What is Reinforced Concrete? A guide on reinforced concrete and its applications.

  • Reading time:5 mins read
  • Post comments:0 Comments

Reinforced concrete is one of the most widely used construction materials in the world. Reinforced concrete, as an economic building material, is very popular nowadays. Its applications include high-rise buildings, hospitals, schools, hotels, offices and homes.

This article will discuss what is reinforced concrete, materials used for reinforcement and properties of reinforced concrete.

Reinforced Concrete Meaning

Reinforced concrete is the most common form of man-made construction throughout the world. It is a composite material, consisting of a cementitious paste and a closely spaced ‘reinforcement’ of steel rods (reinforcing bars) or welded wire mesh.

In the early days of reinforced concrete, those producing it would estimate the amount of materials required by using their past experience. As this was not reliable enough for what became large structures, it became necessary to develop mathematical models, based on tests and experiments, that could be used to predict the behaviour of reinforced concrete sections under load.

One such model was developed in the late 1940s by Tom Paulay and Maarten Priestley in New Zealand. It provided a simple prediction method for calculating shear capacity, based on tension field theory. This was soon adopted by engineers around the world and remains in use today.

Reinforced Concrete is a composite material, and the most widely used form of concrete. It is a cement based material to which finely divided inert material is added as reinforcement to give it tensile strength. The fine aggregate or sand used in RCC acts as filler material while the coarse aggregate acts as reinforcement. Concrete contains cement, fine aggregate (sand), coarse aggregate and water.

Reinforced concrete has become a common building material for the past century, because of its strength and durability. Plain concrete does not have sufficient strength to withstand loads from its own weight, so it is reinforced with materials that are strong in tension, usually steel bars. The steel and concrete work together taking compression and tensile stresses respectively in a zone of action called a bond stress field.

The use of reinforced concrete has increased greatly in the last century because of the advantages it provides over other materials:

It can be cast into almost any shape and thus can be easily molded into aesthetically pleasing structures with smooth finishes and sharp details.

It is durable, easy to maintain and resistant to damage when properly designed and constructed. Concrete structures are fire resistant and are not damaged by termites or rot.

Concrete is economical compared to other building materials due to its low initial cost

Reinforced concrete is a composite material in which concrete’s relatively low tensile strength and ductility are counteracted by the inclusion of reinforcement having higher tensile strength or ductility. The reinforcement is usually, though not necessarily, steel reinforcing bars (rebar) and is usually embedded passively in the concrete before the concrete sets. Reinforcing schemes are generally designed to resist tensile stresses in particular regions of the concrete that might cause unacceptable cracking and/or structural failure. Modern reinforced concrete can contain varied reinforcing materials made of steel, polymers or alternate composite material in conjunction with rebar or not. Reinforced concrete may also be permanently stressed (in tension), so as to improve the behaviour of the final structure under working loads. In the United States, the most common methods of doing this are known as pre-tensioning and post-tensioning.

Reinforced concrete (RC), also called reinforced cement concrete (RCC), is a composite material in which concrete’s relatively low tensile strength and ductility are counteracted by the inclusion of reinforcement having higher tensile strength or ductility.

The reinforcement is usually, though not necessarily, steel reinforcing bars (rebar) and is usually embedded passively in the concrete before the concrete sets. Reinforcing schemes are generally designed to resist tensile stresses in particular regions of the concrete that might cause unacceptable cracking and/or structural failure. Modern reinforced concrete can contain varied reinforcing materials made of steel, polymers or alternate composite material in conjunction with rebar or not. Reinforced concrete may also be permanently stressed (in tension), so as to improve the behaviour of the final structure under working loads.

In the United States, the most common methods of doing this are known as pre-tensioning and post-tensioning. Durability in the aggressive environments can be achieved by proper concreting and use of appropriate protective coatings. The structural engineer must take into account not only the economics of each design alternative, but also all technical aspects including material properties, service loads, load factors and combinations, stability, support conditions, deflections and crack control requirements.

Reinforced concrete is a composite material in which concrete’s relatively low tensile strength and ductility are counteracted by the inclusion of reinforcement having higher tensile strength or ductility. The reinforcement is usually, though not necessarily, steel reinforcing bars (rebar) and is usually embedded passively in the concrete before the concrete sets.

Reinforced concrete is one of the most important building materials. It has long been the most commonly used construction material for the production of high rise structures, long span beams, slabs, bridges and other types of structures.

Reinforced concrete is a composite material (a combination of two or more materials) which exhibits a much better performance in strength and durability compared to a monolithic (non-composite) material such as plain cement concrete. The concrete provides the compressive strength while the reinforcing steel bars provide the tensile strength. These two elements complement each other to form an ideal composite which can be designed to withstand different loading conditions.

Leave a Reply