Ancon designs and manufactures high integrity steel products for the construction industry and receives the Queen’s Award for a ground-breaking Lockable Dowel used in post-tensioned concrete buildings.
This innovative component accelerates the speed of construction, reduces build costs, simplifies concrete design, improves aesthetics and enhances on-site safety.
Since developing the product in 2007, Ancon has achieved phenomenal sales in Europe, Australia and North America.
Ancon Managing Director, Stuart Maxwell, says: “The speed at which the product has been accepted on three continents is testament to the ingenuity and perfection of the design. We are absolutely delighted that our innovation and commercial success has been recognised with a Queen’s Award.”
Post-tensioned concrete is used to create long column-free floor spans in multi-storey buildings. During construction, one-metre wide ‘pour strips’ were traditionally left between adjoining concrete slabs to allow for concrete shrinkage. Once the slabs had stabilised, the pour strips were filled with concrete to seal the gap – sometimes up to 12 weeks after the slabs were first poured. In the meantime, pour strips present a trip hazard for workers and the two unconnected slabs must be supported from below, restricting further work on site.
The invention of the Lockable Dowel simply eliminated the need for pour strips, eradicating sites of all associated delays and obstructions. The Ancon dowel is used to transfer load and accommodate concrete shrinkage at a temporary joint in the concrete floor. No additional supports are required, meaning the area is now safe, uncluttered and accessible to all construction trades. When the concrete movement has stabilised, the dowel bar is mechanically locked to prevent further movement, providing continuity in the structure without any construction delays.
This award reflects Ancon’s commitment to innovation and acknowledges a strong financial performance in challenging market conditions.
The company employs 380 people at three manufacturing sites in the UK and eight overseas operations in Continental Europe, the Middle East and Australia.