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What Are Wedge Anchors?
Wedge anchors are used to ensure a safe and strong hold when adhering various materials to concrete through an expanding mechanism. While they can be made from different materials, they all provide the same end result of permanently fastening objects together.
Wedge anchors are made with two different pieces that are pre-assembled for you before purchasing. These two pieces include a carbon steel rod and a steel slip, otherwise known as a sleeve. One section of the carbon steel rod is threaded.
What Is a Wedge Anchor Used For?
Wedge anchors have countless uses when it comes to solid concrete. However, unlike other concrete fasteners that can also be used with materials such as brick or block, wedge anchors can only be used if the base material is concrete. Here are some examples of various concrete applications where a wedge anchor could be used:
- Bike racks
- Water pipes
- Light fixtures
- Park benches
How Does a Wedge Anchor Work?
Whether you're building a house or mounting a television, wedge anchors have countless uses in everyday life. They are designed for permanent use, making the installation process key for long-term success. Simply insert the wedge anchor inside a pre-drilled hole that's thoroughly cleaned of excess material or debris. Afterard, turn the nut clockwise enough times to ensure it is fastened in place. When you turn the nut clockwise, the anchor body is pulled up. This moves the expansion clip down, resulting in a wedge between the concrete and the anchor. This is where the term “wedge anchor” comes from.
What's the Difference Between a Wedge Anchor and a Sleeve Anchor?
Before purchasing a wedge anchor, it is important to know the details involved in the task you’ll be completing. This includes information such as the weight of the object you’re attaching to the concrete, the materials involved, and the surface you’ll be using. This will help you decide whether to get a sleeve anchor or a wedge anchor.
While sleeve anchors and wedge anchors have many similarities, sleeve anchors can be used on brick and block. Wedge anchors, on the other hand, can only be used on solid concrete surfaces.
Another thing to consider is that while both anchors offer significant holding power, wedge anchors are stronger and should be used when it comes to heavy-duty applications. Wedge anchors are installed into solid concrete holes with the exact same diameter as the anchor, which increases their gripping power. Sleeve anchors also offer some holding power; however, they should generally be used for more standard installations that are no heavier than 200 pounds.
How Deep Do You Drill for Wedge Anchors?
As a general rule of thumb, professionals recommend drilling at least one-half inch deeper than the anchor will penetrate. This ensures that no material or debris crowd the fixture hole after the anchor is placed. As it’s essential for the hole to be free from debris and dust, drilling slightly deeper than needed lets you securely install the concrete wedge anchor without problems.