Concrete Fibermesh vs. Rebar (Key Differences)

Everybody has heard of concrete, and knows that this plays a huge role in the construction of most things.

From buildings to roads, there are very few construction projects that don’t use concrete. But, unless you work with concrete, it is highly unlikely that you will know about things such as concrete fibermesh and rebar. 

Fibermesh and rebar are commonly used with concrete to help reinforce it. While it can withstand vertical forces, concrete is very brittle, and because of this it is vulnerable to breaking.

That is why fibermesh or rebar is often used alongside concrete to reinforce it, and prevent it from breaking. 

Most builders will have a preference when it comes to fibermesh and rebar. But, objectively, which is the best?

In this guide, we’ll take a look at what concrete fibermesh is, what rebar is, and the pros and cons to decide which is the best. So, to find out more, keep on reading. 

What is Concrete Fibermesh?

First things first, let’s take a look at what concrete fibermesh is. This is a fairly recent creation, yet it has become very popular in the construction industry.

Fibermesh has become very popular for reinforcing concrete as it is a lot easier to use than some other traditional methods of reinforcement, including traditional wire mesh. 

With fibermesh, you do not have to lay it down in the area where you will be pouring the concrete, like you would wire mesh.

Instead, the fibers in the fibermesh are added to the concrete itself, providing all the properties required to prevent the concrete from becoming brittle and breaking. 

For a lot of people, concrete fibermesh was a strange concept, and many people struggled to see how it could do the job. But, the different fibers in this, including steel, glass, and other natural and synthetic fibers reinforce the concrete.

So, there is no need to lay wire mesh, instead the fibermesh will do the job for you. 

What is Rebar?

In contrast, now let’s take a look at what rebar is. Of the two, it is much more likely that you will have heard of rebar. Rebar is a type of reinforcing steel that comes in bars.

It is either made using solid steel or layers of steel mesh and wires to create a bar of metal that can add tension to things and help reinforce them. One of the most common uses of rebar is alongside concrete. 

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Rebar is pretty different to traditional wire mesh, and it is very different to concrete fibermesh. That is because rebar comes in individual rods which are then added to the concrete to reinforce it.

Whereas wire mesh is added before the concrete is poured, and fibermesh is added to the concrete itself when it is wet. 

In comparison to concrete fibermesh, rebar definitely isn’t a new creation. In fact, rebar has been used to reinforce concrete for a very long time.

But how does it weigh up against concrete fibermesh? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these to compare. 

Concrete Fibermesh: Benefits and Drawbacks 

First, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of concrete fibermesh. 

Pros

  • It Reinforces the Concrete

Concrete fibermesh is incredibly effective at reinforcing concrete because the different fibers within it are designed to stop this from happening.

These include steel fibers that reduce cracking by intersecting cracks and stopping them from growing, and polypropylene which protects the concrete against stress. 

  • Easier and Quicker to Use

In contrast with wire mesh, fibermesh is much quicker and easier to use. Wire mesh can be quite time-consuming and difficult to lay, and it can be hard to keep it in the correct place when pouring concrete.

But as fibermesh is added directly to the concrete mix, all you have to do is pour. 

  • It is Cheaper

When you compare prices, fibermesh is cheaper in terms of material cost, handling cost, cost to place, and pumping costs.

So, overall, you will be able to complete your project with a smaller budget if you use fibermesh. 

Cons

  • Uneven Distribution

But, there is one major drawback of concrete fibermesh, and that is that it is unlikely for the fibers to be evenly distributed throughout the concrete.

This means that you will have areas of concrete that are incredibly durable, while other areas will be very weak. 

Rebar: Benefits and Drawbacks

Now, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of rebar. 

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Pros

  • Excellent Resistance 

The key to reinforcing concrete is resistance, and rebar offers this in abundance. As well as being incredibly resistant when added to the concrete, rebar is also easy to transport because of this resistance. 

  • Easily Available

Rebar is incredibly easy to get your hands on, and it is always being produced. So, you do not have to worry about being unable to purchase rebar for your project.

This type of material is always available, so this will not slow down your construction project.

  • Similar Properties to Concrete

Both concrete and steel are coefficients of thermal expansion. So, when the concrete in your construction project is affected by heat, the rebar will be too.

This reduces the risk of cracking as the two components will expand and reduce in size alongside one another. 

Cons

  • More Expensive

Rebar is made of solid steel. For this reason, it is a lot more expensive than some other options for reinforcing your concrete.

But, it is generally accepted that this cost is worth it, that is why rebar is so commonly used for this job. 

Conclusion: Which is Better?

While there are clear benefits to both concrete fibermesh and rebar, there is one option that clearly stands out as the better option to us. This is concrete fibermesh. 

While rebar is outstanding, it is rather expensive, and it takes a lengthy amount of time to add this to your concrete. In contrast, concrete fibermesh is added directly to the concrete.

This means that it will reduce the amount of time required to pour the concrete in your project, and it will also reduce the cost of labor too as fewer people will be required. 

So, it is our opinion that concrete fibermesh is the better choice out of this and rebar, and it is easy to see why when looking at the pros and cons above.