Rebar vs Wire Mesh: What is The Difference Between Them?

If you are doing a concrete construction project, you have already heard the name of rebar and wire mesh. But as they serve the same purpose, it is difficult to understand their differences.

Both are steel materials but they differ in structures and types. You don’t have to goggle rebar vs wire mesh anymore, because we will discuss every feature of rebar and then wire mesh. Stick to it because in them you will also find a good comparison between them.

We have compiled up enough information at a single place. You will get an answer to every question and don’t have to waste time researching mesh vs rebar.

What is Rebar?

What is Wire mesh

You can say that rebar is mesh made up of steel wires. Rebar is short of reinforcing bar. It is majorly used to create stronger tensile strength for concrete material.

Tensile can be referred to as maximum stress that material can bear after being stretched. Concrete is strong in compression but it has relatively low tensile strength.

A steel mesh has greater tensile strength and is a reinforcing material for concrete structures. Plain rebar surfaces are not used for reinforcing concrete.

It is first deformed accordingly to create a strong bond with concrete. This protects the structure from any subsiding.

This deformation of rebar has been a standard requirement since 1968. However, a plain surface can also be used while reinforcing is required to have a little sliding. Especially these flat steel wires are used on pavements and bridges.

If you compare the coefficients of thermal expressions of both concrete and rebar, you can see that they are similar. Due to this, there will be very low differential stress because of temperature change.

Coefficients of thermal expansion are the tendency of change in volume, shape, and area of a material due to various temperatures.

You should be aware that there are different types of reinforcing bars depending on the characteristics. Some of the common rebars are as follows

Sheet-Metal Reinforcing Bars. This is famous for stairs and roofing constructions. The Sheet-metal bar mainly consists of annealed steel sheet.

Background History of Reinforcing Bar

Reinforcing Bar

While doing a concrete construction project using a reinforcing bar, have you ever wondered how it was developed? This bar is sold that it is almost hard to tell exactly how long it has been since using these rebars. We are using it for masonry constructions from the 15th century.

In the 18th century, it was used the first time to build a carcass of the Leaning Tower of Nevyansk. This project was done by industrialist Akinfiy Demidov. After that in the 19th century, the concept of reinforcement with concrete was introduced. In 1850, this reinforced concrete was used by people among Europe and North America.

Joseph Monier of France is a true inventor of reinforced concrete. He was a French gardener and developed reinforced concrete flower pots. This happened in 1867. After that, he did bigger developments like creating bridges and tanks.

After French, the reinforcing bar was revolutionized by an English engineer in the United States, Ernest L. Ransome. He worked on twisting bars. Many manufacturers then tried using different techniques of reinforcing in the construction of big structures including bridges. It kept on improving.

However, deforming rebar was not approved in U.S construction before 1950. Today the deformation requirements are specified by ASTM A615 and ASTM A706. They both had the specifications similar to ASTM A305-49 that was issued in 1949.


The steel reinforcing bar you are using in a concrete project is made up of High Yield Steel graded 250 N/mm2. This grade of steel has around 99% iron in it. The other 1% consists of manganese, carbon, phosphorus, and sulfur. So, the quality performance majorly depends on the proportion of carbon in the steel.

Commonly, steel grade contains around 0.25% of carbon in it. High yield steel grade has 0.40% of carbon. These rebars are manufactured in different shapes including round, ribbed, twisted, and square. A standard-length rebar sheet is 4.8m. And the width is 2.4m.

This sheet is formed by electronic welding of steel wires to create a good strength mesh. This rebar mesh can be created in different forms for different uses.

  • Square mesh: The length is 200 mm x 200 mm.Weight range is 1.54-6.16 kg/sq.
  • Rectangular mesh: The length is 200 mm x 100 mm.Weight range 3.05-10.9 kg/sq. m.
  • Long mesh: The length is 100 mm x 400 mm.Weight range 2.61-6.72 kg/sq. m.
  • Wrapping mesh: The length is 100 mm x 100 mm.

Type of Rebar

European Rebar.

European Rebar

These bars have a higher bending tendency. It is because they are made up of manganese. They are not recommended to use in areas having greater weather exposure.

Galvanized Rebar

Galvanized Rebar

It has very good corrosion resistance. It is 40 times more resistant to rust than carbon rebar. however, they are more expensive.

Expanded Metal or Wire Mesh Rebar

Wire Mesh Rebar

Commonly used to reinforced materials when the significant thickness is required. Widely used in light concrete construction projects. They are mostly used for small projects that don’t have heavy loads.

