Reinforced Concrete: The Origin

Concrete has been around in its basic form for a few thousand years, since Bedouin tribes discovered a basic form of hydraulic lime, and from that time, over many centuries, concrete became more and more refined. A far cry from modern concrete, the Romans used a basic form of limestone compound, along with stones, to create a material that would be both durable and impervious to the natural elements.Reinforced Concrete

Reinforced Concrete

The development of concrete was stifled for a few centuries, after the decline of the Roman Empire, and was revitalised during the Industrial Revolution, when the demand for a substance that could take the increasing stresses that the developing architects were requiring. Modern solutions are easily arranged, and if you are in Australia, and are looking for the best reinforcing mesh price, the best people to talk to are Best Bar, a leading supplier to industrial and residential customers.

Lighthouse Solutions

In the 18th century, the British wanted to build another lighthouse in Devon, and British Engineer John Smeaton designed a tower that would be supported by reinforced concrete. Limestone and aggregate were effectively used to create this lighthouse, and shortly after, reinforced concrete was introduced to other large building projects.

The Birth of Rebar

In its earlier forms, rebar was not as effective as it is today, but it still managed to give sufficient tensile strength to support large structures, and as the world developed, so did concrete and rebar. They have become inseparable partners, and complement each other well, as they both have similar properties. Steel and concrete expand and contract at almost the same rate, which is ideal when large concrete structures move due to heat and stress.


Concrete enjoys a high level of compression, with the aggregate easily standing up to any compression, but with load bearing environments, concrete will crack under the stresses, and this ultimately leads to erosion, and soon after a structural failure. The steel rebar gives the concrete the tensile strength it lacks, and together with the compression properties of concrete, the partnership gives you all the strength necessary to support heavy stresses.

Modern Reinforcement

As time passed, the diameters of the steel reinforcement bars became smaller and smaller, mainly because anything over and above what is necessary is a waste, and while certain structures require heavy duty rebar, others are better suited to a wire mesh, which is easy to cut and shape. There are companies that supply many industries with high grade steel reinforcement mesh, and the demands of the modern world requires a huge amount of rebar, and timing is critical, especially with larger projects with hundreds of workers. If the project has ground to a halt because the steel rebar, or the concrete is late, this could cost significant expense and also delays.

The origins of concrete stem from many centuries ago, and over time, man somehow managed to find a way to add the necessary tensile strength. Rebar and concrete come together in a unique combination that provides a tough material for all types of construction.