Everything You Need To Know About Rebar

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Rebar is short for reinforcing bar or reinforcement bar, and that’s exactly what it does.

It’s a metal bar, usually made from steel, that increases the tensile strength of concrete. The reason steel is the main material used for rebar is because steel is capable of thermal expansion and other things that make it perfect for construction. Concrete is weak to shear, bending, tensile, and torsion stress. 

The steel bar’s tensile strength works in with the concrete’s compressive strength to create structures that are capable of withstanding force and holding themselves upright.  Rebar is usually laid out in a grid pattern. That’s because it needs to sustain tensile loads from a variety of directions. The rebar is distorted on the outside to prevent it from moving. Sometimes it’s bent at the end to make it work better as an anchor. 



Some common types of rebar are:

  • Carbon Steel Rebar
  • Welded Wire Fabric
  • Expanded Metal or Wire Mesh Rebars
  • Sheet-Metal Reinforcing Bars
  • Epoxy-Coated Rebars
  • Stainless Steel Rebars
  • Galvanized Rebars
  • European Rebars

If you don’t use rebar during construction, your building will collapse. You won’t notice rebar when you look at a building because it’s used internally, but if you look at a piece, you’ll notice that it’s ribbed. That’s to prevent it from moving inside the concrete. 

As aforementioned, rebar is mostly made from steel. They typically recycle the steel from old vehicles, machinery, or appliances. This steel gets melted by electric arc burners, and then it’s cooled into billets.

The billets are then rapidly heated and passed through several extrusion equipments that makes them smaller until they’re the correct size to be used as rebar.

The rebar is then used by rod men under the instruction of rebar detailers. You may not know exactly what a rebar detailer is, but you’ve definitely seen their work.  They create the drawings that let the rodmen know where they should place the rebar before they place the concrete.

It’s a lengthy process that involves interpreting data from the structural engineer’s drawings into real life.

A structural engineer calculates how much rebar each part of the building needs. This involves getting information about stacking, bar size, zoning and spacing, and several other things. It’s important for them to get their calculations correct because even the slightest miscalculation can end in disaster.

The rod men don’t understand the structural engineer’s drawings. That’s why rebar details are so important. They translate the drawings into something that’s useful to the workmen. 

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