G1. Base Materials
"Base material" is a generic industry term that refers to the element or substrate to be anchored to. Base materials include concrete, brick, concrete block (CMU) and structural tile, to name a few. The base material type will determine the type of fastener for the application. The most common type of base material where adhesive and mechanical anchors are used is concrete.
Concrete can be cast-in-place or precast concrete. Concrete has excellent compressive strength, but relatively low tensile strength. Cast-inplace (or sometimes called "poured in place") concrete is placed in forms erected on the building site. Cast-in-place concrete can be either normal-weight or lightweight concrete. Lightweight concrete is often specified when it is desirable to reduce the weight of the building structure.
Lightweight concrete differs from normal-weight concrete by the weight of aggregate used in the mixture. Normal-weight concrete has a unit weight of approximately 150 pounds per cubic foot compared to approximately 115 pounds per cubic foot for lightweight concrete.
The type of aggregate used in concrete can affect the tension capacity of an adhesive anchor. Presently, the relationship between aggregate properties and anchor performance is not well understood. A recent study based on a limited test program has shown that in relative terms, concrete with harder and more dense aggregates tend to yield greater anchor tension capacities. Conversely, use of softer, less dense aggregates tends to result in lower anchor tension capacities. Research in this area is ongoing. Test results should not be assumed to be representative of expected performance in all types of concrete aggregate.
Prefabricated concrete is also referred to as "precast concrete". Precast concrete can be made at a prefabricating plant or site-cast in forms constructed on the job. Precast concrete members may be solid or may contain hollow cores. Many precast components have thinner cross sections than cast in place concrete. Precast concrete may use either normal or lightweight concrete. Reinforced concrete contains steel bars, cable, wire mesh or random glass fibers. The addition of reinforcing material enables concrete to resist tensile stresses which lead to cracking.
The compressive strength of concrete varies according to the proportions of the components in the mixture. The desired compressive strength of the concrete will be specified according to the application. Water and cement content of the mix is the main determinant of the compressive strength.
The compressive strength of concrete can range from 2,000 psi to over 20,000 psi, depending on the mixture and how it is cured. Most concrete mixes are designed to obtain the desired properties within 28 days after being cast.
Block is typically formed with large hollow cores. Block with a minimum 75% solid cross section is called solid block even though it contains hollow cores. In many parts of the country building codes require steel reinforcing bars to be placed in the hollow cores, and the cores to be filled solid with grout.
In some areas of the eastern United States, past practice was to mix concrete with coal cinders to make cinder blocks. Although cinder blocks are no longer made, there are many existing buildings where they can be found. Cinder blocks require special attention as they soften with age.
Clay brick is formed solid or with hollow cores. The use of either type will vary in different parts of the United States. Brick can be difficult to drill and anchor into. Most brick is hard and brittle. Old, red clay brick is often very soft and is easily over-drilled. Either of these situations can cause problems in drilling and anchoring. The most common use of brick today is for building facades (curtain wall or brick veneer) and not for structural applications. Brick facade is attached to the structure by the use of brick ties spaced at intervals throughout the wall. In older buildings, multiple widths, or "wythes" of solid brick were used to form the structural walls. Three and four wythe walls were common wall thicknesses.
Clay tile block is formed with hollow cores and narrow cavity wall cross sections. Clay tile is very brittle, making drilling difficult without breaking the block. Caution must be used in attempting to drill and fasten into clay tile.
The failure modes for both mechanical and adhesive anchors depends on a number of factors including the anchor type and geometry, anchor material mechanical properties, base material mechanical properties, loading type and direction, edge distance, spacing and embedment depth.
Six different failure modes are generally observed for mechanical and adhesive anchors installed in concrete under tension loading: concrete cone breakout, concrete edge breakout, concrete splitting, anchor slip, adhesive bond, and steel fracture. Three failure modes are generally observed for mechanical and adhesive anchors installed in concrete under shear loading: concrete edge breakout, pryout and steel failure.
This failure mode is observed for both mechanical and adhesive anchors installed at shallow embedment depths under tension loading. This failure mode is also observed for groups of mechanical and adhesive anchors installed at less than critical spacing.
