TMT Bars – backbone of the Infrastructure Sector

The infrastructure sector is highly responsible for propelling India’s overall development and enjoys intense focus from Government for initiating policies that would ensure time-bound creation of world class infrastructure in the country. And when we are speaking about Infrastructure sector, it includes power, bridges, dams, roads, houses and urban infrastructure development. As Infrastructure improves the economic growth automatically enters the fast lane.

No wonder, the Indian Infrastructure story has been told and re-told with a great vigour every time. However, not much is spoken about the component that provides inherent strength to infrastructure. TMT Bars are still the most neglected segment where more research and analysis is required. With less awareness about the same, unorganised and poor quality secondary players enjoy larger market share.

Infrastructure provides strength to a Country and hence it is important to provide inherent strength to the infrastructure. In simple terms, if the base of any product is low quality, even the derivatives of those products will be low quality. What happens if you make exotic food decorated well with a one rotten ingredient? Will you buy a car which is painted beautifully but has a low quality material used for its body structure? The answer will be a Clear No!

As eventually one rotten ingredient will affect whole dish and even in the case of low quality materials structure would break down, damaging the beautified parts as well.

Just because something is not visible, doesn’t mean we can ignore that ingredient. In infrastructure as well, while a lot has been researched, written and spoken about raw materials like Cement, paints, stones, other accessories etc. (All materials visible to eye after completion of project), there is hardly any research available on Reinforcement Bars (ReBars) also known as thermo-mechanically-treated (TMT) bars.

Rebars form the backbone of any construction, be it the foundation, column, beam or the slab in any RCC structure. The quality of ReBar used in any structure is critical to the overall quality of the structure. Here we would like to ask a simple question, are we really caring about the quality of RE- bar in infrastructure. We have seen awareness being created for pesticides found in various aerated drinks and ill effects of the same. Even Government has taken due care about mentioning a few warnings being printed on the products causing health hazards. We are much more cautious about the kind of food we have. Campaigns are carried to create awareness about organic food and making everyone understand how the higher Chemical contents in fertilizers used for agriculture produce. Even in case of menace of spurious or counterfeit drugs stringent norms are being set by Indian legislation.

Building an own house is a dream of almost everyone. However, when we build a house or in case of purchasing an apartment, how many of us actually enquire about the quality of TMT Rebar is being used for building? If we are that careless about our own house, not many would be interested in knowing what kind of TMT Rebar is being used to build the public infrastructure. In the recent past we have seen many natural calamities in India like floods and earthquakes. Amid such events, the quality of TMT Bars gains more prominence in an era where built infrastructure has to be created in a short span of time, with the ability to sustain loads much higher than originally intended.

With not much research available regarding how to evaluate the TMT Bar, (Especially in a Scenario where secondary players with low quality enjoy majority market share in India) - We at First Construction Council after a detailed analysis, have listed down the best of the candidates that would help end users take an informed decision.

Top TMT Bar Brands

Parameters of TMT Test

As we stated we have done an extensive analysis of various grades and different diameter samples, even the parameters selected for testing are extensive. The samples have to pass the Chemical Test (4 parameters), Physical Test (4 parameters) and also 3 other parameters under other tests.

  • While in the Chemical test – the Rebar is analysed to find out if compulsory evils like Carbon, Sulphur and Phosphorous should not be higher than the prescribed levels in the BIS 1786 Standards. Further even the Sulphur + Phosphorous content together should be under the prescribed standard levels. Unless and until it passes the above four parameters in Chemicals analysis – the sample is not found fit for usage.
  • In case of Physical test –the Strength, ductility and bending capacity of bar is analysed on four parameters. The TS/YS Ratio, Yield Stress, Elongation and finally the bend & re-bend test of Physical parameters is analysed. Again the products need to pass the minimum requirement under the BS 1786 standards. These test provide answers towards inherent strength of product. And lastly the Mass per Meter Run (Kg), Mean Ribs Area and Transverse Ribs are measured.

Unless all the parameters are not found according to the BIS 1786 standards – The Product sample cannot qualify for our list of – suitable grade products.

TMT Bar Research Report 2.0

Having gauged the relevance and importance of the TMT Report, released in 2018, FIRST Construction Council has decided to follow up on the report and release a fresh Research Report. The Report will be as extensive and hard-hitting as the first report.

Do you wish to access the report when it launches? Submit Enquiry and get notified when the report is launched!

Download Report

TMT Report 1.0 Highlights

Is India's Rs. 5.7 trillion infrastructure investments at risk?

First Construction Council released a sensational and hard-hitting report on the quality of TMT bars, analyzing the samples of 26 TMT bar brands in the country, out of which record 18 brands failed the test!

The infrastructure sector is highly responsible for propelling India’s overall development and enjoys intense focus from Government for initiating policies that would ensure time-bound creation of world-class infrastructure in the country. This year Rs 5.7 trillion has been allocated towards infrastructure in the Union Budget.

For instance, the government is planning to build 50,000 km of roads worth USD 250 billion by 2022, of which Rs 1 trillion will be spend during 2018-20. For ports, government has envisioned a total of 189 port modernisation projects involving an investment of USD 22 billion by the year 2035. Housing seems to be a major opportunity in terms of growth. The Indian real estate market is expected to touch USD 180 billion by 2020.To put it in numbers, only affordable housing is an opportunity worth Rs 6.25 trillion by 2022. There will be a requirement of additional 25 million units by 2022 and considering the Rs 25 lakh average cost of such houses the opportunity is worth Rs 6.25 trillion.

That said use of raw materials in the infrastructure project is paramount, which provides inherent strength to any infrastructure project. However, recent accidents, whether it is Kolkata bridge fall, a foot over bridge collapse and caving-in of a car parking wall in Mumbai indicates that there is a dire need for the better quality raw material to enhance the life of concrete. In fact, these incidents shows lack of technical intelligence in the procurement department which do not pay heed for quality raw material and emphasise more on cost-cutting methods.

While a lot has been researched, written and spoken about raw materials, there is hardly any research available on Reinforcement Bars (ReBars) also known as thermo-mechanically-treated (TMT) bars. Rebars form the backbone of any construction, be it the foundation, column, beam or the slab in any RCC structure. The quality of rebars used in any structure is critical to the overall quality of the structure.

One must understand that, considering the average steel intensity of about 10 percent by value in an RCC construction in India, the total construction industry can be valued at 10 times the valuation of the rebar industry which works out to an astronomical figure of Rs 12 trillion per annum. With such a large construction industry being critically dependent on the quality of steel rebars used, it is therefore imperative that all efforts are made to produce and promote the usage of good quality rebars in India.

Construction World decided to probe further and look into the factors deciding the quality of Rebar what it would eventually be. We realised that it is more important to make a practical analysis rather than a theoretical one. When we started our research preparations with the support of FIRST Construction Council, we analysed few leading players from the primary as well as secondary list of companies.

However, we eventually realised the gravity of the subject and decided to undertake the analysis of pan-India based TMT manufacturers. We analysed 66 TMT bars samples manufactured by 26 brands. And as the results are now out, of 26 brands, 18 brands have failed as Phosphorous and combinations of sulphur + phosphorous were higher than required quantity.

This clearly indicates, how even renowned players spending plenty on advertising have failed to clear basic research test. To become a quality Rebar, all the chemical and physical parameters are to be according to standards. Failure even on a single parameter means we are compromising on our safety standards.