Newest FAQs

Guidelines for Ordering U-Bolts

I need to buy some non-standard size u-bolts. Do you have any guidelines that will help me with ordering the u-bolts I need from Portland Bolt?

Portland Bolt can manufacture custom u-bolts that are made from 1/2” diameter and larger steel. So as long as the u-bolts you need are 1/2” in diameter or larger, we can most likely manufacture them, within the capabilities of our bending equipment and the limitations of the steel itself. To better understand what can be... Read more

Tie Rod Assembly Configurations

How are tie rods, turnbuckles, and clevises configured?

Tie rods, clevises, and turnbuckles are an important part of many architectural designs. Canopy supports, structural steel bracing, and walkway hangers are a few of the applications that use these assemblies. The unique configuration allows for field adjustments in both length and tension. Adjustment Adjustments are possible by threading opposing ends of the rod right hand... Read more

ASTM A325 vs A449

I have two items that use 1" bolts, one is ASTM A325 and the other is ASTM A449, I would like to just use one. Which is the one that meets or exceeds the other?

These bolts are identical with regard to strength and chemistry. There are very minor differences in the hardness requirements, but the proof load, tensile, and yield strength requirements are the same. From a manufacturing standpoint, we make these bolts using the same raw material and the same heat treating and production methods. Our strength by... Read more

Concerns Calculating Torque

How do I calculate torque for construction fasteners?

Torque is a difficult value to calculate accurately, especially for construction fasteners and should be used cautiously. The primary challenge is accounting for environmental factors, coatings, and a number of other variables including surface texture, material hardness, and thread series. In most situations, it is challenging to give reliable allowable torque values for bolted assemblies.... Read more

Hex Bolts vs. Hex Cap Screws

What are the differences between a hex cap screw and a hex bolt?

These terms are often incorrectly used interchangeably. The most basic difference between a cap screw and a bolt is the way in which these fasteners are installed. Technically, a bolt is installed by turning a nut to tighten the fastener, while a cap screw in installed by turning the head of the bolt to assemble... Read more

Lag Screw Shear Strength

How do I determine the shear capacity and strength of lag screws?

Unfortunately, we have no specific data to answer this question. First, “standard” lag bolts that are readily available in the marketplace are ungraded, meaning they are not manufactured to any ASTM specification and have no verifiable mechanical requirements. Therefore, it is impossible to determine the strength characteristics of a lag screw unless they are custom... Read more

Grade 55 Steel Properties

Can I use ASTM 108 Round Bar, a CF-1018 round bar, for F1554 Grade 55?

The problem with ASTM A108, 1018CF is that there are no mechanical requirements and typically the test reports that accompany this steel reflect the chemistry only and not the strength of the steel. Test reports will need to accompany this material that reflect all four of the values listed below, and these values will need... Read more

Malleable Iron Washer Details

What are the purposes for the different components in malleable iron washers (MIW)

For many years a malleable iron washer has been a common component in heavy timber and marine construction. With a large bearing surface and thick cast design they help prevent the bolt head or nut from pulling through wood connections. There are two common types of MIW. One style of malleable washer is produced in... Read more

Rotational Capacity Testing

What is rotational capacity (ROCAP) testing?

Per ASTM A325 section 6.3.1, the rotational capacity test is defined as a test, “that is intended to evaluate the presence of a lubricant, the efficiency of the lubricant, and the compatibility of assemblies as represented by the components selected for testing.” In a 1970 study referenced by the Research Council on Structural Connections (RCSC),... Read more

Grade C Eliminated From ASTM A307

What happened to ASTM A307 Grade C?

One change with regard to specifications that will have a significant impact on the construction fastener industry is the August 2007 elimination of the grade C designation within the ASTM A307 specification. ASTM A307 is the standard specification for low carbon steel construction fasteners. Until recently, A307 had three grades A, B, and C. Grade... Read more