Reinforced concrete
Overview
 
Reinforced concrete is concrete
Concrete
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

 in which reinforcement bars ("rebar
Rebar
A rebar , also known as reinforcing steel, reinforcement steel, rerod, or a deformed bar, is a common steel bar, and is commonly used as a tensioning device in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures holding the concrete in compression...

s"), reinforcement grids, plates
Steel plate construction
Steel plate construction is a rapid method of constructing heavy reinforced concrete items. It was developed in Korea in 2004. At a steel fabricator, assemblies are constructed. Each assembly has two parallel plates joined with welded stringers. The assemblies are moved to the job site and...

 or fibers
Fiber reinforced concrete
Fiber-reinforced concrete is concrete containing fibrous material which increases its structural integrity. It contains short discrete fibers that are uniformly distributed and randomly oriented. Fibers include steel fibers, glass fibers, synthetic fibers and natural fibers...

 have been incorporated to strengthen the concrete in tension. It was invented by French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 gardener Joseph Monier
Joseph Monier
-Overview:Joseph Monier was a French gardener and one of the principal inventors of reinforced concrete....

 in 1849 and patented
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 in 1867. The term Ferro Concrete refers only to concrete that is reinforced with iron or steel. Other materials used to reinforce concrete can be organic and inorganic fibres as well as composites in different forms. Prior to the invention of reinforcement, concrete was strong in compression, but weak in tension.
Encyclopedia
Reinforced concrete is concrete
Concrete
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

 in which reinforcement bars ("rebar
Rebar
A rebar , also known as reinforcing steel, reinforcement steel, rerod, or a deformed bar, is a common steel bar, and is commonly used as a tensioning device in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures holding the concrete in compression...

s"), reinforcement grids, plates
Steel plate construction
Steel plate construction is a rapid method of constructing heavy reinforced concrete items. It was developed in Korea in 2004. At a steel fabricator, assemblies are constructed. Each assembly has two parallel plates joined with welded stringers. The assemblies are moved to the job site and...

 or fibers
Fiber reinforced concrete
Fiber-reinforced concrete is concrete containing fibrous material which increases its structural integrity. It contains short discrete fibers that are uniformly distributed and randomly oriented. Fibers include steel fibers, glass fibers, synthetic fibers and natural fibers...

 have been incorporated to strengthen the concrete in tension. It was invented by French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 gardener Joseph Monier
Joseph Monier
-Overview:Joseph Monier was a French gardener and one of the principal inventors of reinforced concrete....

 in 1849 and patented
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 in 1867. The term Ferro Concrete refers only to concrete that is reinforced with iron or steel. Other materials used to reinforce concrete can be organic and inorganic fibres as well as composites in different forms. Prior to the invention of reinforcement, concrete was strong in compression, but weak in tension. Adding reinforcement crucially increases the strength in tension. The failure strain of concrete in tension is so low that the reinforcement has to hold the cracked sections together.

For a strong, ductile and durable construction the reinforcement needs to have the following properties:
  • High strength
  • High tensile strain
  • Good bond to the concrete
  • Thermal compatibility
  • Durability in the concrete environment


In most cases reinforced concrete uses steel rebars that have been inserted to add strength.

Use in construction

Concrete is reinforced to give it extra tensile strength; without reinforcement, many concrete buildings would not have been possible.

Reinforced concrete can encompass many types of structures and components, including slab
Concrete slab
A concrete slab is a common structural element of modern buildings. Horizontal slabs of steel reinforced concrete, typically between 10 and 50 centimeters thick, are most often used to construct floors and ceilings, while thinner slabs are also used for exterior paving.In many domestic and...

s, wall
Wall
A wall is a usually solid structure that defines and sometimes protects an area. Most commonly, a wall delineates a building and supports its superstructure, separates space in buildings into rooms, or protects or delineates a space in the open air...

s, beams
Beam (structure)
A beam is a horizontal structural element that is capable of withstanding load primarily by resisting bending. The bending force induced into the material of the beam as a result of the external loads, own weight, span and external reactions to these loads is called a bending moment.- Overview...

, column
Column
A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a vertical structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below. For the purpose of wind or earthquake engineering, columns may be designed to resist lateral forces...

s, foundations
Foundation (architecture)
A foundation is the lowest and supporting layer of a structure. Foundations are generally divided into two categories: shallow foundations and deep foundations.-Shallow foundations:...

, frame
Framing (construction)
Framing, in construction known as light-frame construction, is a building technique based around structural members, usually called studs, which provide a stable frame to which interior and exterior wall coverings are attached, and covered by a roof comprising horizontal ceiling joists and sloping...

s and more.

Reinforced concrete can be classified as precast or cast in-situ concrete.

Much of the focus on reinforcing concrete is placed on floor
Floor
A floor is the walking surface of a room or vehicle. Floors vary from simple dirt in a cave to many-layered surfaces using modern technology...

 systems. Designing and implementing the most efficient floor system is key to creating optimal building structures. Small changes in the design of a floor system can have significant impact on material costs, construction schedule, ultimate strength, operating costs, occupancy levels and end use of a building.

Materials

Concrete is a mixture of Coarse (stone or brick chips) and Fine (generally sand) aggregates with a binder material(usually Portland cement
Portland cement
Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general use around the world because it is a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar, stucco and most non-specialty grout...

). When mixed with a small amount of water, the cement hydrates to form microscopic opaque crystal lattices encapsulating and locking the aggregate into a rigid structure. Typical concrete mixes have high resistance to compressive stress
Stress (physics)
In continuum mechanics, stress is a measure of the internal forces acting within a deformable body. Quantitatively, it is a measure of the average force per unit area of a surface within the body on which internal forces act. These internal forces are a reaction to external forces applied on the body...

es (about 4000 psi (27.6 MPa)); however, any appreciable tension
Tension (mechanics)
In physics, tension is the magnitude of the pulling force exerted by a string, cable, chain, or similar object on another object. It is the opposite of compression. As tension is the magnitude of a force, it is measured in newtons and is always measured parallel to the string on which it applies...

