If you’ve ever read or heard anything about a construction project involving concrete, you may have come across the word ‘rebar’. ‘Rebar’ is just shorthand for ‘reinforcing bar’ and as its name implies, it’s mainly used for the purpose of strengthening concrete structures.
Why does concrete need reinforcement, you may ask.
While a concrete by itself is adequate for simple construction projects, it needs support when dealing with very high tensions. Imagine how much stress the infrastructure of a skyscraper or a large busy warehouse is subjected to each day. Without the proper reinforcement to counter the enormous load, large cracks will start to form and weaken the entire structure.
Rebar is also very good at distributing tensile stress, especially the ones that have been dipped in highly-pressurized water before use. This causes the outside to harden while the core is softened. As a result, the rebar’s flexibility increases, allowing it to absorb high amounts of tension.
In addition to tensile stress, rebar helps resist compression as well. Concrete structures that are subject to heavy forces will shrink slowly over time. Rebar (especially stainless steel ones) are able to significantly reduce the rate of this shrinkage.
Last but not least, when concrete expands and contracts with changes in temperature, you can count on rebar to hold the entire construction firmly together.
How Is Rebar Placed Into Concrete?
The procedure isn’t as hard as you think. The idea is to make a make a grid out of rebar and pour concrete over it. In order to make the grid you need to cut the rebar so that it stands two inches away from the forming edge in all sides. Then you need to place them at right angles and tie them up using tie wire. Finally, before pouring concrete over it, you need to elevate the grid by placing rebar chairs at regular two feet intervals in each direction. Adjust the elevation so that the grid will sit exactly in the middle of the slab.
When making grids, you mind need to bend rebar. If you have to do it often for a large-scale construction project, we highly recommend looking for rebar benders available in Melbourne and purchasing one.
What Are the Different Types of Rebar
Rebar are made using different types of material, each with their own pros and cons. Here are four of the most commonly available ones:
· Welded Wire Fabric
These are typically used for making curbs, small canals and drainage components. A heavier variant of it is sometimes used for the construction of walls and floors as well. Welded wire fabric or WWF is constructed from the perpendicular arrangement of steel wires. After positioning them in that manner, they are electrically welded at the overlapping areas.
This is probably the most popular type and is often known as ‘black bar’ as well. Contractors love carbon steel rebar for its extreme versatility but at the same time, they are careful not to use them in structures that are exposed to high humidity. This is due to the fact that it corrodes quite easily.
· Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is one of the strongest rebar options out there. They’re very unlikely to succumb to corrosion so are suited for construction taking placing in humid locations. You’ll save money in the long run, when repair and maintenance is minimal. The only downside is that stainless steel is also one of the most expensive options.
Like stainless steel rebar, epoxy-coated ones are also very resistant to corrosion. They’re typically used fin structures that come into contact with salt-water regularly.
And that’s pretty much all you’d need to know about rebar. If you’ve never worked with rebar before, we highly recommend that you get some expert help. Also make sure that you have the right tools with you.