Rebar Stirrups (Shear Links)

Rebar stirrups. Get a quote now or read on to learn about cutting lengths and formulas.
rebar stirrups
Rebar stirrups. Get a quote now or read on to learn about cutting lengths and formulas.

Quick Links: Take me to the stirrup cut length calculator

What are Rebar Stirrups or Shear Links?

Steel rebar stirrups, often referred to as rebar links, are simply lengths of hot rolled carbon steel rebar that are bent to form a square or rectangular shape. This shape, known as Shape Code 51, is then used in the fabrication of reinforcement cages designed to support concrete beams and columns.

The use of rebar stirrups is to give the main reinforcement bars structure, in order to maintain a correct level of concrete cover, and an equal transference of force through the supporting elements. Rebar links are also used as shear reinforcement, which is designed to resist shear forces acting on the element, and to increase beam ductility and reduce the risk of failure.

How Rebar Links Are Used in RC Structures

Rebar shear links are assigned at specific points along the length of a cage or beam, as determined by a civil or structural engineer. The location of stirrups has a strong correlation to the efficiency of the structural element, and the ability to resist forces acting upon it. Too many stirrups too close together increases unnecessary material use and cost, too few stirrups or with too high spans between stirrups will lead to ineffective resistance of shear forces, and deformation of the reinforcement elements (sagging and movement of the main bars leading to inaccurate cover, poor force transfer, reduced strength, etc.).

How to measure the cutting length of a rebar stirrup

Cutting Length of Stirrups = Total Perimeter of Shape + Total Hook length – Total Bend Length

In order to determine the total cutting length, you need to know the desired dimensions of the shear link, the length of the hook you require, and then incorporate a formula to determine the elongation of steel during bending.

Remember that with a square or rectangular stirrup, there will be 3 x 90° bends and 2 x 135° bends (because we are using hooks). If no hooks are required, there will be 5 x 90° bends (due to overlap).

Reference Materials

Perimeter of Rectangle2(length + width)
Perimeter of Square4 x side length
Circumference of Circle2πr
Hook length9d or 75mm
45° Bend length1d
90° Bend length2d
135° Bend length3d
d = Diameter of Bar

The complete formula for stirrups with hooks is:

2(A+B)+(2 x 12D)-(2x3D+3x2D)


  • A and B are the dimensions of the Stirrup
  • D is the diameter of the steel rebar

Example Formula

For example, the stirrup below is 400mm x 450mm. For the sake of this example, we’ll say the hook length is 9d or 9 times the diameter of the rebar. We’ll also use 2 hooks as shown in the image, at 135°. This example is using 10mm rebar (which you can order online here).

A = 400

B = 450

D (rebar diameter) = 10

L = Total Circumference Length + Hook Length – Elongation of Steel (3 x 90° bends and 2 x 135° bends)

L = 2(A+B)+(2 x 12D)-(2x3D+3x2D)

L = 2 x (400 + 450) + 2 x (9 x 10) – (2 x (3 x 10) + 3 x (2 x 10)

L = 1700 + 180 – 120

L = 1,760mm

Total Cutting Length of Rebar Stirrup is 1.76m per stirrup



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Rebar Stirrup Cutting Length Calculator

Elongation of Steel

Total Circumference Length = [variable-12]
Bar Diameter = [variable-11]
Hook Length = [variable-13]
Elongation = [variable-14]
Total Cutting Length of Rebar[variable-15]mm

Please note that this calculator is for estimation purposes only. We accept no liability for incorrect cutting length, or any related issues arising from the use of this calculator. Currently this calculator only includes cutting ength of rebar stirrups that include hooks. 

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Simple, accurate, and rapid solutions direct from a leading UK manufacturer.

Stay focused on your project,
let us handle the reinforcement.

Simple, accurate, and rapid solutions direct from a leading UK manufacturer.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informative purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information.

Always consult a qualified engineer and/or architect when designing or carrying out any construction project. Always work within regulations set out by your government, and within recommended safety guidelines.

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