How are mechanical anchors different from chemical anchors?

A fastener or anchor bolt is a device used to attach objects or structures to concrete. Although there are many types of anchor bolts and designs, they are mostly owned by manufacturing companies. Fasteners usually consist of a threaded end, which can be attached to a nut and washer for external loads. Anchor fasteners can be basically divided into two types, mechanical anchor fasteners and chemical anchor fasteners.

Let’s do more research to understand the different types of anchor fasteners available now and how they work.

Types of anchor fasteners

Mechanical anchor fasteners

Mechanical anchors physically move the friction anchor into place. Often, the anchor base is designed to spread in diameter when inserted into the hole, so that the extension holds the base material tightly and holds the anchor firmly in place. The force used to push the anchors keeps the screw in place and prevents it from falling.

In the world of mechanical anchors, the diameter of the drilling hole plays an important role. It is important that the diameter of the hole is exactly right, because if it is too large it fails to grasp the sides of the hole properly and thus falls when it is placed for loading.

Chemical anchor fasteners

Chemical anchor fasteners come with a special injectable adhesive that helps the anchor to stick in the hole. The most load-bearing and time-consuming step in the installation process is to clean the hole before injecting the adhesive. Therefore, Hilti has developed a number of tools that can help you install adhesive anchors more quickly and reliably using SafeSet™ technology. It includes hollow drill bits, vacuum cleaners, HIT-HY 200 and HIT-Z anchor rods that can help you perform tasks efficiently. Once the hole is cleaned of all dust and debris, it is filled with chemical adhesive.

The chemical is then left to set. Instant chemicals can be set up in an hour, while more common ones can take up to 24 hours. One should not load the anchor until the chemical is completely set.

Mechanical vs. Chemical Anchor Fasteners – Which Should You Choose?

The main differences between chemical and mechanical fasteners are as follows:

Speed: Once the chemical is fully set, the load can only be applied to the chemical fasteners, whereas the load can be applied to the mechanical fasteners immediately after installation. Therefore, in the case of critical projects in terms of speed, it would be best to choose mechanical fasteners. However, there are instant setting anchor epoxies (chemicals) on the market that take about 45 minutes to 1 hour to set up, whereas regular epoxy takes about 12-24 hours.

Water proofing: Most mechanical anchors leave a small gap between the fastener and the base material. Installation of fasteners outside the building such as fixing an external AC unit, indicator, or TV antenna, mechanical fastener version may cause leakage in the building. In this case, a chemical fastener is better because the epoxy chemical fills the gap between the bolt and the base material, leaving a tight connection with the water. Therefore chemical bonds are suitable for external bonds where leakage can be a suitable element.

Loading capacity: Regarding load capacity, it is not the case that one version of the fastener can carry more loads than the other. Both versions, chemical and mechanical fasteners, are available in a wide range of load ratings and capabilities.


Of course, most of the anchors for use in important security-related applications are specified by the engineer. Until the engineer enters the correct data in the first place, the software will recommend the possible range of suitable products. Because they understand the difference between mechanical and chemical fasteners, they can choose between alternative anchor fastener types that are suitable for a particular application.

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