8 Reasons Why Design Professionals Are Specifying Helix Micro Rebar - Helix Steel - Banner

8 Reasons Why Design Professionals Are Specifying Helix Micro Rebar

Construction industry leaders are under intense pressure to deliver precision, speed, excellence and sustainability all in one easily delivered package. Fortunately, there’s a concrete reinforcement that checks all of the right boxes, while doing it all at an affordable cost.

Helix Steel’s concrete reinforcement is Helix Micro Rebar, and is quickly being embraced by North America’s leading architects and engineers who understand that this tiny rebar replacement provides superior value for themselves and their colleagues at a fraction of the cost.

Each piece of Helix Micro Rebar is only one-inch (25-mm) long, and made from 100% steel. Its patented twisted design forms with concrete to create a strong and durable material, keeping concrete together like a screw in wood.

Because of this, specifying Helix Micro Rebar in structural plans has become much more common. To help share what other engineers have already discovered, we have compiled this list of reasons why you should be insisting on this micro reinforcement for your next project.

Work is Too Busy to Fix Rebar’s Mistakes

Engineers need to set aside time to contemplate the inefficiencies of the products that they choose to work with. In the concrete reinforcement field alone, engineers need to consider that rebar will corrode, fibers will not stop cracks, and the reduced lifespan of structures caused by these issues.

Removing the headaches from unnecessary challenges is important to focus on the work that matters. Helix Micro Rebar is coated to ensure long-lasting durability, and its twisted design stops cracks before they even start forming.

Helix Micro Rebar Has the Tensile Strength that Rebar and Fibers Lack

You already know that concrete has very high compressive strength, but low tensile strength. Unfortunately, the rebar and fibers many engineers choose to keep things together do not do their job the way it needs to be done. Helix Micro Rebar is designed with a twist, and mixed throughout every inch of concrete to receive 100% coverage consistently, greatly increasing concrete’s modulus of rupture.

Here is a performance chart comparing rebar, fiber and Helix Micro Rebar.

It’s Not a Fiber

Although all-steel Helix Micro Rebar is small like a fiber, that’s where the similarities end. 

Plastic is 10x softer than concrete, allowing concrete to crack before tension allows it to stop cracks from growing larger. Steel is 6x stiffer than concrete, helping to resist cracks from forming. 

There are also steel fibers, which are often sold as straight rods with hooks on each end, allowing the tensile strength of concrete to pull it apart before enacting their crack-stopping power. 

Fiber also leaves engineers with many questions regarding product support, proper dosages, structural integrity, testing methodology, field validation techniques and efficiencies.

Helix Micro Rebar Has Validation Through ESR 3949

The International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) has published ESR 3949 that allows engineers, architects and builders to easily implement Helix Micro Rebar in residential slabs, foundations, footings, walls and pavements. The report was originally published in September 2020 and was updated in February 2021 with the following highlights:

  • The prescriptive design tables eliminate the need for engineered designs for footings and foundation walls. Builders, engineers and architects can now simply refer to the design tables to determine the required Helix Micro Rebar reinforcement dosage to replace traditional rebar.
  • This revised report includes pavement in addition to slabs, foundations, footings and walls. The pavement design approach is in accordance with ACI 330-08 Guide for the Design and Construction of Parking Lots.
  • The report demonstrates compliance under the 2018 IBC and IRC.
  • Helix Micro Rebar reinforcement is now fully code approved in Abu Dhabi through the 2013 Abu Dhabi Building Code.
  • Helix has also had the IAPMO_ES report since 2013 nearly 10 years

Helix Micro Rebar Addresses the Ultimate Serviceability of Concrete

Whether your objective is to control cracks or prevent structural failure – or perhaps both – Helix Micro Rebar’s patented twisted design takes both concerns into account. For building environments that are more likely to experience either of these potential issues, a concrete reinforcement must be chosen that suits all reliability concerns.

Helix Micro Rebar Concrete Reinforcement is Tested By Engineers for Engineers

Professional engineers in laboratory testing use impartial measurements to provide accurate data on Helix Micro Rebar’s effectiveness. Tests include peak strength, strength after a small crack develops, testing after large cracks develop, tension and bending test and much more. All must be taken into account when developing a superior concrete reinforcement. 

