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advantages and disadvantages of Reinforced concrete

Reinforced concrete used widely over the globe. building, bridges and rigid pavement are examples of reinforced concrete applications. concrete composed of cement, coarse and fine aggregate, water and admixtures. admixture used to improve concrete properties such as workability, strength, resistance for aggressive chemicals, and rate of hydration.

concrete possess high compressive strength. the compressive strength of concrete can be enhanced by adding silica fumes and GGBS. despite the high compressive strength, concrete is poor in resisting tension. concrete tensile strength estimated to be 8% to 14% of compressive strength, therefore steel added to concrete. steel possess a high tensile strength compared to concrete. 

advantages of reinforced concrete:

  • reinforced concrete has a high considerable compressive strength compared to other materials.
  • reinforced concrete structure required minimal maintenance if proper construction practices implemented. 
  • reinforced concrete structures are very rigid.
  • reinforced concrete has good resistance to water. this resistance can be improved by adding admixture to reduce concrete permeability.
  • reinforced concrete has a great resistance to fire. the effects of fire will be minor if a proper cover for reinforcing steel is provided.
  • reinforced concrete structures are durable. correct construction practices combined with using proper materials will increase structure service life and reduce maintenance  
  • concrete can be formed in different shapes to meet the required aesthetic
 disadvantages of reinforced concrete:

  • concrete has a low tensile strength. this will lead to cracks under low tensile load or bending.
  • concrete required formwork until it hardens. also, it is required falsework to support the casted members until it becomes self-supporting. using of formwork and falsework will increase the cost of reinforced concrete structures. also, an increase in the time required to complete the structures
  • heavy weight of concrete limits span length. high dead load of concrete lead to a high bending moment. the span length for a reinforced concrete structure is limited. 
  • in cold environments. freezing of water inside concrete pores lead to pressure that may crack and disintegrate concrete. Air-entrained admixture is used effectively with concrete to reduce the effects of this phenomenon.


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