Why is Steel Reinforcing Mesh Used in Concrete Projects?

Are you installing concrete floors or slabs? One of the top secrets when it comes to durability and strength is steel reinforcing mesh. Reinforced concrete is one of the most ubiquitous building materials available in the world. When reinforced with steel bars, concrete becomes suitable for use on slabs, walls beams, columns, and foundations.

In this post, we explain why concrete is reinforced with steel. If you are wondering why concrete has to be reinforced, this article will present the explanation.

Concrete alone is surprisingly brittle

At a glance, concrete appears to be extremely strong. However, this strength is only true if you use appropriate mesh reinforcement. There are three fundamental types of stress to consider when using concrete as a building material.

  • Compression (pushing together)
  • Tension (pulling apart)
  • Shear (sliding along a line or plane)

Generally, non-reinforced concrete is resistant against compression but weak against tension and shear. Therefore, using a steel reinforcement provides concrete with the ability to resist shear and tension.

Steel is highly ductile

Ductility is the mechanical measure of how much deformation a material undergoes before breaking. Concrete has a very low ductility. Thus, upon twisting a chunk of concrete with enough force, it will crumble in your hands.

Still, it is highly ductile, and so if you bend it, it will not break. Therefore, ductility is mandatory in concrete projects. You can bend steel in any direction or shape to ensure proper support. Therefore, using steel ensures ease of creating a grid of reinforcing steel rebar in whatever shape is needed.

Steel and concrete have similar coefficients of thermal expansion

When heated, solids tend to expand. It opposite happens when the solid is cooled. Heating solids causes the molecules within the material to move faster. The active atoms take up more space, causing expansion. When cooled, the net result is that the solid shrinks in size.

While expanding and shrinking is universally true for solids, it occurs at different rates. Coincidentally, steel and concrete feature a similar coefficient of thermal expansion. Therefore, when subjected to heating or cooling, they expand and shrink at essentially the same rate.

The fact that steel and concrete feature similar a coefficient of thermal expansion makes steel the best choice when it comes to concrete reinforcement.

Steel is easy to weld

Reinforced concrete is used for different purpose and in different ways. In some situations, you may need to construct a rather elaborate internal framework of steel rebar before pouring the concrete. Therefore, the steel rebar may require some welding to provide proper support and secure the concrete slabs adequately. Since steel is an easy-to-weld concrete reinforcement material, steel scores as the builder’s choice.


We have looked at the top reasons why steel is chosen as the best for concrete reinforcement. However, for these qualities to hold, you need to source the steel bars from professional steel suppliers Brisbane. Experienced experts provide the advice required to ensure stronger and durable concrete surfaces.