29 March 2020


Strong solutions

The steel rebar business is poised for another wave of growth with India stepping up activity in the infrastructure and construction sector.

The amount of steel consumed by a country has a strong correlation with its GDP growth and is a sound indicator of its stage of economic development. Numerous studies that reveal far greater per capita consumption of steel in developed countries compared with developing countries corroborate this. India is no exception to this phenomenon. In the past decade, the rapid growth in GDP has been reflected in an equally vigorous increase in steel consumption.


Reinforcement Steel Bars (Rebar) are long steel products have found growing applicability in the country’s construction sector with Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) becoming the default standards for construction of residential and commercial structures, flyovers, bridges, water retaining structures, industrial and power plants. The rebar industry size is nearly 18 million tonne and constitutes about 35 per cent of the total finished steel production for sale in the country.


The advent of thermo mechanically treated (TMT) or Rebar steel bars has brought in a new strand of construction and strength in the construction industry in India.  In the wake of heightened construction activities there has been witnessed an extensive use of TMT steel and corrosion resistance steel thereby ushering in greater economy and longer life for RCC structures.  A major growth driver for the steel industry in general and rebar in particular is infrastructure spending by the government which in the 12th Five Year Plan has been identified as $1 trillion.


Apart from the requirements of infrastructure at larger a major demand push for the rebar industry in India comes from the increasing awareness amongst developers of real estate, not to mention home buyers, for a better quality product which will give them a structure which is stronger.  Ergo the rebar industry has entered a second wave of demand and steel companies in India are expanding capacities in anticipation of market expansion and growth.




Rebars have found application in construction particularly for their excellent bonding with cement, superior weldability, excellent bendability and corrosion, fire, and earthquake resistance qualities. Corrosion resistance is one of the key features required of rebars used in humid climate where the metal is prone to corrosion. All structural elements of concrete in coastal areas ffer opportunities for the use of rebars. With the emphasis on maintenance of quality and durability of structures in areas like real estate, infrastructure like ports, bridges, flyovers etc, the requirement of such properties finds resonance among producers of rebars.  With natural disasters causing irreparable damage, such earthquake resistant bars are naturally in demand. Besides another major demand push for the rebar industry in India is the increasing awareness amongst the buyer for a better quality product which will give them a structure which be stronger.




The rebar industry has both primary and secondary manufacturers. Integrated Steel Producers like Tata Steel, SAIL, Vizag Steel, Jindal Steel and Power Limited and JSW Steel account for more than 30 per cent of the rebar market in India. The remaining 70 per cent is scattered over nearly 400 small steel producers. Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL), which is counted among India’s leading steel producers, has come up with the Jindal Panther rebars which it manufactures out of its 1.0MTPA facility in Patratu, Jharkhand.


JSW Steel’s flagship facility at Vijaynagar in Karnataka is not just one of the largest TMT bar mills in the country with a production capacity of one million tonne per annum but is regarded as an ‘institute of steel making technology. The company’s products have found key infrastructure projects like metro rail, airports, atomic power plants and expressways. However, it is the Long Products Division of Tata Steel is the biggest rebar player in the country. Backed by superior process control and capabilities in product innovation, the company has replaced its Fe415 grade rebars with Fe500 grade thus leading to an 18 per cent saving in steel consumption by weight for consumers. The improved Yield Strength of Fe500 allows for the conservation of critical natural resources for future generations. The potential for saving natural resources as a result of this product alone is significant as secondary producers producing the Fe415 grade serve 67 per cent of the Indian rebar market of 18 MT. It is easy to see therefore why the Tata Tiscon brand has been acknowledged as a consumer Superbrand in the construction rebar category by a survey concluded by Superbrands India Pvt Ltd! 


Atrayee Sarkar, Chief of Marketing and Sales, Tata Steel, explains, “Rebars are an important area for us as the demand is only set to grow given India’s appetite for infrastructure. We definitely think this is the focus area for time to come.”


Ravi Uppal MD & Group CEO, JSPL, is led to say, “We aspire to serve the emerging needs of India.”

Assuredly rebar will be a key element that will lend strength to the country’s construction sector as India Inc surges ahead in its ambition to challenge China.


Yatinder Pal Singh Suri, Country Head, Outokumpu, the Finnish stainless steel major, an important player in the rebars segment, underlines the importance of the strength the product when he says, “Our vision is to build a world which lasts forever.” 

One can’t be sure about that but rebars are meant to endure.

Ask any steel producer worth his rolling mill!      


Other products that are gaining in popularity are epoxy coated bars. Fusion bonded epoxy coating, commonly referred as FBE coating is widely used to protect concrete reinforcing rebars, steel pipes, piping connections etc that are used in construction. FBE coatings are in the form of dry powder at normal atmospheric temperature. The powder when applied electrostatically on to the surface cleans hot steel bars which it fuses, melts, flows and cures to an adherent continuous chemically cross linked protective film. FBEC is used to protect reinforcing steel in concrete in the most adverse environments that are prone to corrosion. They have gained in popularity across the world and in India because of increased quality awareness.


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