Reinforced concrete is made stronger through reinforcement by steel bars that are embedded in the floor before the concrete is poured over and sets. Reinforcement is extremely beneficial for concrete flooring as it helps reduce the likelihood of tensile stresses, cracking, or structural failure. Reinforcement is particularly beneficial for industrial and commercial floors as it helps concrete flooring withstand immense pressure, high traffic, and many years of wear and tear.
To ensure that concrete floors are effectively reinforced, the concrete must be poured directly over the pre-installed steel reinforcing bars or mesh. The concrete is then allowed to set and solidify around the rods or mesh, resulting in a concrete floor with steel reinforcement.
Why Do We Need To Use Reinforced Concrete Floors?
There are many reasons why reinforced concrete flooring is so popular in UK:
- Regular concrete can be brittle with relatively poor tensile strength in comparison to reinforced concrete.
- Reinforced concrete is used to ensure your concrete flooring remains resistant to damage such as cracking, bending, or the ravages of time.
- Steel and concrete react to thermal changes in similar ways to each other, which means that any internal stress is avoided.
- Reinforced concrete flooring has a better tensile strength than regular concrete and is also more durable with a higher compression strength, too. Any stress placed on a reinforced concrete floor is transferred to the steel rods, which means that the floors can carry much more weight than regular concrete.
High Compressive and Tensile Strength
Reinforced concrete sets and hardens around steel bars, allowing it to withstand significant pressure and tension. The concrete itself provides the compressive strength, while the steel provides the tensile strength. Steel is a strong material often used for reinforcement. Steel expands and contracts, depending on the temperature, just as concrete does, which means that it won’t easily become damaged. It is this strength and flexibility that makes reinforced concrete a popular choice for structures and floors that need to withstand excessive pressure.
Note To Take
Uncoated concrete reinforcement should not corrode as steel forms an adherent passive layer, but in practice the composition of the concrete, the level of the coverage, the density, permeability and the environment in which the structure is located may lead to deterioration of the concrete.
Attacks On Concrete Reinforcement
As the pH of the concrete falls, the concrete deteriorates, which leads to the formation of corrosion products with increased volume, which lead to tensile stresses in the concrete.
Carbonation refers to the chemical reaction between carbon dioxide, calcium hydroxide and the hydrated calcium silicate in the concrete and eventually leads to the corrosion of the uncoated reinforcement. The concrete with a high water : cement ratio and a lower Calcium hydroxide content are more prone to carbonation.
Chloride attack on the steel reinforced concrete in the presence of water and oxygen is very serious as chloride enters the concrete from cement, water, and aggregate and sometimes from admixtures. Uncoated reinforcement will withstand up to 0.15% chloride by mass or 0.4 kg/m3 (American Concrete Institute) and the typical time for chloride attack is 15 years.