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How Tough Are Concrete Epoxies?

By Greg Vandenberge

When concrete epoxies first came out I was working on a church remodeling the sanctuary. We were building a set of stairs that was two steps in height and 75 feet long. The steps were going to get a hardwood covering along with the rest of the sanctuary flooring.  I had used redheads in the past and noticed that over time these redheads would loosen up. I could never figure out what caused the redheads to do this. Was it the concrete that was expanding and contracting or was it the steel redheads contracting and expanding.

Either way I can never figure out what was up with the redheads. Another name for a redhead would be an anchor bolt. Red Hed is actually the company’s name that makes the anchor bolt used to fasten materials to concrete or masonry surfaces.

Finding out that Simpson building products had made any new epoxy and all it required was drilling a hole 1/16 of an inch larger than the all thread you were going to use . After drilling a hole you would clean it with a plastic brittle brush. This brittle brush was pretty strong but it was not made from metal like I have thought. I was thinking it would have been a nice metal wire brush.

After drilling and cleaning the hole you would insert the proper amount of the epoxy into the hole you had drilled out with a masonry bit. As you slid the cut to size all thread bolt into the hole the epoxy would ooze out of the whole. This would tell you there was enough epoxy in the hole.  After that I cleaned the leftover epoxy off of the wood that I had inserted the all thread into to remove the extra epoxy that had oozed out. I waited 24 hours and the next day came to work with my electric impact wrench and wanted to put this epoxy to the ultimate test.

I put the washer and nut on the all thread and started to torque the heck out of it. As I was tightening the nuts and washer it started to work its way into the wood.  I was simply amazed after 24 hours the epoxy had held that good.

That was then and today Simpson epoxy requires drilling a hole an eighth of an inch oversize and filling it with epoxy. I still can’t believe and to this day am a firm believer in concrete epoxies.

Read the instructions, clean out the holes properly with the recommended brush, insert the proper amount of epoxy, and rotate the all thread slowly into the hole as the epoxy starts to ooze out of it. Do not touch or move the bolt for the next 24 hours.

Concrete epoxies are here to stay and will keep improving as time goes on.

Greg Vanden Berge is working on the internet to promote the education for creating simple to follow guides and home building books to help professional building contractors as well as the weekend warriors. He is currently working on a great Building and Remodeling Library and adding useful content to help solve problems created by the lack of construction knowledge in the building industry.

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