 (e.g., due to bending
Bending
In engineering mechanics, bending characterizes the behavior of a slender structural element subjected to an external load applied perpendicularly to a longitudinal axis of the element. The structural element is assumed to be such that at least one of its dimensions is a small fraction, typically...

) will break the microscopic rigid lattice, resulting in cracking and separation of the concrete. For this reason, typical non-reinforced concrete must be well supported to prevent the development of tension.

If a material with high strength in tension, such as steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

, is placed in concrete, then the composite material, reinforced concrete, resists not only compression but also bending and other direct tensile actions. A reinforced concrete section where the concrete resists the compression and steel resists the tension can be made into almost any shape and size for the construction industry.

Key characteristics

Three physical characteristics give reinforced concrete its special properties.

First, the coefficient of thermal expansion of concrete is similar to that of steel, eliminating large internal stresses due to differences in thermal
Heat
In physics and thermodynamics, heat is energy transferred from one body, region, or thermodynamic system to another due to thermal contact or thermal radiation when the systems are at different temperatures. It is often described as one of the fundamental processes of energy transfer between...

 expansion or contraction.

Second, when the cement paste within the concrete hardens this conforms to the surface details of the steel, permitting any stress to be transmitted efficiently between the different materials. Usually steel bars are roughened or corrugated to further improve the bond
Chemical bond
A chemical bond is an attraction between atoms that allows the formation of chemical substances that contain two or more atoms. The bond is caused by the electromagnetic force attraction between opposite charges, either between electrons and nuclei, or as the result of a dipole attraction...

 or cohesion between the concrete and steel.

Third, the alkaline
PH
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Pure water is said to be neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at . Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline...

 chemical environment provided by the alkali
Alkali
In chemistry, an alkali is a basic, ionic salt of an alkali metal or alkaline earth metal element. Some authors also define an alkali as a base that dissolves in water. A solution of a soluble base has a pH greater than 7. The adjective alkaline is commonly used in English as a synonym for base,...

 reserve (KOH, NaOH) and the portlandite
Portlandite
Portlandite is a rare oxide mineral, the naturally occurring form of calcium hydroxide . It is the calcium analogue of brucite .-Occurrence:...

 (calcium hydroxide
Calcium hydroxide
Calcium hydroxide, traditionally called slaked lime, is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Ca2. It is a colourless crystal or white powder and is obtained when calcium oxide is mixed, or "slaked" with water. It has many names including hydrated lime, builders lime, slack lime, cal, or...

) contained in the hardened cement paste causes a passivating
Passivation
Passivation is the process of making a material "passive", and thus less reactive with surrounding air, water, or other gases or liquids. The goal is to inhibit corrosion, whether for structural or cosmetic reasons. Passivation of metals is usually achieved by the deposition of a layer of oxide...

 film to form on the surface of the steel, making it much more resistant to corrosion
Corrosion
Corrosion is the disintegration of an engineered material into its constituent atoms due to chemical reactions with its surroundings. In the most common use of the word, this means electrochemical oxidation of metals in reaction with an oxidant such as oxygen...

 than it would be in neutral or acidic conditions. When the cement paste exposed to the air and meteoric water reacts with the atmospheric CO2, portlandite and the Calcium Silicate Hydrate
Calcium silicate hydrate
Calcium Silicate Hydrate is the main product of the hydration of Portland cement and is primarily responsible for the strength in cement based materials.-Preparation:...

 (CSH) of the hardened cement paste become progressively carbonated and the high pH gradually decreases from 13.5 – 12.5 to 8.5, the pH of water in equilibrium with calcite
Calcite
Calcite is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate . The other polymorphs are the minerals aragonite and vaterite. Aragonite will change to calcite at 380-470°C, and vaterite is even less stable.-Properties:...

 (calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound with the formula CaCO3. It is a common substance found in rocks in all parts of the world, and is the main component of shells of marine organisms, snails, coal balls, pearls, and eggshells. Calcium carbonate is the active ingredient in agricultural lime,...

) and the steel is no longer passivated.

As a rule of thumb, only to give an idea on orders of magnitude, steel is protected at pH above ~11 but starts to corrode below ~10 depending on steel characteristics and local physico-chemical conditions when concrete becomes carbonated. Carbonation
Carbonation
Carbonation is the process of dissolving carbon dioxide in water. The process usually involves carbon dioxide under high pressure. When the pressure is reduced, the carbon dioxide is released from the solution as small bubbles, which cause the solution to "fizz." This effect is seen in carbonated...

 of concrete along with chloride
Chloride
The chloride ion is formed when the element chlorine, a halogen, picks up one electron to form an anion Cl−. The salts of hydrochloric acid HCl contain chloride ions and can also be called chlorides. The chloride ion, and its salts such as sodium chloride, are very soluble in water...

 ingress are amongst the chief reasons for the failure of reinforcement bars in concrete.

The relative cross-sectional area
Area
Area is a quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional surface or shape in the plane. Area can be understood as the amount of material with a given thickness that would be necessary to fashion a model of the shape, or the amount of paint necessary to cover the surface with a single coat...

 of steel required for typical reinforced concrete is usually quite small and varies from 1% for most beams and slabs to 6% for some columns. Reinforcing bars
Rebar
A rebar , also known as reinforcing steel, reinforcement steel, rerod, or a deformed bar, is a common steel bar, and is commonly used as a tensioning device in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures holding the concrete in compression...

 are normally round in cross-section and vary in diameter. Reinforced concrete structures sometimes have provisions such as ventilated hollow cores to control their moisture & humidity.

Distribution of concrete (in spite of reinforcement) strength characteristics along the cross-section of vertical reinforced concrete elements is inhomogeneous.

Mechanism of composite action of reinforcement and concrete

The reinforcement in a RC structure, such as a steel bar, has to undergo the same strain or deformation as the surrounding concrete in order to prevent discontinuity, slip or separation of the two materials under load. Maintaining composite action requires transfer of load between the concrete and steel. The direct stress is transferred from the concrete to the bar interface so as to change the tensile stress in the reinforcing bar along its length. This load transfer is achieved by means of bond (anchorage) and is idealized as a continuous stress field that develops in the vicinity of the steel-concrete interface.

