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Jayden Adams
Construction Assistant
Asked a question 2 years ago

How to Test Quality of Steel Reinforcement at Construction Site?

For the reinforcement work we required the best quality of Rebar. How we can test the quality of steel reinforcement on the work site? What type of simple site test for finding steel quality?

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Type of steel bar used in reinforced concrete:

TOR Steel- Grade of high adherence steel 

TMT Bar- Corrosion Resistant steel reinforcing bar.

Testing of TOR Steel in Laboratory:

  • Elongation 
  • Chemical Analysis 
  • Ultimate Tensile Strength 
  • 0.2% Proof stress / Yield Stress

Field Test :

  • Mass per meter Run 
  • Bend Test 
  • Rebend Test.

Thank You.

Wilma Caldwell
Architectural technologist

Hi Jayden,

The quality check of the reinforcement bars brought to the site can be performed by following inspection and tests:

  1. Compare the manufacturer test certificate. This gives the actual properties. The manufacturer test certificate is issued for a particular lot. 
  2. Check the grade of the steel in the manufacturer certificate and look at whether it is as per the order. 
  3. Check for rust and unwanted debris on it. An undesirable amount of foreign material is not acceptable. Do check for any critical deformation or splits. A little rust is fine. 
  4. Check the brand, the grade, and the diameter on the bar.

After the above-mentioned inspection, the following tests can be performed on the site as per Indian standard code IS-1786.

Check for mass per meter run

The test involves cutting a 1m length rod from different reinforcement bundles. A minimum of 4 sample bars must be taken to conduct the test. Measure the length of each bar from four sides and take the average. Weigh the bar and record it. For the respective bar, calculate the average weight/m ( Do it for a minimum of 4 samples). Compare the result with the tabulated value of theoretical weight given in IS 1786. Check if the variation observed within the limit as per the standard code.

Bend Test and Rebend Test

In the bend test, the rebar is bend to 180 degrees as per IS 1599 in a mandrel (Mandrel specification as per IS 1786). Check for cracks or rupture on the tension side of the bent bar. If there are no such issues, the rebar has passed the bend test.

In the rebend test, the bar is bend at an angle of 135 degrees. Keep the sample in boiling water for 30 minutes (Boil to 100 degrees). After this, cool the sample. Once cooled, bend it into 157.5 degrees. Check for rupture or cracks. If there is no issue, then the bar has passed the test.

I hope this helped You,


First of all, More than 21 popular brands of Steel available in India were tested as per IS codes by First Construction Council on the Infrastructure Quality, specially For India under GoI and State Government Missions. Only six brands of Steel passed the tests - SAIL, RINL, Tata, JSPL, JSW, and Electrotherm. I have attached a Newspaper clipping for reference. If required, I can send you the test reports copy.

Secondly, the prominent tests on Steel are physical and chemical. At the site, we can do some physical tests to ascertain some parameters of Steel, such as ductility, unit weight, and bending.

As per IS 1786, the unit weight of the different dia of the Steel is mentioned and its variation too. Using that data, you can check the weight of the Steel available at the site.

Further ductility, bend, and re-bend tests can also be carried out at the site. The procedure for the tests are mentioned in IS 1786.

Note: These tests carried out at the site cannot be considered as final. The tests must be carried by approved labs or institutes, and the reports given by them can be considered to gauge the quality of Steel.

Peter Smith
Heating and ventilation engineer

Eight major pts:

  • Manufacturer Certificate
  1. Grade of steel
  2. Ultimate & bearing strength of steel
  • Length of Bar
  1. Std length = 12m.
  • Wt of bar
  1. Using formula, W = (DxD)/162 kg/m
  2. For 10mm dia, W = (10×10)/162 = 0.617 kg/m
  • Dia of Bar
  1. Randomly check the dia of bar using “Vernier Caliper” from each lots of diff dia.
  • Tag on Bar
  1. ISI Mark
  2. Grade of Steel
  3. Company logo/Name
  • Color of Bar
  1. Should be grey & not any rusted color.
  • Bend Test
  1. Bend the bar at 180° & observe the behavior of the rebar.
  • Re-Bend Test
  1. Bend the bar at 135° & observe the behavior of the rebar.
  2. Place it in 100°C hot water for 30 mins. Then bend at 157.5° & observe the behavior of the rebar.

Most imp’ly, the bars should have grips on it.

It should not break into pieces during bending.

Steel should not be brittle in nature but soft for working.

The length of the bar should be 12m.

Steel should not be corroded.

Steel color should be grey.

'TMT' marks should be present on each 1m length.

Steel should be free of paint & other materials.

Steel above & bar ribs should be should be properly placed.

Steel grade should be (Fe415, 450, 500) N/m^2 for heavy rcc structures.

Wt of 1 bunch steel bars 100kg min.


