Building steps

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My friend is building some new concrete steps to his back porch. He has some old chevy blocks , brake drums and general automotive iron he wants to get rid of . If these items are clean of fluids is there any reason we couldnt use them as fill in the steps.
Jimmie
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I would not use them because as they corrode they will at first get bigger (Think about the flakes that come off your drums & rotors). Then as they corrode further you could be left with a substantial void.
If you don't want to take the junk to the scrapyard yourself then call the junk guy. Look in either Craigslist or your local paper usually in the cars for sale section.
Cinder blocks are cheap and sometimes free, again try craigslist.
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How are they going to get bigger while they're encased in concrete?
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Doug Miller wrote:

Big problem in Florida - lots of buildings with balconies have had to rework the concrete. Rebar rusted, expanded and cracked the concrete. Some problems with the issue in our condo, but nothing structural. Building down the street, about 12 storey, had a great deal of work done for the problem.
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On Sun, 17 May 2009 20:33:40 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

Haven't they been using rebar for 50 or 100 years? Did something change so that it rusts now?

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No, you've been sleeping or in a coma. It's always rusted.
R
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mm wrote:

Perhaps the problem in Florida is with buildings not kept adequately painted, so there is more salt intrusion. Don't know the reasons.

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New Obama law, maybe. The Rusting of Rebar Act of 2009.
--
Christopher A. Young
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On May 17, 8:00pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

It really surprises me that you have such problems understanding this. Your personal observation of those funky brown stains on concrete structures everywhere should indicate that something is rusting. If you can't see what's rusting, and are keen enough to realize that rust doesn't just magically appear on concrete, you'll probably latch on that the rust is coming from inside the concrete.
In a nutshell. Concrete is not waterproof. It wicks up moisture. The steel doesn't care that it is encased in concrete and will rust in the presence of the H2O. Concrete sucks in tension - something on the order of 1/10 its strength in compression. Constant tension on concrete leads to cracking. Cracking allows in more moisture, and the cycle continues until the structure falls apart.
Please, DAG. There's a hole in your education.
R
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concrete for all these years must be completely ignorant, huh?
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On May 18, 7:57am, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

From the results, some of them obviously were.
Your stance is that you can throw steel into a concrete pour and it doesn't do anything because, hell, rebar is steel. That's like saying that you can pour gas anywhere into a car since a car runs on gas. You know, nonsense.
Like I said, if you want to learn, Google the subject. I'll give you a head start. This is from Wiki on reinforced concrete:
"Common failure modes of steel reinforced concrete Reinforced concrete can fail due to inadequate strength, leading to mechanical failure, or due to a reduction in its durability. Corrosion and freeze/thaw cycles may damage poorly designed or constructed reinforced concrete. When rebar corrodes, the oxidation products (rust) expand and tends to flake, cracking the concrete and unbonding the rebar from the concrete."
And this is from the Canadian Research Council:
"PREVENTING REBAR CORROSION IN CONCRETE STRUCTURES by Shiyuan Qian
This article reviews the issue of rebar corrosion, discusses some of the preventive technologies available, and presents information on recent studies conducted by NRCs Institute for Research in Construction.
The corrosion of reinforcing steel bars is one of the main causes of deterioration of reinforced concrete structures in North America. It has become a serious, widespread problem, with repair costs now in the billions of dollars annually. Whether the corroding rebars are seen exposed on delaminated bridge decks or piers, or observed in damaged parking garages, engineers and contractors are all too familiar with the problem, as are anxious property owners who call on them to provide solutions."
It's either odd that; 1). these guys are in collusion and making this stuff up or 2). you've never noticed it.
My bet is on the second.
The main reason that the OP shouldn't throw the scrap iron in the steps is because it is wasting money. The second reason is that the random steel "reinforcing" will eventually cause problems.
I'm taking the liberty of cross posting this to some other groups with more knowledge on construction than this one. Let's see who weighs in and which way the verdict goes.
R
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RicodJour,
You do realize you're wasting your time, don't you?
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From what I've seen (& read) working in the civil structural field for since 1988, the major cause of reinforced concrete failure is inadequate coverage. Followed by poor quality concrete.
Depending on the "exposure" & environmental conditions, as little as 2" of coverage is spec'd, harsher conditons 3"+ or more.
Epoxy coated rebar is a "new, hot" thing but I'm not convinced that it is "the" solution. Epoxy coating can get damaged during placement, leaving bare steel. :(
I'll put my money on extra cover and good concrete, designed for the local conditions.
Rebar that is fully encased in sound concrete with adequate coverage will last a LONG time.
Too little coverage or poor quality concrete will allow the rebar to begin to rust....the rusting rebar will "disassemble" the rest; quickly at first as it attacks the surface rebar but much more slowly as it progresses to the deeper rebar.
The Huntington Beach, Ca pier (the original one....ca1900) needed to be replaced due to impending structural failure. One of the engineers on the project (evaluation of the old pier) told me that IF the coverage had been adequate, the peir could have been repair and served another 50 years or more. But due to poor coverage the pier had to be demo'd and replaced.
cheers Bob
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I never said that corroding rebar in concrete couldn't cause a problem -- I'm simply taking issue with your stand that putting steel into concrete *automatically* poses a corrosion problem that will necessarily destroy the concrete.
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On May 18, 3:00pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

This is what I wrote in my first response to the OP: "Another reason is that iron has a tendency to rust. When it rusts it expands. This would put the concrete in tension and concrete really doesn't like to be put in tension. In other words it would tend to break up the steps.
Use rocks, brick, or other busted up concrete if you need some filler. "
I used the words tendency, would, tend to - there is nothing there that says in all occasions all steel rusts. I also put the rusting issue in second place in my short list of reasons. You made a massive assumption that I was somehow referring to all situations and you got snarky about it.
Your two comments; "How are they going to get bigger while they're encased in concrete?" and "Oh, for heaven's sake. Haven't you ever heard of rebar?" imply that you equated an engine block dumped in a hole in the ground, with engineered and correctly installed reinforced concrete. I took exception to that.
I appreciate that you think the OP - a guy who wants to toss a considerable quantity of scrap iron into a set of steps as filler - as being so clued in to the correct amount of concrete coverage, and would know how to suspend an engine block to insure that amount of coverage. I have no such illusions.
R
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ideally all rebar should be non magnetic stainless, which never rusts.........
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wrote:

Ideally all people should understand the various properties of 'stainless steel'... <g> Stainless rusts just fine when *not* exposed to air!
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I would like a link to that! I was told non magnetic stainless doesnt rust.
What makes this problem worse in florida was the use of beach sand containg salt.
this info courtesy of this old house episode:)
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wrote:

I'll see what I can dig up. This is 'common knowledge' among boat builders, but not others. Problem being that the stainless looks really good on the exposed surfaces, then when you try to remove it, you find a 'ton' of rust on the burried parts. You could also try searching various marine sites too, I'm sure you will find it.
FWIW, I didn't believe it when I was told first about the problem, then managed to see it as I did work on boats.

I think the entire state of Florida contains salt! <g> WHere in Florida are you, I'm frequnently in Tampa, and when to high school in NPR.

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Oxygen is inseparable from oxidation (rusting). I think it's more likely that moisture was getting into those hidden areas and staying there longer.
R
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