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Anchor Bolt Design Philosophy
n this page, will tell you about the design philosophy of anchor bolt design and also to define the different
terms used for anchor bolt design.
Anchor bolt is the most important part to transfer the load from superstructure to sub-structure (say Foundation
system). So, though anchor bolt design is very simple, but still you have to give more care to design this small
element as load transfer mechanism. Otherwise, super structure and sub-structure, designed separately, will not
behave as a single structure, in other words, a failure of total structural system.
Whenever you start the design of anchor bolt, you will see the words like "Cast in place anchor", "Post installed
expansion anchor", "Preloaded anchor", "Ductile design", "Anchor Bolt Projection" "Edge distance for shear",
and "edge distance for tension". Please look below for the definition of some of the different terms:
Cast in pIace anchor:
When a headed bolt, headed stud, or hooked bolt is installed before placing concrete, is called "Cast in place
anchor". See project standard for dimensions and areas. The recommended minimum embedment depth for
cast-in anchors varies from eight (8) to twelve (12) bolt diameters (see project design code). The design engineer
should note that minimum embedment requirements have an impact on concrete thickness, especially in
designs such as area slabs and building slabs.
Cast-in anchors have many benefits, including the following:
They are capable of supporting very large loads.
Drilling or cutting of reinforcement is not required for installation.
Strength is not sensitive to installation procedures and techniques.
Supplementary reinforcement may be easily included in the design.
Some disadvantages are as follows:
Labor and materials are required to create templates for placement in the form-work.
Re-work is costly when anchors are incorrectly placed (location and elevation).
Fabrication lead time is required to support concrete placement.
Please click here for details of different types of anchor bolts used in the different projects.
Post instaIIed expansion anchor:
When an anchor rod is installed after placing concrete, making a hole in concrete with drill-bit, is called "Post
installed expansion anchor". This type of anchors rely on bond to transfer load to the concrete. Post-installed
anchors have many benefits, including the following:
Savings in labor and materials on templates required for cast-in anchors
Placement locations that may be adjusted as required to accommodate attachments
Flexibility in the construction schedule
Some disadvantages include:
Performance that is highly dependent on installation procedures and techniques
Potential for cut or damaged reinforcing bars if drilling is required for installation
Limited load capacities
Difficulty including supplementary reinforcing in the design
Prohibited preloading
n these cases we generally use HLT Anchor (adhesive or grouted anchor).
PreIoaded anchor:
An anchor is subjected to a large tensile force by intentionally elongating the entire length of the bolt. A nut is
generally advanced along the bolt threads until the desired tensile force is achieved. In generaI, there are no
standard criteria for preIoading anchor boIts. The level of the required preload generally depends on the
specific application of the anchor bolt. n general, preloaded bolts will require a sleeve or bond breaker to permit
elongation to occur along the entire length of the bolt. Without a sIeeve or bond breaker, the concrete would
bond to the shank of the bolt during construction. The bond may not be completely broken during the
preloading process. Over time, the bond may become completely broken and may cause a significantly reduced
preload in the bolt.
Anchor bolts used for equipment supports should be preloaded to the equipment manufacturer's
recommendations when specified. This is especially true for bolts anchoring rotating or vibrating equipment.
Anchor bolts of ASTM F1554 Grade 36, A307, or A36 material (i.e., regular carbon steel bolts) should have only
a nominal preload applied. t is recommended that they be tightened to a snug tight condition. Snug tight is
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defined as tightness attained by a few impacts of an impact wrench or the full effort of a man using an ordinary
spud wrench. When bolts are anchoring equipment or are subject to possible loosening during operation, a
locking device should be provided. Acceptable locking devices include double nuts or jam nuts, interrupted
threads, and tack welds (for weldable materials only).
The three basic methods used for applying a preload to a high-strength anchor boltusing hydraulic tensioners,
torquing to a specified level, and using turn-of-the-nut methodare described in detail below.
Hydraulic Tensioners: Hydraulic tensioners should be used when a precise preload on large diameter
anchor bolts is required. The tensioner applies a direct load to the bolt by threading onto the projected end
of the bolt and then jacking against the adjacent concrete surface. Once the jacking is complete, the nut is
hand tightened down to a snug position to lock the tension in the bolt. The anchor bolt must project a
minimum of one diameter past the end of the nut to allow for use of the tensioner. The residual preload
should be specified, as there will be a loss of pretensioning (depending on the length and diameter of the
bolt) when the tensioner is released.
