Steel bars or reinforcing bars are universally used to enable modern concrete to naturally resist harmonic vibration, bending, and other tension forces expected to be endured by a structure. While modern concrete is more than strong to withstand compression and tension forces imposed on it by nature, it can still crack and progressively weaken a structure under long-term use.The ribbed patterns routinely observed on a steel bar help concrete steadfastly adhere to its reinforcing steel surface. While the standard pattern provided on a steel bar is not specified by civil engineers, its proper spacing and proper height are carefully regulated to ensure that any steel bar that is typically used conforms to the concrete strength requirements of a structure.
A steel bar is typically manufactured utilizing the hot-rolled process using different steel materials for increased strength and long-term durability with most being carefully rolled or extruded from solid steel billets.
The most common types of steel bars are used for reinforcing concrete structures.
- The carbon steel bar- The carbon steel bar is the most common type of steel bar available and is sometimes referred to as a black bar. While a carbon steel bat is extremely versatile for use in various structures, it corrodes more easily than other steel bar types, making it inappropriate in areas that are subject to high humidity, in structures that are frequently exposed to water, or near a salt water environment. The carbon steel bar, however, is generally considered the most budget-friendly steel bar for all types of structural concrete reinforcement use
- The epoxy-coated steel bar- The epoxy-coated steel bar is generally used for structures found in areas that are in high humidity and salt water environment where a corrosion problem is expected. It is considered an expensive form of steel bar with an epoxy coating that can easily flake off when not properly coated.
- The manganese steel bar- The manganese steel bar, commonly called the European steel bar is made from manganese and is very flexible so they tend to bend more easily. The manganese steel bar is not suitable for use in areas that are prone to have extreme weather conditions or geological effects, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or tornadoes as their excess flexibility does not provide enough structural strength to concrete, however, they are very cost-effective for light unstressed structures like low dividing walls.
- The stainless steel bar- The stainless steel bar can be used as an alternative concrete reinforcing steel bar along with other types of steel reinforcement. Galvanic corrosion does not happen when a stainless steel bar is used to reinforce concrete and it is the most cost-effective solution in structures located in areas that are subject to corrosion problems or where future repairs can be difficult and expensive. The stainless steel bar is not very cost-effective as it is more expensive than an epoxy-coated steel bar.
- The galvanized steel bar- The galvanized steel bar is more rust and corrosion resistant than a carbon steel bar making it ideal for concrete structures that will be expected to be heavily exposed to salty, wet, or humid conditions. However, the galvanized steel bar can get very expensive when used for larger concrete structures.
- The expanded-metal or wire mesh steel bar- The expanded-metal or wire mesh steel bar is manufactured by machine shearing a sheet of steel into parallel lines that are then expanded to form a square or a diamond shape to better adhere to concrete. It is commonly used as concrete reinforcement for structural areas where a considerable thickness of plaster is required or for reinforcement of light and non-load bearing concrete structures. The wire mesh steel bar, however, can be used on sidewalks, pedestrian pathways, or small concrete pads that are not expected to endure high-loading stresses.
Why consider a steel bar to reinforce concrete.
Since most concrete used in all concrete construction is a combination of concrete and steel reinforcement it is generally called reinforced concrete when used for structural applications. The reinforcement for concrete is provided by embedding a steel bar or thick welded wire fabric to freshly mixed concrete at the time of pouring.
The purpose of a steel bar when mixed in with concrete is to provide additional strength to concrete where it is expected to endure high-stress forces in its lifetime. The steel bar provides all the tensile strength where concrete is always in tension, such as in structural beams and slabs. The steel bar enhances the bending and compressive strength of concrete for constructing high-load structural columns and walls and it provides a structure with the additional shear-resistance strength required.
By adding a steel bar to a concrete mix reinforced concrete is made. A steel bar is ideal for making strengthened and load-bearing structures for floor slabs, walls, posts, and support columns. A steel bar helps keep cracks from forming in deeply into the concrete that can weaken a structure. While surface cracks will appear in concrete, the steel bar helps control the spread of cracks, where the crack may appear, and the extent of the cracks. Steel bar makes concrete several times more resistant to structural failure by adding tremendously to the tensile strength necessary to naturally allow modern concrete to withstand high-loading and tensile stresses. A steel bar properly provides more structural support over steel wires, reinforced fiberglass, and many other products on the market, and it lasts longer.
Since modern concrete on its own does not make a good structural material steel bar is typically added to properly produce a composite material that allows a concrete mix to withstand repeated compressive and tensile stresses. It additionally does not allow the modern concrete to shatter from considerable stress without warning and instantly makes it ductile enough to withstand pressure increases, vibrational fissures, and possible cracks that can progressively weaken a structure.No matter how large or small a modern concrete pour, a steel bar will instantly make modern concrete stronger and massively reduces the possible extent of visible cracks in a structure.