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Concrete is one of the most popular materials for buildings because it has high compressive strength, flexibility in its form and it is widely available. The history of concrete usage dates back for over a thousand years. Contemporary cement concrete has been used since the early nineteenth century with the development of Portland cement. Despite the high compressive strength, concrete has limited tensile strength, only about ten percent of its compressive strength and zero strength after cracks develop. In the late nineteenth century, reinforcing materials, such as iron or steel rods, began to be used to increase the tensile strength of concrete. Today steel bars are used as common reinforcing material. Concrete is a mixture of coarse and fine aggregates with a paste of binder material and water. Reinforced concrete is a composite material in which concrete’s relatively low tensile strength and ductility are counteracted by the inclusion of reinforcement having higher tensile strength and ductility. The reinforcement is usually steel reinforcing bars and is usually embedded passively in the concrete before the concrete sets. Reinforcing schemes are generally designed to resist tensile stresses in particular regions of the concrete that might cause unacceptable cracking and structural failure.

Modern reinforced concrete can contain varied reinforcing materials made of steel, polymers or alternate composite material in conjunction with rebar or not. Reinforced concrete may also be permanently stressed (in compression), so as to improve the behaviour of the final structure under working loads. In the United States, the most common methods of doing this are known as pre-tensioning and post-tensioning. Without reinforcement, constructing modern structures with concrete material would not be possible.

The aim of this book is to provide reinforced concrete design tools to help architecture students, researchers or working professionals to understand the design process.