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ABSTRACT

 

This research entitled “Characterization of Reinforcing Steel Bars in The Nigerian Construction
Industry” was undertaken to find out the physical and chemical properties of the reinforcing steel
bars used in the Nigerian Construction Industry. The study investigated the tensile, bending and
chemical composition parameters of the steel bars in relation to their level of conformity with the
standards. Samples from 418 pieces of bars from 19 companies were used in the experiment and
1520 test results were obtained. It was found that all the samples tested short of expectations of
BS4449:1997 in at least one parameter tested. Eighty five percent (11/13) of the local bars tested did
not comply with the characteristic strength provisions while the corresponding ductility figures are
satisfactory for eighty five percent (11/13) of the bars. It was further established that the foreign
bars, despite complying with the code in characteristic strength, have performed below expectations
in ductility implying they can fail without warning. It was also noted that the tested reinforcing steel
bars have not reasonably agreed in terms of chemical concentrations and percentage composition.
There seems to be a lot of impurities in the samples as evidenced by the uncontrolled presence of
sulphur, phosphorus and nitrogen. Although, the Carbon equivalent (C.eqv.) values are within
acceptable range, there is a conspicuous absence of some critical elements such as Vanadium and
Molybdenum that are supposed to be important determinants of strength and ductility.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page: ………………………………………………………………-………….…i
Certification:………………………………………………….………………………..ii
Declaration……………………………………………………………………………..iii
Dedication………………………………………………………………………..…….iv
Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………………v-vi
Abstract………………………………………………………………………………vii
List of Abbreviations:……………………………………………….………….…viii-x
List of Tables:……………………………………………………………………..xi-xvi
List of Plates:………………………………………………………………………..xvii
List of Charts:………………………………………………………………..………xvii
List of Appendices: ……………………………….……………….………………..xvii
Table of Contents:……………………………………….…………………..…xviii-xxiii
1. CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Preamble…. ………………………….…….………………………………….1
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem …………………..……………………….2
1.3 Aim and Objectives of The Study.……………………………………………..3
1.3.1 Aim of the study……………….……………………………………….………3
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1.3.2 Objectives of the Study……………………………………………..……………3
1.4 Significance of The Study………………………………………………………..3
1.5 Scope and Limitations………………………..………………………..…………4
1.6 Research Outcome………………………………………………….…………….4
2 CHAPTER TWO
LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Preamble…………………………………………………………………………..5
2.2 Requirements for Reinforcing Steel………………………………………………6
2.3 Tensile Tests……………………………………………………………………….6
2.4 Bend Tests…………………………………………………………………………7
2.5 Chemical Composition…………………………..……………………….…….8-16
2.6 Carbon Equivalent Value……………………………………………………..17-18
2.7 BS4449:1997 Code Provisions………….…………………………………………19
2.7.1 Reinforcement Sizes………………………………………..…………………….19
2.7.2 Cross Sectional Areas, Masses & Percentage tolerances………..……………..….19
2.8 Definition of Terms………………………………………………………………..21
2.9 Bond Classification………………………………………………………………..24
2.10 Routine Inspection & Testing……………………………………………………..24
2.11 Mechanical Properties of Reinforcing Bars……………………………………….25
2.12 Review of Some Related Works………………………………………………….26
2.13 Steel Making Process……………………………………………………………..27
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2.13.1 The Blast Furnace Method……………………………………………..………28-29
2.13.2 The Direct Reduction Method…………………………………………………30-31
2.13.3 The Mini Mill……………………………………………………………………..32
2.13.4 The COREX ……….………………………………………………………….…33
2.14 World Steel Production….…………………………………………………………34
2.14.1 Top Steel Producing companies in The World……………………………………35
2.15 Steel Production in Africa…………………………..…………………………….38
2.16 Crude Steel Output per Annum of Some African Countries .……….……….….40
3 CHAPTER THREE
MATERIALS AND METHOD
3.1 Preamble…….…………………….……………….………………………………41
3.2 Steel Production in Nigeria……….………………….…………………….……..41
3.3 The Ajaokuta Steel Project………………….…………………………………….42
3.4 The Delta Steel Company………………………….……………………….…….43
