Rawlplug, a company founded in England about 90 years ago by John J. Rawlings, is credited with starting the world’s first fixing company and with inventing the first expansion anchor. The expansion anchor replaced the traditional method of fastening to masonry by chiseling a hole in the masonry, plugging it with wood and then inserting a screw. John J. Rawlings was a contractor working at a museum when electrical fittings where required to be attached to the masonry walls without damage. He solved the problem by inventing the fiber plug, which came to be known as the Rawlplug. The basic principle of design was grip by expansion by having a screw inserted into the plug that expanded to the maximum size to hold tightly against the inside wall of the hole in the base material. The Rawlplug was originally made from copper and fiber laid length ways and bonded together with glue.
The company designed and manufactured many types of concrete fasteners made from steel and plastic. The Rawlplug Company sold products in the United States under the name of Rawl and became the number one seller of concrete fasteners in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Over the years, many new competitors have entered the market. Powers Fasteners bought Rawl Company in the United States. The Rawlplug Company still exists and sells its product in England and thoughout Europe.
Where to Purchase Rawl Products
Rawl products can be purchased under Powers Fasteners, Inc., which is associated with Concrete Fastening Systems, Inc. and is based out of Cleveland, Ohio. Purchasing can be done by going online to www.confast.com and buying direct. Concrete Fastening Systems, Inc. carries a complete line of its own brand name as well as all the different types of concrete fasteners made by Powers Fasteners.
CONCRETE FASTENEERS AVAILABLE INCLUDE:
Wedge Anchors – for use in solid concrete, available in zinc-plated carbon steel, hot-dipped galvanized, 304 stainless steel and 316 stainless steel. The diameters range from 1/4” to 1-1/4” and lengths from 1-3/4” to 12”. To install a wedge anchor, a hole needs to be drilled into the concrete. The hole size in the concrete is equal to the diameter of the wedge anchor being installed. The hole must be drilled using a hammer drill and a carbide tipped drill bit. All wedge anchors have a minimum embedment depth that they must be installed in order to insure minimum holding values. The minimum embedment depth is base on the diameter of the wedge anchor being used. Wedge anchors are packaged with the correct number and size of nuts and washer; package quantities depend on the diameter and length of the wedge anchor.
Sleeve Anchors – used in solid concrete, brick and block, available in zinc plated carbon steel and 304 stainless steel. The diameters range from 1/4” to 3/4” and in lengths from 5/8” to 6-1/4”. The hole must be drilled into the base material with a hammer drill and a carbide bit, with the hole size equal to the diameter of sleeve anchor being installed. All sleeve anchors come packaged fully assembled with a nut and washer. Sleeve anchors in the 1/4” diameter come with an acorn nut, flat head or round head. The 3/8” diameters sleeve anchor come in a hex nut head or a flat head countersunk phillips. The 1/2”, 5/8” and 3/4” come in only the hex nut head. Each diameter of sleeve anchor must be installed into the base material a minimum distance. This minimum embedment must be achieved for the sleeve anchor to provide minimum holding values in the base material.
Tapcon – used in most masonry base materials such as concrete, brick and block, and is available in the standard blue Climaseal® coating and 410 stainless steel. Diameters range from 3/16” to 3/4” and lengths from 1-1/4” to 6” with two standard head styles of the hex washer head and the flat phillips countersunk. Both the 3/16” and 1/4” diameter tapcon must be installed into the concrete a minimum of 1” and a maximum of 1-3/4”. To determine the length of tapcon to use for any particular application, add the thickness of the material being fastened to the minimum embedment depth of 1”. The maximum length of tapcon to use is determined by adding the thickness of the material being fastened to the maximum embedment depth of 1-3/4”. The length of the hex head tapcon is measured from underneath the head, the flat head phillips tapcon is measured as an overall length including the head.
Drop-In Anchors – female type anchor designed for use in solid concrete only comes in only 5 diameters of 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8” and 3/4” and each diameter comes in only one length. Each diameter is available in zinc plated carbon steel, 304 stainless steel and 316 stainless steel. The drop-in anchor requires the use of a setting tool to set the drop-in anchor in the concrete. Each diameter of drop-in anchor has a setting tool specifically for that diameter.
Hammer Drive Anchors – used in concrete, brick or block with one length available in the 3/16’ diameter and seven different lengths in the 1/4” diameter. All of the hammer drive anchors come with a mushroom head and are set in the base material by driving the preassembled nail down into the anchor body. The hammer drive anchor can be purchased with a zinc plated carbon steel nail or a stainless steel nail. The anchor body is made from a zinc alloy called Zamac, which is rust resistant.
Split Drive Anchors – manufactured in only zinc plated carbon steel and designed for use in solid concrete only. Two head styles are available: the flat head and round head in one diameter of 1/4”, with different lengths from 1-1/2” to 4” in the flat head and from 1-1/4” to 2-1/2” in the round head.
Nylon- Nail-It – available with a standard zinc plated carbon steel nail, aluminum nail or a nylon nail. Three head style are available: flat, round and mushroom head in diameters of 3/16” and 1/4” and lengths ranging from 3/4” to 3”.
Spike - similar to the split drive anchor and can be used in concrete, brick or block in static or vibratory loading applications. Five head styles are available the round, flat, threaded pipe, wire tie and forming double head style. The spike is available in an acorn plated carbon steel as well as in stainless steel. The spike is available in three diameters of 3/16”, 1/4” and 3/8”. Not all spikes come in all diameters.
Rawl Plug- The Rawl plug was discontinued in the U.S. market a number of years ago and is not available for purchase.
Power Stud – Powers’ version of the wedge anchor that come in a number of variations that meet different criteria. The SD1 and SD2 versions have been tested and approved for use in cracked or uncracked concrete. To purchase the Power Stud SD1 or SD2, call 800-966-9617.
Please remember with all fastening jobs to keep safety in mind. Always follow safety instructions on all tools, and refer to manufacturer's installation instructions when available and always remember to wear safety goggles!
Article written by: Bob Carlisle, President Concrete Fastening Systems, Inc