Rebar can help reinforce buildings against things like earthquakes

I experienced my first ever earthquake while I was on a family vacation to Japan when I was only eight years old.

  • I’ll never forget it because we were standing inside a store in Tokyo and before I knew it the ground started shaking, throwing everything on the walls onto the floor.

I almost hit my head when I collided with a clothing rack on the way to the ground. After it finally ended, I realized that my face was soaked with tears. This was my first time living through an earthquake of this magnitude, as the ones we experienced in my home state were extremely mild by comparison. I remember asking my parents about the earthquake. I wondered if it could be felt around the whole world, but they claimed that it was always the people in close proximity to the impact zone who felt the most effects from any earthquake. Then I wondered how a concrete building could withstand these effects without crumbling to the ground at the very instant of plate tectonic tremors. That was the day I learned about concrete reinforcement and rebar tie wire. My parents showed me a construction crew one day while we were driving around our city and I got to see the rebar team in action. They were using galvanized rebar tie wire which has a zinc coating to prevent moisture corrosion if it manages to seep into the concrete structure. The welders and iron workers were putting the rebar into place and then welding it together using rebar wire ties and double loop ties. I was fascinated by the whole process of concrete rebar construction.

Bar wire