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How to Anchor Pallet Racks to Concrete

Friday, April 30, 2010
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In today's industrial settings, warehouses must be able to store a large amount of inventory. A major concern is storing this inventory using a cost-effective and safe method. A pallet rack, or pallet racking, is designed to better utilize floor space by allowing warehouse inventory to be stored in horizontal rows with multiple levels. Pallet racks are essential to modern warehouses and retail centers, as well as other industrial and commercial facilities. There are several common types of pallet racks available. Each is designed with specific functions and each type has definite advantages. The type of racking required depends on certain factors such as desired storage density, inventory rotation, and storage design. Some types of pallet racks include: selective, structural, push back, and very narrow. Regardless of the type of racking needed for a specific application - all racks must be anchored to the concrete floor for stability and security.

Before You Get Started

Once the proper type of pallet racking is determined, a floor plan must be designed. Always remember to allow for adequate aisle spacing. If the storage space requires a tighter configuration, pallet racking designed for narrow aisles is available. The next step after the floor plan is designed and the racks are assembled is to decide which type of anchor should be used to secure the racks to the concrete slab.

Tech Tip:

A vertical tolerance of 1/8" in 4 feet is generally accepted as level in most applications.

It is extremely important to ensure that all of the racks are level before installing any anchors. It is also essential to ensure that every column of the rack frame will be anchored to an adequate and stable concrete floor.

One option for fastening pallet racks is the use of a concrete wedge anchor. Wedge anchors are available in a variety of diameters and lengths and are specifically designed for use in solid concrete. The diameter to be used in each application is dependent upon the hole size in the bottom plate of the upright. Most racking systems have holes that will accommodate a 1/2" diameter wedge anchor. The 1/2" anchor is available in 8 different lengths ranging from 2 3/4" to 12". The most commonly used lengths for fastening pallet racks are the 3 3/4" and 4 1/4".

Concrete strike anchors can also be used when anchoring warehouse pallet racks. The strike anchor is designed for use in solid concrete and is an impact-expansion type anchor. This 1/2" anchor is available in 4 lengths ranging from 2 3/4" to 6". The most common lengths used in this type of application are the 3 1/2" and 4 3/4".

Deciding which anchor to use is typically based on the manufacturer's recommendation and/or personal preference. Both the wedge and strike anchor mentioned above are made to work well in solid concrete and in anchoring applications such as this one.

Choosing the Size of Wedge Anchor or Strike Anchor to be Used

Another essential consideration is to determine the required holding values for the chosen anchor. Once the holding values are calculated and verified, refer to the wedge anchor technical specifications or strike anchor technical chart to select the size of anchor required. If unsure of the correct size anchor to use, it is recommended to check local building codes or have an engineer determine the requirements for the particular application. The pallet rack manufacturer may also suggest an anchor size to use.

Step by Step Instructions

Helpful Hint:
Hole diameter is equal to anchor diameter

The installation of concrete wedge anchors can be completed in six simple steps. Basic instructions follow:

  • Using the hole in the bottom plate as a template, carefully drill holes using a hammer drill and carbide-tipped masonry bit. The drill bit diameter should be the same diameter as the wedge anchor.
  • Clear the holes of all debris using compressed air, a shop-vac or wire brush.
  • Before inserting the wedge anchor into the hole, be sure to place the washer and thread the nut a couple of turns. Not fully threading the nut protects the threads of the wedge anchor.
  • Insert the wedge anchors into each hole through the upright legs of the pallet racks.
  • Carefully hammer the anchors into each hole ensuring that they are installed to the desired depth.
  • Tighten all the nuts using a torque wrench to ensure they are tightened to the required torque value.

For more detailed information, please view this wedge anchor installation video.

When using the concrete wedge anchor, it is important to remember:

  • Wedge anchors are very effective when the concrete is in good condition and minimum edge distances and spacing are maintained.
  • Hole size is critical to the holding values of the wedge anchor. Hole diameter is equal to the anchor diameter when using ANSI standard carbide bits. The tolerances of the ANSI standard carbide bits are specifically matched to wedge anchor diameters.
  • Wedge anchors have a required torque value. See the technical information page to determine the diameter of the anchor to use for a range of required torque values.

Similarly, the installation of the concrete strike anchor is also straightforward, and can be completed in the five steps outlined below. Basic instructions follow:

  • Using the hole of the bottom plate as a template, carefully drill your holes using a hammer drill and carbide-tipped masonry bit. The drill bit diameter should be equal to the strike anchor diameter.
  • Clear the hole of all debris using compressed air, a shop-vac or wire brush.
  • Tech Tip:
    It is not necessary to torque the nut to set the anchor.

    Before inserting the strike anchor into the hole, be sure to place the washer and thread the nut onto the anchor as required. The nut may be flush with the top of the anchor or fully turned to provide a stud finish.
  • With nut, washer and set-pin securely in place, insert the strike anchors into each hole through the upright legs of each pallet rack.
  • Using a properly sized hammer, set the pin with several sharp and square strikes on the head of the pin until it is flush with the top of the anchor. The strike anchor is now properly set.

For more detailed instructions, please view this strike anchor installation video.

Some advantages in using the strike anchor are:

  • Anchor size is equal to hole size.
  • The actual diameter of the anchor is the same as its nominal diameter.
  • Anchor is inserted with nut and washer attached.
  • The nut and washer can be easily preset for the desired embedment.
  • The strike anchor can be visually inspected after it is set. When the head of the pin meets the threads, the anchor is set.
  • Strike anchors provide excellent holding values.
  • Nuts and washers are included.

Pallet racks increase storage space and allow inventory to be stored in a more effective manner. It is important to install these racks correctly and safely to reduce on-site injuries and improve productivity. By taking the time to research the specific application and reading the steps above, as well as conferring with contracting experts- you are on the way to a more productive, effective warehouse!

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Always use personal protective equipmentAs with any anchoring project, it is important to keep safety in mind and follow instructions carefully. Always remember to wear safety goggles, handle all tools with extra care and follow all technical specifications. This article is meant to serve only as a basic explanation of concrete fasteners. Always refer to manufacturer's instructions or consult a contracting expert during any anchoring project.

Article Written By:
Mike Pistorino, Vice-President Operations

 

 

 

 


Concrete Fasteners, Inc. has over 40 years of experience selling concrete fasteners. We can ship out one box or a whole pallet of concrete anchors. Our products are of the highest quality... "your satisfaction is guaranteed". We ship all orders the same day the order is received.

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