How to install anchors in 10mm panels

– based on 10mm ceramic.

Here we explain how to install anchors in 10mm tile.

I have collected all important information about how we in Blick install panels 10mm thick using undercut technology.

In this article you will get knowledge step by step how to install anchors in 10mm tile using Blick’s technology. This article includes following parts:

PART ONE: anchor type for 10mm tile,

PART TWO: tolerances of undercut holes, which are important for safe installation and load transfers,

PART THREE: drilling tools, kind of tools proper for drilling in ceramic,

PART FOUR: step by step drilling process in details,

PART FIVE: anchor installation.

… let’s start…

PART ONE: Anchor type for 10mm tile.

10mm tiles are commonly used on rainscreen facades but also inside. Tiles or larger panels are made from HPL, fibrecement or ceramic. I have choosen ceramic.

As you may know blick offers variety of anchors dedicated for different materials. From most advanced like anchors for glass, through dedicated for extremely soft materials or special designs for very deep fixings and classical undercut anchors.

Today I will let you know about anchor for 10mm tile, which can be installed in panels 8, 10 and 12mm panels.

I chosed this particular anchor not without a reason. This anchor was used to fix non-load bearing clamps on world largest façade panels in Africarium. Panel size reached 6,4/3,6m = 17/12ft. Even bigger panels were used on a project of National Forum of Music.

World Biggest Facade Panels – Africarium.

The name of the product is BSA-S10.06.M620. Let me explain first the methodology in Blick we use for describing anchors. This is a very useful thing:

The name of anchor, BSA-S10.06.M620, includes all information needed for identification. It is as follows:

  • BSA-S is a type of anchor, a particular construction, specific model,
  • BSA-S10 means that the nominal hole diameter is Ø10mm,
  • BSA-S10.06 means that the minimum hole depth is 6mm (with tolerances +2,00 / -0,00mm, for holes 6-8mm),
  • BSA-S10.06.M620 means that the screw thread is M6 and screw length is 20mm.

Now all is clear I hope, and we know exactly what the description means. In the test reports you will see anchor BSA-S10.06.M630. You already know that this is the same type of anchor as described above with just longer screw, 30mm long.

Another important aspect is that this desciption gives you clear view, when you want to use different type of anchor in the same hole diameter an hole depth. When panels are fabricated and anchors preinstalled, usually BSA-SQ flush type anchors are used for safe packaging. However, when type of anchor is changed (because of any reason: to increase technical parameters, change design or availability), other anchors may be used and fit to the same hole. This is a useful benefit.

All following anchor types:

-are interchangeable and can be installed in exactly the same undercut hole: Ø10mm and 10mm deep.

Important factor: Drilling depth has significant influence on technical parameters – pull out and shear load. So when you calculate loads always check the material thickness and embedmend depth and take safety factors in consideration*.

On our web site in chapter materials you can find for example 10mm HPL or 10mm fibrecement. Where test report shows pull out values. Now to meet pullout results presented in reports you need to make hole minimum same depth and exactly the same anchor type including diameter and setting depth of course.

Let me explain: let’s check for example HPL, here we get some important information:

  • material type: some materials are made in or certified by lot (certified for one specific componnets delivery stored at same conditions on the stock: acrylic, GRC, UHPC) or are tested in 2 year periods (natural stone). This mean, that todays materials may offer different results. It does not mean lower and doesn’t mean higher, means different as the composition and components are different in case of GRC concrete. On the other hand today the quarry extracts stone from different part of the quarry, and so of a different parameters. Conclusion: tests are to be repeated.
  • material thickness: 10mm panel,
  • drilling depth: this is extreemely important as it has direct impact on pull out and shear load results. By example Jura Limestone Test (page 02, bottom diagram) shows how increases the pullout value in relation to setting depth. Full Jura Recommendation you can see here.
  • values: pull out results presented by AVG-average value, LEV-lower expected value and STD-standart deviation deliver more information about repeatability and test results,
  • destruction type [cone vs panel break]: cone diameter is a indicative when two anchors are installed next to each other,
  • calculating value & safety factor: based on that, you get knowledge what kind of values are allowed to be transfered by this type of fixing (material-setting depth-anchor type). Note, that because of changes in building regulations some safety factors may change and usually increase, which reduces calculating value. Please consult this part with approved local structural designer and local building regulations.

PART TWO: Drilling tolerances.

OK, now little bit more about tolerances. This is a very important element especially for installers, CNC operators but also ceramic producers, which supply tiles with some thickness tolerances (+/-0,2mm), which has implication for the installation.

All undercut anchors by Blick offer large tolerances. I have mentioned in “part one: A proper anchor”, that the minimum embedment depth is 6mm, which means that the undercut hole has to be min 6mm deep. But is does not describes max depth. Here important is what panel fabricator allows to do. Some say that min bottom thickness is 3mm, others, that the hole can not be installed deeper than 60% of the thickness. On the other hand all depends on panel thickness, which usually is 8-30mm thick, so smoe rules are proper for thinner panels, some other for thicker once.

Moving forward:

– 10mm thickness – 3mm = 7mm,

– 60% from 10mm is 6mm.

It is safer, when the anchor is set lower than shallower, so we will drill at 7mm. later on you will see that installing anchor 1mm deeper than nominal depth (6mm) will be visible after the anchor is set. The sleeve after deformation will land lower in relation to panel surface…. by 1mm.

I have prepared a small bonus for you. In the description below you can find a short movie presenting the drilling depth tolerances. You can find there many useful ideas.

PART THREEThe right tool.

If we speak about undercut anchors, the very critical element in the whole pack is undercut hole geometry. The anchor geometry has to fit in hole geometry. On the other hand driling process parameters have to be controlled especially if we speak about RPM (turns per minute) feed or water cooling (especialy important when ceramic is drilled).

Considering drilling in the ceramic, suggested feed = 33 mm/minute.

For 7mm hole the drilling proces (excluding undercutting) should take about 13 seconds as per below calculation:

7mm / 33mm x 60 seconds = 13 seconds.

For ceramic it is advisable to use dedicated tool. Universal tools for natural stone used for drilling in ceramic present much lower life.

I jump over hole tolerances as these are available here, and this is a bit larger material for another article.

PART FOUR: Drilling process.

The drilling process includes 3 easy steps:

  1. Fix the drilling machine to the panel using vacuum foot.
  2. Touch the drill to the material.
  3. Turn the screw M12x1 untill it touches the spacer and lock screw.

The drilling machine is ready for drilling at the depth same as spacer.

Flat surface should give us deeper hole, by the height of pattern. As we have measured, the is not equal in every place, which was visible when we measured depths of holes. when we drill holes on flat surface, we have decided to reduce the depth by 0.2mm. To do that following steps have to be made:

  1. unlock the screw
  2. turn the screw by 72° down. The screw is M12x1, which means the screw pitch is 1mm for every full 360° turn. So calculating 0.2 x 360° = 72°.
  3. lock the screw.

The machine is ready to make holes 0.2mm shallower.

Below movie presents the whole process of adjustment and drilling.

Just after installation the anchor is ready to transfer loads. Fix clamps using torque key set at 3,5-4,0 Nm.

That is all, jobs done.

I hope my article will help you to install panels in a safe way and work with passion.

wish you a great day

Jarek Gruszecki

*- Blick recommends to contact HQ prior to use for consulting or to confirm correct application. We do not take any responsibility for improper use by unauthorized persons or persons not certified by Blick. Presented process consists tips and tricks, which may or may not be applicable in other materials or particular projects. In case of questions, contact blick team on