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While any material thats strong enough could conceivably be used for concrete reinforcement, steel and concrete have similar coefficients of heat expansion: a concrete structural reinforced with steel will experience minimal stress. This produces a result of differential expansions of the two interconnected resources caused by temperature alterations.

Concrete is a material that is very strong in density , but basically without strength in tension. To counter for this imbalance in concrete's characteristic, rebar sticks are cast into it to carry the tensile loads.

Masonry structures and the mortar holding them together are similar to concrete and also have a limited ability to carry tensile loads. Masonry units like blocks and bricks are made with advantageously placed voids to accommodate rebar, which is then held in place with grout. This combination is known as reinforced masonry.

Highway bridges, parking garages, coastal facilities and other structures have been built using stainless steel rebar sticks.