If you work in construction, you probably know about fiberglass and steel rebar. You likely know about the strengths and weaknesses of each material and the best ways to use them.
Someone who’s not in this industry is probably not as well-versed in the capabilities of these two materials. Rebar & remesh are readily available from many companies, but you should know about all the options in these categories before shopping for them.
We’ll talk about fiberglass and steel rebar in the following article so that you’ll have a general idea of how to use these materials.
What is Fiberglass?
Fiberglass is plastic that has been reinforced with a fiber mesh. It uses glass fiber as its main component.
Looking at a piece or roll of fiberglass, you might see that the fibers have been randomly arranged. However, you may also notice that the fibers seem to have been arranged according to a specific pattern.
When this happens, it means the manufacturer flattened the material into a sheet that is commonly called a chopped strand mat. If this material is woven, you might also hear it spoken of as glass cloth.
What About Steel Rebar?
Steel rebar, when it is used in construction or similar industries, is sometimes called reinforcement or reinforcing steel. It is often used as a tension device hidden within reinforced concrete.
You also sometimes find it within reinforced masonry structures. The aim of installing it is to support and strengthen the structure. Used with concrete, there is much less chance of the building collapsing.
Concrete, when under compression, is pretty strong, but its tensile strength is weak. That’s why you often see steel rebar come into use when concrete is being used in a building’s foundation.
Which is Better?
If you’re designing a structure and you’re looking at the available building materials, you may wonder which one of these two you should use. That depends on several factors.
Fiberglass reinforcement affords you more flexibility than steel rebar. The weight of the fiberglass is lighter, and you may be trying to erect a structure that calls for that.
During construction, you may have to make what is called reinforcement cages. These are circular mesh pads made with welded steel bars. Often, rebar will go into their construction.
You can also choose to use fiberglass instead, though. When you do, you stand a better chance of the reinforcement cage’s integrity holding up when it is acted upon by gushing water or shifting sand.
In short, most major construction projects are going to make use of both fiberglass and steel rebar. Since they’re both common and fundamentally useful building materials, you can expect to see enormous piles of them getting delivered to construction sites when a large building is being erected.
A layperson should know that both fiberglass and steel rebar have their uses. If you are walking around in an office building, it’s highly likely that there are both materials under your feet, in the walls, and above your head.