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Everything You Need to Know About Reinforcing Steel

Buildings and other establishments are meant to last for as long as possible, but it’s easier said than done. Considering the weather conditions, resources, and other factors, you could either have a successful construction project or not. When it comes to ensuring a long-lasting foundation, you must reinforce concrete with steel.

What Is Reinforcing Steel?

More commonly known as rebar, reinforcing steel consists of carbon steel, hot rolled with deformation patterns. The steel bars and mesh are made from iron ore and recycled steel in various steel mills. The bars come in different grades or strengths and can be smooth or deformed. 

Although iron ore is an excellent material for reinforcing steel, recycling steel is a more efficient alternative. Unlike iron ore, recycling steel provides several benefits, such as reduced pollution and exhaustion of natural resources.

What Is Reinforcing Steel For?

In the past, concrete was never reinforced by reinforcing steel, but people began using it to construct various structures by the 5th century. Concrete, by itself, is a strong, durable, and low maintenance material. Moreover, concrete lasts decades longer than other building materials and gets stronger over time.

There’s no question that concrete is reliable for building structures, but it isn’t perfect. One downside of concrete is that it’s weak in tension—it’s only strong against compression forces and has low tactile strength and ductility. Without reinforcing steel, concrete will deteriorate very quickly and can only be used in very limited applications.

When steel and concrete are used together, they are pretty much indestructible! Rebars are steel bars combined with plain cement concrete to make reinforced concrete, which is an incredibly effective element for foundations and concrete slabs in houses, second-floor slabs and balconies, and concrete roofs. 

What Are the Types of Steel Reinforcement?

The steel reinforcement used for concrete construction consists of four main types, which are:

1. Hot Rolled Deformed Steel Bars

As the name suggests, the hot rolling of the steel reinforcement leaves certain deformations on its surface, which looks like ribs. The ribs of the reinforcement help form a bond with the concrete, having a typical yield strength of 60,000 psi. Given its strength, it’s the most commonly used steel reinforcement for reinforced cement concrete (RCC) structures.

2. Cold Worked Steel Bars

This type of steel reinforcement is obtained when the hot rolled steel bars undergo cold working, where they twist and draw. Cold worked steel bars have significantly less ductility than hot-rolled bars because they don’t undergo a plastic yield.

3. Mild Steel Plain Bars

Unlike hot rolled deformed steel bars, mild steel plain bars have a plain surface. When it comes to projects that require you to save as many costs as possible, these bars are an ideal steel reinforcement. 

4. Prestressing Steel Bars

The prestressing steel bars are used in the form of strands or tendons. The strands are employed in concrete to perform prestressing action, which reduces the volume of concrete and boosts durability and service life. Each strand is made of multiple wires, which are cold formed and have high tensile strength.


Although the visible parts of most buildings are made with concrete, that’s not the only material it’s built with. To ensure that a building will remain standing for the next decades or centuries, it’s crucial to invest in steel reinforcement. Make sure to work with a skilled structural steel and fabrication specialist to help you build a solid and sturdy structure.

If you’re looking for the best structural steel specialist in Queensland, you’ve come to the right place! At Phoenix Reinforcing, we provide everyone from the DIY customer to the Construction trade with quality workmanship by our team of boilermakers. Browse our products today!

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