Concrete Structure

Concrete is the most used material for construction due to its properties. Concrete structure can take compressive stresses very effectively but it cannot take tensile stresses. So the reinforcement is given to concrete where the structure is under the tension load. Concrete is widely used in today construction industry because of its durability and compatibility. Moreover concrete can be mould in any shape which make its very useful.

Reinforced cement concrete :

Plain cement concrete has very low tensile strength. To improve the tensile strength of concrete some sort of requirement is needed which can take up the tensile stresses developed in the structure. The most common type of reinforcement is in the form of steel bars which are quite strong in tension. The reinforced concrete has innumerable uses in construction.  For eg:  building, flyovers, water tanks, etc.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of R.C.C Structures:

Advantages Of R.C.C Structures:

  • It can endure very high temperatures from fire for a long time without loss of structural integrity.
  • Buildings constructed with cast-in-place reinforced concrete can resist winds of more than 200 miles per hour and perform well even under the impact of flying debris.
  • Concrete requires no additional fireproofing treatments to meet stringent fire codes and performs well during both natural and manmade disasters.
  • Concrete is a material that is often locally sourced and thus typically requires minimal energy to transport to building sites.
  • No excessive maintenance is required in comparison to steel structures.

Disadvantages Of R.C.C Structures:

  • Due to the more dead weight of R.C.C, it is less used in high-rise buildings, as more load will be there on the foundation.
  • At end of life, concrete can be crushed and recycled but the recycled material cannot be used for new building concrete. Therefore, the scrap value of concrete is almost nil.
  • Cement concrete can take up a good amount of compression but is not good enough for tension whereas steel can take up both compression and tension.
  • In seismic zones, it is less preferred due to its brittleness and no flexibility leading to direct damage of the structure without warning.

Steel structure

The steel which is used in construction, is an alloy of iron and carbon percentage (small percentage) and other elements e.g. silicon, phosphorous and sulfur in varying percentage. Depending upon the chemicals composition, the different types of steel are classified as mild steel, medium carbon steel, high carbon steel, low alloy steel and high alloy steel. The mild steel, medium carbon steel and low alloy steel are generally used for steel structures.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Steel Structures:

Advantages Of Steel Structures:

  • They are super-quick to build at the site, as a lot of work can be pre-made at the factory.
  • Ease in expansion of the structure.
  • Ease in repair & rehabilitation or retrofitting.
  • Faster erection of the structure.
  • They are flexible, which makes them very good at resisting dynamic (changing) forces such as wind or earthquake forces. It can bend without cracking, which acts as a warning in seismic zones.
  • A wide range of ready-made structural sections is available, such as I, C and angle sections.
  • They can be made to take any kind of shape and clad with any type of structure.
  • A wide range of joining methods is available, such as bolting, welding, and riveting.
  • Steel can be recycled. (New steel made from scrapped steel uses about one-third of the energy necessary for steel from virgin materials)

Disadvantages Of Steel Structures:

  • Analysis approach and assumptions should be quite clear and definitive prior to structural system formation.
  • Time required to design connection is more as compared to RC structures connection.
  • Cost (especially in India) is high for structural steel compared to RC.
  • Skilled laborers are required.
  • Steel can soften and melt with exposure to extremely high temperatures. However, with the addition of passive fire protection, such as spray-on fireproofing, buildings built of structural steel can sustain greater temperatures and therefore, provide additional safety.
  • They are prone to corrosion in humid or marine environments. Therefore, they need consistent maintenance.


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