High-strength welded wire reinforcement (WWR) mats offer a viable alternative to traditional tied rebar mats in tilt-up concrete panels. Using WWR can result in overall decrease in reinforcing steel tonnage for the project, and allows much faster placement. Both of these factors can improve the project schedule and budget. However, there are critical differences in the panel design that must be considered.
When properly designed, the use of WWR can improve the economy and performance of a tilt-up project. For engineers, specifying WWR can result in a more precise reinforcement design with better confinement and control of shrinkage cracking. For contractors, the use of WWR can simplify installation and result in significant labor and schedule savings. Material savings for single mat panels are typically minor, but are more significant for double mat panels. Involvement of the tilt-up engineer is always critical to ensure the WWR utilized is appropriate for slender wall design.