The reason concrete is reinforced is simple; although concrete is incredibly strong under normal compression forces like in a driveway, it's incredibly fragile and brittle when exposed to tension forces such as the floor of a multi-story building. In order to make up for it’s lack of strength under tension and significantly increase its strength and durability, steel is embedded into it in the form of rods, cables, wire and mesh. This steel is commonly referred to as 'rebar' and, when used correctly, forms an incredibly strong bond with the concrete and renders the 2 materials into a single structure.
What Types of Projects Need Reinforced Concrete?
Many projects demand that the concrete used is reinforced so that the structure being build will be able to withstand the extreme stress being out upon it. Below is a list of some of the types of structures and projects where reinforced concrete would likely be used.
1. Large buildings absorb an immense amount of tensional stress. For this reason, reinforced concrete is used in their beams and columns as well as their floors, walls, foundations and roofs.
2. Bridges. Because of the extreme stress they undergo on a daily basis.
3. Highways, boat ramps and airplane runways use reinforced concrete because of the extreme weight of the loads being put onto them.
4. Underground sewer pipes and conduits. Water exerts an intense amount of pressure and, for this reason, most large pipes and conduits are made require rebar.
5. Wharves, lighthouses and other marine structures use reinforced concrete to resist the aggressive nature of the sea.
What Types of Projects Do Not Need Rebar?
If a project will use concrete but won't be exposed to extreme amounts of tension, regular, plain concrete can be used safely. Most of the projects that don't require reinforced concrete are smaller projects around private homes and businesses, including those on the list below.
1. Pathways don't need reinforced concrete as the stress on them is compression only and slight compression at that.
2. Driveways usually don't need to use reinforcement unless they will be exposed to very large or heavy vehicles, and even then it might not be necessary.
3. Carport floors don't usually need steel rebar for the same reasons driveways don't need it.
4. The floor for a small shed or playhouse doesn't need reinforced concrete as there are very little tension forces being exerted.
5. Patios usually don't need embedded steel unless they are very large.
As you can see, there are more projects that need reinforced concrete than don't, although most are larger, public projects. As strong as it is, concrete is much stronger when reinforced, and thus is used more often. We hope this article has given you the answers to all your concrete questions. If you need help with concreting Mornington Peninsula please give us a call.