3.5 The Inland Steel Rolling Companies…………………..…….……………………44
3.6 Associated Agencies……………………….……………………………….…….44
3.7 The National Iron Ore Mining Company…………………………………………..44
3.8 The National Metallurgical Development Centre……………..…………….……44
3.9 The National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency……………………….….45
3.10 The Metallurgical Training Institute…….…………………………….………….45
3.11 Interdependence in The Nigerian Steel Sub-Sector……..………..………….….46
3.12.0 Private Steel Companies in Nigeria……………………………………………….47
3.12.1 Continental Iron & Steel Company…………………………………………..…..47
3.12.2 Mayor Engineering Company.……………………………………………………47
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3.12.3 Nigerian Spanish Company……………………….…………….………………47
3.12.4 Universal Steel Company…..……………………….……………………………48
3.12.5 Federated Steel Company……………………………………………………….48
3.12.6 KEW Metal Industry……………………………………………..……………….48
3.12.7 Kwara Continental Metal & Chemical Company……………….……………….49
3.12.8 Allied Steel Company Limited…………..……………………………………….49
3.12.9 Mandarin Industry……………………………..……………………………..…..49
3.12.10 Niger Steel Company…………….………….……………………………………49
3.12.11 Qua Steel Products Company……………..…………………………..………….50
3.12.12 Sankyo….…………………………………..…………………………………….50
3.12.13 Sunflag….…………………………….………………………..…………………50
3.13 Samples Collection…….…….…………………………………………………51-52
3.14 Samples labeling…….……………………………………………………………53
3.15 Samples Preparation……….……..……………………………………………53-54
3.16 Tensile Tests……………………………………………………………………55-74
3.17 Bend Tests…………………………………………………………………..….75-85
3.18 Chemical Tests…………………………………………………………………….86
3.18.1 Determination of Chemical Concentration in Milligrams per Litre……….…..86-87
3.18.2 Determination of Elemental Percentage Composition by Weight…………….88-91
4 CHAPTER FOUR
ANALYSES OF RESULTS
4.1 Preamble………………………….…………………………………………………92
4.2 Cross Sectional Area…….………………………………………………………….92
4.3 Effective Cross Sectional Areas &Tolerances……….…….………………..………93
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4.4 Characteristic Strength……………………………….…………………………….94
4.5 Ultimate to Yield Strength Ratio………..…………………………………………95
4.6 Percentage Elongation………………………………………………….……….96-97
4.7 Some Measured Parameters……………………………………………….…….98-99
4.8 Bend Test………………………………………………………..…………………100
4.9 Chemical Concentration……………….…..………………………………………101
4.10 Chemical Percentage Composition by weight……..………………………………101
4.10.1 Aluminium.…………………………………………………………..……………102
4.10.2 Barium………………………………………..……………………………………103
4.10.3 Bromine……………………………………………………………………………104
4.10.4 Cadmium……………..…….………………………………………………………105
4.10.5 Calcium……………………………………………………………………………106
4.10.6 Carbon………….……………………….…………………………………………107
4.10.7 Chlorine……………………………………………………………………………108
4.10.8 Chromium…………………….……………………………………………………109
4.10.9 Copper…………..…………………………………………………………………110
4.10.10 Gallium.…………..………………………………………………………………..111
4.10.11 Iron……….……………………………………………………………………….112
4.10.12 Iridium…………….………………………………………………………………113
4.10.13 Manganese…………………………………………………………………………114
4.10.14 Molybdenum……..………………….………………………………………….…115
4.10.15 Nickel……………….……………………………………………………………116
4.10.16 Nitrogen……………………………………………………………….………….117
4.10.17 Osmium……..……………………………………………………………………118
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4.10.18 Phosphorus………………………………………………………………………119
4.10.19 Platinum…………………………………………….……………….…………120
4.10.20 Rhenium…………………………………………..…………………………….121
4.10.21 Rhodium………………………………………..………………………………122
4.10.22 Silicon….………..……………………………..………………………………123
4.10.23 Sulphur….……………………………………..………………………………124
4.10.24 Tellurium .….………………………………….………………………………125
4.10.25 Titanium………….……………………………..…………………………..…126
4.10.26 Vanadium…….……………………………….………………………………127
4.10.27 Zinc……….…………………………………….………………………….…128
4.10.28 Zirconium…….……………………………………………………………….129
4.11 Determination of Carbon Equivalent Value……….…………………………130
4.12 Cross Checking Samples With Parameters Tested…..……………………..…131
5 CHAPTER FIVE
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Conclusion……..…………………………………………………………….133-134
5.2 Recommendations…………………………………………….………………….134
6.0 References ..….…………………………………………………………..…136-139
Appendix A (Tensile Tests)…………………………………………….……140-150
Appendix B (Bend Tests)…………….……………………………….………151-161
Appendix C (Chemical Tests)…………………………………………………162-181
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Project Topics