Epoxy Coated Rebar

Epoxy Coated Rebar

Epoxy coated rebar is expensive than another rebar. They are widely used for areas that are in contact with saltwater.

Carbon Steel Rebar

Carbon Steel Rebar

The most common type is carbon steel rebar. It is also known as the ‘black bar’. However, this type is not recommended in areas at greater risk of rust. As this rebar corrode quicker than others.

Now you are aware of rebar and its various types. But what is rebar background and how it is formed? Let’s take a quick look at both.

Advantages of Using Rebar

Advantages of of using rebar

Below are some of it discussed in detail.


These bars have great mechanical strength. that’s why they provide a great deal of strength to concrete structures. You can understand the concept of how by considering a beam of concrete.

Suppose beam has support at both ends. But it has none in the middle. Due to less tensile strength, it will crack. Rebar gives that tensile strength and support to a concrete beam.

Coefficient of Thermal Expansions

Both concrete and rebars have the same coefficients of thermal expansions. That means they have an equal tendency of expanding or contracting because of any temperature changes. In this way, the Bonding of both materials is stronger.

There are very fewer chances of any instability in structure or cracking.

Ductility and Elasticity

Steel rebar is a highly ductile material. Ductile means that it has high flexibility for dimension change. That is why they can be deformed for embedding into concrete without any risk of breaking.

When it comes to the elasticity of modulus, steel has 200GPa. Due to it, it can be compressed or stretched to various shapes. It can also regain its shape back due to tension stretch up to 200GPa.

Disadvantages Of Rebar


High exposure to heat can melt steel. This reduces the overall strength of steel. As for the reason, that material dissolving can happen rebar is always tied and knot electronic welded.


Reinforcing bar is expensive material because of steel. This increases the cost of any concrete or cement construction project.

What is Wire mesh?

What is Wire mesh

This is indeed a very versatile invention. Same as rebar it is made up of steel. It mostly comes in rolled wire meshes. Wire mesh also provides great support to the concrete structure. Have you ever seen a series of open squares of steel bars on the concrete slab during construction?

That is wire mesh! There are different terms used for wire meshes. A welded wire mesh, welded wire fabric, or weldmesh. They are all the same. the steel bars used in wire mesh has ridges to attach with concrete.

This is more common in residential and with small projects than rebar. It is because of the simple installation and regular manufactured net design of wire meshes. A wire mesh is often made up of low carbon steel or stainless steel.

You can say that wire mesh is a type of fencing that is available in various shapes like square, rectangular, or rhombus. this fencing very strongly resists any water penetration.It also helps to prevent the slabs from moving after a split.

Welded Wire Mesh

Welded Wire Mesh

WWM is a highly reliable product and is in our opinion underused in housing and small construction projects as it is replaced by concrete fillers such as steel or polysynthetic fibers.

WWM’s advantage is its simplicity of installation and standard fabricated grid design. It also does a terrific job of keeping concrete firm when cracks occur. It prevents water from entering the crack and under the brick and keeps the height constant between the two ends of the crack.

Many people neglect the reality that you can get various WWM gages, too. It makes it easier to mount but any day of the week, we will run extra heavy gauge WWM over a rebar grid. The downside is that holding the WWM off the ground when spilling is tough.

Contrary to common opinion, however, DOES add value to the structure that is left on the ground when pouring, while not ideal.

Historical Background

Now take a look at the history of wire mesh. No doubt the history of each material is important. Because there are so many biased opinions from different manufacturers and without knowing the origin of reinforcement material, we cannot understand their main function.

A wire mesh was first introduced in the early 1900s. It was mainly used for road construction. It made many improvements over time included welded and woven wire mesh. In 1922, the state of Illinois gave a test bases result for 78 road designs. Guess what! A welded wire mesh was among the best ones.

Concrete Strength Without Using Wire Mesh Support

As previously mentioned, the water-cement ratio defines the strength of concrete. The power of ready-mixed concrete varies from 1,500 to around 5,000 psi; and it can go much higher, with more attention being paid to the proportioning.

Low strength concrete would be used in seaters and walls under normal building methods, and higher strength in pillars, columns, and ground. On a given project the necessary concrete strength can be found in the project plans and requirements for a particular project.


A welded wire mesh is also made up of high yield steel. Its strength is 550MPA. It is also a reinforcing material like rebar known as reinforcing mesh grid. This grid is formed by joining the intersecting wires. It can either be done by weaving or welding.

A solid wire used in each square of mesh is made by drawing down it in a cycle of circular dies. This drawing is done several times until it gets the desired diameter. Some of the famous welded wire meshes are as follows.

