Staalgoed Handel B.V.
search

Rebar with a standard length of 3 and 6m, why really?

10-01-2023 | W. van Wijngaarden

In our product range, we offer rebar with standard lengths of 3 and 6m. This is because there is demand for these. But we recommend ordering custom bars up to 6m. We are happy to explain why. And also the reason why 3m and 6m once became standard lengths.

Are 3 and 6 metres very useful?

Ever wondered? Why are bars of rebar 3 and 6m. standard lengths? Are exactly those lengths commonly used in, say, house construction? Well, no so. Sometimes a structural engineer does calculate towards them. He will try to use as many standard length bars as possible. But that is not because the design calls for it.

Be efficient and order customised bars

As far as we are concerned, this is why you turn it around. Look at what suits good in the design in terms of lengths. Consider whether those lengths are easy to lift, affordable and transportable. Then order customises bars as much as possible. This way, you need to cut less on the building site and thus save on labour. You will also have less waste. And you don't have to settle for the price, either. At the moment, customised 3m or 6m bars are even slightly cheaper than the standard 3m and 6m bars!

You can also have them bent

Rebars of a standard length were not only cut to size at the construction site, they were also bent on site to form, for example, hook links. This is really no longer necessary. You can order customised rebar in lots of shapes.

Rebar coils and bars

This is how those standard lengths came about

We go back in time. For decades, bending plants have been able to buy straight bars from rolling mills or rebar on a coil, just as they do now, by the way. For a very long time, rebar on coil came out more expensive per metre, so straight bars were generally used much more. So the bending plants mainly stocked bars. Those bars were 12m or 14m, which had to do with transportability. These are called trade lengths.

A survey conducted in the 1970s showed that a lot of bars with a cutting length of between 0.5 and 3.5m were processed in housing construction. From these, for instance, brackets and hairpins were bent on the construction site. To sell bars shorter than 12m, it is again useful if they can go several times in that 12m. A trade length of 12m can also be sold as 2x 6m or 4x 3m. The trailer can be filled as easily and efficiently as possible. Here you ars: the standard lengths.

What has changed?

A fun example to share is that rebar was straightened from the coil in the 1950s by a strong car! So that drove a few metres ahead down the street and the steel was then cut. In the 1960s, a real straightening machine arrived. It could initially straighten the thinner diameters. But you can imagine that straightening and cutting rebar from a coil with those first machines was still relatively expensive.

Today, both the availability of rebar in coils and the price relative to trade lengths are different (especially for diameters 8, 10 and 12). Bending plants today stock much more rebar in coils. And straightening and cutting machines have naturally become more efficient over time and more suitable for increasingly thicker diameters. This makes it much more attractive to order bars directly to size. These are cut to size in the bending plants from the coil and bent if necessary.

  • Look at what suits good in the design in terms of lengths. Consider whether those lengths are easy to lift, affordable and transportable. Then order customises bars as much as possible. This way, you need to cut less on the building site and thus save on labour. You will also have less waste.

Moreover, labour has become more expensive. So all the cutting and bending at the construction site costs relatively more than when high-capacity machines do it at the bending plant. Add construction site safety and cutting waste to your consideration. Then you order by size, right?

Will there be no need to cut anything at the construction site?

Not everything is predictable, so you might have to cut something once. And when we work out a project, we usually add some extra reinforcement as a buffer for unforeseen circumstances. For example, an extra pipe sleeve that comes later in the design. But in terms of straight bars up to 6m, you can feel free to order to size.

Contact us directly