An anchor bolt is used to attach objects or structures to concrete. There are many types of anchor bolts, consisting of designs that are mostly proprietary to the manufacturing companies. All consist of a threaded end, to which a nut and washer can be attached for the external load. Anchor bolts are extensively used on all types of projects, from standard buildings to dams and nuclear power plants. They can also be used to firmly affix embed plates to a concrete foundation when used with a structural steel element.

The simplest anchor bolt is a cast-in-place anchor. As seen in the figure, most designs consist of a standard bolt with a hexagonal head, which is cast in the wet concrete before it sets. There are other designs, some consisting of a bent bolt with a hook on the end, or some other sort of bending. Cast-in-place anchor bolts are the strongest type of fastener, but the casting is difficult, and they are usually only used for heavy machines mounted on poured concrete floors.