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5 Types of Reinforcing Steel and What They Do

Concrete and steel are two common materials used in the construction world. They are the foundations of many buildings, thanks to their strength and durability. That said, these two materials are also commonly combined to create a robust final product known as reinforced concrete. 

The invention of reinforced concrete has made it possible for concrete to be used in applications where it initially will not be able to do well without the added strength. For example, concrete works generally well as pillars because they have plenty of compression strength. However, for fixtures like beams or floors, concrete lacks the tensile strength needed. This is where reinforced concrete comes in.

With that in mind, there are various types of reinforcing steel used in concrete to add strength. Here are a few types of them and what they can achieve:

1. Plain Bars

Plain bars are cylindrical metal pieces that are used in concrete, specifically at expansion points. They sit inside a metal or a paper sleeve to allow for contraction and expansion of different fixtures like roads and runways. Because plain bars have a smooth surface, however, they do not bond well with concrete. Given this, plain bars are not generally sought after to reinforce concrete itself.

2. Wire Mesh

A wire mesh, or expanded metal, is a sheet of metal either intertwined to form a flat surface or sheared off of a sheet of steel. Its design binds extremely well with concrete and is generally used for flat concrete products like slabs and concrete floors.

3. Deformed Bars

Deformed bars are similar to plain bars in the sense that they are like tubes. What makes them different is that they have indentations or ridges as part of their design. These markings can be made in many ways, such as twisting a plain square bar to create bumps in intervals around the tube. These ridges make the bar’s surface rough, perfect for keeping a tight grip on the concrete around it. 

4. Welded Wire Fabric

Welded wire fabrics are made by arranging wires at right angles from each other, effectively creating a filter-like structure. These metals are all then welded together at the intersections to form a solid unit. This type of reinforcement steel is used on ground and floor slabs because they can cover a wide and flat surface area. More robust welded wire fabrics can be used on standing fixtures like walls and even runway pavements, giving concrete plenty of added strength.

5. Sheet Metal Reinforcement

Sheet metal reinforcement is made using sheet metal punched with tiny grooves and corrugations to add strength. Because of its flat nature, sheet metal is used much like welded wire fabric on floors and slabs. However, it is also used on other fixtures like roofs to add tensile strength to where it is needed.


All in all, reinforced concrete can be made using different types of reinforcing steel to create different products to satisfy various requirements. That being said, steel and concrete themselves go so well together, simply because the two expand and contract at an almost equal rate. This reduces the likelihood of cracking and damages because of unequal expansion. Plus, with the tensile strength that steel has to offer, it counteracts the concrete’s lack of tension strength, making reinforced concrete the go-to solution for almost any concrete-pouring needs.

Phoenix Reinforcing specialises in reinforcing sales, decorative concrete products, reinforcing products, and many more paired with full delivery service to help you get the reinforcing solutions you need quickly and easily. If you are looking for a concrete reinforcing business in Queensland, work with us today!

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