Welded Wire Reinforcement – A Proven Quality and Profitable Choice in Construction
Fairfax, VA, Nov. 1, 2019
Welded Wire Reinforcement (WWR) is labeled the construction industry’s “best kept secret” by some, although history shows it’s been used effectively since Roman times. Today, concrete structures are being successfully and economically reinforced with high-strength, uniformly-distributed welded wire reinforcement.
Welded wire is high-strength and cold drawn, welded in rectangular grids, uses continuous electrical resistance and computer-controlled positioning and welding. It results in consistent, high-quality welding because of the pressure and heat fusing of its intersecting wires.
Because WWR is machine-produced, it requires less assembly and setup time. The product can be used in virtually any structural application such as buildings and bridges, highways and tunnels, and pipelines and precast component systems. In concrete, this engineered product controls cracks, improves performance, reduces the need for joints in slabs, permits longer panels, reduces construction costs, speeds construction, and creates more durable structures overall.
There was no simple, straight line progression from the early inventors to the broad scale use of the welded wire today. As expected of the early engineers and builders, there were several different design approaches to the reinforcement of concrete -- particularly in floor slabs and pavements. Recent advances in technology have produced ever-increasing wire diameters and materials that can be welded together, enabling the product to be used in numerous structural components.
There are several advantages to using WWR. It is higher strength compared to conventional rebar, reducing material requirements. Fewer pieces are required for a project, reducing labor and time. It is produced by machine, resulting in very high placement accuracy. It is easier to inspect.
Welded wire reinforcement has crisscrossed the world in highways, train stations, subways and major airport runways. It was placed in such famous structures as the Anaheim Stadium, Grand Central Station, the Standard Oil Building, Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, the Nabisco Bakery, the World Trade Center Towers, the Empire State Building, Sears Tower-Chicago, the Abu Dhabi Airport and the Volkswagen plant in PA.
According to American Concrete Institute, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete (ACI 318-19) and Commentary (ACI 318 R-19), WWR is interchangeable with rebar when used as mild reinforcement. The actual design routines and calculations are identical, with concepts including strain compatibility, tension- and compression-controlled limits, application of reduction (phi) factors, and prescriptive spacing limits related to design all remaining familiar to the design professional.
The Wire Reinforcement Institute offers technical information and courses on the subject of WWR.
About the Wire Reinforcement Institute (WRI)
WRI is the world’s leading association of manufacturers, allied industries and professionals engaged in the production and application of structural welded wire reinforcement (WWR) and related concrete reinforcement products. The Institute advances the concrete industry by providing technical, outreach and promotional programs and materials on the applications and benefits of structural WWR. WRI works closely with design firms, universities, owners, contractors and government agencies, to ensure adherence to the most accurate, up-to-date codes, standards, specifications and regulatory requirements. For more information on WRI or WWR, visit www.wirereinforcmentinstitute.org or call 1-860-240-9545.