Anchorage (bond) in concrete: Codes of specifications

Because the actual bond stress varies along the length of a bar anchored in a zone of tension, current international codes of specifications use the concept of development length rather than bond stress. The main requirement for safety against bond failure is to provide a sufficient extension of the length of the bar beyond the point where the steel is required to develop its yield stress and this length must be at least equal to its development length. However, if the actual available length is inadequate for full development, special anchorages must be provided, such as cogs or hooks or mechanical end plates. The same concept applies to lap splice length mentioned in the codes where splices (overlapping) provided between two adjacent bars in order to maintain the required continuity of stress in the splice zone.

Anti-corrosion measures

In wet and cold climates, reinforced concrete for roads, bridges, parking structures and other structures that may be exposed to deicing
Deicing
For snow and ice control on roadways and similar facilities, see Snow removalDe-icing is defined as removal of snow, ice or frost from a surface...

 salt may benefit from use of epoxy-coated, hot dip galvanised or stainless steel
Stainless steel
In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5 or 11% chromium content by mass....

 rebar, although good design and a well-chosen cement mix may provide sufficient protection for many applications. Epoxy coated rebar can easily be identified by the light green colour of its epoxy coating. Hot dip galvanized rebar may be bright or dull grey depending on length of exposure, and stainless rebar exhibits a typical white metallic sheen that is readily distinguishable from carbon steel reinforcing bar. Reference ASTM standard specifications A767 Standard Specification for Hot Dip Galvanised Reinforcing Bars, A775 Standard Specification for Epoxy Coated Steel Reinforcing Bars and A955 Standard Specification for Deformed and Plain Stainless Bars for Concrete Reinforcement.

Another, cheaper way of protecting rebars is coating them with zinc phosphate
Zinc phosphate
Zinc phosphate is an inorganic chemical compound used as a corrosion resistant coating on metal surfaces either as part of an electroplating process or applied as a primer pigment . Zinc phosphate coats better on a crystalline structure than bare metal, so a seeding agent is often used as a...

. Zinc phosphate slowly reacts with calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

 cations and the hydroxyl
Hydroxyl
A hydroxyl is a chemical group containing an oxygen atom covalently bonded with a hydrogen atom. In inorganic chemistry, the hydroxyl group is known as the hydroxide ion, and scientists and reference works generally use these different terms though they refer to the same chemical structure in...

 anions present in the cement pore water and forms a stable hydroxyapatite layer.

Penetrating sealants typically must be applied some time after curing. Sealants include paint, plastic foams, films and aluminum foil, felts or fabric mats sealed with tar, and layers of bentonite
Bentonite
Bentonite is an absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate, essentially impure clay consisting mostly of montmorillonite. There are different types of bentonite, each named after the respective dominant element, such as potassium , sodium , calcium , and aluminum . Experts debate a number of nomenclatorial...

 clay, sometimes used to seal roadbeds.

Corrosion inhibitor
Corrosion inhibitor
A corrosion inhibitor is a chemical compound that, when added to a liquid or gas, decreases the corrosion rate of a material, typically a metal or an alloy. The effectiveness of a corrosion inhibitor depends on fluid composition, quantity of water, and flow regime...

s, such as calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

 nitrite
Nitrite
The nitrite ion has the chemical formula NO2−. The anion is symmetric with equal N-O bond lengths and a O-N-O bond angle of ca. 120°. On protonation the unstable weak acid nitrous acid is produced. Nitrite can be oxidised or reduced, with product somewhat dependent on the oxidizing/reducing agent...

 [Ca(NO2)2], can also be added to the water mix before pouring concrete. Generally, 1–2 wt. % of [Ca(NO2)2] with respect to cement weight is needed to prevent corrosion of the rebars. The nitrite
Nitrite
The nitrite ion has the chemical formula NO2−. The anion is symmetric with equal N-O bond lengths and a O-N-O bond angle of ca. 120°. On protonation the unstable weak acid nitrous acid is produced. Nitrite can be oxidised or reduced, with product somewhat dependent on the oxidizing/reducing agent...

 anion is a mild oxidizer that oxidizes the soluble and mobile ferrous ions (Fe2+) present at the surface of the corroding steel and causes it to precipitate as an insoluble ferric hydroxide (Fe(OH)3). This causes the passivation of steel at the anodic oxidation sites. Nitrite is a much more active corrosion inhibitor than nitrate
Nitrate
The nitrate ion is a polyatomic ion with the molecular formula NO and a molecular mass of 62.0049 g/mol. It is the conjugate base of nitric acid, consisting of one central nitrogen atom surrounded by three identically-bonded oxygen atoms in a trigonal planar arrangement. The nitrate ion carries a...

, a less powerful oxidizer of the divalent iron.

Reinforcement and terminology of Beams

A beam bends under bending moment
Bending Moment
A bending moment exists in a structural element when a moment is applied to the element so that the element bends. Moments and torques are measured as a force multiplied by a distance so they have as unit newton-metres , or pound-foot or foot-pound...

, resulting in a small curvature. At the outer face (tensile face) of the curvature the concrete experiences tensile stress, while at the inner face (compressive face) it experiences compressive stress.

A singly reinforced beam is one in which the concrete element is only reinforced near the tensile face and the reinforcement, called tension steel, is designed to resist the tension.

A doubly reinforced beam is one in which besides the tensile reinforcement the concrete element is also reinforced near the compressive face to help the concrete resist compression. The latter reinforcement is called compression steel. When the compression zone of a concrete is inadequate to resist the compressive Moment(positive moment), extra reinforcement has to be provided if the architect limits the dimensions of the section.

An under-reinforced beam is one in which the tension capacity of the tensile reinforcement is smaller than the combined compression capacity of the concrete and the compression steel (under-reinforced at tensile face). When the reinforced concrete element is subject to increasing bending moment, the tension steel yields while the concrete does not reach its ultimate failure condition. As the tension steel yields and stretches, an "under-reinforced" concrete also yields in a ductile manner, exhibiting a large deformation and warning before its ultimate failure. In this case the yield stress of the steel governs the design.

