Concrete Construction During Economic Uncertainty

As we deal with tough and unsure times, developments and improvements keep the concrete market moving forward.

These have certainly been a few of the strangest and most difficult days modern Americans have ever faced. While some concrete contractors have had the fortune to keep working despite the pandemic quarantine, others have seen tasks halted.

Whether you're working consistently or trying to find out how to jump-start your business upon a return to normalcy, now might be an exceptional time to learn more about the current technologies, innovations, developments, and skilled ideas that are driving the industry forward.

New Technologies: Robotics, Big Data, and More

From robotic demolition that allows big work in tight spaces to state-of-the-art atomized dust suppression machines, brand-new technological innovations increase productivity, security, performance and improvement.

Robotic technology is allowing contractors to carry out a series of tasks autonomously that formerly required manual labor, such as rebar tying, demolition and surveying. Stephen Knuth from T&D USA states big data enables accurate and reliable concrete curing.

As concerns labor force advancement, National Flooring Equipment vice president Connie Johnson says enhancing the perception of the concrete building and construction industry is essential to motivating a brand-new generation of jobseekers to consider contracting. At the exact same time, Blastcrete Equipment president Tripp Farrell says utilizing a concrete pump accessory can assist in maximizing equipment usage. Both sets of recommendations focus on one bottom line: doing what it takes to improve your company.

Wherever your business stands at the moment, learning everything you can about enhancing performance, implementing proven skills and processes, and finding what's new in the market can provide the edge you need. Even if we are required to set new objectives in the face of adversity, together, we can all get through these difficult times and expect better days.

The Do's and Don'ts of Tying Rebar

At a glance, the process of tying rebar may look easy. However, the reality is that is it quite a lengthy and complicated process. While it isn't exactly rocket science, there are still a lot of things one needs to take into consideration when tying rebar. Do it improperly, and you risk endangering the entire integrity of a structure. In this short guide, we highlight the dos and don'ts of tying rebar.

Dos and Don'ts of Tying Rebar
To achieve optimal results and avoid running into any problems, consider applying these best practices when it comes to tying rebar and rebar construction.

The Dos

Do Your Homework

Do your homework on what sizes, configuration, and placement of rebar will be required, as well as what type of chairs would be best for the job. Both concrete and plastic chairs have their pros and cons, and it will depend on your situation and budget in deciding which one to use. Additionally, you will have to consider how you will tie your rebar. Annealed steel wires are cheaper and more versatile while bag tie spinners are easier to work with but can cost more.

Do Share Building Plans with the Supplier

Everything from rebar placements to the use of chairs in rebar support needs to be precise. Therefore, it is important to share your building plans in detail with rebar and rebar support suppliers. This will allow them to supply you with the right rebar sizes and rebar support, and in the right amount.

Do Mark the Layout Bars

Placing and keeping the bars in the right position is essential to achieving the desired strength of the completed concrete structure. To aid in this regard, use the layout bars as your reference. Make sure to mark them properly so you can differentiate them easily.

Do Use the Appropriate Type of Tie

For ordinary construction projects where the force of the concrete on rebar during its placement would be minimal, a simple snap tie would suffice in tying the rebar together. However, for other cases where the force of the concrete placement risks displacing the rebar, more advanced methods of ties are needed. The two most common types of advance rebar tie methods are Figure 8 and the Saddle.

For holding perpendicular bars firmly together and reducing the risk of racking, figure 8 is used. Meanwhile, for tying rebar for walls or other vertical constructions, the Saddle tie is used. In real-world applications, a combination of both along with other tie methods will be used depending on the nature and requirements of the rebar construction.

Do Chair Your Rebar

Chairs are extremely important in helping keep the rebar in their correct positions during construction. Once the mat has been established, the chairs will hold the rebar in place as the concrete covers it completely.

The Don'ts

Don't Be Negligent of Rebar Configuration While the Concrete Is Placed

As the concrete is poured over the rebar, shifting can occur, putting the rebar out of alignment. To remedy this, you can support the rebar with a handled tool such as a shovel wedge to give sufficient leverage to allow it to hold its position. Alternatively, you may alter the direction of flowing concrete, so the force is applied in the opposite direction.

Don't Forget to Put Caps on Any Exposed Rebar

Unless you want to risk serious injuries, always make sure to put caps on exposed rebar. The cut ends of rebar are extremely sharp, and in the past, some construction works have even been maimed or killed by falling over projecting rebar dowels. As required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), special rods cap made with high resistance plastic should be placed on any exposed rebar cut ends.

Don't Place Rebar Support Too Far Apart

Rebar support has to be placed at just the right distance between them. If they are too far apart, the rebar will bend in the middle due to its weight and thus, result in more headaches for you. Another rebar support problem that may arise is that the rebar chairs, especially plastic ones, can also break due to the excessive weight put on them. Cracks can also form on concrete blocks, compromising the robustness of the structure being built.

Don't Use the Wrong Chair

As mentioned before, different types of chairs have their own advantages and disadvantages. If the rebar structure is not too weighty, and the end structure won't be subject to too much abuse from the elements, plastic chairs would be a decent, affordable option. Meanwhile, concrete blocks augment the strength and durability of the whole structure, but it would be an overkill to use them in a small scale, not too demanding, construction project.

Don't Try to Arc Weld Rebar

To achieve proper adhesion, the welding process must be able to heat the surface of the metal rebar to the melting point, which is difficult to do on most rebar types. Only certain types of rebar with a "W" stamped on it can be welded. Even then, you must be a qualified welder and have a procedure planned to weld them.

To achieve the optimal results and avoid running into any problems, consider applying the best practices when it comes to tying rebar and rebar construction. If you found the information in this article useful, do consider sharing it with your colleagues and friends.

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