchors out by having at least 10 times the diameter of the anchor in between each. This is particularly true when installing wedge anchors in concrete since concrete may be prone to cracking if too many anchors are installed too close together.
Also, installing these anchors too close to an edge can be a problem when it comes to foundational support. Typically, you want to measure the diameter of the anchor and then multiply it by five. Use the sum to determine how far from an unsupported edge an anchor can be before support problems arise.