Concrete is among the strongest building materials available. But when used on its own for concrete construction, it has an Achilles’ heel.
Pitted against compression forces, concrete is tough to crack. But the material doesn’t hold together as well against pulling or twisting forces. The addition of rebar, short for reinforcing bar, helped strengthen concrete’s tensile strength. The bars helped hold it together.
Finding the Metal
In the mid-1800s builders began to experiment with iron-reinforced concrete. By the late 1800s, the use of reinforced concrete in large-scale projects was furthered in the United States, Germany and France.
Used at first to build factories and apartment buildings, others saw the potential for architectural concrete construction. By the turn of the 20th century, architects were using reinforced concrete to build theaters and churches.
The trend continued with museums and public buildings increasingly using the cheaper and more versatile material to create modern designs.
Precast reinforced concrete also became more popular as an architectural product. The reinforcing bars and mesh allowed for thinner concrete slabs, which were used for overhangs and in domed applications like hangars and sports stadium roofs.
Modern reinforced concrete has seen improvements in strength and convenience. Precast material continues to make strides in all areas of the industry.
The precast process allows for a consistent environment when pouring, drying and curing, resulting in a more uniform product. Precast pieces can then be sent to the job site and installed directly instead of having to build forms on site and waiting for materials to dry.
The development of high-strength concrete has also made concrete construction more widespread. The high-strength concrete is used in high-rise buildings and for infrastructure applications like bridges.
Concrete, especially precast concrete, is Del Zotto Products specialty. We offer everything you need to run a successful precast concrete business. For information about Del Zotto, contact us today.