How to Choose Steel Reinforcement or Rebar for Construction?

A steel reinforcement bar is used to reinforce concrete structures in civil engineering construction. Concrete is weak in tension, which hence depends on steel reinforcement for tensile strength property. Hence the proper and correct reinforcement bars can only meet adequate tensile strength requirement of the concrete structures.

Let's discuss some important tips to be taken while choosing steel reinforcement for construction.

Note: The current steel reinforcement bars are TMT bars ( Thermo Mechanically Treated Bars) which unlike regular steel undergoes 3 stage process called the temp core process. This make it more stronger and ductile.

1. Quality of Steel Reinforcement Bars

Always check the quality of the steel reinforcement bars by mechanical testing. The test will give the result whether it meets the stated specifications. The different parameters that are checked to test the quality of steel reinforcement bars are:
  • Tensile Strength of Steel Reinforcement Bars
  • Bending or Malleability test of Steel Reinforcement Bars
  • Compression Test on Steel Reinforcement Bars
  • Fatigue test on Steel Reinforcement Bars

2. Size of Reinforcement Bars

Reinforcement bars are available in sizes from 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm and 16mm. Beam , column construction makes used of 12mm, 16mm, even 20 and 25mm for large column making. The ties or stirrups for these can be either 6 or 8mm. Slabs can make use of 10, 12 or 16mm based on the load carrying.

3. Length of Reinforcement Bars

Always determine the measurement or length of reinforcement bars. It is always better to order smaller pieces over long pieces, as small ones can be easily bound together by using a tie wire. In curves or bend areas, use bent pieces instead tying the two bars together as the latter lessens the load carrying capacity.

4. Professional Advice

Approaching a licensed engineer who have been estimating, procuring and working with steel reinforcement. Hence, the proper length, width and weight of steel reinforcement is determined.

5. Grades of steel - Yield Strength of Steel Reinforcement

Steel are available in indifferent grades namely Fe 415, Fe 500, Fe 550 and Fe 600. The numbers represent the yield strength of a particular rebar. Yield strength of the reinforcing steel is defined as the stress at which the respective steel starts to exhibit plastic deformation. Higher the number, higher the yield strength. 

Fe 415 Reinforcement Steel Bars

  • True Reinforcing Bars
  • Yield Strength = 415 N/mm2 ; Ultimate Strength = 485 N/mm2 ;
  • The percentage elongation = 14.5%
  • The percentage elongation represents the measure of ductility and the tensile strength of steel. This is the only steel that provides optimum values of the above parameters. Hence it is best recommended for homes.
  • The cost is less compared to other grades, making it more compatible.

Fe 500 Reinforcement Steel Bars

  • Higher TMT version of Fe 415 Bars
  • Yield Strength = 500N/mm2 ; Ultimate Strength = 545 N/mm2 ;
  • Higher tensile strength make its use in lesser number of bars, hence 17% decrease in steel consumption.
  • The percentage elongation is 12%, which is less ductile than Fe 415.
  • Used in the construction of structures that demand more strength like bridges, large buildings etc.

Fe 550 Reinforcement Steel Bars

  • Higher TMT version than above bars
  • Yield Strength = 550N/mm2 ; Ultimate Strength = 585N/mm2 ;
  • The percentage elongation is 10% and hence more brittle compared to Fe 415 and Fe 500.
  • Expensive
  • Used for high tensile structures like large bridges, skyscrapers etc.

Fe 600 Reinforcement Steel Bars

  • Yield Strength =600N/mm2 ; Ultimate Strength = 660N/mm2.
  • Used for high tensile structures
  • The percentage elongation is 10%  and more brittle than above three
  • Expensive and not commonly used.
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