This failure mode is observed for both mechanical and adhesive anchors installed at less than critical edge distance under either tension or shear loading. For this failure mode neither the adhesive nor mechanical anchor fail, but rather the concrete fails. According to Simpson Strong-Tie testing, the tension load at which failure occurs is correlated to the concrete aggregate performance. Other factors may also influence tension load.
This failure mode is observed for both mechanical and adhesive anchors installed in a "thin" concrete member under tension loading.
This failure mode is observed for mechanical anchors under tension loading in which the anchor either pulls out of the member (e.g.- a Drop-In Anchor installed through metal deck and into a concrete fill) or the anchor body pulls through the expansion clip (e.g.- a Wedge-All® anchor installed at a deep embedment depth in concrete).
This failure mode is observed for adhesive anchors under tension loading in which a shallow concrete cone breakout is observed along with an adhesive bond failure at the adhesive/base material interface. The concrete-cone breakout is not the primary failure mechanism.
This failure mode is observed for both mechanical and adhesive anchors under tension or shear loading where the concrete member thickness and mechanical properties along with the anchor embedment depth, edge distance, spacing, and adhesive bond strength (as applicable), preclude base material failure.
This failure mode is observed for both mechanical and adhesive anchors installed at shallow embedment under shear loading.
Metal anchors and fasteners will corrode and may lose load-carrying capacity when installed in corrosive environments or exposed to corrosive materials. There are many environments and materials which may cause corrosion including ocean salt air, fire-retardants, fumes, fertilizers, preservative-treated wood, dissimilar metals, and other corrosive elements.
Some types of preservative-treated woods and fire-retardant woods are known to be especially caustic to zinc and can cause anchors and fasteners to deteriorate. Zinc-coated anchors and fasteners should not be placed in contact with treated wood unless adequately verified to be suitable for such contact. See corrosion information and contact the wood supplier for additional information.
Some products are available with additional coating options or in stainless steel to provide additional corrosion resistance.
Highly-hardened fasteners can experience premature failure due to hydrogenassisted stress corrosion cracking when loaded in environments producing hydrogen. Simpson Strong-Tie® recommends that such fasteners be used in dry, interior and non-corrosive environments only.
M1. Pre-Load Relaxation
Expansion anchors that have been set to the required installation torque in concrete will experience a reduction in pre-tension (due to torque) within several hours. This is known as pre-load relaxation. The high compression stresses placed on the concrete cause it to deform which results in a relaxation of the pre-tension force in the anchor. Tension in this context refers to the internal stresses induced in the anchor as a result of applied torque and does not refer to anchor capacity. Historical data shows it is normal for the initial tension values to decrease by as much as 40–60% within the first few hours after installation. Retorquing the anchor to the initial installation torque is not recommended, or necessary.
The performance data for adhesive anchors are based upon anchor tests in which holes were drilled with carbide-tipped drill bits of the same diameter listed in the product's load table. Additional static tension tests were conducted to qualify anchors installed with SET, SET-XP, ET-HP™ and AT adhesives for installation in holes with diameters larger than those listed in the load tables. The tables indicate the acceptable range of drilled-hole sizes and the corresponding allowable tension-load reduction factor (if any). The same conclusions also apply to the published allowable shear load values. Drilled holes outside of the range shown below are not recommended.SET-XP Adhesive
SET and ET-HP Adhesives
The performance data for adhesive anchors are based upon anchor tests in which holes were drilled with carbide-tipped drill bits. Additional static tension tests were conducted to qualify anchors installed with SET, ET-HP and AT anchoring adhesives for installation in holes drilled with diamond-core bits. In these tests, the diameter of the diamond-core bit matched the diameter of the carbide-tipped drill bit recommended in the product's load table. The test results showed that no reduction of the published allowable tension load for SET, ET-HP and AT anchoring adhesives is necessary for this condition. The same conclusions also apply to the published allowable shear loads.
SET-XP® and AT-XP® adhesive: The performance data for adhesive anchors using SET-XP and AT-XP adhesives are based upon tests according to ICC-ES AC308. This criterion requires adhesive anchors that are to be installed in outdoor environments to be tested in water-saturated concrete holes that have been cleaned with less than the amount of hole cleaning recommended by the manufacturer. A product's sensitivity to this installation condition is considered in determining the product's "Anchor Category" (strength reduction factor). SET-XP® and AT-XP® may be installed in dry or water-saturated concrete.
