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What is reinforced concrete?

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Reinforced concrete is concrete that has steel bars embedded within it. The two materials then act harmoniously to absorb the tensile, compressive and shear forces acting upon it.

Why is concrete reinforcement necessary?

Solid concrete has incredibly high compressive strength. This means that it can cope with large amounts of pressure applied to its surface without breaking. In comparison, concrete’s tensile strength is usually less than 10% of its compressive strength, which makes it vulnerable to forces that could pull it apart, like earthquakes, vibrations and high winds. Steel rebar absorbs tensile stress applied to the concrete and significantly increases its ability to withstand it.

How does concrete reinforcement work? 

When embedded within concrete, steel bars, rods or mesh form a strong bond with the mix as it cures to create what is essentially a single structure. The steel is arranged in such a way to ensure maximum effectiveness in overcoming tensile forces, whilst the concrete makes up for the compressive strength that the steel bar lacks.

Do I need reinforced concrete for my project?

One question that we get asked frequently is if they will require a reinforced concrete slab for their project. Generally, reinforced concrete is recommended for all commercial applications. For DIY projects, it depends on both how large the concrete slab will be and its intended use. If you want to erect a small wooden shed, it shouldn’t be necessary, though you may want to consider steel reinforcement for a large driveway to avoid cracking.


We are proud to be your one stop shop for all things concrete in Bristol, South Wales and the surrounding areas. Whether you are working on a commercial contract or a job in the garden, we can deliver quality concrete mixes straight to you on site. We can even arrange steel reinforcement on your behalf as well. Call us today on 0117 958 2090.