The standard plastic expansion fixing served its purpose effectively in massive, solid building materials for many years– until, as described at the beginning, new, lighter building materials with improved insulating properties began to capture a share of the market. 

As a result, manufacturers began to concentrate their efforts on developing fixings that offered more, and to be precise:  to develop fixings providing both friction and form fit. TOX was the first company to master this technological challenge, developing the first, fully developed, all-purpose fixing, the TRI.

Nowadays, the plastic all-rounder is available in various manufacturer-specific forms.
It works on the principle of expanding in concrete and solid masonry; and knots with continued turning of the screw in hollow masonry or behind panelling materials (Fig 1 to 3).

This does not, however, mean that specialist products are no longer required in the field of „cavity fastening“. In the case of toggle fixings, for example, the forces acting on them in an axial direction are more favourably distributed through a larger supporting surface than the punctual knotting of plastic, all-purpose fixings (Fig. 4). They are, therefore, preferable for heavier loads.  

The same applies to metal cavity fixings, which unfold behind the wall when the – metric- screw is turned in (see "How fixings hold", fig. 3).

The plasterboard fixing does justice to the soft building material: plaster. Its bearing mechanism is similarly based on positive fit, which occurs when the rough-textured thread is fastened into the plasterboard.

The example shown in Fig. 5 is meant for heavier loads. Its cutting point drills the required hole itself.  Due to a cleverly devised mechanism, the cutting point which is no longer required, tilts by 90° when the screw is turned in, and fits flush against the back of the panel.

Special fixings for aircrete also need to be mentioned here. Due to a larger contact surface, or the spiral ribs that cut into the building material, good holding properties are attained.

For especially thick objects or parts (e.g. wooden slats), frame fixings are the correct means for fastening with efficient through installation. In most cases, the matching screw is already installed. The fixings are e.g. for fastening facade substructures and wooden slats for internal, and external uses.

Facade fixings always require general building approval. Approvals are stipulated in those cases where failure of a fastening would pose a danger for life and limb. Examples would include fixing stairs, banisters, canopies, etc.

Metal bolt anchors are suitable for such purposes.  However, only solid-anchoring substrates made of concrete provide the necessary resistance. If heavy loads need to be anchored in masonry made of softer building materials or hollow block, injection anchors are effective, which similarly, require building authority approval. 

Resin bond anchors also provide a solution for edge and axial spacings that are too low in concrete anchoring bases, and where there is a risk of the building material breaking due to the expanding effect of the heavy-duty anchor. Both fastening systems are based on adhesive bonding. In the first case, mortar provides the connecting medium, and in the second, reaction resin for an expansion free, high loadable anchoring.