National Certificate → ASTM A706, JIS G3112, BS449, ASTM A615, JIS G3109 & IS 432(MS), IS 1786(HYSD)


% of carbon should not be more, which will lead to corrosion

Max % = 0.25 [IS 1786-1985 Cl-3.2 ]


Company name, Grade of steel / Dia of Bar, Type of bar

Eg, TATA FE500 / 25mm TMT

This should be written on steel bar.


How to Test Quality of Steel Reinforcement at Construction Site?

Ribs make grip with concrete & reverse the slipping. Development length is less bcoz of ribs.

Color – Deep greyish, No rust should be there. Pick a steel bar in hand & leave it. Check self hand, it will show rust present or not on hand.


Taking eg: cut 1m bar

8mm dia bar, d2/162 = 82/162 = 64/162 = 0.395 kg/m = 395 g


up to & including 10mm                        → ±7%

More than 10mm & including 16mm → ±5%

Over 16mm                                               → ±3%

Taking previous eg: 0.395 kg = 0.395 + (7% of 0.395) = wt should not go greater than this value

= 0.395 – (7% of 0.395) = wt should not go less than this value.

BEND TEST as per IS 1599

Mandrel dia for Bend Test (IS 1786)

Upto & including 20mm2 ɸ4 ɸ3 ɸ5 ɸ4 ɸ5 ɸ
Over 20mm4 ɸ3 ɸ5 ɸ4 ɸ6 ɸ5 ɸ6 ɸ

In this test, b
ɸ = dia of mandrel.
In this test, bar is bent at 180°.


In this test, bend the bar at 135° included angle.

Boil water at 100°C & dip the rod in water for 30 mins. Let the water cool & take out the rod. Reverse bend the bar at 157.5°. Check for rupture or failure at the bend.

DiaFe415, 500Fe415D, 500DFe550, 600Fe550D
Upto & including 20mm5 ɸ4 ɸ7 ɸ6 ɸ
Over 20mm7 ɸ6 ɸ8 ɸ7 ɸ

Hi, In technical and simple words according to the first construction council for infrastructure quality, the 21 types of Steel are available in India as per IS code. The tests are of two types



Weight of Steel reinforcement can be able to measure that site. ductility test and re-bend test can also be carried out at construction site and the test is done as per Indian Standard code 1786.

When a lot of steel received at site, First check the Manufacturer test certificate for its actual properties. With each lot of steel, manufacturer should send a test certificate of same lot for test done at their laboratory. Check for grade of steel mention in certificate and is as per the order or not.

Steel bars may have rusting on it, do check closely to know either it is acceptable or not. Steel received should be free from any contamination like, mud, dust, oil and any other foreign material etc. Bars should not have splits and any other deformation on it.

Check for brand of steel, diameter and grade of steel embossed on steel bars.

Cut the samples of 1 meter in length, min 4 nos of bars from different bundles. Measure the length of cut bars by measuring it on at-least 4 sides and average out the length of bar. Weight the bar on weight scale and record it in register. Calculate the actual average weight per meter of bar for at-least 3 samples. Compare the result of it with theoretical weight given in IS 1786

How to Test Quality of Steel Reinforcement at Construction Site?

Check the variation in weight is within limit or not as per IS specification.

After finding the results for nominal mass as satisfactory proceed further to do bend test.

Bend test should be carried out as specified in IS 1599 and using mandrels of size specified in IS 1786

Bending Test:

How to Test Quality of Steel Reinforcement at Construction Site?


Rebar sample should be bent at 180 degree as per procedure stated in IS 1599.

How to Test Quality of Steel Reinforcement at Construction Site?
How to Test Quality of Steel Reinforcement at Construction Site?

after this further process it to bend till 180 degree.

How to Test Quality of Steel Reinforcement at Construction Site?

At site we can bend it on bar bending machine using appropriate size mandrel. sample tested bar.

How to Test Quality of Steel Reinforcement at Construction Site?

After bending the bar check the surface of bar opposite to bend side (which got tension, elongated due to bending) for cracks and rupture visible to a person with normal or corrected vision.

If there is no sign of rupture and cracks, rebar meets the requirement of bend test.

Further to this a rebend test also can be done at site, if required. (IS specifies for doing but if it passes bend test, in general it will pass the rebend test too. You cand do it at side provided you have required arrangement at site for this test)

For Rebending Test: First bend the bar to including angle of 135 degree. Keep it in boiling water at 100 degree for 30 minutes. Then cool it down for some time. After cooling bent it back to including angle of 157.5 degree

The rebar should not show any rupture or cracks to a person with normal or corrected vision.

Mandrel to use for Rebend test as specified in IS 1786

How to Test Quality of Steel Reinforcement at Construction Site?

Below is pic showing bend rebend test (Closely look at the direction of bending and re-bending, in order to do correct test)

How to Test Quality of Steel Reinforcement at Construction Site?

After getting satisfactory results, you can approve the steel for further usage in actual construction.

I have not seen any test being carried out at the site for testing the quality of reinforcement steel. For its quality, a lab test is required. Also the test certificate from the manufacturer can be obtained to ascertain the quality of steel.