Can Fiberglass Rebar Be Used In A Foundation?
Rebar has historically been the most typically utilized raw material in construction. Almost all structures are constructed out of concrete blocks, walls, or foundations, and concrete needs to be reinforced. For a long time, steel rebar has been the only affordable option for concrete reinforcement, but we now have an alternative to steel. This alternative is fiberglass rebar, which has been gaining popularity at an exponential rate. Here, we take a deeper look into fiberglass rebar and answer the question: can fiberglass rebar work as a foundation?
Advantages of Fiberglass Rebar
- Corrosion-resistant: Fiberglass rebar does not rust. It is thus the ideal choice for application in structures located in close proximity to the sea or other bodies of water. This gives it an edge over steel, which is prone to rust, leading to cracks in concrete. Damage such as this accumulates, meaning that structures reinforced with steel rebar will need maintenance to repair damage. Using fiberglass rebar avoids this issue entirely.
- Strength: Fiberglass rebar does not bend in the same way that steel rebar does. It can take 2-3 times greater tensile stress.
- Price: The price of steel rebar grows alongside the price of steel, which shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. Fiberglass rebar benefits from the consistent price of raw materials. Additionally, the more expensive steel rebar becomes, the higher the demand for an affordable alternative – such as fiberglass rebar – will be. This allows fiberglass rebar to be priced competitively, and in some cases 25%-40% cheaper!
- Weight: Fiberglass bars are much lighter than steel bars. This means that the production process and the delivery of your rebar are much simpler, saving you time, effort, and money—1 fiberglass truck does the work of 4 steel trucks.
- Thermal Insulation: Fiberglass is a brilliant insulator. The fact that it neither conducts electricity nor interferes with signals makes it a prime choice when it comes to application in reinforcements for structures such as airports, underground projects, research centers, hospitals, military structures and much more.
Using Fiberglass Rebar in Foundations
So, can fiberglass rebar be used in foundations? Given its advantages, the answer is a resounding yes. Fiberglass rebar is used to reinforce foundations worldwide, and the application of fiberglass rebar in foundations is considered acceptable in both strip and slab foundations. Building codes have been updated to permit this: ACI 440.11-22. Fiberglass rebar also presents these advantages during the construction process:
- It is easier to cut, which makes it easier to manipulate when used in complex concrete structures like tunnels. The process is more efficient and productive, yielding a more durable and successful result.
- Fiberglass rebar has long-term durability, which makes it especially advantageous for use in foundations. Despite its lightweight qualities, fiberglass rebar is resistant to corrosion and chemical spills.
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