An over-reinforced beam is one in which the tension capacity of the tension steel is greater than the combined compression capacity of the concrete and the compression steel (over-reinforced at tensile face). So the "over-reinforced concrete" beam fails by crushing of the compressive-zone concrete and before the tension zone steel yields, which does not provide any warning before failure as the failure is instantaneous.

A balanced-reinforced beam is one in which both the compressive and tensile zones reach yielding at the same imposed load on the beam, and the concrete will crush and the tensile steel will yield at the same time. This design criterion is however as risky as over-reinforced concrete, because failure is sudden as the concrete crushes at the same time of the tensile steel yields, which gives a very little warning of distress in tension failure.

Steel-reinforced concrete moment-carrying elements should normally be designed to be under-reinforced so that users of the structure will receive warning of impending collapse.

The characteristic strength is the strength of a material where less than 5% of the specimen shows lower strength.

The design strength or nominal strength is the strength of a material, including a material-safety factor. The value of the safety factor generally ranges from 0.75 to 0.85 in Allowable Stress Design.

The ultimate limit state is the theoretical failure point with a certain probability. It is stated under factored loads and factored resistances.

Prestressed Concrete

Prestressed concrete is a technique that greatly increases loadbearing strength of concrete beams. The reinforcing steel in the bottom part of the beam, which will be subjected to tensile forces when in service, is placed in tension prior to the concrete being poured around it. Once the concrete has hardened, the tension on the reinforcing steel is released, placing a built-in compressive force on the concrete. When loads are applied, the reinforcing steel takes on more stress and the compressive force in the concrete is reduced, but does not become a tensile force. Since the concrete is always under compression, it is less subject to cracking and failure.

Common failure modes of steel reinforced concrete

Reinforced concrete can fail due to inadequate strength, leading to mechanical failure, or due to a reduction in its durability. Corrosion and freeze/thaw cycles may damage poorly designed or constructed reinforced concrete. When rebar corrodes, the oxidation products (rust
Rust
Rust is a general term for a series of iron oxides. In colloquial usage, the term is applied to red oxides, formed by the reaction of iron and oxygen in the presence of water or air moisture...

) expand and tends to flake, cracking the concrete and unbonding the rebar from the concrete. Typical mechanisms leading to durability problems are discussed below.

Mechanical failure

Cracking of the concrete section can not be prevented; however, the size of and location of the cracks can be limited and controlled by reinforcement, placement of control joints, the curing methodology and the mix design of the concrete. Cracking defects can allow moisture to penetrate and corrode the reinforcement. This is a serviceability failure in limit state design
Limit state design
Limit state design refers to a design method used in structural engineering. A limit state is a condition of a structure beyond which it no longer fulfills the relevant design criteria. The condition may refer to a degree of loading or other actions on the structure, while the criteria refers to...

. Cracking is normally the result of an inadequate quantity of rebar, or rebar spaced at too great a distance. The concrete then cracks either under excess loading, or due to internal effects such as early thermal shrinkage when it cures.

Ultimate failure leading to collapse can be caused by crushing of the concrete, when compressive stresses exceed its strength; by yielding
Yield (engineering)
The yield strength or yield point of a material is defined in engineering and materials science as the stress at which a material begins to deform plastically. Prior to the yield point the material will deform elastically and will return to its original shape when the applied stress is removed...

 or failure of the rebar, when bending or shear stresses exceed the strength of the reinforcement; or by bond failure between the concrete and the rebar.

Carbonatation


Carbonatation, or neutralisation, is a chemical reaction between carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 in the air with calcium hydroxide
Calcium hydroxide
Calcium hydroxide, traditionally called slaked lime, is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Ca2. It is a colourless crystal or white powder and is obtained when calcium oxide is mixed, or "slaked" with water. It has many names including hydrated lime, builders lime, slack lime, cal, or...

 and hydrated calcium silicate
Calcium silicate
Calcium silicate is the chemical compound Ca2SiO4, also known as calcium orthosilicate and sometimes formulated 2CaO.SiO2. It is one of group of compounds obtained by reacting calcium oxide and silica in various ratios e.g. 3CaO.SiO2, Ca3SiO5; 2CaO.SiO2, Ca2SiO4; 3CaO.2SiO2, Ca3Si2O7 and...

 in the concrete.

When designing a concrete structure, it is normal to state the concrete cover
Concrete cover
Concrete cover, in reinforced concrete, is the least distance between the surface of embedded reinforcement and the outer surface of the concrete...

 for the rebar (the depth within the object that the rebar will be). The minimum concrete cover is normally regulated by design or building code
Building code
A building code, or building control, is a set of rules that specify the minimum acceptable level of safety for constructed objects such as buildings and nonbuilding structures. The main purpose of building codes are to protect public health, safety and general welfare as they relate to the...

s. If the reinforcement is too close to the surface, early failure due to corrosion may occur. The concrete cover depth can be measured with a cover meter
Cover meter
A cover meter is an instrument to locate rebars and measure the exact concrete cover. Rebar detectors are less sophisticated devices that can only locate metallic objects below the surface...

. However, carbonatated concrete only becomes a durability problem when there is also sufficient moisture and oxygen to cause electro-potential corrosion of the reinforcing steel.

One method of testing a structure for carbonatation is to drill
Drill
A drill or drill motor is a tool fitted with a cutting tool attachment or driving tool attachment, usually a drill bit or driver bit, used for drilling holes in various materials or fastening various materials together with the use of fasteners. The attachment is gripped by a chuck at one end of...

 a fresh hole in the surface and then treat the cut surface with phenolphthalein
Phenolphthalein
Phenolphthalein is a chemical compound with the formula C20H14O4 and is often written as "HIn" or "phph" in shorthand notation. Often used in titrations, it turns colorless in acidic solutions and pink in basic solutions...

 indicator solution. This solution will turn [pink] when in contact with alkaline concrete, making it possible to see the depth of carbonatation. An existing hole is no good because the exposed surface will already be carbonatated.

