Why Concrete Needs A Rebar “Steel” Reinforcement?

Most of the concrete used for construction is the aggregation of reinforcement and concrete.

During casting, it is reinforced with welded wire or deformed steel bars within freshly made concrete. Reinforcement aims to offer additional strength to concrete where it is required.

Using steel rebar provides all the tensile strength of concrete in slabs and beams. It supplements the comprehensive strength of concrete in walls and columns, and it offers extra shear strength over and above that of concrete in beams.

Rebar steel reinforcement is vital because it provides good strength and is famous for durability, versatility, adaptability, and affordability.

Materials of reinforcement are used for withstanding shear strength and tensile forces on concrete. Steel is used to bond well with concrete having similar temperature properties of expansion and contraction.

why concrete needs a rebar steel reinforcement

However, it’s worth noting that not all projects may require concrete rebar reinforcement. It’s important to assess the project and understand which kind of reinforcement is needed.

In many cases, rebar is a great choice for ensuring that your project has the structural strength it needs. With its long-term durability, versatility, and affordability, rebar provides an excellent way to reinforce concrete structures.

Concrete surfaces that need to uphold large trucks, nonstop traffic, or heavy machinery definitely need steel reinforcement. This is because the extra weight could cause cracks in the concrete without it, leading to bigger problems down the line.

In this case, rebar adds extra strength to help withstand the pressure of heavy machinery or vehicles which will minimize potential damage and increase the life span of your construction project.

What Are The Reasons For Using Rebar Steel Reinforcement?

There are various reasons behind using rebar steel reinforcements, such as:

Highly Ductile

Ductility measures how much stress material can go through before breaking. When you press or twist the concrete with some force, it will crumble and become useless when it has low ductility. Steel rebar, however, can withstand heavy loads and forces without breaking or cracking the concrete.

For instance, wood is considered malleable, however, you can bend it a bit before it breaks. Steel Rebar, on the other hand, has enough flexibility and strength that allows it to absorb the vibrations of ground movements. It is pretty easy to form a grid of reinforcing steel rebar in any required shape as per the design of the building or structure.

The overall ductility of steel is then used once it is already a component of the reinforced concrete. When you apply enough force to the structure that’s deforming it, the concrete will still remain intact due to the steel rebar.

Offers High Strength

Reinforced concrete has great strength in compression as well as tension. As the concrete is compressed, it can bear up to 80% of its compression. But when you add steel rebar to this reinforced concrete it helps boost the tensile strength by 200%.

This means that any structure made using reinforced concrete and steel rebar will be able to hold up better against extreme loads like earthquakes, heavy machinery, or forces created by a storm. It also helps to prevent cracking or deformation of the concrete as well.

Workers pouring concrete. Concrete pouring on the construction site. Concrete pump. Reinforcement steel, reinforcing bar, rebar, foundation plate.

Steel And Concrete Have Similar Coefficients Of Thermal Expansion

When heat is applied to solids, molecules within materials move faster. More active atoms take up more space, and they move faster. Thus, every molecule also moves fast with the expansion of the material. The opposite happens when the solid cools down. The overall result is that solids expand when heated and shrink in size while cooling.

This happens at various rates for different materials, and the rate at which materials expand due to changes in temperature is known as the coefficient of thermal expansion.

Reinforced concrete and steel have similar coefficients of thermal expansion, meaning that when one material expands or contracts due to variations in temperature, the other will follow suit.

It means that when they are subject to heat or cold, they shrink or expand at the same rate simultaneously. This helps to maintain uniformity in the structure and minimizes any potential damage.

Durability And Versatility

Concrete can be poured in different shapes of formwork or shuttering configurations to create various shapes, surfaces, sizes, forms, and textures at construction sites. It is due to the flowable and semi-liquid state of fresh concrete.

Reinforced concrete structures have good durability if laid and designed perfectly. The material is not affected by snow and rainfall and may last up to around 100 years. Because of low permeability, concrete resists chemicals dissolved in water like carbon dioxide, chloride, and sulfates that may cause corrosion in concrete without any deterioration.

Therefore, reinforcement steel works well for underwater and submerged applications such as dams, canals, building structures, pipelines, linings, and waterfront structures.

The Same Strain in Both Steel and Concrete

The bond between steel rebar and concrete is a combination of the chemical and mechanical bond. The steel rebar helps in distributing the load evenly throughout the structure, as it takes up most of the stress while concrete takes up the remaining small portion.

Both materials will then be subjected to similar strain levels due to the same force applied to them. This prevents major cracks or deformations in the structure. Steel and concrete, when used together, form a robust composite material that can withstand tremendous pressure without any structural damage.

Resistant To Fire

The concrete’s inherent properties do not allow it to catch fire or burn. It can uphold heat for about two to six hours, allowing enough time for rescue operations to arrive in case of fire.

Rebar steel-reinforced concrete buildings are resistant to fire compared to other commonly used construction materials such as wood and steel. It is due to the high thermal mass of concrete that helps in maintaining the temperature of the building and preventing it from burning.

The steel rebar further enhances fire resistance as the material can withstand up to 600 degrees Celsius without melting or losing its strength. Thus, reinforced concrete is a suitable choice for buildings situated in areas with a high risk of fire hazards.

View of a tied rebar beam cage before casting concrete

Easy To Construct And Resistant To Seismic Shocks

Compared with steel in structure, rebar steel-reinforced concrete needs less skilled labor for construction. It is due to fewer components and simpler fabrication processes. The material can also be customized easily for any specific design or requirement.

Further, with appropriate size and shape, the reinforced concrete structure can withstand seismic shocks effectively.

In an earthquake zone, it is important to use strong yet flexible materials such as steel in order to distribute the shock waves evenly and protect the structure from collapsing.

The steel rebar helps to keep the concrete in place, thus preventing it from cracking and breaking apart as a result of seismic shocks.

Final Thoughts

In most cases, concrete alone, despite having many advantages, cannot provide the necessary strength and durability. This is why steel rebar-reinforced concrete has become increasingly popular in building construction projects across the world.

The combination of steel and concrete provides a strong yet flexible material that can withstand immense pressure, fire, and earthquakes. Furthermore, it requires minimal maintenance costs over its lifetime and offers significantly better performance at construction sites.

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