Precast concrete reinforcement can refer to two things, both of which we’ll touch on in this blog post.
First, precast concrete reinforcement can and usually does refer to rebar, which is placed inside precast concrete forms to increase their tensile strength.
Second, precast concrete reinforcement can also refer to the fact that precast concrete forms are used in applications in which the placement of concrete helps reinforce the overall structure.
Let’s take a closer look at these materials and methods of precast concrete reinforcement.
Rebar for Precast Concrete Reinforcement
Rebar is a reinforcing bar, usually made of steel, and designed with ridges for use within a concrete form.
As we mentioned above, concrete with rebar has improved tensile strength — the strength needed to resist lateral (or pulling-apart) forces. (Concrete comes ready-made with excellent compressive strength, meaning it resists forces that stress it from above and below.)
Concrete producers test its compressive strength by placing it between hydraulic cylinders. Precast concrete is great at resisting these forces. In fact, concrete’s compressive strength can range as high as 10,000 pounds per square inch (psi) if not more.
Tensile strength, while still formidable, can present challenges for concrete producers. Thus, they introduce rebar into the production process to improve its performance. The National Precast Concrete Association reports that concrete’s “tensile strength is only one-tenth of its compressive strength.”
By inserting rebar into the concrete, tensile strength improves. That’s because rebar serves as precast concrete reinforcement, absorbing lateral stressors that might otherwise pull the concrete apart.
Not all concrete applications need rebar. Builders, engineers, and others will determine the need, based on a project’s size and scope, among other factors. However, all concrete building forms serve as reinforcement of either themselves (i.e., their location within a structure) or associated building materials and elements.
Take a look at the usual construction site and you’ll see these elements: concrete foundations, retaining walls, slabs, and more. Many of these feature reinforcing steel rebar holding the individual elements together. Much of the concrete is strong enough on its own to perform for many decades with no issues and with very little if any maintenance.
There are other methods of precast concrete reinforcement; they include welded wire fabric, prestressing/post-tensioning, and fiber. We’ll discuss these methods of concrete reinforcement in a future blog post.
Rogue Valley Precast: Concrete
The precast concrete industry Prestressed concrete structures of which we are a part and a partner can deliver for you many different types of precast concrete elements. Everything from buried infrastructure (vaults, septic tanks, etc.) to reinforced concrete panels (wall panels and more).
Concrete construction sites and design elements determine whether steel reinforcement is required. And trade organizations such as the National Precast Concrete Association and the American Concrete Institute help promote and establish concrete reinforcement standards.
In addition to our products, we also provide custom creation and engineering. A look at our catalog will reveal that we have a wide range of precast concrete products ready to be installed. However, if one of our partners needs a different size, design, or configuration, we can produce it for them. It’s why we have an engineer on our staff!
We can also provide on-site support to you and your crew in case anything goes awry. Construction sites are complex and ever-evolving; even the best-laid plans can run into hiccups, snafus, and roadblocks. We’ll help you make sense of them and provide solutions for the best implementation of our precast products into your site.
What might this look like? Just an example: We can change a design or modify it to incorporate an obstruction that has been identified at a dig. Or we can build the precast concrete form in multiple pieces so that it is more easily assembled and installed at the site.
In many cases, we’re happy to be at the construction site to help supervise challenging installations. Our staff has many decades of experience. And they’ve solved a lot of problems that can crop up during a job.
Rogue Valley Precast: Concrete Reinforcement
With Rogue Valley Precast on the job, you can be sure that not only will the concrete be good and strong but our crews will also help you properly install it where it needs to go.
In short, in addition to precast concrete, we also provide solutions. And we’re happy to be a part of the continual building and improvement of our communities.
Let Rogue Valley Precast know if you have any questions. Our precast concrete products are produced for strength and durability — in other words, for the long-term — in a controlled environment that emphasizes efficiency and the environment.