How to use reinforcing schedules to strengthen concrete

Here at JP Concrete, we’re often asked by builders of industrial, commercial and domestic building projects about using concrete to create temporary or permanent structures. Using concrete for a wide range of building projects is extremely popular because of its durability, cost effectiveness and easy installation. 

Using precast concrete allows you to create a wide range of structures, whether you’re building retaining walls to create division within a unit for storage, such as salt or grain, or to build large-scale structures. 

You can also use precast concrete to create security barriers to use on your building site or to create diversions for road works or a local event. There are so many ways in which using concrete for your building project just makes sense.

However, some building projects call for a little extra support and, although concrete is very strong in compression, it can sometimes be weaker in tension. For some building projects this may not be an issue and concrete itself is durable and robust enough to hold its own.

By carrying out a structural design and creating a reinforcement schedule, you can easily improve the tension within your concrete structure, to create a long-lasting, durable and structurally sound building.

There is often confusion about what reinforcement schedules actually do, how they work and whether to use a reinforcing steel or a reinforcing mesh. This guide will cover the basics and help you to understand how using reinforcing schedules can help to give extra support to your building project.


What is a reinforcing schedule?

Often referred to as ‘rebar’, a reinforcing schedule is a steel bar or mesh of steel wires which is used to strengthen and hold concrete in tension. The reinforcing schedule can be used predominantly for primary and secondary reinforcement, which we’ll cover later on in this article, but there are also other uses.

Reinforcing schedules can either be produced using a reinforcing steel schedule or a reinforcing mesh schedule, both of which are extremely effective in strengthening the tension within concrete.


What are reinforcing schedules used for?

There are a few uses for reinforcing schedules, but mostly they are used for primary reinforcement, which essentially means that the steel is used to provide resistance required to support the structure. Reinforcing schedules can also be used for secondary reinforcement, sometimes known as thermal reinforcement, which is when the reinforcement is used for extra durability to prevent any cracking in the concrete as a result of environmental conditions.

Reinforcement schedules are also sometimes used to encourage the load to spread through a larger area by providing localised resistance. They are also used to hold and support other steel bars to help to manage their loads.


What are reinforcement schedules made from?

Common reinforcement schedules are made from tempered steel which can come with its complications. Since steel is prone to rusting, care must be taken to ensure that the right amount of concrete is used to help to prevent corrosion.

Usually the concrete covering is enough to protect the schedules from rusting but there is such a thing as using too much concrete and also not enough. If you use too much concrete then this can increase the width of any cracks and if you don’t use enough concrete, the schedule guard can be compromised by salt penetration.

If you’re unsure about the use of reinforcing schedules or whether to choose a reinforcing steel schedule or reinforcing mesh schedule, a member of our team will be happy to help.

Our staff members are extremely experienced in giving advice and help on a wide range of building projects, no matter how large or small, and can help you to make a decision before you make a purchase. Whether your project involves a domestic, industrial or commercial building, our team is on hand to help.


Give us a call today on 0115 895 9783 to discuss how using reinforcing schedules can improve and enhance the strength of your concrete structure and with long-lasting effects, too.