Reinforcing bars, otherwise known as rebars, are the most common way to make a reinforced concrete construction. Concrete structures are very resilient against compressive forces, but relatively weak when subjected to tension. Compressive forces push the concrete inwards, as if to reduce its volume, and tensile forces pull the concrete in different directions, as if to stretch it out. Compressive forces occur when concrete is set between two objects that later expand, pushing inward on both sides, and tension can occur in concrete when the ground underneath the concrete expands after the concrete dries or when the concrete structure is attached to two separate objects that slowly shrink or move apart. Because concrete is so susceptible to tension, it is often reinforced with rebars. The following list of tips will help to inform you about the use of rebars and how best to use them to reinforce your concrete constructions.
Tip 1 - Know How Rebar Works
The first thing you need to know is the basic principle of how rebar works to reinforce concrete. Rebars are long steel bars with ridges to give them a better mechanical anchoring to the concrete. They are placed inside of the concrete structure, and because steel expands in nearly the same way as concrete, it can help to hold the structure together under strong tensile forces. This information is important to people who are making reinforced concrete structures because it indicates that rebar should be placed laterally along the sides of the structure that will be subjected to the most tension.
Tip 2 - Hook the Rebars
Although rebar has ridges to prevent it from losing contact with the concrete, it can still slip out if there is enough tension. To prevent this, hook the the ends of the rebars so that they are bent backwards towards the inside of the concrete structure at the edges. This creates more friction, which helps to keep the rebar in place. Alternatively, if you are making adjacent structures or a structure with multiple parts you could deeply embed the rebar into adjacent structural members.
Tip 3 - How Thick Do You Want Your Rebar?
There are many different sizes of rebar, measured in gauges. Rebar gauges are measured in eighths of an inch, such that a #8 bar is 8 eighths of an inch, or 1 inch in diameter. The stronger you want your reinforced concrete to be, the thicker rebar you should buy.
Tip 4 - Make a Mesh Work
It is a good idea to make a mesh out of the rebar inside of your concrete structure. If you have enough bars, make a grid like pattern with evenly spaced rebars throughout each wall of the structure you're making. This will allow the structure to diffuse tension evenly across the whole wall.
Concrete constructions are permanent, so whenever you make a structure out of concrete, you should carefully plan ahead. Think about whether or not your concrete structure should be reinforced, and if you determine that it does, make sure to carefully research rebar concrete reinforcement before you start working.