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What is Rebar? – An Overview

So, what is rebar? There is so much exciting information to cover. Though, like any good story, we need to start small and then work our way up the topic ladder. So in this RSC article, we are going to do an overview of rebar. Laying down a little groundwork before jumping into the deep end.

What is rebar?

The simple answer is that rebar or reinforcing steel/bar is a steel rod working as a tension device in reinforced concrete or reinforced masonry to increase the overall strength of a structure. But what does that really mean? Let’s explore what role rebar plays in a little more detail.

What does Rebar do?

Building a sturdy home is no easy task. Building a skyscraper is an even more daunting one. We look out onto these buildings and see a concrete jungle, what we don’t see is all that rebar hiding within the floors and walls. Concrete and masonry provided people with an opportunity to build fantastic structures that work completely in harmony with the strengths of these materials. They are able to withstand a great deal of compression, which occurs when particles are pushed together. Think of pushing down on an object with your hand. Something like bread can flatten quickly while something like cold butter would take a little more force to flatten by hand. In other words, it takes a fair amount of force to flatten a concrete slab making concrete a material with high compressive strength. While this is fantastic, concrete suffers under tension. Rebar provides the much-needed tensile strength while having high compressive strength to match the concrete. What this means is that rebar can withstand a high stretching and bending force making it strong under tension. By setting the rebar into the concrete you increase the overall strength of the structure. Reducing cracks and or breaks in the concrete. Overall helping the concrete maintain its shape, and for longer.

For a fantastic visual explanation here is a video that really breaks it down:

About the Manufacturing and Preparation

Rebar has been used for more years than you might think. It has become a vital element to construction, particularly in the commercial sector. It is required to keep buildings standing for as long as possible. Thus the material used needs to be of high quality for optimal results. Though the details of the process can get rather intricate we are going to keep it simple this time around.

Steel is melted down and the molten steel is then poured into a mould where it will begin to take shape. The steel billets then go through a milling process, finally moving their way to get twists and grooves. That ribbed aesthetic of rebar is precisely what helps it bond with the concrete.

Rebar comes in a variety of sizes and is cut or bent to the desired shape for the application. This requires someone with knowledge and the appropriate tools in order to ensure the safe handling of the bars. Once this process is complete the rebar will be ready for your building project.

Whether you work with rebar or not it is useful to have some basic knowledge of what keeps all these modern buildings standing. The more you know right?

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