Reinforced concrete contains steel embedded in the concrete so the two materials complement each other to resist forces such as tensile, shear and compressive stress in the concrete structure. Normal plain concrete can withstand compressive stress but does not do well with tensile and stresses such as those caused by wind, earthquakes and vibrations.
The term reinforced is used because the steel reinforces the concrete and makes it an even stronger construction material. Reinforced concrete is used in a variety of applications today. The benefits of using reinforced concrete in construction include:
Ability to resist high-stress environments
Reinforced concrete was designed to meet the performance flaws of plain concrete, especially high-stress environment. Concrete is one of the best construction materials widely known for its sturdiness and durability. The material on its known has been known to fail in high-stress environments with natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes. The reinforcing value of the steel in concrete has made reinforced concrete a highly sought after material in natural disaster prone areas.
Fire and weather resistance
Reinforced concrete also has great weather and fire resistance. The nature of concrete does not allow it to catch fire or burn. The material is not affected by weather such as rainfall and snow.
Limitless range of shape
Reinforced concrete can be molded into a limitless range of shapes. It is a great material for construction of artistic architectural designs such as arcs and domes. The material is fluid in the beginning while the steel frame structure is designed as a framework for the final design. Once the fluid material sets around the steel frame, it creates wonderful variety of geometric and abstract shapes.
Low maintenance costs
Due to the long-lasting nature of reinforced concrete, maintenance is often at a minimum. Once the design takes form and the concrete cures, you can rely on reinforced concrete to diligently stand the test of time.
Requires less labor
The construction of reinforced concrete requires less labor during the erection of these structures. The steel framework can come constructed from the manufacturer. The fluid concrete mix is applied over the steel framework by pouring or spraying into the mold. It also makes construction faster and you can save on labor by time. Once the concrete is applied, it is left to dry before it is ready. It may take half as much labor to construct a reinforced concrete structure.
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