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Alternatives to Rebar Concrete Reinforcement

Why let your frustrations with rebar continue when there are many other alternatives. That being said, some aren’t nearly as great as others. And some are additives rather than replacements.

It’s time to put your rebar to rest. Yes, it’s popular. Yes, it has its benefits. But the majority of concrete applications that rebar is frequently used in can be greatly improved with other products. 

Back in the 1800s, steel bars were found to increase the tensile strength of concrete, allowing structures to be built taller and wider than ever before. Eureka! But it didn’t take the construction industry long to realize that rebar is imperfect and although many developers and contractors continue to reluctantly use rebar, they are seeking alternatives that do a better job of reinforcing concrete.

Stainless Steel Concrete Reinforcement

Stainless steel rebar is often touted as a replacement for standard steel rebar. Its material resists corrosion, it reduces maintenance costs and is placed similarly to its predecessor, but the obvious disadvantage is rarely spoken of – like steel rebar reinforcement, stainless steel rebar doesn’t reinforce every part of concrete, thus leaving large gaps where concrete has little tensile strength. This deficiency still leads to premature concrete deterioration.

Engineered Bamboo Reinforcement

Bamboo is the saviour of every naturist who wants a structure that is sustainable, resilient and uses abundant materials. (It’s the fastest-growing plant on Earth.) Unfortunately, although bamboo has these properties, bamboo can rot if it comes into contact with water, which means that it really can’t be used on its own in most standard North American concrete projects.

Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) Rebar

This is a promising solution, although its benefits are outweighed by its heftier price. (Approximately 25% more than standard rebar.) It is 75% lighter than steel, does not corrode, and is quite durable. Its high elasticity reduces the number of applications it can be used it, but in the applications it has been tested in its results have been promising. 

Plastic Fiber

The idea behind plastic fiber is great – use lightweight, low cost and easily manufactured pieces of readily available materials to create a cheap concrete reinforcement. Unfortunately, that’s where the benefits stop. If you’ve ever worked with fibers, you are well aware of its frustrating workability issues. Also, the distribution of fibers is not always precise. But perhaps the biggest disadvantage is that plastic will ‘stretch’ before it can start working, giving cracks an opportunity to form and grow.

Fiber reinforcement businesses often do not have the internal engineering support or approved third-party publications that allow easy, fast and effective integration of micro reinforcement in their projects. Onsite and virtual liaison is often outside of their scope as many simply sell the fiber and do not advise beyond product sales.

Helix Micro Rebar Concrete Reinforcement 

This is a one-inch twisted steel reinforcement made from 100% steel, which is 600% stiffer than concrete. This ensures that practically every inch of concrete isn’t given a chance to crack. The innovative reinforcement is packed with benefits: it’s made in America, can be used in a wide range of applications, requires lower doses than fiber, reduces cracks, has easy workability and reduces labor costs.

Alternatives to Rebar Concrete Reinforcement - Helix Steel

Helix Micro Rebar is also more than just a product. Every purchase comes with engineering support not just during the product, but for the lifetime of the building.

Many Options. One Decision.

Although every concrete application is unique, and some alternative reinforcement products do have potential, there are few high-quality replacements for standard steel rebar. Helix Micro Rebar has the benefits that help the most steps of the process, while providing a superior solution for a problem that has stumped the construction industry for generations.
For more information on Helix Micro Rebar, continue exploring this website or reach out to our project managers for a one-on-one discussion about our concrete reinforcement. It’s the better way to build!