Based on Reliability Testing per ICC-ES AC308
- Dry Concrete – Cured concrete whose moisture content is in equilibrium with surrounding non-precipitate atmospheric conditions.
- Water-Saturated Concrete – Cured concrete whose internal aggregate materials are soaked with moisture.
- Submerged Concrete – Cured concrete that is covered with water and water saturated.
- Water-Filled Hole – Drilled hole in water-saturated concrete that is clean yet contains standing water at the time of installation.
SET, ET-HP, EDOT, AT and VGC: The performance data for adhesive anchors using SET, ET-HP, EDOT, AT and VGC adhesives are based upon tests in which anchors are installed in dry holes. Additional static tension tests were conducted for some products in damp holes, water-filled holes and submerged holes. The test results show that no reduction of the published allowable tension load is necessary for SET, ET-HP, EDOT, and AT adhesives in damp holes, or for SET and AT adhesives in water-filled holes. For SET, ET-HP, and AT adhesives in submerged holes, the test results show that a reduction factor of 0.60 is applicable. The same conclusions also apply to the published allowable shear load values.
Based on Service Condition Testing per ICC-ES AC58
- Dry Concrete – Cured concrete whose moisture content is in equilibrium with surrounding non-precipitate atmospheric conditions.
- Damp Hole – A damp hole, as defined in ASTM E1512 and referenced in ICC-ES AC58, is a drilled hole that has been properly drilled, cleaned and then is filled with standing water for seven days. After seven days, the standing water is blown out of the hole with compressed air and the adhesive anchor is installed.
- Water-Filled Hole – A water-filled hole is defined similarly to a damp hole; however, the standing water is not blown out of the hole. Instead, the adhesive is injected directly into the water-filled hole (from the bottom of the hole up) and the insert is installed.
- Submerged Hole - A submerged hole is similar to a water-filled hole with one major exception – in addition to standing water within the hole; water also completely covers the surface of the base material as well. Note that drilling debris and sludge should be removed from the drilled hole prior to installation. ASTM E1512 and ICC-ES AC58 do not address this condition.
The performance of all adhesive anchors is affected by elevated base material temperature. The in-service temperature sensitivity table provided for each adhesive provides the information necessary to apply the appropriate load-adjustment factor to either the allowable tension based on bond strength or allowable shear based on concrete edge distance based for a given base material temperature. While there is no commonly used method to determine the exact load-adjustment factor, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind when designing an anchor that will be subject to elevated base-material temperature. In any case, the final decision must be made by a qualified design professional using sound engineering judgment:
- When designing an anchor connection to resist wind and/or seismic forces only, the effect of fire (elevated temperature) may be disregarded.
- The base-material temperature represents the average internal temperature and hence, the temperature along the entire bonded length of the anchor.
- The effects of elevated temperature may be temporary. If the in-service temperature of the base material is elevated such that a load-adjustment factor is applicable, but over time the temperature is reduced to a temperature below which a load-adjustment factor is applicable, the full allowable load based on bond strength is still applicable. This is applicable provided that the degradation temperature of the anchoring adhesive (350º F for SET-XP, AT-XP, SET, ET-HP, and AT adhesives) has not been reached.
Creep is the slow continuous deformation of a material under constant stress. Creep occurs in many construction materials, including concrete and steel when the stress is great enough. The creep characteristics of adhesives are product-dependent. Adhesive anchors that are not creep-resistant can pull out slowly over time when sustained tensile loads are applied.
Because of the creep phenomenon, it is important for Designers to consider the nature of the applied tension loads and to determine if the tension loads will be continuously applied to the anchor over the long-term. If this is the case, a product that is suitable for resisting sustained loads over the long-term must be selected.
All Simpson Strong-Tie® anchoring adhesives (SET-XP, SET, ET-HP, EDOT, AT, AT-XP and VGC) have been qualified for resisting long-term loads through ICC-ES AC58 or AC308 "creep tests" in which an anchor is loaded and monitored for movement over time. According to AC58 and AC308, anchors that pass the creep test are determined to be suitable for resisting long-term tensile loads.