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How Stainless Steel Rebar is Used in Reinforced Concrete Construction


At first glance, using stainless steel might seem economically inefficient when constructing large concrete structures, especially in comparison with regular steel. In fact, when it comes to supporting the concrete, stainless steel rebar is the most viable solution, as it is much more durable and resistant to corrosion.

Below are the key advantages of stainless steel:

- Great price/quality ratio. Despite the fact that stainless steel is more expensive than ordinary steel products, using it will be the most cost-effective solution in the long run.
- Stainless steel guarantees high reliability, magnetic permeability, and durability.
- Modern production techniques, high-quality ingredients, and additives allow for even better corrosion resistance.

Anti-corrosion properties

The main cause of corrosion is the instability of structural materials to the effects of substances that contact with them. The speed of corrosion depends on the temperature; increasing it by a few degrees can significantly speed up the process.

Stainless steel efficiently resists corrosion due to chromium: if the product contains 13% of it or more, the alloys are non-corrosive in normal conditions and in slightly aggressive environments. When the chromium content is more than 17%, rebar becomes corrosion-resistant in oxidizing and other media, such as in nitric acid.

However, prior to putting into concrete, stainless steel fittings should be protected from direct contact with chlorides (anti-icing salts, calcium chloride, sea water, etc.).

Stainless steel rebar is used where the environment is too aggressive for regular steel. It serves as concrete reinforcement in a variety of structures, including bridges, barrier walls, pillars, garages, sidewalks, retaining walls, and offshore structures (breakwaters, moorings, docks, etc.).

Magnetic permeability

Stainless steel rebar can also come in handy in cases when the magnetic properties of regular steel are not suitable. If a concrete structure requires low magnetic permeability, using stainless steel could help reduce maintenance costs in the future.

Magnetic permeability indicates how actively the material forms its own magnetic field. For instance, under the influence of a magnetic field, regular rebar quickly forms a magnetic field around itself. Stainless steel, on the other hand, forms a much smaller field, while maintaining its other properties.

Typically, structures that require steel with low magnetic permeability are those where magnetic fields from materials can disrupt certain processes or damage sensitive machinery. Here are the most common ones:

- Chemical plants
- Hospitals and facilities with MRI machines
- Laboratories
- Foundations for electric engines
- Transformers

Durability

Naturally, stainless steel rebar is much more ductile and resistant to fatigue than ordinary steel. These two advantages, together with almost complete corrosion resistance, stainless rebar allows for saving on high-strength concrete during construction.

Due to its ductility, stainless steel is perfect for building in earthquake zones, as well as for constructing bridges and overpasses.

The possibility to greatly extend the integrity of a structure, adding extra 40, 50 years to its potential lifespan, makes stainless steel quite a friendly alternative to common steel, in particular, when constructing objects of infrastructure. Regardless of its sphere of use, stainless steel rebar provides the best properties at an optimal cost.

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