Chemical Anchor Storage
Don’t Let the Heat Beat You to It
It’s coming up to the warmer seasons in non-tropical Australia. And while that might mean more work time on site, it can also spell a bit of trouble for consumable products used.
Chemical anchoring has grown rapidly as a solution to create industrial-strength bonds for many trades, particularly those who work with concrete as a substrate. But improper handling and storage of it can seriously affect its performance and usability.
Whether your chemical anchor is of a ‘fast cure’ nature or not, correct storage gets you the most from the product. For example, if you store it in a car, ute or truck on what you think is a temperate day, consider that the temperature inside the cabin is usually for hotter – on a 22° day, the cabin temperature inside a car with closed windows can rise to 47° in only one hour. The same could be said about other inadequate storage places, like un-airconditioned site offices or sheds.
If you check the TDS, MSDS or instructions on tubes of chemical anchor, you’ll see that curing and working times vary depending on ambient temperature in your working environment. In locations where the climate is consistent all year-round (in the tropics or near-polar regions), using one suggestion in this documentation all the time is usually fine. But in places that experience seasonal extremes, it pays to not be complacent with adjusting your embedment technique and storage habits as the weather turns.
For all chemical anchors, working time is reduced in warmer climates. Essentially, the warmer the weather, the shorter the working time, so getting alignment of studs correct must be done quickly. Of course, poor storage habits can exacerbate this. Even when stored by a supplier of chemical anchor products, care is taken in the warehouse – bulk stock is placed on the lower-to-middle racks to ensure a safe distance from a hot warehouse roof.
So, what happens when chemical anchoring is not stored correctly?
Excessive heat can affect the chemical’s properties and cause deterioration of the ingredients, possibly affecting the curing process. A proper mix can also be affected. Whether it is an epoxy anchor or fast-curing anchor you cannot afford for the integrity of whatever you are fixing to be negatively-affected by a weakened anchor.
Another thing to consider is substrate or materials temperature. Curing times are directly related to substrate temperature – higher temperatures will drastically speed up curing time and reduce the working time you need to get the fixing correct.
Each chemical anchor from Allfasteners has a table of working and curing times, so you can assess the environmental conditions you are working with, and know what to expect from them – that is, plan your work time accordingly.