Chlorides

Chloride
Chloride
The chloride ion is formed when the element chlorine, a halogen, picks up one electron to form an anion Cl−. The salts of hydrochloric acid HCl contain chloride ions and can also be called chlorides. The chloride ion, and its salts such as sodium chloride, are very soluble in water...

s, including sodium chloride
Sodium chloride
Sodium chloride, also known as salt, common salt, table salt or halite, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaCl. Sodium chloride is the salt most responsible for the salinity of the ocean and of the extracellular fluid of many multicellular organisms...

, can promote the corrosion of embedded steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 rebar
Rebar
A rebar , also known as reinforcing steel, reinforcement steel, rerod, or a deformed bar, is a common steel bar, and is commonly used as a tensioning device in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures holding the concrete in compression...

 if present in sufficienty high concentration. Chloride anions induce both localized corrosion (pitting corrosion
Pitting corrosion
Pitting corrosion, or pitting, is a form of extremely localized corrosion that leads to the creation of small holes in the metal. The driving power for pitting corrosion is the depassivation of a small area, which becomes anodic while an unknown but potentially vast area becomes cathodic, leading...

) and generalized corrosion of steel reinforcements. For this reason, one should only use fresh raw water or potable water for mixing concrete, ensure that the coarse and fine aggregates do not contain chlorides, and not use admixtures that contain chlorides.

It was once common for calcium chloride
Calcium chloride
Calcium chloride, CaCl2, is a salt of calcium and chlorine. It behaves as a typical ionic halide, and is solid at room temperature. Common applications include brine for refrigeration plants, ice and dust control on roads, and desiccation...

 to be used as an admixture to promote rapid set-up of the concrete. It was also mistakenly believed that it would prevent freezing. However, this practice has fallen into disfavor once the deleterious effects of chlorides became known. It should be avoided when ever possible.

The use of de-icing salts on roadways, used to reduce the freezing point
Freezing Point
Freezing Point is a news journal in the People's Republic of China which has been the subject of controversy over its criticism of Communist Party officials and the sympathetic ear it lent to a Chinese historian who had criticized official history textbooks...

 of water, is probably one of the primary causes of premature failure of reinforced or prestressed concrete bridge decks, roadways, and parking garages. The use of epoxy-coated
Epoxy
Epoxy, also known as polyepoxide, is a thermosetting polymer formed from reaction of an epoxide "resin" with polyamine "hardener". Epoxy has a wide range of applications, including fiber-reinforced plastic materials and general purpose adhesives....

 reinforcing bars and the application of cathodic protection
Cathodic protection
Cathodic protection is a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making it the cathode of an electrochemical cell. The simplest method to apply CP is by connecting the metal to be protected with another more easily corroded "sacrificial metal" to act as the anode of the...

 has mitigated this problem to some extent. Also FRP rebars are known to be less susceptible to chlorides. Properly designed concrete mixtures that have been allowed to cure properly are effectively impervious to the effects of deicers.

Another important source of chloride ions is from sea water. Sea water contains by weight approximately 3.5 wt.% salts. These salts include sodium chloride
Sodium chloride
Sodium chloride, also known as salt, common salt, table salt or halite, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaCl. Sodium chloride is the salt most responsible for the salinity of the ocean and of the extracellular fluid of many multicellular organisms...

, magnesium sulfate
Magnesium sulfate
Magnesium sulfate is a chemical compound containing magnesium, sulfur and oxygen, with the formula MgSO4. It is often encountered as the heptahydrate epsomite , commonly called Epsom salt, from the town of Epsom in Surrey, England, where the salt was distilled from the springs that arise where the...

, calcium sulfate
Calcium sulfate
Calcium sulfate is a common laboratory and industrial chemical. In the form of γ-anhydrite , it is used as a desiccant. It is also used as a coagulant in products like tofu. In the natural state, unrefined calcium sulfate is a translucent, crystalline white rock...

, and bicarbonate
Bicarbonate
In inorganic chemistry, bicarbonate is an intermediate form in the deprotonation of carbonic acid...

s. In water these salts dissociate in free ions (Na+, Mg2+, Cl-, SO42-, HCO3-) and migrate with the water into the capillaries
Capillary
Capillaries are the smallest of a body's blood vessels and are parts of the microcirculation. They are only 1 cell thick. These microvessels, measuring 5-10 μm in diameter, connect arterioles and venules, and enable the exchange of water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and many other nutrient and waste...

 of the concrete. Chloride ions are particularly aggressive for the corrosion of the carbon steel reinforcement bars and make up about 50% of these ions.

In the 1960's and 1970's it was also relatively common for Magnesite
Magnesite
Magnesite is magnesium carbonate, MgCO3. Iron substitutes for magnesium with a complete solution series with siderite, FeCO3. Calcium, manganese, cobalt, and nickel may also occur in small amounts...

, a chloride
Chloride
The chloride ion is formed when the element chlorine, a halogen, picks up one electron to form an anion Cl−. The salts of hydrochloric acid HCl contain chloride ions and can also be called chlorides. The chloride ion, and its salts such as sodium chloride, are very soluble in water...

 rich carbonate mineral, to be used as a floor-topping material. This was done principally as a levelling and sound attenuating layer. However it is now known that when these materials came into contact with moisture it produced a weak solution of hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid is a solution of hydrogen chloride in water, that is a highly corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses. It is found naturally in gastric acid....

 due to the presence of chloride
Chloride
The chloride ion is formed when the element chlorine, a halogen, picks up one electron to form an anion Cl−. The salts of hydrochloric acid HCl contain chloride ions and can also be called chlorides. The chloride ion, and its salts such as sodium chloride, are very soluble in water...

s in the magnesite. Over a period of time (typically decades) the solution caused corrosion
Corrosion
Corrosion is the disintegration of an engineered material into its constituent atoms due to chemical reactions with its surroundings. In the most common use of the word, this means electrochemical oxidation of metals in reaction with an oxidant such as oxygen...

 of the embedded steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 rebar
Rebar
A rebar , also known as reinforcing steel, reinforcement steel, rerod, or a deformed bar, is a common steel bar, and is commonly used as a tensioning device in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures holding the concrete in compression...

s. This was most commonly found in wet areas or areas repeatedly exposed to moisture.

