Graphical Construction Glossary >> Concrete and Concreting. >> >> Bar Chairs

Bar Chairs
Plastic, metal or cement products used for supporting reinforcing steel and maintaining the correct amount of concrete cover in reinforced concrete construction.

plastic bar chairs

 plastic bar chair support for rebar

One would think that these items are just about as simple as you can get and they do not need any explanation at all. Not so, I have just done a really quick search on the web and found that one manufacturer has a photo of a bar chair similar to the one on the right that is being used to support two bars crossin each other.

That is not how these chairs work. The chairs have two different depths so that they provide you with two heights to choose from. The higher notches in the chair on the right may give you a 65mm concrete cover and the lower notches may give 50mm concrete cover.

bar chairs always sit under and support the bottom layer of bars.

If you need to use your chairs under the top layer to get the right cover, forget it! Buy the right size bar chairs because you run the risk of some of the bottom bars dropping under the weight of men and equipment during the pour, which will reduce the cover.

This applys to rebar and to mesh. If you use them to also try to locate the bars it is wrong.

  • Rebar chairs are often made out of steel wire with plastic tipped ends to prevent the exposed ends rom rusting.
  • An option to commercial chairs is a trick that we had to use when working out bush and nothing else was available.
  • We poured a slab of concrete on a sheet of ply at the depth of the cover needed.
  • While the concrete was soft we scoured it with a trowel that made a grid of say three inch squares.
  • Inside each chair we placed into th e wet mix a "U" shaped piece of tie wire.
  • When the concrete was set the peices were boken apart and used under the bottom row of rebar to support it.
  • The tie wire was twitched around the steel to hold the blocks in position.

This was a rough and ready system but it was a lot bette than holding the rebar up with broken bricks etc. that I have seen all too often.

a heavy duty bar chair strip

The above photo shows a contiuos plastic strip of chairs. this is used when heavy steel loading would crush normal chairs.

the last word on rebar chairs. Better ten too many than one not enough!

If you didn't find exactly what you are looking for try this search tool that will search the site and the web.

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Adam Smith 1723-1790

"When we build, let us think that we build for ever."John Ruskin 1819-1900

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