Concrete is a rather strong material with high tensile and compressive stress. That’s why we use it to make our roads, pavements, commercial buildings and even homes. Plus it’s also fire-resistant and there’s a certain timeless aesthetic to it.
While a typical concrete mix is sufficient for simpler construction projects, you may want to add some sort of reinforcement in certain cases. Reinforced concrete isn’t just stronger; it’s more durable and weather-resistant as well. That’s exactly why larger structures such as skyscrapers are constructed with the reinforced concrete instead of a standard mix.
So how exactly do you go about reinforcing concrete? Here are two common effective ways to do it:
‘Rebar’ is basically short for ‘reinforcing bars’, which are steel structures that you place inside a block of concrete in order to increase the amount of tension that it can withstand. This is very important for buildings that have to put up with heavy loads day in and day out (think offices, museums, warehouses…etc.). Here are the steps involved when using rebar to reinforce concrete:
- Consult with an expert and find out how much rebar you’ll need to purchase. This will depend on the amount of concrete you’re working with. You should also need to confirm what size and type is best for your project.
- Cut your rebar to the proper length. As a rule of thumb, the rebar should be inch away from the forming edge on all sides.
- Create a grid pattern using the rebar. All you need to do is play each piece on top of each other in the perpendicular direction and bind them at the overlapping spot using tie wire. We highly recommend using pliers in order to get those wires as tight as possible.
- Prop up the grid by placing rebar chairs every two feet before you pour the concrete. Use the chairs to position the grid so that it will be present in the middle of the slab instead of at the bottom.
- Pour your concrete on top of the grid.
When you’re creating a grid, you’ll most likely have to bend some of the rebar. If you’re a contractor who’s usually in charge of a high-end concrete construction project, we highly recommend you invest in an automatic bar bender from Melbourne’s finest rebar bending services and machinery vendor.
Using a Steel Mesh
A steel mesh doesn’t give you the same durability as rebar but it’s still a viable solution. The procedure mesh-reinforcement is pretty similar to laying out rebar, except you skip a couple of steps. Most notably, you don’t have to tie anything together and there’s no bending required. You do have to cut it so that it stands two inches away from the forming edge on all sides and prop it up to the appropriate height by placing mesh chairs underneath. Position the chairs every two feet in each direction.
You can purchase steel meshes at most home improvement shops. We recommend you buy ones that aren’t rolled because it can be a bit difficult to unroll them.
As you can see, reinforcing concrete isn’t all that hard. If you have any experience with DIY projects, then you shouldn’t have two much trouble with it.