Concrete is a popular material for everything from building a structure to adding a driveway outside your home. While it is strong and can withstand the worst of the weather, it sometimes can become brittle when there’s tension.
That’s why it is common to reinforce concrete with something. In the past, this has been steel bars known as re-bars. But now, with developments in manufacturing, concrete reinforcing mesh is the go-to option. So what size do you need for what project?
What is concrete reinforcing mesh?
As the name suggests, concrete reinforcing mesh is a type of strong mesh that can work with rebars or on its own to reinforce concrete. It is made from wires that are melded together to create flat sheets. These are usually in a grid pattern and there are different thicknesses as well as sizes available.
Once the mesh is inside the concrete, it remains there for a long time. There’s no worry about rusting because this requires oxygen – and buried in concrete, there is none. The mesh works with rebars if the stronger supports are also required. Sometimes they work just as well on their own, depending on the project.
Main types of reinforcing mesh
There are two main options when it comes to this kind of product – A142 reinforcing mesh and A393 reinforcing mesh. Each is used a little differently.
Using the A142 mesh
The A142 mesh is made with high-quality steel and has square ends to make it easier and safer to handle (in the 2.42 x 1.22 metre size) . It is perfect for residential use in floor slabs and foundations up to 100mm.
6mm wires are spaced to create 200mm x 200mm squares.
It is popular for use in concrete floors and other structures to increase the overall strength but is also highly durable. It should be manufactured to BS 4483:1998 or BS 7123.
Using the A393 mesh
A393 mesh is made using 10mm thick wires. It is perfect for agricultural, industrial and transport industries as the thick wire increases the strength.
The A393 mesh size is also used for reinforcing concrete in floors and other parts of buildings to increase the strength. It is also used to help control cracks in concrete in areas where this is a common problem. The 10mm wires are spaced to create 200x200mm Squares.
A393 mesh reinforcement should exceed BS4483 – 1998 or BS7123 Standards
Getting the right sheet size
Once you have decided which product you require, then you can look at the sheet size. It is tempting to go for a larger sheet with the industry-standard being 4.8 x 2.4 metres or 3.6 x 2.0 metres.
However, we generally stock a smaller size than this – 2.42 x 1.22 metres. These sheets are easier to handle and will fit into the back of a transit van rather than needing a lorry to transport them.
Smaller sheets are also easier to handle when adding them to concrete and because they are smaller, these are more rigid. They still have the same finished edges so there are no sharp edges and require less cutting so there’s less waste.
Reinforcing your concrete
There are lots of reasons to reinforce concrete and different methods to do it. Sheets of reinforcing mesh are easy to work with, highly effective and will last a long time, holding the concrete together and making it even tougher.