Today, most concrete structures are made of sand, Portland cement, water and gravel. It is easy to assume that this mixture dries and hardens up to form the concrete structure. On the contrary, the structure results from a hardening process called hydration where the cement reacts with the water. Despite their strength, hard concrete structures can be compromised by tension forces due to the weight of other building materials, equipment or use by the occupants. This is why you must use rebar or reinforcing steel to curb the effect of the tension forces and prevent damage to your concrete structure. The right type of steel will guarantee maximum load support for your concrete, which optimises its overall strength. Here is a look at mild and deformed steel bars that you can use to reinforce your steel:
Mild Steel Bars
Mild steel bars used for concrete reinforcement are made using steel with a low carbon content. Typically, the steel might have a carbon content as low as 0.04 percent or 0.3 on the higher end. The low carbon content adds lots of strength to the steel bars and makes them less responsive to corrosive chemical reactions. However, it is also disadvantageous to some extent, as the low levels of carbon make it hard to temper the steel bars. They are generally brittle and less elastic compared to deformed steel bars. This encourages cracks on areas that will be subjected to lots of tension force. Mild steel bars come with a relatively smooth surface that makes them ideal for use on horizontal and gently sloping beams. Such beams do not present the risk of concrete slipping off the smooth surface of the reinforcing rebar.
Deformed Steel Bars
Deformed steel bars are made using steel with a higher carbon content than that of the mild steel bars. In this way, fabricators improve the tempering ability of the material such that it is easy to twist it and form ribs, lugs and other sorts of deformations on the surface of the steel bar. These ribs and lugs give the "all-purpose" attribute to deformed steel bars. They keep concrete from slipping off the rebar, guaranteeing a strong bond between the concrete and the supporting rebar. Generally, deformed steel bars are ideal for both steep and gently sloping beams and pillars because of their improved ability to hold the concrete in place. They also reduce the possibility of cracks in the concrete structure because of their improved elasticity.
For more information, contact a steel fabricator professional.