Prediction of steel fibre reinforced concrete under flexure from an inferred fibre pull-out response
journal contributionposted on 2008-11-06, 11:12 authored by Luiz Prudencio Jr., Simon Austin, Peter A. Jones, Hugo Armelin, Peter Robins
Steel fibre-reinforced concrete (SFRC) is being used in a variety of structural applications, yet there is still considerable debate how to express and evaluate flexural toughness for design purposes. This is holding back the material’s development as a permanent structural material. Existing beam and slab test methods have problems with variability or their application in structural design. Furthermore, existing models of SFRC flexural behaviour do not fully capture what happens at the cracked section in terms of the fibre-matrix interactions. Typical of these approaches is the modelling of the tension zone from single fibre pull-out tests, which is problematic in measurement of the load-displacement relationship, the interaction of groups of fibres and the extensive testing required to cover all permutations of fibre geometry. An alternative approach is proposed where the average pull-out response of the fibres bridging the cracked zone is inferred from flexural beam tests. The characteristic load versus crack-mouth opening displacement behaviour for a particular fibre concrete then forms part of the stress and strain/displacement profile in a flexural analysis to predict moment capacity in a design calculation. The model is explained together with its validation by comparing the predicted load-displacement response for a range of fibre volumes in sprayed and cast SFRC. It is concluded that the analysis of beam load/deflection curves to infer the fibre pull-out response is a viable approach. It offers a promising solution to the need for a flexural design model combined with a practical method of characterizing the tensile contribution of steel fibres.
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