In concrete construction, attaching something to concrete is usually done with an anchor. With enough foresight, and precise tolerances, we can cast the anchors into the concrete. Often, though, we need to install an anchor into hardened concrete. Such post-installed anchors are proprietary devices that vary in quality and load capacity. The only way to really know the capacity of a specific anchor is to test it. Traditionally, the anchor manufacturers have tested their own anchors and provided the results to designers and contractors.

The American Concrete Institute's Building Code Committee (ACI 318) wasn't satisfied with this system and decided that a standard test was needed. In response, ACI Committee 355 "Anchorage to Concrete" developed a test procedure. This procedure (ACI 355.2-00, "Evaluating the Performance of Post-Installed Mechanical Anchors in Concrete") is now up for public review, and many anchor manufacturers are objecting.

We asked two members of ACI Committee 355, Richard E. Klingner, the Phil M. Ferguson Professor in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, and Richard Ernst, engineering manager at ITW Ramset/Red Head, to answer a few questions on the proposed test method.