What Is the Purpose of a Reinforced Concrete Wall

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Reinforced concrete adds strength and durability to any wall. Steel and cement combine to make a structure's walls sturdier, granting the structure a longer life span than comparable structures without reinforcement.

Definition

  • Reinforced concrete refers to a type of concrete wall with vertical steel support bars running through it. The steel has a necessary amount of deformations to allow it to bond with the cement and water making up the concrete.

Purpose of Reinforcement

  • Reinforced concrete increases the overall strength of the concrete wall. Concrete, a brittle material weak against tension, benefits from the increased compressive strength and tensile strength of steel reinforcement.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Concrete and steel work together to form a stronger, more effective product. The concrete has a better resistance to fire than steel, and a steel reinforced concrete structure holds up better in a fire than steel does when directly exposed. Steel has a compressive strength around 15 times greater than concrete and a tensile strength approximately 100 times more than concrete alone. Steel reinforced concrete has a compressive strength about 10 times lower than steel alone, however, and cracks can appear in concrete due to shrinkage over time.

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References

  • Photo Credit concrete wall image by bayu harsa from Fotolia.com
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