How to Strengthen Concrete

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Concrete is popular, widely available, inexpensive and strong.
Concrete is popular, widely available, inexpensive and strong. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Concrete is one of the most ubiquitous building materials available. From driveways to foundations to countertops to sculptures, concrete is everywhere. The primary reason for concrete's popularity is its strength. Although incredibly strong, concrete is susceptible to breakdown over time due to changes such as settling which undermine and unbalance it. To combat this deficiency, builders use a variety of internal "skeletons," to help resist breakdown and dramatically increase the longevity of any concrete structure.

Reinforce the concrete with rebar. Rebar is a latticework of steel rods which are effective in coping with heavy weight loads. Rebar is most appropriate for load-bearing jobs such as driveways and foundations.

Reinforce the concrete with fiberglass. Commercial glass fiber concrete reinforcement is commercially available and appropriate for household uses. Fiberglass gives concrete an internal webbing, increasing strength without adding weight. Fiberglass reinforcement is most appropriate for lighter household uses such as concrete pots, statues and counter tops.

Reinforce the concrete with a plastic webbing that has been strengthened with fiber. This reinforcement method is a relatively recent invention. It is intended primarily for industrial use where rust and corrosion issues prohibit the use of traditional rebar.

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