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

Rebar vs. Helix® Micro Rebar™: The Ultimate Showdown

Is rebar really that great? Does it make crews happy? Does it create buildings as strong as they can be? Is it the fastest concrete reinforcement to complete time-sensitive developments? Perhaps there is a better way…

Whether you’re a general contractor, ICF builder, precast company, or a developer, there has never been a better time to rethink your concrete reinforcement and consider Helix® Micro Rebar.

For those not familiar, Helix® Micro Rebar is the official alternative to rebar. It’s a one-inch steel rod twisted and combined with concrete to create a superior building product. Since its inception in 2003, it has been used in over 100 million square feet of slabs and more than 20,000 vertical structures, and counting.

So, how can Helix® Micro Rebar do pretty much everything better than rebar? Well, we will tell you.

Installation Labor

Ask any laborer and they will share with you what they really think of rebar. It can be frustrating, time consuming and often leads to placement mistakes that lead to expensive corrections. 

Helix® Micro Rebar rethinks the entire laborious installation process, and is mixed in with concrete before it is even poured. That means fewer laborers, simplified jobsites and practically zero difficulties, with professional engineers available to help.

Meeting/Exceeding Construction Schedules

Rebar installation is a huge component of a building’s construction timeline. Many days – and often weeks – are used up purely with installation of this reinforcement. 

Since Helix® Micro Rebar is mixed in with concrete and poured into its final destination, the entire time scheduled for rebar installation is saved. For contractors who use tilt-up panels, this saves approximately 50% of each panel’s preparation time. On top of the installation time savings, those who use Helix® Micro Rebar often see a faster pour rate, as high as 20% more than standard rebar. 

This leads to vital time savings for developers seeking a faster return on their investment. 

Jobsite Safety

Rebar is exactly as you’re picturing it right now: dirty, difficult to maneuver, sharp, and infection-inducing. 

If safety on your site is important, Helix® Micro Rebar may be the best option for you. There is less contact with your reinforcement, and when you do touch Helix® Micro Rebar it’s not rusty or dirty. With significantly smaller crews, fewer tripping hazards and less equipment needed, jobsites with Helix® Micro Rebar have been proven to be safer.

Installation Processes

Rebar can require a large storage area and specialized equipment to lift into work areas. A simple error in placement can reduce concrete’s strength by 50%! When mesh reinforcement is used, it’s often done so incorrectly, often just laid on the ground.

Rebar inspections can add additional time, and create unnecessary frustrations on projects that have tight timelines. 

Helix® Micro Rebar is already approved for use in most states, and is the easiest product to finish given the size and low dosage. Before, during and after your pour, our professional engineers are at your disposal at no additional cost. Helix Steel is the only business with both ICC and UES reports, and has full code approval to carry building loads under the ACI 318, IBC and IRC.)

Post-Construction Risk

It’s a known fact that all concrete will crack. That’s because standard concrete reinforcement like rebar is designed to stop cracks only after they start – bandaging it – and allows water to enter, eventually leading to dangerous and costly failures.

Helix® Micro Rebar is twisted to help give it five times the tensile strength of rebar and up to a 33% increase in modulus of rupture (flexural strength), which maximizes the structural durability against corrosion, earthquakes, water penetration and blasts. An 8” slab of Helix® Micro Rebar can have the same strength as 12” with rebar, which results in additional cost savings.

Along with the patented design of Helix® Micro Rebar, its specialized coating resists rust three times longer than conventional uncoated steel reinforcement. This helps to prevent cracks at the micro level, and resists failure.

Structural Applications

For the past couple hundred years, rebar has been the champion when it comes to being able to create everyday buildings as well as sturdy skyscrapers, long bridges and hydroelectric dams.

For most projects, Helix® Micro Rebar can do it all: structural foundations, concrete walls, warehouse slabs, tunnel linings, precast vaults and more. Even Ferris wheels!

Precast Production

Precast concrete plant employees have the arduous task of assembling rebar for vaults, septic tanks, manholes and storm shelters. It’s difficult, costly work, and depending on the skills of the crew, errors can seep into the processes. 

Helix® Micro Rebar is mixed into the concrete and so every minute of rebar installation time (and the headaches that come with it) is nonexistent. A single precast plant can save millions of dollars every year in expenses, increase their business’s capacity and create higher-quality products. 


Made of scrap steel that’s hot-rolled into form, rebar can be slightly cheaper than Helix® Micro Rebar when comparing direct material costs. 

But the alternative is less expensive than rebar when you factor in your reduction in labor costs, time savings, safety improvements and customer satisfaction.

Allowing General Contractors to Create More-Competitive Bids

Every concrete contractor has used rebar. They know how rebar works, and most project bids will list rebar, knowing full well of the disadvantages.

Helix® Micro Rebar has a list of advantages for general contractors unlike anything else – especially rebar – making for a much more promising solution for developers. Like choosing between a Ford Model T or a Ford F-150, the benefits will stand out.

Choose Helix® Micro Rebar or Choose Rust

For most construction applications, rebar is now obsolete. Helix® Micro Rebar is here to help you to build faster, cheaper and better, breaking through the industry’s long-held convictions that now have cracks in their foundation. (Both figuratively and literally.)

Learn more about Helix® Micro Rebar and the many ways that it can work hard for your next project by contacting Helix Steel’s Sales & Technical Team at 734-322-2114 x3 or

We look forward to sharing more about the power of Helix® Micro Rebar soon.

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