Although plastic fibers are marketed for temperature and shrinkage crack protection, they are designed not to work until large cracks have already formed, which we feel defeats the purpose of concrete reinforcement. Fiber reinforcement is tested with a 3.5 mm crack, because that width will provide fiber the best results. Helix Micro Rebar can be tested at any crack width – and even no crack at all – because it is designed to stop cracks before they even start.

Rebar is the Popular Option, but Could Helix Micro Rebar Be Your Best Option?

Although rebar has been a mainstay in the construction industry for generations, and is currently winning the popularity contest, upon closer inspection rebar has many faults. Helix Micro Rebar not only has the better individually coated exterior look, but it has the science to back it up.

Using a product that is not as well known, but is a far superior alternative may be the best decision an engineer has ever made. Helix Micro Rebar has over 20 years of experience and tens of thousands of projects completed without a single failure. Although with a decade of success, Helix Steel is leading industry efforts at ACI to create more sustainable and economical concrete structures.

Rebar vs. Helix® Micro Rebar™ - The Ultimate Showdown - Helix Steel

Engineers Opt for the Sustainable Approach

Helix Micro Rebar allows for more efficient designs, a smaller carbon footprint, and as a 100% steel product it is fully recyclable. It is the common-sense environmentally sensitive approach to the challenges faced by engineers when dealing with concrete reinforcement.  

For example, in the Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, using Helix Micro Rebar reduced the project’s carbon footprint by 63 tons while also expediting construction by 10 days. 

If you’re a design professional who cares about sustainability, who wants a better end product for your client, and who cares about using the best, we ask that you consider Helix Micro Rebar. 

 Take the Next Step: Helix Steel is Here to Help Engineers

1. Download “The Engineering Insiders’ Guide to Helix Micro Rebar” Right Now!

We have broken down the basics of Helix Micro Rebar, including testing methodologies, value for engineers and their clients, and real-life examples.

Engineering with Helix Micro Rebar

Download “The Engineering Insiders’ Guide to Helix Micro Rebar” to learn more about Helix Micro Rebar’s value for engineers and their clients.

  • Please register to gain access.

2. Use Our Online Specification Tool

As you now know, forward-thinking engineers and architects specify Helix Micro Rebar. Our online specification tool gives you access to online calculations and tables to easily specify Helix® Micro Rebar in your designs.

For many applications, such as precast and ICF, Helix Steel can provide you with pre-approved dosage tables to ensure consistent and smooth design and construction processes.

3. Submit a Project

You are welcome to provide your specs for our engineering team to show you how Helix Micro Rebar reinforcement can benefit your project. We will work with you to add greater value into your project, which you can pass onto your clients and other key stakeholders. We will do the work for you!

4. Attend an Upcoming Webinar

Helix Steel’s President & Chief Technology Officer, Luke Pinkerton, hosts regular webinars that pertain to certain subjects on the future of concrete reinforcement. Every webinar attendee will receive an official Certificate of Completion.

Register for our Helix Micro Rebar webinar here!

5. Attend an Accredited Online Course

Helix Steel sponsors a one-hour course through Ron Blank & Associates entitled Alternative Concrete Reinforcement Materials, which focuses on how performance-based building codes are developed. 

Design professionals  learn how alternative allowances help keep the door open for innovation in the marketplace. Innovation in terms of structural and another area, such as fire, where performance-based design and alternative methods are routinely used. 

We will also examine how that alternative process of code allowance is incorporated, while focusing on the subject of concrete reinforcement; and lastly, it is our hope that you will grasp a better understanding of the process for your next project.

6. Register for Our NEW AIA/RCEP-Accredited Lunch & Learn

Are you interested in a Lunch & Learn specifically designed for engineers like you? Learn how you can provide your clients with better value and performance with alternative materials. Attend and we will send attendees a digital gift card. Register online right now for our next session.

7. Connect with Us

You are always welcome to discuss your project, our product or any other topic, comment or concern live with our American team here at Helix Steel. Call us at 1-734-322-2114 or email sales@helixsteel.com.