Alkali silica reaction

This a reaction of amorphous silica (chalcedony
Chalcedony
Chalcedony is a cryptocrystalline form of silica, composed of very fine intergrowths of the minerals quartz and moganite. These are both silica minerals, but they differ in that quartz has a trigonal crystal structure, while moganite is monoclinic...

, chert
Chert
Chert is a fine-grained silica-rich microcrystalline, cryptocrystalline or microfibrous sedimentary rock that may contain small fossils. It varies greatly in color , but most often manifests as gray, brown, grayish brown and light green to rusty red; its color is an expression of trace elements...

, siliceous limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

) sometimes present in the aggregate
Construction Aggregate
Construction aggregate, or simply "aggregate", is a broad category of coarse particulate material used in construction, including sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, recycled concrete and geosynthetic aggregates. Aggregates are the most mined material in the world...

s with the hydroxyl
Hydroxyl
A hydroxyl is a chemical group containing an oxygen atom covalently bonded with a hydrogen atom. In inorganic chemistry, the hydroxyl group is known as the hydroxide ion, and scientists and reference works generally use these different terms though they refer to the same chemical structure in...

 ions (OH-) from the cement pore solution. Poorly crystallized silica (SiO2) dissolves and dissociates at high pH (12.5 - 13.5) in alkaline water. The soluble dissociated silicic acid
Silicic acid
Silicic acid is a general name for a family of chemical compounds of the element silicon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with the general formula [SiOx4-2x]n...

 reacts in the porewater with the calcium hydroxide
Calcium hydroxide
Calcium hydroxide, traditionally called slaked lime, is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Ca2. It is a colourless crystal or white powder and is obtained when calcium oxide is mixed, or "slaked" with water. It has many names including hydrated lime, builders lime, slack lime, cal, or...

 (portlandite
Portlandite
Portlandite is a rare oxide mineral, the naturally occurring form of calcium hydroxide . It is the calcium analogue of brucite .-Occurrence:...

) present in the cement
Cement
In the most general sense of the word, a cement is a binder, a substance that sets and hardens independently, and can bind other materials together. The word "cement" traces to the Romans, who used the term opus caementicium to describe masonry resembling modern concrete that was made from crushed...

 paste to form an expansive calcium silicate hydrate
Calcium silicate hydrate
Calcium Silicate Hydrate is the main product of the hydration of Portland cement and is primarily responsible for the strength in cement based materials.-Preparation:...

 (CSH). The alkali silica reaction
Alkali Silica Reaction
The alkali–silica reaction is a reaction which occurs over time in concrete between the highly alkaline cement paste and reactive non-crystalline silica, which is found in many common aggregates....

 (ASR)
, causes localised swelling responsible of tensile stress and cracking
Fracture
A fracture is the separation of an object or material into two, or more, pieces under the action of stress.The word fracture is often applied to bones of living creatures , or to crystals or crystalline materials, such as gemstones or metal...

. The conditions required for alkali silica reaction are threefold:
(1) aggregate containing an alkali-reactive constituent (amorphous silica), (2) sufficient availability of hydroxyl ions (OH-), and (3) sufficient moisture, above 75 % relative humidity
Relative humidity
Relative humidity is a term used to describe the amount of water vapor in a mixture of air and water vapor. It is defined as the partial pressure of water vapor in the air-water mixture, given as a percentage of the saturated vapor pressure under those conditions...

 (RH) within the concrete. This phenomenon is sometimes popularly referred to as "concrete cancer
Concrete cancer
Concrete cancer is a colloquial name for the deterioration of concrete caused by the presence of contaminants or the action of weather combined with atmospheric properties. While often used in the context of the rusting of concrete reinforcement bar , the term can equally be applied to any number...

". This reaction occurs independently of the presence of rebars: massive concrete structures such as dam
Dam
A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. Hydropower and pumped-storage hydroelectricity are...

s can be affected.

Conversion of high alumina cement

Resistant to weak acids and especially sulfates, this cement cures quickly and reaches very high durability and strength. It was greatly used after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 for making precast concrete objects. However, it can lose strength with heat or time (conversion), especially when not properly cured. With the collapse of three roofs made of prestressed concrete beams using high alumina cement, this cement was banned
Ban (law)
A ban is, generally, any decree that prohibits something.Bans are formed for the prohibition of activities within a certain political territory. Some see this as a negative act and others see it as maintaining the "status quo"...

 in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in 1976. Subsequent inquiries into the matter showed that the beams were improperly manufactured, but the ban remained.

Sulphates

Sulphates (SO4) in the soil or in groundwater, in sufficient concentration, can react with the Portland cement in concrete causing the formation of expansive products, e.g. ettringite
Ettringite
Ettringite is a hydrous calcium aluminium sulfate mineral with formula: Ca6Al2312·26H2O. It is a colorless to yellow mineral crystallizing in the trigonal system...

 or thaumasite
Thaumasite
-External links:*...

, which can lead to early failure of the structure. The most typical attack of this type is on concrete slabs and foundation walls at grade where the sulfate ion, via alternate wetting and drying, can increase in concentration. As the concentration increases, the attack on the Portland cement can begin. For buried structures such as pipe, this type of attack is much rarer especially in the Eastern half of the United States. The sulfate ion concentration increases much slower in the soil mass and is especially dependent upon the initial amount of sulfates in the native soil. The chemical analysis of soil borings should be done during the design phase of any project involving concrete in contact with the native soil to check for the presence of sulfates. If the concentrations are found to be aggressive, various protective coatings can be used. Also, in the US ASTM C150 Type 5 Portland cement can be used in the mix. This type of cement is designed to be particularly resistant to a sulfate attack.

