Concrete Reinforcement

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The reinforcement of a concrete structure is achieved by inserting steel bars or welded wire fabrics into newly laid concrete during the casting process. The incorporation of such reinforcements offers a degree of higher strength to areas that demand it most. Our metalwork range comprises a range of reinforcement products including reinforcing bars, coils and mesh, suitable for cast concrete application in industrial, agricultural and transportation sectors.

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What Is Reinforced Concrete? 

Reinforced concrete (RC) is a state-of-the-art composite material that incorporates steel reinforcement to absorb tensile forces/compressive stresses and ultimately, makes up for the brittle nature of regular concrete.

The process of concrete reinforcement sees the addition of reinforcing steel materials to concrete in order to increase its strength and reduce the likelihood of cracking. Steel is a common material used for reinforcement in concrete construction because it has high tensile strength and can withstand the forces acting on the concrete. 

Steel reinforcement can be in the form of bars, wires, or mesh and is usually embedded in the concrete before it hardens. The steel helps to transfer tensile and other types of loads that the concrete may experience, thus increasing the overall strength and stability of the structure. Concrete reinforcement is widely used in a range of construction projects, such as bridges, buildings, and roads, to ensure the structural integrity and longevity of the structures.

Steel reinforcement has played a crucial role in concrete construction for over a century, shaping the appearance of our cities and cosmopolitan landscape. Despite the rapid advancement of reinforcement technology, steel will most likely remain a staple in concrete construction.

Reinforcement Bars

Reinforcement steel bars otherwise referred to as 'steel rebar', are high-tensile steel rods used to bolster and reinforce concrete and masonry structures, particularly concrete slabs. 

The reinforcement process of concrete slabs sees rebars applied across the length and width of the slab at regular intervals.

While concrete exhibits high compressive strength, it can be prone to weakness under tension and is overall, quite a brittle material. By incorporating a reinforcing bar during the concrete pouring process, the tensile strength of the overall building project will be significantly enhanced.

Reinforcement Coils

EML (Expanded Metal Lathe) reinforcement coil serves to reinforce brick and blockwork by enhancing tensile strength and preventing cracking when used as a key for plaster when installed on ceilings and walls. 

It is typically rooted in mortar joints (approx. every third course) to reinforce walls.

Reinforcement Steel Mesh

Steel reinforcement mesh is the ideal material for construction projects where flexibility needs to be tightly regulated. It is commonly employed as reinforcing fabric in concrete slabs, where its placement in the mix can dramatically enhance the structural integrity of any construction project.

Using reinforced mesh in concrete structures is a crucial part of creating a solid, reliable foundation. The mesh grips the reinforcing bars during setting to secure them tightly and make sure everything is well-grounded. From driveways to commercial buildings, footpaths, and even private residences - with reinforced mesh as your base you can build any structure securely!

Frequently Asked Steel Reinforcement Questions

What Is Concrete Cover? 

The concrete cover, as specified by code ACI 130, is the distance between the embedded reinforcement or rebar and the exterior of the concrete surface. Concrete cover plays a vital role in increasing the durability of reinforced structures.

Why Is Steel The Most Common Reinforcement Material? 

Out of all the building materials, why use steel for reinforcement? Well, the reason that steel is such a reliable material choice in this instance is due to the fact that concrete and steel have very similar thermal expansion coefficients. Thus, their responses to temperature variations are practically identical, necessitating the same degree of expansion and contraction which maintains structural integrity.

Of course, steel also boasts a high tensile strength - a must when looking to strengthen and reinforce a project. 

Here at Materials Market, all of our metal framework is supplied from our vast network of reliable suppliers across the UK. All products are manufactured from the highest quality steel so that you can have ultimate confidence in your finished project. 

Which Applications Require Reinforcement? 

To put it simply, any structural concrete application that demands a high degree of load-bearing should be reinforced. Let's outline a few examples below: 

  • Footings
  • Foundations 
  • Slabs 
  • Columns

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