Torquing to a Specified Level: Applying a specified torque to an anchor bolt is another method of
obtaining a preload. This method results in a preload that varies significantly as a function of field
conditions (cleanliness of bolt, existence of lubrication, etc.) and is no longer recognized by ASC.
Therefore, use of a predetermined torque for preloading purposes is not recommended (with the exception
of equipment manufacturer requirements).
Turn-of-the-Nut Method: This method is described in the ASC Specification for Structural Joints for ASTM
A325 and A490 bolts. The specification lists the required nut rotation from the snug tight condition for bolt
lengths up to 12 diameters.
Refer to the relevant specification for requirements for hardened washers. For example, ASC Specification for
Structural Joints describes the requirements for ASTM F436 washers for certain preload applications.
Elongation Checks For Preloaded Bolts: Where precise preloads are required, the elongation of the anchor
bolts may be checked as a verification that the proper preload has been applied. Elongation checks are usually
performed only when tensioners are used as the preloading device. Dial gauges can be used to measure the
projection of the bolt from a reference surface before and after preloading. The required elongation for a given
preload can be calculated as follows:
For plain rod: d
= (P*L) / (A

For full threaded rod: de = (P*L) / (At*E)

For partial thread rod: de = (P/E)*[(Lt/At) + (Ls/Ab)]

de = Elongation of anchor bolt, mm.
P = Desired preload, kN
L = Effective length of bolt, mm. (usually taken from centers of nut to anchor nut)
= Nominal cross sectional area of bolt (area of shank), mm2
E = Young's Modulus of Elasticity, MPa
Lt = Length of thread below nut, mm
Ls = Length of shank, mm.
At = Area of threaded section, mm2
The preload is generally considered acceptable if the actual elongation is within + 5 percent of the calculated
value for the given preload.
Two basic types of sleeves are partial depth and full depth anchor bolt sleeves. Partial depth sleeves typically
have a corrugated profile and are made from high density polyethylene (say, Plastic Wilson or equal). Full depth
sleeves are typically made from a steel pipe section with a steel bearing plate seal welded to the embedded end.
Sleeve diameters are generally two to four times the diameter of the anchor bolt. Sleeves serve two purposes:
First, partial depth and full depth sleeves afford the opportunity to move the top of the bolt slightly when
trying to align the attachment. However, the presence of a sleeve does not imply that an anchor bolt may
be freely bent or otherwise deformed in order to account for placement that was out of construction
Second, a full depth sleeve may be used in conjunction with preloaded bolts. The sleeve permits
elongation along the entire length of the bolt, and the bearing plate transfers the tension force from the
anchor bolt to the concrete. t must be emphasized that the bearing plate must be sized to ensure that the
anchor does not pull through or cause the plate to deform excessively. Also, the nut on the bottom of the
anchor plate must be held securely in place to prevent loosening during construction activities.
n most applications, the sleeves are cut flush with the top of concrete and then filled with nonshrink grout after
the attachment has been placed and aligned. Prior to grouting the sleeves, precautions must be taken to
prevent water from freezing inside the sleeves.
Anchor BoIt Projection
The length of an anchor bolt that projects from the concrete surface where the length is measured from the
concrete surface to the free end of the anchor bolt. Any thickness of grout placed on the concrete surface must
be included in the projection length.
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BasepIate LeveIing Systems
Some of the most common methods used for leveling base plates, are, the use of shim stacks and leveling nuts.
t must be emphasized that the shims and leveling nuts should be removed before preloading the bolts. Leveling
nuts may be used only on anchor bolts where preloading is not required. Use of leveling nuts on anchor bolts
that are preloaded would result in bolt tension only in the region between the leveling nut and the top nut.
DuctiIe Design
The ability of an element to deform beyond the point of elastic yield prior to total failure is called ductility. Ductile
design referring to an anchor with design strength equal to the design strength of the steel element. All potential
concrete failure modes must have design strengths greater than the steel element (supplemental reinforcing
may be used to increase the design strength of concrete failure modes).
