One of the most common contemporary construction materials is reinforced concrete. The construction workers can mold the fresh concrete into almost any shape, which gives this material a greater advantage over others.
However, for the concrete to serve its purpose and be highly durable, it needs steel reinforcement, usually in the form of steel bars or welded wires.
That’s where reinforcement plans come in. These plans in the construction industry are basically reinforcement drawings (done in CAD software) that display the reinforcement of a concrete component.
The reinforcement plans specify the type and location of all reinforcing steel bars (or wires) intended for use. They are usually prepared by a civil engineer and then checked by an inspector prior to fabrication.
This article will discuss the importance of reinforcement plans and the types of reinforcement in civil engineering.
Reinforcement plans serve as execution plans that help to shape (or bend) the reinforcing steel according to the reinforced concrete constructor at the construction site.
As we mentioned, these plans are carefully designed by the civil engineer who is responsible for making accurate structural analyses and providing correct static calculations for the construction project.
The reinforcement plans work in conjunction with formwork plans that provide the main foundation of the shape of the specific reinforced concrete component.
Thanks to the advances in modern technology, these plans are now drawn precisely with the help of CAD programs such as Allplan used in Breon – instead of manually drawing by hand that have been a practice up until the 80s and 90s (depending on the region).
There are many reasons why a reinforcement plan is important in civil engineering:
– First and foremost, it ensures that the concrete component will be able to withstand all loading conditions without failure.
– Secondly, it allows for the fabrication of the reinforcing steel bars according to specification and consequently avoids any costly rework on site.
– Finally, it serves as an essential communication tool between the civil engineer (or draftsman) and contractor as it provides all pertinent reinforcement information in a single location.
With its ductile behavior, the reinforcement in concrete increases the overall strength of the construction building. If a concrete slab is cast without any steel reinforcement, it will most likely collapse because the slab can’t take a considerable load.
The reinforcement materials are usually available in multiple forms of bars that are tied together according to the reinforcement plans.
So depending on the reinforcement materials, we have four different types of reinforcement plans.
As the name suggests, the cold-worked steel bars are created at colder room temperatures. During the cold working process, these bars undergo the necessary twisting and rolling of the steel so they can support different construction projects.
However, since the temperature is colder, they are less flexible and can be used mostly for low-tolerance projects. Even though they have less ductility, they still come with a tensile strength of 60k psi (pounds per square inch).
Mild steel plain bars are usually cheaper to make and come in a plain shape without ribs on their surface. Because of their surface, many engineers believe that they don’t bond well with the concrete, so they are not suitable for larger construction projects.
Civil engineers mostly create reinforcement plans using these plain bars for smaller projects where the budget is tighter.
The mild steel plain bars come with a smaller tensile strength of 40k psi.
Hot-rolled deformed bars are among the most popular bars in the reinforcement plans that civil engineers use for reinforced cement concrete (RCC) structures.
These bars are created at hot temperatures where the surface is “deformed,” and special ribs are designed. These ribs allow the steel bars to form a strong bond with the concrete, preventing slipping.
The average tensile strength of the hot-rolled deformed steel bars is 60k psi.
Lastly, the strongest reinforcement materials in reinforcement plans are the prestressing steel bars. They are cold-formed and come in multiple wires, also known as tendons, composed of 2-7 wire strands.
These bars have an incredible tensile strength of 250-270k psi and are mostly used for bridges or other large concrete slabs in buildings.
The purpose of using reinforcement in concrete can be divided into three main sections:
The reinforcement helps maintain the safety of any structure, especially those in high-stress areas.
The steel reinforcements come in standardized shapes and patterns that are more effective than conventional reinforcements. They will drastically strengthen this weak area of concrete to carry the load without any issues.
Civil engineers can optimize the project’s total costs by using modern standardized reinforcements (and precise reinforcement plans).
Having industrialized reinforcements can significantly reduce the labor needed for production and placing.
Reinforcements can make life easier for civil engineers because they can easily fit the steel bars on-site, even for complex structures (of course, if the reinforcement plan is solid).
This will also reduce the labor costs for placing and ensure optimal distribution of the assembly.
Here are some of the most important advantages of using reinforcement:
1. It provides ductility, stability, and robustness to the structure.
2. It has high fire resistance (or any other weather resistance).
3. It comes with low maintenance costs (it’s cost-effective).
4. It’s versatile and can be shaped in many different forms.
5. It’s easily accessible (there are many steel suppliers out there).
6. It can be easily recycled and used for new construction.
7. It prevents catastrophic events of failure or cursing the structure.
Today we discussed the most common reinforcement materials used in reinforcement plans.
But constructing an accurate reinforcement plan can be challenging.
If you are or strive to be an expert in high-quality detailed design and effective reinforcement plans for any kind of structure, join our team!
Breon specializes in reinforcement drawings, including accurate material specifications, professionally done in Allplan software.