How Do Fiber Shape and Matrix Composition Affect Fiber Pullout Behavior and Flexural Properties of UHPC?


The use of steel fiber is essential to secure high strength and ductility in producing ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC). In this study, the interfacial bond properties between embedded steel fibers with different shapes (straight, hooked, and corrugated fibers) and UHPC matrices proportioned with either 15% or 20% silica fume, by mass of binder, under different curing times were investigated. Flexural properties of UHPC reinforced with 2% different shaped fibers were also evaluated. Test results showed that corrugated and hooked fibers significantly improved the bond properties by three to seven times when compared to those with straight fibers. The flexural strength of UHPC with corrugated and hooked fibers were enhanced by 8%–28% and 17%–50%, respectively. Microstructural results from MIP, BSEM, and TG confirmed the change in bond properties. The bond strength of straight fibers exponentially increased with the decrease of calcium hydroxide content. Based on the composite theory, the flexural strengths of UHPC made with different shaped fibers can be efficiently predicted using the fiber-matrix bond strength, the flexural strength of the UHPC matrix (non-fibrous matrix), and the parameters of fibers. The ratios of predicted to measured flexural strengths ranged between 0.8 and 1.1, in which straight fibers showed a larger discreteness due to higher sensitivity of flexural strength associated with the orientation of fibers.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


The research project was supported by the National Science Foundation of China under project Nos. U1305243 and 51378196, the Energy Consortium Research Center of Missouri S&T under grant No. SMR-1406-09, and the RE-CAST University Transportation Center at Missouri S&T under grant No. DTRT13-G-UTC45.

Keywords and Phrases

Bending strength; Bond strength (materials); High performance concrete; Hydrated lime; Lime; Microstructure; Reinforced plastics; Silica fume; Fiber shape; Flexural properties; High strength and ductility; Interfacial bond property; Matrix composition; Pullout behavior; UHPC; Ultra high performance concretes; Steel fibers

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Article - Journal

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© 2018 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 2018