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(November 2010)

Holding down bolt design to

Eurocode 2
Licensed copy: wchmht, Meinhardt, 09/03/2012, Uncontrolled Copy, Concrete Society

Deryk Simpson BSc CEng MICE FCS

This document provides guidance on the design of holding down bolts for attaching
steel or precast concrete stanchions to reinforced or un-reinforced concrete
foundations, using Eurocode 2 . Concrete Advice sheet 5 covers the design of
holding down bolts to BS 8110-1 . Design approaches are given for resisting the uplift
on the bolts and for the allowable bearing pressure underneath the stanchion base
plate. This document only covers bolts in tension or compression and does not cover
bolts in shear. A method for the design of dowels in shear is included in Concrete
Society Technical Report No 34 Proprietary fixings are not included in this
document. The manufactures technical literature should be consulted for the load
capacity of proprietary fixings.

foundation around each bolt. The depth of

1 Uplift bolts in tension the cone is to be taken as the full depth of
the bolt for post-fixed bolts and to the top
There are two possible ways of checking of the bolt anchor plate for cast-in bolts.
bolts in uplift. The first is applicable to The uplift loads used in these calculations
single bolts and pairs of bolts, which are is to be the relevant factored design
effectively fully bonded over their full actions not the characteristic actions.
embedded length and have small or no
anchor plates. The second method is Cone shear stress = Design uplift load
applicable if the bolts are not effectively Surface area of cone or cones
bonded over the embedded length but rely
on an individual anchor plate for
Note: Section 4 includes a method for
embedment, or when a group of bolts is
calculating the surface area of non-
fastened to a relatively large stiff anchor
intersecting cones and tabulated
plate embedded in the concrete.
values for the combined areas of pairs
of intersecting cones for different
Method 1 Effectively fully bonded depths and spacings of pairs of bolts.
The actual shear stress on the area of the
Check shear stress cones should be compared to the
The following procedure can be used to allowable shear stress obtained from
check the depth and number of bolts in Equation 6.47 in Eurocode 2. In
tension, for fully bonded cast in bolts and unreinforced or nominally reinforced
post-drilled and fully grouted bolts. This sections the 1 term is zero so the
method assumes the tension in the bolts is allowable shear stress becomes
resisted by shear stress on the surface (vmin + k1cp).
area of 90 cones of concrete within the

In most foundations the horizontal stresses will be hole for bond calculations purposes.
low, thus the allowable shear stress becomes equal to
vmin. In all cases if bond stress exceeds the allowable
bond stress it will be necessary to deepen and/or
If the cone shear stress exceeds the allowable shear increase the number of bolts.
stress then the bolts will need to be deeper and/or
more bolts provided. Method 2 - Anchor plate pull out

Check bond stress: Cast-in bolts This method assumes that the anchor plate
If the shear stress is less than the relevant allowable embedded in the concrete tries to pull out of the
Licensed copy: wchmht, Meinhardt, 09/03/2012, Uncontrolled Copy, Concrete Society

shear stress the bond anchorage of the individual concrete by a punching shear failure. The anchor
bolts should be checked. The method for calculating plate effectively becomes the loaded area for
the anchorage bond stress around a reinforcement punching shear design, which is undertaken in
bar in Section 8.4 of Eurocode 2 should be used. accordance with Section 6.4 in Eurocode 2, with the
However Eurocode 2 only covers the anchorage of section depth h shown in Figure 6.12 being taken as
ribbed bars; the anchorage of plain bars is not the depth of embedment to the top of the anchor
covered. If the embedded section of the bolt is plate. The anchor plate must be stiff enough so that
threaded full length or consists of a length of ribbed the uplift forces in the bolt(s) produce an even
reinforcement, the allowable bond strengths in distribution of compressive stress on the top face of
Eurocode 2 are appropriate. If the embedded length the plate. The majority of stanchion holding down
of the bolt is a non-ribbed plain bar then the bolts will fall into this category, because in practice
calculations in Eurocode 2 are theoretically not the grouting up of the bolt cones around the bolts
applicable. Engineering judgement will be needed if cannot be assumed to be fully effective in
the embedded bolts are of plain round bars. There are transferring shear from the bolt into the surrounding
two possible alternatives. The method in Eurocode 2 concrete.
could be used, but with the bond strengths reduced to
55%. (This 55% relationship is based upon Table 3.26 Design procedure
in BS 8110-1). Alternatively the bond calculations for Check the shear stress around the perimeter of the
plain bars in BS 8110-1 could be used. anchor plate. If the shear stress exceeds the
allowable value it will be necessary to increase the
If the actual bond stress exceeds the allowable bond size of the anchor plate. The plate may require
stress the bolts will need to be deeper and/or more stiffening if increased in size.
bolts provided.
Then check the shear stress on the first critical
Check bond stress: Post-grouted bolts perimeter. If the shear stress exceeds the allowable
In the cases where bolts are grouted into drilled holes value there are a number of options available:
it may be prudent to check two anchorage bonds:
Lengthen the bolts, thus setting the anchor plate
On the grout/bolt interface: The calculation will be as deeper into the concrete.
for cast-in bolts, except that a value of allowable bond Increase the size of the anchor plate. The plate
stress will need to be determined for the grout may require stiffening if increased in size.
material, based upon the grout characteristic strength Increase the amount of top reinforcement to
or the manufacturers technical information. increase the allowable shear stress.
Provide punching shear reinforcement. This
On the grout/drilled hole interface: The calculation will would be regarded as a last resort due to the
be similar to that for cast-in bolts except that the practical difficulties and cost of installing shear
effective diameter will be the hole diameter and the links in foundations. In this instance the shear
allowable bond stress will be the lesser of that for the would have to be checked on the next punching
foundation concrete or the grout. An assessment of shear perimeter, and if necessary subsequent
the bond characteristics of the perimeter of the drilled shear perimeters.
hole will need to be made. This will depend on the
roughness of the inside of the hole. For a rough hole Overall design
(e.g. produced by percussive drilling) the bond stress
appropriate for deformed bars could be assumed. For The bolts themselves should also be checked for
a smooth hole (e.g. produced by diamond drilling) direct tension stresses. Also the foundations should
the bond stress values appropriate to plain bars be designed to resist the uplift.
should be used. If there is any doubt about the
potential roughness of the hole assume a smooth

