Stainless Steel Tying Wire: Supporting UK Infrastructure

Along with stainless steel, concrete is one of the world's most common construction materials. Though concrete displays excellent strength under compression, it has a low tensile strength. This problem can be solved with the use of steel rebar, structures of which are usually secured using stainless steel tying wire, in order to reinforce masonry structures such as tunnels and bridges and increase their strength under tension. The term 'rebar' is a contraction of 'reinforcing bar'. 

Rebar is currently or soon will be being used to facilitate a number of major infrastructure projects here in the UK. These include:

  • Expansion of Heathrow Airport. With a budget of £14 billion, the proposed expansion to the largest airport in the UK will include the construction of a third runway, which would raise Heathrow's capacity to a massive 740,000 flights a year. This and the other proposed upgrades, which include a bridge spanning the M25 motorway and extensions to two of the airport's busy terminals, are set to create as many as 77,000 jobs and to contribute over £60 billion in economic growth by the year 2030. 
  • Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station. Approved by the UK government in 2016, construction of this two-unit nuclear power station began at the site in Somerset in 2017, beginning with the creation of a tunnel network to carry pipes and cables. Tens of thousands of cubic metres of concrete have already been used and the project is so large that it makes use of the biggest crane in the world. The plant is scheduled to begin generating power at some time between 2028 and 2036. 
  • HS2 Rail Line. When completed, the new HS2 high-speed railway line will permit passengers to undertake zero-carbon journeys between several major cities in the UK. The project will include 64 miles of tunnels along with more than 11 miles of bridges and viaducts, all of which will require the use of large amounts of reinforced concrete. 30,000 jobs are already supported by the project with many more expected to be created in the future.

In order to comply with Construction Products Regulation (CPR) 305/2011, products like fixings, lintels, nails and wall ties must carry the CE mark of quality, proving that they meet crucial safety standards. Though some types of wire are not subject to this regulation (as they are not considered 'finished products' and are formed into shape before being tested and approved by the fixing manufacturer), this is not the case with stainless steel tying wire. 

Twisted (often by hand) to restrain the large structures of rebar that secure concrete, stainless steel tying wire has many qualities that make it suitable for this demanding task. These include its high tensile strength and exceptional resistance to corrosion as well as the prevention of staining on concrete. 

On client request, BS Stainless is able to supply stainless steel tying wire that meets the exacting EN 10088-5:2009 standard and thus complies with CPR 305/2011. Though this is an important solution, it is not commonly available and so BS Stainless is extremely proud to supply this premium-standard product.

For more information about stainless steel tying wire, along with our complete collection of stainless steel wire and the applications it is used for, please browse the BS Stainless website.

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