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, earthquake potential, footing limitations, and a variety of other factors and forces affecting the anchor bolts. Different engineers have personal preferences, however the type of anchor bolts they design into a structure have been engineered to withstand any and all of these load issues. If you are not an engineer, I would be very cautious in “redesigning” the anchor bolts since changing the configuration could sacrifice strength or even ductility necessary for the anchor bolts to perform at optimum levels. Due to liability issues and given the fact that Portland Bolt does not employ structural engineers, we are not in a position to make recommendations regarding the type or grade of anchor bolt to be used for a specific application. We would caution you to run any changes like this through the project engineer due to the liability issues you may incur by altering the original design.

Portland Bolt has the manufacturing capabilities to make anchor bolts with forged heads, as straight rods, or as bent anchor bolts. If you need any nonstandard anchor bolts in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Also feel free to contact me if you have additional questions regarding this matter.



    What is the COST difference between a typical bent bar (L) and an ‘equivalent’ headed anchor bolt? How about we consider 5/8″ dia. x 10″ long F1554 Gr36 (not galvanized and not heavy-hex headed, for this example).

    I prefer headed AB’s, and for some jurisdictions bent bar AB’s are not allowed anyway. But, I’d like to get a sense of cost difference for situations where either are a possibility. Thanks.

    @Nathan- In looking at the two parts, all things being equal, the headed anchor bolts are 10-20% more expensive. My hunch is that gap would narrow with larger runs, this estimate is only based on our stock products.

    Mr. Lindsay,

    Can you advise the what the minimum radius to which F1554, Grade 55 anchor bolts can be bent?


    @Pault- ASTM F1554 does not put any restriction on the minimum radius, instead leaving that up to the individual manufacturer. They do mandate that there not be any cracking, and that the bent area cannot be smaller than 90% of the body diameter.

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