The procedures given above assume a uniform

2 Base plate sizing Compression distribution of stress below the base plate, i.e. that
the base plate is stiff. If the stress is not uniform, i.e.
The following procedures will give the absolute a flexible base plate, different procedures will be
minimum stanchion base plate size and applies to pin needed to size the base plate.
jointed bases only. This procedure assumes the base
plate has adequate stiffness to give a uniform Proprietary grouts: In practice proprietary grouts are
distribution of compressive stress. For stanchion likely to be used. The compressive strength given in
bases required to resist overturning moments refer to the manufacturers literature should be used for
Licensed copy: wchmht, Meinhardt, 09/03/2012, Uncontrolled Copy, Concrete Society

the relevant codes of practice and design guides for design. If no cylinder strength is quoted in the
the design of the base plate size. literature the appropriate cylinder strength can be
obtained from the cube to cylinder strength
Use factored design loads not characteristic loads. relationships indicated in Table 3.1 of Eurocode 2.
Base plate area = Maximum design compressive Fine concrete: Designed concrete with a small
load Allowable ultimate bearing stress aggregate to suit the intended thickness of the infill.
Two cases should be considered and the maximum The other materials defined in Table 1 are as follows
area used. (the proportions and strengths are taken from
Reference 5);
Infill material to concrete foundation interface
Use the design method in Section 6.7 of Eurocode 2. Grout: Mixture of cement (usually Portland
The dimension h in Figure 6.29 will normally be the cement) to water in proportion of about 2:1 by
depth of the foundation. The fcd value in Equation 6.63 weight.
will be that for the foundation concrete. For axially Sanded grout: Mixture of cement, sand and
loaded symmetrical bases Ac1 in Figure 6.29 may be water in approximately equal proportions by
the plan area of the base. weight.
Mortar: Mixture of cement, sand and water in
Base plate to grout/infill material interface
proportions of about 1:3:0.4 by weight.
Use the design method in Section 6.7 of Eurocode 2,
taking the ratio Ac1/Ac0 in Equation 6.63 as 1.0. The fcd
value in Equation 6.63 will be that for the grout/infill
material. Table 1 lists typical values for the 3 Surface area of cones around embedded
characteristic strength of grout/infill materials. bolts
Table 1: Typical values for grout/infill material Single bolts
characteristic cube strengths The surface area (AS) of a 90 cone around a single
bolt of embedded depth D is:
Material Characteristic Characteristic
cube strength cylinder strength AS = 4.443 D
(N/mm) (N/mm )
Cement 12 15 10 -12 Note: This equation cannot be used if bolts are
grout closer together than 2D or closer to the edge of a
Sanded 15 20 12 - 16 foundation than 1.5D.
Mortar 20 25 16 - 20 Pairs of bolts
D = embedded depth of the bolts
Fine Use 28 day Use 28 day X = horizontal distance between the bolt
concrete cube strength cylinder strength centres
Proprietary Refer to manufactures literature AD = combined surface area of the two 90
grouts cones around the bolts.
Notes If X is greater than 2D, AD = 8.886 D
The design bearing stresses can be used as the If X is less than 2D the cones overlap. The values for
maximum values for the design of base plates that are AD are listed in Table 2, which is based on
subject to an overturning movement or non-uniform information in Reference 5).
stress distribution.

Table 2: Effective conical areas for overlapping cones.

X (mm)
D 100 150 200 300 450 600 750 1000
3 2
( 10 mm )
100 71.5 82.5 88.9 88.9 88.9 88.9 88.9 88.9
Licensed copy: wchmht, Meinhardt, 09/03/2012, Uncontrolled Copy, Concrete Society

150 141.6 160.8 178.0 199.9 199.9 199.9 199.9 199.9

200 233.7 260.5 28.59 329.8 355.4 355.4 355.4 355.4
300 484.3 525.8 566.4 643.4 742.0 799.7 799.7 799.7
450 1027 1090 1152 1274 1448 1602 1728 1799
600 1769 1853 1937 2103 2345 2574 2784 3072
750 2711 2817 2922 3131 3439 3737 4021 4451
1000 4726 4867 5008 5288 5705 6114 6513 7149

1. BS EN 1992-1-1: 2004 Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures Part 1-1: General rules and rules
for buildings
2. Holding down bolts, suggested design procedures using BS 8110-1, Concrete Advice Sheet 5,
Concrete Society 2009
3. BS 8110-1: 1997 Structural use of concrete, Part 1: Code of practice for design and construction,
4. Concrete industrial ground floors A guide to design and construction, Concrete Society Technical
Report No. 34, Third Edition, 2003
5. Holding down systems for steel stanchions, Concrete Society, Cement and Concrete Association and
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Issued November 2010

CONCRETE Advice Sheets are produced and published by The Concrete Society. The information and advice
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