Steel plate construction

In steel plate construction, stringers join parallel steel plates. The plate assemblies are fabricated off site, and welded together on-site to form steel walls connected by stringers. The walls become the form into which concrete is poured. Steel plate construction speeds reinforced concrete construction by cutting out the time consuming on-site manual steps of tying rebar and building forms. The method has excellent strength because the steel is on the outside, where tensile forces are often greatest.

Fiber-reinforced concrete

Fiber reinforcement is mainly used in shotcrete
Shotcrete
Shotcrete is concrete conveyed through a hose and pneumatically projected at high velocity onto a surface, as a construction technique....

, but can also be used in normal concrete. Fiber-reinforced normal concrete is mostly used for on-ground floors and pavements, but can be considered for a wide range of construction parts (beams, pillars, foundations, etc.), either alone or with hand-tied rebars.

Concrete reinforced with fibers (which are usually steel, glass
Glass
Glass is an amorphous solid material. Glasses are typically brittle and optically transparent.The most familiar type of glass, used for centuries in windows and drinking vessels, is soda-lime glass, composed of about 75% silica plus Na2O, CaO, and several minor additives...

, or plastic fibers) is less expensive than hand-tied rebar, while still increasing the tensile strength many times. Shape, dimension, and length of fiber are important. A thin and short fiber, for example short, hair-shaped glass fiber, will only be effective the first hours after pouring the concrete (reduces cracking while the concrete is stiffening) but will not increase the concrete tensile strength. A normal-size fiber for European shotcrete (1 mm diameter, 45 mm length—steel or plastic) will increase the concrete's tensile strength.

Steel is the strongest commonly-available fiber, and comes in different lengths (30 to 80 mm in Europe) and shapes (end-hooks). Steel fibers can only be used on surfaces that can tolerate or avoid corrosion and rust stains. In some cases, a steel-fiber surface is faced with other materials.

Glass fiber is inexpensive and corrosion-proof, but not as ductile as steel. Recently, spun basalt fiber
Basalt fiber
Basalt fiber or fibre is a material made from extremely fine fibers of basalt, which is composed of the minerals plagioclase, pyroxene, and olivine. It is similar to carbon fiber and fiberglass, having better physicomechanical properties than fiberglass, but being significantly cheaper than...

, long available in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, has become available in the U.S. and Western Europe. Basalt fibre is stronger and less expensive than glass, but historically has not resisted the alkaline environment of portland cement
Portland cement
Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general use around the world because it is a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar, stucco and most non-specialty grout...

 well enough to be used as direct reinforcement. New materials use plastic binders to isolate the basalt fiber from the cement.

The premium fibers are graphite
Graphite
The mineral graphite is one of the allotropes of carbon. It was named by Abraham Gottlob Werner in 1789 from the Ancient Greek γράφω , "to draw/write", for its use in pencils, where it is commonly called lead . Unlike diamond , graphite is an electrical conductor, a semimetal...

-reinforced plastic fibers, which are nearly as strong as steel, lighter-weight, and corrosion-proof. Some experiments have had promising early results with carbon nanotubes, but the material is still far too expensive for any building.

Non-steel reinforcement

There is considerable overlap between the subjects of non-steel reinforcement and fiber-reinforcment of concrete. The introduction of non-steel reinforcement of concrete is relatively recent; it takes two major forms: non-metallic rebar rods, and non-steel (usually also non-metallic) fibres incorporated into the cement matrix. For example there is increasing interest in glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC)
Glass fiber reinforced concrete
Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete is a type of fiber reinforced concrete. Glass fiber concretes are mainly used in exterior building façade panels and as architectural precast concrete.-Composition:...

 and in various applications of polymer fibres incorporated into concrete. Although currently there is not much suggestion that such materials will in general replace metal rebar, some of them have major advantages in specific applications, and there also are new applications in which metal rebar simply is not an option. However, the design and application of non-steel reinforcing is fraught with challenges; for one thing, concrete is a highly alkaline environment, in which many materials, including most kinds of glass, have a poor service life
Service life
A product's service life is its expected lifetime, or the acceptable period of use in service. It is the time that any manufactured item can be expected to be 'serviceable' or supported by its manufacturer....

. Also, the behaviour of such reinforcing materials differ from the behaviour of metals, for instance in terms of shear strength, creep and elasticity.

Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) (Fibre-reinforced plastic
Fibre-reinforced plastic
Fibre-reinforced plastic is a composite material made of a polymer matrix reinforced with fibres. The fibres are usually fibreglass, carbon, or aramid, while the polymer is usually an epoxy, vinylester or polyester thermosetting plastic...

 or FRP) and Glass-reinforced plastic
Glass-reinforced plastic
Fiberglass , is a fiber reinforced polymer made of a plastic matrix reinforced by fine fibers of glass. It is also known as GFK ....

 (GRP) consist of fibres of polymer
Polymer
A polymer is a large molecule composed of repeating structural units. These subunits are typically connected by covalent chemical bonds...

, glass, carbon, aramid or other polymers or high-strength fibres set in a resin matrix to form a rebar rod or grid or fibres. These rebars are installed in much the same manner as steel. The cost is higher but, suitably applied, the structures have advantages, in particular a dramatic reduction in problems related to corrosion
Corrosion
Corrosion is the disintegration of an engineered material into its constituent atoms due to chemical reactions with its surroundings. In the most common use of the word, this means electrochemical oxidation of metals in reaction with an oxidant such as oxygen...

, either by intrinsic concrete alkalinity or by external corrosive fluids that might penetrate the concrete. These structures can be significantly lighter and usually have a longer service life
Service life
A product's service life is its expected lifetime, or the acceptable period of use in service. It is the time that any manufactured item can be expected to be 'serviceable' or supported by its manufacturer....

. The cost of these materials has dropped dramatically since their widespread adoption in the aerospace industry and by the military.

