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Construction projects usually involve the utilization of different classes and grades of steel reinforcement. Each type must be handled and stored separately to prevent distortion and deterioration due to corrosion. 

Stacked Epoxy Rebars
Figure-1: Epoxy-coated reinforcement bars

The various types of steel reinforcement used in construction are stainless rebars, carbon steel rebars, galvanized steel bars, and epoxy-coated steel bars. Each type demands special care during their handling and storage.

This article explains the essential tips to follow while handling and storing steel reinforcement in construction projects.

Tips to Handle and Store Steel Rebars

  1. Place the rebars over a raised platform. The platforms can be made out of any non-metallic material. For example, the use of wooden pallets as platforms is a viable option.
  2. The rebars can be covered using a thick protective tarp and kept secure using cinder blocks at the corners and edges. The protective covering prevents the exposure of the rebars from external elements.
  3. Galvanized rebars must be kept away from uncoated rebars and wooden materials. This helps prevent stains on the surface of the rebars. Therefore, for galvanized rebars, any non-metallic platform can be used except wood.
  4. Stainless steel rebars must be kept away from carbon steel rebars and other ferrous materials. If space restricts this arrangement, place the stainless steel rebars above all the other rebars.
  5. Corrosion in rebars can be prevented by placing the rebars in sheds or in an enclosed space. It should be ensured that the area is not prone to humidity, moisture, snow, and rain.
  6. For easy identification and organization, the ends of the different classes of rebars should be painted differently.
  7. If possible, the steel reinforcement should be painted with cement wash to prevent scaling and rusting.
  8. Long-term storage can be done by stacking the rebars at least 150 mm above the ground level.
  9. Stacking of rebars must be performed with sufficient support so that it does not buckle, sag, or bend. Nowadays, special steel racks are manufactured to store rebars (Figure-2).
Steel racks to store steel rebar; Image Courtesy: Considerate Constructors Scheme, Toureen Group
Figure-2: Steel racks to store steel rebar
Image Courtesy: Considerate Constructors Scheme, Toureen Group

Handling and Storage of Different Rebars

The Table-1 below gives the handling and storage tips for different reinforcement bars.

Type of RebarHandlingStorage
Carbon Steel Rebars• Avoid rough handling of rebars.
• Use the usual handling tools & machines. 
• Cover rebars with polyethylene sheeting or any other material.
• Stack the rebars off the ground.
Epoxy-Coated Rebars• Use synthetic slings to handle epoxy rebars to
prevent damage to the coating.
• Avoid dragging and collision of rebars.
• Use of foams between the bars can protect the coating.
• Do not use bare chains and cables. Use spreader bars or strong backs to avoid sagging of reinforcement bars.
• Keep rebars away from mud, debris, and other deleterious materials. Stack the rebars off the ground using timber or wood materials.  
Galvanized Rebars• Do not treat the rebar roughly. Use normal handling tools and machines.  • Keep away from other uncoated rebars. Do not place the rebars over wooden materials or platforms to prevent stains. Raise the material off the ground.  
Stainless Steel Rebars• Use plastic, synthetic, or stainless steel wire straps to handle.
• Use synthetic straps to lift the rebars. Avoid the use of carbon steel lifting devices. Isolate the rebars from the lifting band to prevent direct contact, when bare chains & steel bands are used.  
• Stack the materials off-ground using a suitable platform. Do not keep in contact with carbon steel or other rebar material. If the contact with ferrous rebars is inevitable, then place it on the top. Cover the stainless steel rebars using a polyethylene sheeting when stored outside.
Table-1: Handling and Storage Tips for Different Steel Rebars
Handling using rebar friendly strapping
Figure-3: Handling using rebar-friendly strapping

FAQs

How to handle galvanized rebars?

Galvanized rebars must be kept away from uncoated rebars and wooden materials. This helps prevent stains on the surface of the rebars. Therefore, for galvanized rebars, any non-metallic platform can be used except wood.

How to store stainless steel reinforcement bars?

Epoxy-coated rebars can be stored by following these tips:
1. Stack the materials off-ground using a suitable platform.
2. Do not keep in contact with carbon steel or other rebar material.
3. If the contact with ferrous rebars is inevitable, then place it on the top.
4. Cover the stainless steel rebars using a polyethylene sheeting when stored outside.

How to safely handle epoxy-coated rebars?

1. Always use synthetic slings to handle epoxy rebars to prevent damage to the coating.
2. Avoid dragging and collision of rebars.
3. Use foams between the bars to protect the coating.
4. Do not use bare chains and cables.
5. Use spreader bars or strong backs to avoid sagging of reinforcement bars.

Read More

How to Store, Stack, and Handle Construction Materials?

How to Control Corrosion of Steel Reinforcement in Concrete?

Placement of Rebar in Footings – Horizontal and Vertical Rebars

Neenu Arjun

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