Greg's FAQs

Rod vs Headed Anchor Bolt

Can I substitute a rod with a nut for a headed anchor bolt?

Thank you for the opportunity to quote on your requirement for headed anchor bolts. I noticed you have approved the substitution of a rod in lieu of a bolt with a forged head. We do not recommend allowing this type of substitution without approval from the engineer. Based on performing mechanical tests to the ASTM... Read more

Headed or Bent Anchor Bolts

Is it better to use a headed anchor bolt or a L-bolt?

Engineers often design anchor bolts in one of four common configurations. We see anchor bolts with forged heads, 90 degree bends, straight rods often with anchor plates on the bottom, and swedged rods. Engineers will design a structure using different grades and configurations based on the size, weight and design of a structure, wind forces,... Read more

External Thread Summary

What is the meaning of thread pitch, major diameter, minor diameter, crest, root, flanks, angle, and run-out in the context of external thread?

Portland Bolt forms threads using two methods: cut threading and roll threading. Cut threading is a process that removes steel to form the threads. The roll threading method we utilize starts with reduced body pitch diameter steel. To make a one inch bolt we would use .912 inch round bar. This steel is forced between... Read more

Large Diameter Bolt Increments

Is 2-3/8" diameter rod stocked, or should we stick to 1/4" increments at those sizes?

Generally speaking, bolts over 1-1/2″ in diameter should be designed in 1/4″ increments, regardless of grade. While it is possible to manufacture bolts in 1/8″ increments (i.e. 2-3/8″), there are several reasons why you would want to avoid it. Steel Availability Steel round bar used to manufacture bolts is not readily available in 1/8″ increments over... Read more

A325X vs. A325 Bolt Head Markings

Do A325X bolts have a special marking on the head that would differentiate them from a standard A325?

The “X” designates the connection type (bearing-type connection with threads excluded from the shear plane) and has nothing to do with the bolt itself. Therefore, an A325 structural bolt used in this type of connection will have no different markings than an A325 bolt used in a different type of connection (N or SC). All A325... Read more

“High Strength” Bolts

Are there any other "high strength" bolts other an A325, A449 or A490? Would SAE Grade 5 and 8 qualify?

The term “high strength” is a somewhat ambiguous fastener term. Most people in the industry would interpret the phrase “high strength” to refer to any bolt that has been quenched and tempered (heat treated) to develop its strength. Additionally, the ASTM specification F1554 Grade 55 is commonly referred to as being manufactured from a “high... Read more

Manufacturing Lead Times

What is "lead time"?

lead time  |  Noun /ˈliːdˌtaɪm/ The time between the initiation and completion of a production process. A common question our estimators field from prospective customers is, “What is your lead time?” Before we answer this question, let’s first address the term “lead time.” The dictionary defines a lead time as the time interval between the... Read more

Thread Pitch for 1-5/8″ Bolts

What is the Unified National Coarse thread pitch for a 1-5/8” diameter bolt?

Currently, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) specification B 1.1 does not define a “standard” Unified National Coarse (UNC) thread pitch for 1-5/8” diameter bolts (or 1-7/8” for that matter). The “pseudo standard” coarse thread that is often used in the industry is 5-1/2 threads per inch. The 8UN (eight threads per inch) series... Read more

F844 Standard Washer Certifications

Do ASTM F844 standard flat washers come with certification documents?

Commercially available ASTM F844 washers are typically not accompanied by certification documents, even though the F844 washers supplied by Portland Bolt are domestically manufactured. The reason mill test reports are not available for F844 washers is that there are no specific chemical or mechanical (strength, hardness) requirements for these washers. The only requirement is that they need... Read more

A307 Grade 36 vs F1554 Grade 36

Can the anchor bolts type ASTM F1554 grade 36 be replaced with ASTM A307 grade 36?

This question was submitted by a Port Authority on the East Coast. Anchor bolts were supplied by another company claiming they met or exceeded the requirements of F1554 grade 36. As it turns out, they did not. Hi Greg, Sorry for being late to send you a clear copy of the Mill certification. Just to... Read more