Traditionally, any concrete construction project you could imagine would have involved the use of steel rebar to provide the rigidity and structure necessary. However, the same rigidity that helps concrete forms can also have drawbacks, including the added weight of steel and its vulnerability to corrosion over time. Many modern concrete jobs instead use glass rebar to support their projects. When used in conjunction with traditional methods like shoring or concrete form rental, glass rebar can be an effective alternative to steel. Read on to learn more about this method.
1. Glass Rebar Is Corrosion-Resistant
One of the main concerns with steel as a method of reinforcement is the susceptibility of steel to corrosion. When this happens, it can threaten the structure, especially those in aggressive environments such as bridges or roads that are often de-iced. Much of this corrosion is a reaction to the chloride-rich environment found in concrete. Glass rebar does not react to this, making it a solution to corrosion concerns.
2. Glass Rebar Has a Long Service Life
Because it is chemically inert, glass rebar can be an economical method of ensuring your project is able to remain in service for a long period. While the upfront costs may be more than those of steel, the risk of corrosion can cost a lot of money in the long run when corrosion needs to be addressed.
Steel structures often need rehabilitation in as little as five years, and certainly by twenty years. Glass rebar can last a considerably longer time. Conservative estimates say that these structures may last over 100 years, even when exposed to heavy fatigue loads like that of a driveway. The reduction in cracking gives these structures a projected lifetime up to 20 times that of structures reinforced with traditional steel.
3. Glass Rebar Can Be Used Across Applications
Marine structures, IT, and medical facilities are all common projects that utilize glass rebar. While more industrial uses like these may not have the same environmental risks as something like a bridge, the non-conductive and non-magnetic nature of this material makes it safe for medical or scientific facilities, where it may be preferred.
4. Glass Rebar Doesn’t Require Extra Costs
Most glass rebar can be cut with bolt cutters, grinders, and circular saws, eliminating the need for additional tools that may be expensive. Additionally, glass rebar is incredibly lightweight compared to steel, making it easier to transport and manage, which can be a cost-cutting measure. Less labor, less maintenance, and decreased installation charges are also common outcomes. While the material itself is sometimes more expensive, the additional funds are often offset by the money saved in these areas.
5. Glass Rebar Is More Attractive
In structures where rebar may be visible, glass options generally have a softer look than steel. While this may not seem important during the construction process, decisions like this can have a high impact on property value and future resale outcomes.
6. Glass Rebar Is Strong
While glass may feel more delicate than steel, the production of glass rebar is done in such a way that this material is extremely strong and able to support heavy concrete structures. Like steel, cured glass rebar is not able to bend and is able to provide form and support in the same ways as its predecessor. In fact, the tensile strength of glass rebar can be three times that of steel reinforcement.
7. Glass Rebar Can Be Energy Efficient
In addition to the environmental benefits of less transportation, glass rebar can also lower the cost of heating a building in the winter. Because it is frost resistant, the glass used does not lose its properties in extreme cold either. This is a cost-saving measure, but it also means less energy is used for the heating process, causing less negative impacts to the environment.
8. Glass Rebar Is Flexible
Some of the weakest points of traditional reinforcement frames are the places where metal rods are connected to one another. With glass, you can cut off a bar of the required length rather than joining together large pieces of metal. The rebar is typically sold in coils of 50 to 100 meters, helping you avoid overpaying for pruning metal rods.