What is Reinforced Concrete?
Reinforced concrete is a building material used in structures that will need to work well under tension and compression. It’s concrete that is reinforced with steel to increase the overall strength and durability of the material. Concrete by itself has qualities that make it great under compressive stress, however, under tension concrete alone fails. When steel reinforcement is added, tensile strength is reached. These materials together can withstand bending, stretching, and pressure of any type without risk of failure. Most buildings are built with reinforced concrete because concrete alone cannot resist the tensions caused by things such as wind, vibrations, or other forces.
Reinforced concrete is a building material that is very commonly used. This material is strong, durable, easy to work with, and inexpensive. Reinforced concrete is not only economical to build with, but it has an overall low maintenance cost as well due to its low permeability, and fire resistance. The concrete in this material also shows signs of failure long before it happens, giving engineers time to remediate any issues the structure may be having before any serious damage can occur. Additionally, since concrete flows when wet, it can be molded into whatever design desired making it perfect for projects that have to meet certain architectural requirements.
How Does Reinforced Concrete Work?
During construction, the reinforcing steel specified in the design documents is placed in the formwork first. Then, the concrete is poured over the steel and vibrated to make sure that the materials bond well with no gaps. Proper placement of the concrete is essential to guarantee that the desired qualities for the material is reached. The placement process is so crucial that most building departments and townships require a third-party inspector to review this process to avoid any serious issues. Structure failure could result in expensive repairs and could put the lives of those utilizing the structure in danger.
Reinforced Concrete Special Inspections
Third-party inspections are an important part of the overall success of any construction project. The inspector plays a key role for the project owner because they are responsible for making sure that contractors are following the design document specifications and any local building codes or requirements in place. These inspections must be completed by a certified special inspector for the final sign off to be approved by townships or building departments.
Reinforced concrete inspections begin with the verification that the reinforcement being used is following plan specifications. The inspector will visually check that steel bars are laid out correctly with the correct spacing. They also make sure that the bars being used are the correct size, grade, and type. The bars should be clean of any material or residue that will inhibit the concrete to fully bond with the steel; things such as oils, dirt, or rust. This inspection is typically completed before any concrete is on site to give workers enough time to fix any nonconformance’s seen on the field.
After the reinforcement is approved, inspectors should be present during the placement of the concrete. They should test all concrete for strength unless otherwise specified by the design professional. Before placement, they verify that the pour site has the acceptable conditions for the concrete. During placement, the third-party inspector should verify that the concrete mix being poured follows the design specifications by reviewing the batch tickets. They also verify that the concrete is not tampered with on site and prevents any contamination. Inspectors also check for proper vibration of concrete if required. After the concrete has been poured, the inspector ensures that the proper finishing technique is used, that the concrete is protected from extreme temperatures, and that proper curing of the concrete begins.
These special inspections are an important part of construction for all parties involved in a construction project. It’s a necessary step to ensure that the quality of the work being performed and that all materials being used are acceptable and up to the standards necessary to keep structures durable and safe throughout time. Does your project require a third-party inspector for reinforced concrete? Sabio Engineering is a certified special inspection agency In NY and NJ. Give us a call at (929)381-0030 and let us be a part of your team!