Why Rebar Is So Important For Construction

A construction worker prepares a grid of rebar for concrete

For many people, the term “rebar” was probably a new term when President Trump said he would build his border wall with it. However, rebar has been used for many centuries, dating back to 15th century Russia. Today, rebar has a wide range of construction applications, as well as a number of variations to fit the needs of each project. Here at Steel Specialties, we’re very familiar with rebar but thought we’d share some of the variations and uses for rebar. 

Rebar as a Spectrum 

Rebar, as you may have guessed, is short for reinforcing bar. It’s is used as a support and takes the form of long, cylindrical bars with deformities along the outside. Rebar comes in many different types, the most common of which being carbon steel rebar. As the name would suggest, carbon steel is a metal where the main alloy is carbon. Commonly known as the “black bar”, carbon steel rebar is usually the most cost-effective and versatile form of rebar (though it is not good for a corrosion-risk area). Welded-wire fabric and sheet metal rebar are both common as well, though they are slightly more costly. Below are just a few more examples of rebar:

  • Epoxy Coated – used in corrosive areas, but coating can be fragile
  • Stainless Steel – also corrosion-resistant, but can be costly
  • Galvanized – galvanized means to have a protective zinc layer. Extremely corrosion-resistant, but are much more expensive than carbon steel rebar
  • Glass-Fiber-Reinforced-Polymer – good strength and inability to corrode, but up to ten times more expensive than carbon steel

Common Uses For Rebar

Rebar is most commonly used in the reinforcing of concrete. Concrete has good strength but can be susceptible to tension forces, which is why rebar is laid in a grid pattern inside the concrete. The grooves (or “ribbing”) of the rebar helps to hold the concrete in place, increasing tension resistance. Tension can come from heavy loads, climate variations, or any number of energy transference events. Masonry is also a common industry to find rebar in, mainly because mortar has some of the same strengths and weaknesses as regular concrete. 

Steel Specialties For Trusted Steel Supply

If it’s steel, we can probably help. Whether you need rebar or need an entire steel structure created, Steel Specialties has the experts and the resources to get the job done. Contact us to find out what we can do for you!