Reinforced concrete

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A Concrete mixture strengthened by the incorporation of a support matrix such as steel bars. Reinforced concrete was patented in 1867 by Joseph Monier, a French gardener who used prepared flower pots and tubs using a thin layer of concrete reinforced with Wire mesh. However, it was not generally used in the U.S. until the 1890s when Ernest Ransome promoted construction methods using reinforcing rods in girders, beams, and floor slabs in conjunction with concrete columns. This method allowed warehouses and factories to be built with more windows. By the 1920s, reinforced concrete was widely for buildings, bridges, dams, roads, sculptures and monuments. The encased Steel can corrode when the alkaline cement fails to provide passivation. This can occur when chloride ions from Sea water, deicing salts, or Calcium chloride accelerators are present. Also, Acid rain and sulfate can erode and crack the alkaline cement opening paths for moisture to corrode the metal and spall the surface through freeze-thaw action.

Synonyms and Related Terms

béton armé (Fr.); betão armado (Port.); armored concrete; ferro-concrete; concrete steel; steel concrete; ferroconcrete; ferrocement; Mushroom system; Ransome unit system;

Resources and Citations

  • A. Slaton, P. Gaudette, W. Hime, J. Connolly, "Reinforced Concrete", in Twentieth-Century Building Materials, T. Jester (ed.), McGraw-Hill: New York, 1995.
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 224
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • The Dictionary of Art, Grove's Dictionaries Inc., New York, 1996 Comment: "Concrete"
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998