Anchors are mechanical fasteners that attach an object to a support structure. Product categories include concrete anchors, expansion anchors, lag screw anchors, machine anchors, screw anchors, spring anchors, wall anchors, and wedge anchors. Toggle bolts are also available. Anchors also differ in terms of specifications and features. Fastener material strength, hole-size (diameter), length, and thread size are important parameters to consider. In terms of features, some anchors are removable or non-permanent. Others are designated as bulk-fed, typically for use with power tools.
Common anchor types include concrete, expansion, and lag screw anchors. Concrete anchors or anchor bolts are screw-bolt fastening systems that are used to attach objects to concrete. Variations include L-anchors, concrete I-bolt anchors, concrete strike anchors, sleeve bolt anchors, and floor anchors. Expansion anchors (expansion shield anchors) are designed to accommodate mating screws or bolts that are exposed to vibration or side pressure loads. Variations include single expansion anchors and double expansion anchors. Lag screw anchors or lag shield anchors are medium-duty fasteners with a ribbed outer surface that expands to fill the volume of pre-drilled holes as a mating lag screw is tightened.
Machine, screw, and spring anchors are commonly available. Machine screw anchors are a caulking fastener system that allows for quick-setting in brick, concrete, or stone. A malleable-metal lead shield allows machine screw anchors to compensate for uneven or irregular hole / roundness conditions. Screw anchors (drop-in anchors) are used in concrete and solid block materials. Upon installation, four surfaces of the metal plug expand to form a permanent hold below the target material's surface, creating a secure threaded hole for the mating screw. Spring anchors are small or miniature-sized externally-threaded studs.
Toggle bolts and wall anchors are used in building and construction applications. Toggle bolts or wing anchors have a wing-like toggle (sometimes spring-loaded) designed to pass through a drilled hole. When the bolt is tightened, toggle bolts tightly grasp the inside surface of a target material such as drywall or wallboard. Wall anchors are light-duty fastening systems that are used in drywall, foundation repair, sump pump installation, and basement waterproofing. Wall anchors are sometimes called molly bolts or molly anchors, hollow wall anchors, wallboard anchors, sleeve screw anchors, or drywall anchors.
Wedge anchors or wedge stud anchors are heavy-duty mechanical fasteners. They may include a mounting bracket, and provide greater shear strength than other light-duty and medium-duty expansion anchors. Wedge anchors are designed to withstand temperature fluctuations, and are used for permanent embedding in materials such as concrete. Uses include machinery mounts. Variations include seismic wedge anchors.
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A bolt is a type of threaded hardware fastener that is used to position two workpieces in specific relation to each other. A bolt is specifically designed to be used with a mating, internally threaded hole or nut, which will maintain the bolt's alignment as well as the material's position on the bolt. While used synonymously, screws and bolts are not mechanical clones.
Retaining Rings and Snap Rings
Retaining rings and snap rings are fasteners used to axially position a component on a shaft or in a bore.
Studs are mechanical fasteners which are threaded on one or both ends. One end is secured to an object. The other end is used typically with a nut.