Tips for when Working with Rebar

Reinforcing bars or rebar are commonly used to improve the strength of concrete structures. That’s not to say that concrete isn’t a tough material on its own. However, while it can withstand compressive forces, it doesn’t fare too well against tension.

The former pushes the concrete, causing shrinkage in volume while the latter pulls the structure from opposite ends which results in expansion. Tensile stress can occur when the structure underneath concrete slab begins to expand or if it’s attached to two objects on opposite ends which then begin to move apart. Rebar helps concrete structures counter the tensile stress by holding them together during expansion. 

If you’re going to be working with rebar, then there are few things to keep in mind first:

Understand the Principle of Reinforcement

Before you work with rebar, it’s best to understand how they work. Typically rebar are placed inside the formwork and concrete is poured over it. They’ve got ridges on the surfaces that allow them to really adhere to the concrete even after it’s dried.

Steel expands at about the same rate as concrete. This means that when a sufficient enough tensile stress is applied, rebar will elongate with the concrete structure that they’re placed inside. As a result, rebar can hold the structure together, preventing any cracking or crumbling. Because of this it’s always best to place rebar laterally in places where the concrete slab is most likely to deal with tensile stress.

Create Hooks at the Ends

As mentioned above, rebar have ridges on their surface which allow them to cling to the concrete. However, given sufficient tension, the rebar can slip and loose contact with the concrete. The best way to stop this from happening is to bend the ends of the rebar so that from small hooks. Make sure to bend the ends towards the inside so that they can cling to the inside surfaces of the concrete.

You can either bend rebar manually or look for rebar bender equipment for sale in Australia. The latter is the ideal solution if you’re expecting to do concrete work quite often.

Determine how Thick the Rebar Needs to be

Rebar comes in a variety of sizes and are measured in gauges. If you want to particularly strong reinforcement for your concrete structures, then it’s best to go with the thicker gauges. However, be wary of the fact that you won’t be able to bend thicker rebar with your hands. You’ll have to invest in a bender or hire a professional who has one.

Make a Grid Whenever Possible

Making a mesh out of rebar is a great way to go about reinforcing concrete structures. This will result in any tensile stress being spread evenly across the structure, preventing cracking or any other form of deformation. However, you’ll need to purchase a lot of rebar in order to do this.

As you can see there’s really nothing much to worry about when working with rebars. It always helps to understand the principle of reinforcement, hook the ends of each piece, determine the thickness beforehand and use a mesh whenever appropriate.

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