You may recognize the steel bars or mesh of steel wires that are used in concrete at construction sites but might not be sure what their purpose is. This is rebar which is short for reinforcing bar, and is also known as reinforcing steel or reinforcement steel.
The use of rebar in construction came about in the mid 1800s and has been around ever since. This is due to concrete and steel reacting similarly when found in both hot and cold conditions in terms of thermal expansion as well as compression. If they would not, any structure made with them would be torn apart over time.
Rebar counter balances concrete’s lack of tensile strength, which is the resistance of a material to break down under tension. While it may become obsolete in the future due to innovations in the field of concrete construction such as flexible concrete, for now it remains an integral part in many projects.