3 Big Reasons Why Helix Is More Resistant to Corrosion

Water, salts, and other chemicals – they all cause rebar corrosion that can negatively affect the integrity of reinforced concrete structures. The solution? Helix® Micro Rebar®. Unlike conventional rebar, Helix has been tested and proven to resist corrosion in three major ways:

1. Helix® Creates a More Ductile Concrete Matrix

Helix reinforcement carries load prior to the first crack of the concrete and creates a more ductile concrete matrix. Putting a stop to that first crack prevents corrosion altogether, with alkaline cement paste acting as a protective barrier. If the concrete does undergo cracking, water and salts may enter the concrete and come into contact with the Helix, causing minor localized corrosion – but that’s when another component of corrosion resistance begins to act. 

2. Helix vs. Steel:

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) testing shows Helix embedded in concrete does not corrode after 90 days of exposure to salt water. Rebar corrodes at 30 days1 in this test.

3. Helix’s Size and Discontinuous Nature Diminish Spalling Risk

A one-inch twisted steel rod, Helix® Micro Rebar® and its smallness and discontinuous nature create less potential for corrosion. And if corrosion does occur, it won’t result in spalling of concrete, which eliminates the reinforcements’ protection and is a major cause of continued corrosion. Helix’s unique properties allow for conduction of electrical current only on individual pieces, unlike conventional rebar, which is continuous and tied together. The result is possible corrosion of an individual Helix, rather than an entire mat of rebar. 

Featured Projects

Helix® Micro Rebar® has been used for building concrete in highly corrosive environments, from coastal areas on the West Coast and the Arctic Circle to the cold storage of a beef plant. Find out more about these projects. 

Jetty Repair

Humboldt County, California

Originally constructed in 1899, the north and south jetties of Humboldt County have taken a huge beating from storms, severe wave action, and unusual high tides over the years. Helix® Micro Rebar® was used as part of a project to repair these historic structures at the entrance to Humboldt Harbor, increasing shear strength by 343%. See the results

Kuparuk Low Water Crossing

Deadhorse, Alaska

Helix was chosen to help renovate the Kuparuk Low Water Crossing, which allowed for passage of heavy rigs during the spring flooding season. With the use of Helix, capacity of over 43,000 lbs/ft was met in addition to meeting the time constraints of the project by saving over 40 construction days. See the results

JBS Beef Plant Cold Storage

Grand Island, Nebraska 

In an effort to expand, JBS acquired a Nebraska beef facility, originally built in 1965. Helix was specified to help strengthen the stamped exterior pavements. In addition to increasing the durability of the pavements by over 50%, Helix was also able to reinforce the pavements while minimizing the threat of corrosion in this highly corrosive environment. See the results

1Michigan Department of Transportation, Helix Corrosion Testing Report, October 20, 2005 2, 4Yeomans SR (Editor), Galvanized Steel Reinforcement in Concrete, 2004, Elesvier, 297 pp  3Yeomans SR, “Zinc Coated Steel Fibers,” Unisearch Report Number J084337