In particular FRP rods are useful for structures where the presence of steel would not be acceptable. For example, MRI machines have huge magnets, and accordingly require non-magnetic buildings. Again, toll booths that read radio tags need reinforced concrete that is transparent to radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

. Also, where the design life
Design life
The design life of a component or product is the period of time during which the item is expected by its designers to work within its specified parameters; in other words, the life expectancy of the item...

 of the concrete structure is more important than its initial costs, non-steel reinforcing often has its advantages where corrosion of reinforcing steel is a major cause of failure. In such situations corrosion-proof reinforcing can extend a structure's life substantially, for example in the intertidal zone
Intertidal zone
The intertidal zone is the area that is above water at low tide and under water at high tide . This area can include many different types of habitats, with many types of animals like starfish, sea urchins, and some species of coral...

. FRP rods may also be useful in situations where it is likely that the concrete structure may be compromised in future years, for example the edges of balconies when balustrades are replaced and bathroom floors in multi-story construction where the service life of the floor structure is likely to be many times the service life of the waterproofing
Waterproofing
Waterproof or water-resistant describes objects relatively unaffected by water or resisting the ingress of water under specified conditions. Such items may be used in wet environments or under water to specified depths...

 building membrane.

Plastic reinforcement often is stronger
Strength of materials
In materials science, the strength of a material is its ability to withstand an applied stress without failure. The applied stress may be tensile, compressive, or shear. Strength of materials is a subject which deals with loads, deformations and the forces acting on a material. A load applied to a...

, or at least has a better strength to weight ratio
Specific strength
The specific strength is a material's strength divided by its density. It is also known as the strength-to-weight ratio or strength/weight ratio. In fiber or textile applications, tenacity is the usual measure of specific strength...

 than reinforcing steels. Also, because it resists corrosion, it does not need a protective concrete cover
Concrete cover
Concrete cover, in reinforced concrete, is the least distance between the surface of embedded reinforcement and the outer surface of the concrete...

 as thick as steel reinforcement does (typically 30 to 50 mm or more). FRP-reinforced structures therefore can be lighter and last longer. Accordingly, for some applications the whole-life cost
Whole-life cost
Whole-life cost, or Life-cycle cost , refers to the total cost of ownership over the life of an asset . Also commonly referred to as "cradle to grave" or "womb to tomb" costs. Costs considered include the financial cost which is relatively simple to calculate and also the environmental and...

 will be price-competitive with steel-reinforced concrete.

The material properties of FRP or GRP bars differ markedly from steel, so there are differences in the design considerations. FRP or GRP bars have relatively higher tensile strength but lower stiffness, so that Deflections
Deflection (engineering)
In engineering, deflection is the degree to which a structural element is displaced under a load. It may refer to an angle or a distance.The deflection distance of a member under a load is directly related to the slope of the deflected shape of the member under that load and can be calculated by...

 are likely to be higher than for equivalent steel-reinforced units. Structures with internal FRP reinforcement typically have an elastic deformability comparable to the plastic deformability (ductility) of steel reinforced structures. Failure in either case is more likely to occur by compression of the concrete than by rupture of the reinforcement. Deflection is always a major design consideration for reinforced concrete. Deflection limits are set to ensure that crack widths in steel-reinforced concrete are controlled to prevent water, air or other aggressive substances reaching the steel and causing corrosion. For FRP-reinforced concrete, aesthetics and possibly water-tightness will be the limiting criteria for crack width control. FRP rods also have relatively lower compressive strengths than steel rebar, and accordingly require different design approaches for columns.

One drawback to the use of FRP reinforcement is the limited fire resistance. Where fire safety is a consideration, structures employing FRP have to maintain their strength and the anchoring of the forces at temperatures to be expected in the event of fire. For purposes of fireproofing
Fireproofing
Fireproofing, a passive fire protection measure, refers to the act of making materials or structures more resistant to fire, or to those materials themselves, or the act of applying such materials. Applying a certification listed fireproofing system to certain structures allows these to have a...

 an adequate thickness of cement concrete cover or protective cladding is necessary. The disadvantages are not on the side of the FRP however, addition of 1kg/m3 of polypropylene fibers to concrete has been shown to reduce spall
Spall
Spall are flakes of a material that are broken off a larger solid body and can be produced by a variety of mechanisms, including as a result of projectile impact, corrosion, weathering, cavitation, or excessive rolling pressure...

ing during a simulated fire. (The improvement is thought to be due to the formation of pathways out of the bulk of the concrete, allowing steam pressure to dissipate.)

Another problem is the effectiveness of shear reinforcement. FRP rebar
Rebar
A rebar , also known as reinforcing steel, reinforcement steel, rerod, or a deformed bar, is a common steel bar, and is commonly used as a tensioning device in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures holding the concrete in compression...

 stirrups formed by bending before hardening generally perform relatively poorly in comparison to steel stirrups or to structures with straight fibres. When strained, the zone between the straight and curved regions are subject to strong bending, shear, and longitudinal stresses. Special design techniques are necessary to deal with such problems.

There is growing interest in application of external reinforcement of existing structures with advanced materials such as carbon fibre, that can impart exceptional strength.

See also

  • Ferrocement
    Ferrocement
    The term ferrocement is most commonly applied to a mixture of Portland cement and sand reinforced with layers of woven or expanded steel mesh and closely spaced small-diameter steel rods rebar. It can be used to form relatively thin, compound curved sheets to make hulls for boats, shell roofs,...

  • Concrete protection
  • Cover Meter
    Cover meter
    A cover meter is an instrument to locate rebars and measure the exact concrete cover. Rebar detectors are less sophisticated devices that can only locate metallic objects below the surface...

  • Concrete cover
    Concrete cover
    Concrete cover, in reinforced concrete, is the least distance between the surface of embedded reinforcement and the outer surface of the concrete...

  • Falsework
    Falsework
    Falsework consists of temporary structures used in construction to support spanning or arched structures in order to hold the component in place until its construction is sufficiently advanced to support itself...

  • Formwork
    Formwork
    Formwork is the term given to either temporary or permanent molds into which concrete or similar materials are poured. In the context of concrete construction, the falsework supports the shuttering moulds.-Formwork and concrete form types:...

  • Types of concrete
    Types of concrete
    There are many types of concrete, variations of installation, composition, finish and performance characteristics.-Mix design:Modern concrete mix designs can be complex...


Further reading


External links

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