Steel and Concrete: Built to Last

By October 29, 2021 No Comments
construction concrete stake with steel bar in storage to illustrate what is prestressed concrete

When it comes to building a structure that you want to last for decades, it is important to use the best concrete possible. On its own, concrete is brittle and not as strong as you might think. However, when it is reinforced with steel, it can be used for walls, beams, foundations, columns, and much more. Steel and concrete is a combination designed and built to last.

Concrete is the world’s most popular building material due in part to its ability to maintain strength during compression. However, it is not nearly as strong when subjected to tensile pressures. Thus, it requires something to reinforce it.

Why is steel used with concrete?

Concrete building reinforcement ensures the structure is safe and solid. It helps concrete structures, steel buildings, and other concrete construction and steel construction projects conform to building codes and fire resistance mandates.

Steel framed buildings constructed with concrete reinforcement can last hundreds of years. Concrete reinforcement itself also permits the construction industry to standardize construction times, strength-to-weight ratios, and more.

Steel reinforcement is the most commonly used reinforcement with concrete because it bonds well with it. Here’s how construction materials, including some recycled materials, get the job done.

Steel is ductile.

Steel ductility means we are measuring how much distortion a material can go through before it cracks or breaks. Concrete has low ductility. Steel, on the other hand, is incredibly ductile. This means that if you bend it, it will stay bent, but it won’t break.

Before the cement is poured, it is important to take advantage of steel ductility. That way, the cement can be molded into the desired shape and a reinforcing steel bar can be created.

Steel ductility can also be helpful as part of reinforced concrete — meaning if there is force applied to the structure, the concrete could crack, but the steel rebar will stay unbroken.

When concrete and steel combine, they create a bond through thermal expansion. When heated or cooled together, the two materials contract and expand at the same rate, meaning they stay bonded, no matter what.

This reinforced concrete is the best type of material for building a structure.

Builders also like using the steel and concrete combination because steel is easily recyclable and easy to weld. It is also affordable and readily available for use.

We understand how important it is to use the best materials possible when you are building your structure. That’s why our experienced team at Columbia Precast Products is committed to providing customers with strong precast concrete for a variety of building projects.

Contact us today for more information.