What is Reinforced Concrete?
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What is Reinforced Concrete?

With a wide range of different concrete products on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to know what the best type is for your construction project.

It’s important to select the most suitable choice for the job at hand, and if durability and strength are important facets of the work then you may want to consider reinforced concrete. 

A specialist type of concrete mix, at Concrete Supply UK we are able to supply batches of reinforced concrete to customers across the country, always customising mixes to ensure you receive a product that contains the properties you need to achieve your results.

In this article, we’ll be answering the question ‘what is reinforced concrete?’, explaining exactly what the mix does and what it is used for. 

Read on to find out more.



What is reinforced concrete?

Reinforced concrete is a specific concrete mix that is specifically formulated to offer extra strength and durability. While all types of concrete are regarded as strong, reinforced concrete is even firmer than traditional mixes and it is usually used in buildings or structures that require this extra solidity.

Often, reinforced concrete will use a steel rebar for this reinforcement, with steel rods, wires or cables being incorporated into the mix. The metal is able to help support higher loads, reduce cracking and maintain walls.

In addition to steel, fibre reinforced concrete products are also just as effective. 

Also known as FRC, a variation of short, reinforced fibres is inserted into the concrete mix to help keep the structure stable and safe. This is often a more cost-effective choice than steel reinforced concrete as the fibres are made from a cheaper material that doesn’t compromise on its reinforcement properties. It is also a more sustainable choice. 

The fibres that are used in the concrete can be made from a whole host of materials including glass, steel and organic polymers. 

Reinforced concrete is used for a wide range of applications, and can be commonly found in:

  • Large buildings
  • Bridges 
  • Roads
  • Water-based-structures 
  • Foundations 
  • And more 


What are the properties of reinforced concrete?

Reinforced concrete combines the properties of concrete and the material being used for reinforcement to create a versatile and durable construction material. There is a wide range of properties which make it so advantageous to those within the construction industry, and some of the key properties of reinforced concrete include the following:

  • Strength – Undoubtedly the biggest advantage and most important trait of reinforced concrete is its strength. Reinforced concrete combines the compressive strength of concrete with the tensile strength of steel or fibres, resulting in a final product that is able to withstand high loads and significant stresses. The addition of the reinforcement helps to prevent cracking and improves the overall strength of the entire structure. 
  • Durability – Reinforced concrete structures are exceptionally durable and resistant to weathering, corrosion and chemicals. When properly designed and constructed, this type of concrete can help to withstand the harsh environmental conditions that are common here in the UK. This durability also ensures excellent longevity that helps the structure last for many years. Furthermore, as this concrete type has low permeability, it means sulphates, chloride and carbon dioxide are likely to do little damage – making them ideal for structures or applications that need to go underwater. 
  • Flexibility – Another key quality of reinforced concrete is that it offers great flexibility when it comes to design and construction which allows for the creation of complex shapes and structures. It can be moulded into various forms and sizes which can meet specific architectural and engineering requirements. 
  • Fire resistance – Concrete is inherently fire-resistant, and the addition of reinforcements can further enhance this quality in the mix, If a fire does occur, the concrete cover protects the reinforcements from the high temperatures, preventing it from losing its strength. 
  • Ductility – Reinforced concrete exhibits ductile behaviour, meaning it can undergo significant deformation. This is considered a beneficial quality as it allows the structures to withstand large deformations without collapsing suddenly. This means people will receive valuable warnings that a problem has occurred, giving them time to rectify it. 
  • Economic efficiency – Reinforced concrete is often considered to be more cost-effective compared to other construction materials, especially when compared to large-scale projects. Its availability, ease of construction and long-term durability make it the perfect choice for a wide range of structural applications.  

Overall, reinforced concrete is a versatile and reliable construction material that offers a combination of strength, durability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness, making it suitable for various infrastructure and building projects. 


Do slabs need to be reinforced?

Concrete slabs are a common building material that is regularly used in a whole host of domestic and commercial projects. Whether it’s a residential garden or a community space, slabs provide a stable surface for people and vehicles. 

Sometimes, people may reinforce slabs to help enhance their durability and robustness. If a slab is only being used for foot traffic, it probably does not need to be reinforced as it will not experience significantly heavy loads that may cause it damage. 

However, if the concrete slabs are going to have a heavy structure placed upon them or see vehicles regularly driven over them, you might want to consider reinforced concrete to protect the slabs and ensure stability. 

As a general rule, slabs need to have a minimum thickness of at least five inches to be reinforced.   


At Concrete Supply UK, we regularly supply a whole host of leading concrete products to construction clients across the country. Whether you work for a large-scale construction company or are a DIYer who needs a batch, we always provide bespoke mixes to those we work with, including reinforced concrete.

To find out more about our range of products and how we can help enhance your next project, our team of knowledgeable experts are here to help. Simply get in touch with Concrete Supply UK and let us know what you need. We’ll then go about creating tailored products that work for you. We look forward to hearing from you. 

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