Influence of steel fibres, used in conjunction with unconfined rebar configurations, on the structural performance of precast elements

A joint experimental and computational research program has been carried out to demonstrate the potential benefits of using Steel Fibre Reinforcement (SFR) within the design and manufacture of two key structural elements, namely slender walls and thin lintels with dapped ends, often adopted within the pre-cast concrete industry. The investigations specifically focus on the advantages of utilising SFR in conjunction with traditional bar reinforcement in an unconfined layout. This configuration allows cost savings in regards to precast manufacture and enjoys good performance in terms of durability and fire resistance, though its use is currently limited by the brittle mode of failure. The paper sets out to prove that the inclusion of SFR within the concrete matrix is capable of inducing a more ductile response in the structural members under consideration, therefore potentially making it possible to justify the adoption of such unconfined layouts in the design practice.