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION
1.1 PREAMBLE
The reported cases of structural collapse in most states of the federation are on the increase.
The outcome of the investigations by the Engineering Regulation and Monitoring (ERM)
Committee and Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria are pointing accusing fingers
at unqualified personnel as well as substandard materials used in the Nigerian Construction Industry
[ERM – Kano Zonal Inspectorate (2011)]. Thus reinforcing steel plays a key role as a construction
material whose properties must be known prior to applications in structural design.
According to UK Cerification Authority for Reinforcing Steels (CARES Part 1), for a
reinforcing steel bar to be used in any reinforced concrete work, it must satisfy some vital criteria
amongst which are:
Bend test.
Possess adequate strength to discharge its load bearing function.
Possess ductility for functionality and sufficient warning prior to failure.
Possess good weldability for site fabrication and to minimize accidental damage.
Possess good bond properties.
All metallurgical processes and controls must be in place to accommodate the requirements
by the manufacturer.
Steel reinforcing bars available in the Nigeria’s Building Industry are obtained from both
internal and external sources. The former comes mainly from the major steel plants in Nigeria such
as Delta, Osogbo, Katsina amongst others and the foreign dominated Nigerian based mini mills that
started operation in the country since around 1956. Imported steel bars coming into the country are
mainly from Russia and Ukraine. Others are those imported for specific uses by multinational
companies. Field survey conducted has revealed that most construction companies in Nigeria make
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all their reinforcing steel procurements from the open markets and it is a known fact that these
products are not sold along with accompanying technical information that will aid design. The
Survey also indicated that some of these products have been rebarred. It has also been observed that
some of the reinforcing steel from foreign sources does not have any traceable history such as
country of origin or specifications.
Thus, there is a need for a complete understanding of the properties of the reinforcing steel
bars in the Nigerian Construction Industry so that all associated short comings can be properly taken
into cognisance for best structural applications within the building industry.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
As we all know, Abuja is one of the biggest construction sites in the world. Many
reinforcing steel test results that were conducted in reputable laboratories such as the heavy concrete
laboratory of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria have failed test to meet the BS4449(1997)
requirements. This might have accounted for many foundations been blown up. Thus, quality tests
on the reinforcing steel in the Nigerian Construction Industry can not be over emphasized.
Thus, information on the strength, deformation characteristics and chemical composition of
the reinforcing steel bars used in the Nigerian Construction Industry in relation to codes such as
BS4449(1997) provisions need to be known.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.3.1 AIM OF THE STUDY
The aim of the research was to determine the properties of reinforcing steel bars in the
Nigerian Construction Industry.
– 27 –
1.3.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of the study is to examine the properties and quality of reinforcing steel bars in
the Nigerian Construction Industry. This involves determination of the strength and deformation
characteristics of the reinforcing steel bars with respect to properties known to have adverse effect
on fitness for use in design and construction. The specific objectives of this study are to determine:
The tensile characteristics of the reinforcing steel bars used in the Nigerian Construction
Industry.
The bending behaviour of the steel bars used in the Nigerian Construction Industry.
The chemical composition of the reinforcing steel bars used in the Nigerian Construction
Industry.
The effect of the elemental composition on the strength of the reinforcing steel bars used
in the Nigerian Construction Industry.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is a reawakening of the consciousness of all key players in the Nigerian
Construction Industry on the need to properly examine the properties of building materials
especially reinforcing steel in the Nigeria market beyond the index of physical properties to the
measure of chemical, textural and structure composition before putting into use.
The relevance of this study to particularly practising engineering personnel cannot be
overemphasized. Apart from igniting curiosity and further research into steel manufacturing
processes, relevance and use, this study will assist them to further appreciate the place of steel in
civil engineering works and their specific use, raw material composition, and how a blend of them
could be used to produce the best properties steel products.
This study also draws the attention of the government as well as regulatory bodies to
critically examine the properties of steel used in the Nigerian Construction Industry with a view to
– 28 –
making efficient laws to properly control the steel industry in Nigeria and the importation of
reinforcing steel bars from foreign countries so as to put a lasting solution to the incidence of
collapse of buildings which the country frequently experiences. Thus, this study will agitate the
government to tackle smuggling of steel bars into Nigeria especially those without relevant agencies
approval and registration.
The study will also educate the public to stop patronizing reinforcing steel bars with
unknown history even as it arouse buyers curiosity to demand for a strength compliance certificate
before procurement so that only confirmatory test will be conducted before commencement of
construction works.
1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATION
This study is limited to the tensile strength, bending test and chemical properties of
reinforcing steel bars.
1.6 RESEARCH OUTCOME
It was found that most steel bars produced in Nigeria fall short of code requirements in terms
of characteristic strength, bending and chemical composition. On the other hand, the foreign bars
despite their compliance with the code provisions in tensile properties fall below the code
specifications in respect of elongation requirements. Notably, all the bars tested showed significant
deviation in terms of chemical composition, as there is no point of convergence amongst all the
samples considered.

 

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