Myths vs. Realities of Helix Micro Rebar – America’s Favorite Alternative Concrete Reinforcement - Helix Steel - Banner

Myths vs. Realities of Helix Micro Rebar – America’s Favorite Alternative Concrete Reinforcement

When an innovative product like Helix Micro Rebar reaches tens of thousands of construction workers across North America, there are bound to be some misconceptions about what it is, what it does and how it works. Let’s clear the air!

Helix Micro Rebar is a unique concrete reinforcement that accomplishes the seemingly impossible – doing things that standard steel rebar and mesh are simply unable to do. It assists practically every person at every stage of the construction process and for these reasons – and many more – there are many misconceptions about this paradigm-shifting tool for the concrete and construction industries.

Myth #1: Helix Micro Rebar is just another fiber.

Fact: Helix Micro Rebar is small just like concrete reinforcement fibers, but that’s where the similarities end: 

  • Helix Micro Rebar stops cracks before they start. Its patented twist bonds to concrete, unlike rebar and fibers. 
  • It meets IBC and IRC performance requirements.
  • It is made from 100% steel, which is 600% stiffer than concrete. This reduces cracks better than any plastic fiber available on the market today.
  • It uses low dosages, often applied at 1:3 to 1:4 the dosage of steel fibers.
  • It can be used in concrete for a wide range of applications, from slabs and walls to roads and tunnels.

Plastic fibers are marketed for temperature and shrinkage crack protection. Ask any fiber manufacturer and you will discover that these tiny pieces are not designed to work until cracks have already formed. Fiber reinforcement is often tested with a 3.5 mm crack, because once the fiber stretches to that width, it will provide the best test results. Helix Micro Rebar is tested at a wide range of crack width – and even no crack at all – with superior results.

Myths vs. Realities of Helix Micro Rebar – America’s Favorite Alternative Concrete Reinforcement - Helix Steel

Myth #2: Helix Micro Rebar costs more than rebar

Fact: Depending on your order size, the upfront cost of your boxes of Helix Micro Rebar may be slightly more than standard rebar. But when you factor in the reduction in time spent with rebar (one day of construction can be saved for every 10,000 square feet of a concrete slab) as well as the long-term savings in maintenance, our customers see significant cost savings.

Myth #3: Helix Micro Rebar has a long lead time, just like rebar

Fact: Helix Micro Rebar may be made out of steel, but the huge delays the construction industry is experiencing with rebar simply don’t exist with Helix Micro Rebar. Often our reinforcement is manufactured in America and is ready to ship out in as little as one week. This reduction in material delays helps you stay ahead of the game and reduces stress.

Myth #4: Helix Steel replaces the need for an engineer

Fact: Engineers are the lifeblood of many construction projects, and the work that Helix Steel does to create superior concrete products would not be possible without their work. 

Most projects begin with the Engineer of Record completing a building plan using standard reinforcement. From there, Helix Steel’s engineering team can take over and use the specifications to provide an equal solution with Helix Micro Rebar – a solution that has full transparency in design approach and calculations. 

Once you are familiar with using our superior concrete reinforcement product, this process is simplified and steps can be taken to reduce the Engineer of Record’s initial design workload.

Myth #5: There’s no assistance from the manufacturer

Fact: Helix Steel is not just here to improve your concrete, it is here to support every professional at every step of the project process, from concrete design to ready-mix supplier mixing to contractor pouring and finishing

Helix Steel has a team of American project managers and engineers who are here to help you with answers to your questions and assist in any way they can. For larger projects, Helix Steel staff may be able to even be onsite to assist you with your first mixing project and help ensure that the first pour goes smoothly.

Myth #6: The Helix Micro Rebar mixing process is too complicated

Fact: The mixing operation is easier than you think! It just takes a few minutes to empty the Helix Micro Rebar boxes either onto a conveyor belt or by hand directly into the hopper. Each box weighs 45 pounds (20 kilograms) and is easy to handle – easier than rebar. 

Helix Steel works with long-standing ready-mix operators across America who understand the ease of use of this product and how it is far less complicated and time-consuming to use than plastic or steel fibers. Helix Micro Rebar has doses lower than fiber, ensuring that you need to add less into your mixer, saving you valuable time. Here’s a direct link to our quick-start guide to show you how easy our product really is.

Myths vs. Realities of Helix Micro Rebar – America’s Favorite Alternative Concrete Reinforcement - Helix Steel 1

Myth #7: Helix Micro Rebar will put my crew out of work

Fact: Helix Micro Rebar certainly saves you time and cuts the amount of rebar work your crew will do. But that doesn’t mean anyone’s jobs are on the line. By operating more efficiently your team will be more able to pivot and work on other important areas of the project, and hop over to the next project faster than ever before. 

At the same time, we have the health and safety of your crew in mind: no more back-breaking rebar tying, no more lugging large, rusty rebar from one part of the jobsite to another and no more dangerous tripping hazards.

Myth #8: Helix Micro Rebar is Made of Steel so There is No Environmental Benefit to Using It

Lower carbon emissions can be achieved since Helix Micro Rebar has less tonnage of steel required. Our reinforcement uses less steel overall, and with the added strength achieved by Helix Micro Rebar, you can often reduce your concrete thickness, further reducing steel reinforcement. Our online calculator estimates CO2 footprint based on its EPD from ASTM. Our engineering team can assist in quantifying the advantage for you.

Myth #9: Helix Micro Rebar is too messy and rinsing out a truck wastes time

Fact: It doesn’t need to be messy at all. Each box can be opened with a basic box cutter, and then dumped directly into the hopper. You can even use conveyor belts or pan mixers.

When you’ve completed a job with Helix Micro Rebar and your next project will not require concrete reinforcement being added to your mixer, give your drum a cleaning with water just like normal procedures. 

Myth #10: Helix Micro Rebar takes time to mix and it slows down operations

Fact: Since Helix Micro Rebar pours easier and faster than fibers, it can save precious minutes in delivering a load to where it needs to go, and getting back to the batch plant faster than ever possible. Many ready-mixers would agree that time is money, and less time spent driving and unloading is cash in the bank. Yes, a few minutes is required to add the Helix Micro Rebar prior to loading your drum with concrete, but these minutes are paid back. 

Myth #11: Helix Micro Rebar pokes out of the concrete

Fact: As the leading alternative to rebar, Helix Micro Rebar not only meets code performance requirements, but it delivers a beautiful finished product. Concrete that uses Helix Steel’s twisted concrete reinforcement can be finished similarly to concrete with conventional rebar. Using standard techniques will help to minimize Helix Micro Rebar on the surface of your concrete. If your floor is polished through the paste layer, a small amount of Helix® Micro Rebar will be exposed.

If you’re broom-finishing concrete that has Helix Micro Rebar, you may need to take a little extra care.

Myth #12: Helix Micro Rebar is made of steel, so it will rust and look bad.

Fact: Each piece of Helix Micro Rebar is coated to resist rust. Although heavily salted concrete surfaces may result in minor surface imperfections, each Helix Micro Rebar piece embedded in the concrete has long-lasting power.

Myth #13: There’s nothing in it for us

On top of all of the myth-dispelling listed above, ready-mix producers, engineers and other construction-related businesses have an opportunity to generate thousands of extra dollars on every load of concrete by choosing Helix Micro Rebar. Helix Steel offers significant pricing discounts through our reseller program.

These are just some of the most common misconceptions about Helix Micro Rebar. If you are interested in talking with us about other myths, or if you would like more information about using Helix Micro Rebar in your next project, reach out to our American-based team today.