  • Hot dipped galvanized welded mesh.
  • PVC coated welded mesh.
  • Electro-galvanized WWM.
  • Welded wire fencing.
  • Welded steel bar gratings.

Advantages Of Wire Mesh

Advantages Of Wire Mesh

With so many uses in construction, it has a lot of advantages as well.

Stable Design

It provides strength to any concrete structure because of its pattern stability and design. This mesh has stable mechanical properties and chemical properties.

The overall formation of this grid is very concise and good-looking.


They provide stronger bonding and also is for rust resistance. A high-level graded steel wire mesh is no doubt can secure concrete forever. They have a different thickness in sizes.

And selecting the right one for your construction project will increase its strength.

Since there are no custom fittings, this mesh can be easily manipulated. You can easily make any turn, drop, or intersection as fit suitable for the structure.

Wire Mesh Disadvantages


This wire mesh is prone to bending because of any external conditions such a high temperature. This makes the wires lose their strength and can result in overall project failure.

Let’s compare them!

Wire Mesh vs Rebar: Factor To Consider


Wire mesh is lower in quality than rebar. Wire mesh consists of smaller, leaner steel plates, so in the endless material. It can be wrapped and rebars cannot so build work is less costly if you have to recall. The Rebars efficiency depends on the depth of the bars and thus adds to the increased labor costs.


Rebar is certainly stronger than wire mesh despite the limitation of support. Several producers recommend rebar for homework. Rebar is also a good choice to consider for thicker residential streets and locations that require a greater traffic


Both the welded wire mesh and the rebars cannot avoid cracking but are useful to keep the concrete together and firm when there is cracking occurs. The steel is similar to concrete in its expansion and contraction at hot and cold temperatures, that is why it is used in concrete walls.

Similarly, the mesh and rebars will resist the further expansion of small cracks. Wire mesh needs to be carefully laid to better fit the concrete. This will be in the center of the slab, directly. And the wire mesh of a four-inch slab would be two inches inside of it.

If it is exposed to the sun or environment, it will eventually rust out and cause cracking. But a smart vendor would make sure there is no such thing as that. Most builders notice the mesh ‘s smaller squares, and the thinner steel allows for greater stability when contractions occur in the concrete, better staining off cracking than rebar.

Difficulty in Placement

Placing the mesh bars and steel bar is another thing that rages up as the concrete is being poured. If you intend to use mesh bars then make sure your position it is at should be in the middle. The positioning of the center should prove to be more efficient, and you use rebars, consider putting bars on the ground before filling them with concrete

Orientation Aspect

Rebars are solid and can, therefore, be set straight on the concrete structure, or even can be used in vertical shape with same specifications. The same is true when we think about Wire Mesh, the difference is that rebars are not capable of forming the correct shape of a concrete structure.


The deployment of mesh bars and rebars also varies depending on the thickness of the concrete walls. Such reinforcing bars can be ordered from Brisbane ‘s steel manufacturers in all sizes according to your needs and specifications.

The density of the slabs of concrete can be used as a major factor in determining whether to use wire meshes or rebar. If the diameter of the slab is less than one foot, prefer utilizing steel meshes over rebar.

Rebar gives a considerable amount of tensile strength to construction, which is low in stress (but heavy in compression), which is also why engineers prefer it with massive loads and high volume in frameworks and bricks.

The paving code ACI (American Concrete Institute) 330R fits this view. If you do a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) on the base of a building you can see the majority of the structural load in the trusses and pilings, while the inner base sees so little.

Therefore, until you have forklifts or mid-truck deliveries or other big live loads on the inside slate, we will leave out the rebar because it would simply add effort and money to your project.

To get the necessary durability, the placement of the rebar must be relatively close to the design. An inch is no big thing this way or that way. But if it strikes the soil in the face of the ground or platform you are looking at issues of corrosion as well as a possible insufficient structural ability.

Overall, we’d consider keeping the rebar in position during pouring a big plus for rebar as compared to WWM. If you put it in the right position throughout concrete preparation, the rebar seats, tie cable, and good stiffness are likely to remain there.

The most downside of rebar is it carries a drastically higher cost of material and installation than WWM.


The selection of any product between rebar vs wire mesh depends on the base of the concrete slab. As, if not structured properly, no one will firmly support the concrete.

You have read a fair comparison between them and can select a suitable one based on sheets, sizes, cost, and durability. Whether you choose wire mesh or rebar, we tried our best to help you in your selection and wish you all the best.

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