Steel rods or metal fabric placed in concrete slabs, beams or columns to increase their strength.
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Rebar (short for reinforcing bar), collectively known as reinforcing steel and reinforcement steel, is a steel bar or mesh of steel wires used as a tension device in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures to strengthen and hold the concrete in compression. Concrete is strong under compression, but has weak tensile strength. Rebar significantly increases the tensile strength of the structure. Rebar's surface is often patterned to form a better bond with the concrete.
The most common type of rebar is carbon steel, typically consisting of hot-rolled round bars with deformation patterns. Other readily available types include stainless steel, and composite sections made of glass fiber, carbon fiber, or basalt fiber. These alternate types tend to be more expensive or have lesser mechanical properties and are thus more often used in specialty construction where their physical characteristics fulfill a specific performance requirement that carbon steel does not provide. In practice, any material with sufficient tensile strength that is materially compatible with concrete could potentially be used to reinforce concrete, for example bamboo might be considered a viable substitution in regions where steel is not available. Steel and concrete have similar coefficients of thermal expansion, so a concrete structural member reinforced with steel will experience minimal stress as the temperature changes.