It’s created when concrete is poured over steel bars or welded steel mesh. Although concrete is a very hard material, it has a low tensile strength meaning it doesn’t handle stretching forces well. By combining reinforcing bars (rebar) and welded mesh with concrete, engineers and builders counteract this to produce strong concrete slabs.
Concrete and steel expand and contract at a similar rate and when steel is set in concrete it provides a formidable material suitable for modern buildings.
When Was It First Used?
Engineers have been using steel bars to reinforce concrete for many years now. It’s noted that Francious Coignet first used iron-reinforced concrete to build a house in Paris in 1853. Some say that the practice has been around even longer than that.