Design discussions for Cast in pIace anchor:
As with all designs, anchor bolt designs must meet the project design criteria and project commitments to codes
and standards. Here, this discussions follow the provisions of AC 318-05, Appendix D, for the design of cast-in
Much consideration is given to ductility in the design of anchor bolts. n general, steel is a ductile material and
plain concrete is not. For anchorage to concrete, ductility usually means that in the event of overload, the ductile
steel anchor will yield before the concrete can fail in a brittle manner. n this discussion, ductile designs are also
referred to as developed anchors. Ductile designs are therefore preferable for most applications.
During anchor bolt design, you may find that proper ductile design is not possible for some reasons and
following are some cases:
Piers/pedestals or other concrete elements where the edge distances and bolt spacings preclude
development of the steel anchor strength -The addition of supplemental reinforcing can often provide
restraint and confinement capable of producing a ductile design.
Large diameter bolts specified by machine manufacturers - Machine anchor sizes are often much larger
than the sizes that would be required for strength considerations only. n such cases, supplemental
reinforcement should be provided in order to come as close as practicable to a ductile design. Note that
manufacturers sometimes specify ductile anchors as part of their design criteria.
Supports for architectural, mechanical, and electrical components - This case consists primarily of
post-installed adhesive or grouted-in anchors for medium to light duty service.
Supports for structures or equipment where anchors are not required to be designed for an applied load -
Such cases would include posts subject to gravity load only, equipment skids subject to gravity load only,
etc. n these cases, anchors should be provided with minimum recommended embedment depths given in
Project design criteria.
Anchors must be designed for Tension load , Shear Load and combination of Shear and Tension. Following are
some method of transferring Shear and Tension Load to concrete:
Shear Load: There are several alternatives for transferring shear from an attachment to the concrete.
Anchor Shear: An anchor may be loaded in shear, and, in turn, transfer the shear to the concrete.
Welded studs are most commonly used to transfer shear in this manner. Welded studs have the
advantage of being securely welded to the attachment. An anchor bolt inserted through a hole in an
attachment requires special consideration to assure shear transfer from the attachment to the anchor.
Usually, the bolt holes in the attachment will be oversized to accommodate anchor installation tolerances.
Oversized holes make it unlikely to achieve bearing at all anchors in a given attachment. There are two
methods to deal with oversized holes: First, the number of anchors considered to resist the shear may be
limited to half of the total no of anchor used; second, washers without oversized holes may be provided
and then welded to the attachment to transfer the shear to the anchor.
Friction: For cases where a sustained compressive force exists between the attachment and the concrete
surface, friction will be developed. Project criteria and codes must be reviewed to determine if it is
permitted to rely on frictional resistance.The friction load should be based on the dead load and any
portion of the live load that causes the shear. Care must be taken not to overestimate the dead load. f the
applied shear load exceeds the shear that can be transferred by friction, additional means must be
provided to transfer the applied shear that is in excess of the friction.
Shear-Friction: Shear-friction may be developed as a result of the anchors effectively clamping the
attachment to the concrete surface. n this case the anchor must be designed for the tension resulting from
shear friction as well as any tension applied directly.
Shear Lugs: Shear lug is the preferred methods of shear transfer when friction is not an option or is not
sufficient to resist the applied shear. This method requires pre-formed pockets in the concrete. The shear
lug is generally a steel element, welded to the attachment, that transfers the shear directly to the concrete
through bearing. Shear lugs are most commonly single cantilever plates but may be wide flange shapes or
box sections for very large loads. Use of cantilever shear lugs greater than the thickness of the attachment
plate is not recommended, and shear lugs should be designed using a minimum of 50 mm. embedment
into the concrete. Fillet welds are preferred over penetration welds by fabricators for attaching shear lugs
to baseplates. For the case of extremely large shear loads, shear lugs made from wide flange sections or
box sections may be necessary. The behavior of large shear lugs with deep embedments will be
dependent on the stiffness of the shear lug and the stiffness of the attachment.
Tension Load: Tension may be transferred from an attachment to the anchor by a number of means. Most
commonly, the anchor is welded directly to the attachment, as with welded studs, or secured with nut and
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washer, as with column base plates. Where attachments are provided with oversized holes, a plate washer may
be required to ensure that there is adequate bearing and that the anchor does not pull through the attachment.
Now to complete the design of cast in place anchors, you can create your own calculation sheet based on AC
318-05, Appendix D as explained step by step.
hope this page will be very helpful to you.
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similaritv of the content or part of with anv companv document is simplv a coincidence. Subhro Rov is not responsible for
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