Concrete as a building material has a long history, as do the methods used to strengthen it. One such method is incorporating rebar, a shortened word for the reinforcing bars it refers to, into concrete slabs. Concrete is valued for its ability to withstand downward or compressive forces but tends to be weaker in the face of lateral or tensile forces. Rebar is used to gird concrete and strengthen it against these tensile forces, and skilled commercial concrete contractors in Portland utilize rebar in many modern projects thanks to the continued evolution of its materials and application techniques over the years.
Origins of rebar
The first person to use reinforcing bars in concrete construction is often debated, as there are three men who are thought to hold that distinction. All three were innovating with rebar in France around the middle of the 19th century, though only one was the first to patent his use of rebar. Joseph Monier was a gardener who used rebar in concrete for his landscaping projects and registered the patent in 1867. This method of strengthening concrete soon arrived in America, with Thaddeus Hyatt gaining the US patent in 1878 and a refinery constructed for the Pacific Coast Borax company first utilizing his system of reinforcing bars in concrete. With this innovation in concrete technology, buildings could reach greater and greater heights and cities began building up instead of out.
Modern rebar characteristics
Rebar allowed for the conception of skyscrapers, and today is a common element of any concrete construction. While Monier’s rebar mesh was made of iron, modern rebar is made of carbon steel due to its immense strength and corrosion-resistant properties. Additionally, carbon steel has a thermal expansion coefficient nearly equal to that of modern concrete, making it ideal for the relative stability of the overall reinforced concrete structure when subject to temperature changes. The characteristic strength of steel rebar is furthered by its application techniques. Often it is woven into a grid or cage-like structure or can be tensioned either before or after the concrete is poured.
The Conco Companies’ mission is to be the best supplier of concrete services in the Western U.S. and to bring expertise and incomparable quality to each project. We continue to upgrade and expand our facilities to better serve the growing market for commercial, educational, parking structures, public works projects, and other development. Contact us to learn more about the services from one of the most trusted concrete contractors in Portland.