Source : Textile Review
Fiber reinforced concrete is a new class of strong, tough and highly durable material. Fiber in the cement based matrix acts as a crack arrester which restricts the growth of flow in the matrix, preventing these from widening under load in to cracks which cause failure. The inclusion of randomly oriented, discrete fibres in concrete, mortar and cement paste can enhance many of the engineering properties of the base such as fracture toughness, flexural strength and resistance to fatigue, impact, thermal shock or sapling. Fiber reinforcement is likely to be used if these properties can be exploited in conjunction with advantages in construction and fabrication techniques.
Concrete is the most widely used construction material for permanent structures throughout the world since the last few decades. However, this extremely versatile material suffers from certain intrinsic deficiencies viz., low tensile strength, brittleness, and poor durability, especially, under aggressive environmental conditions. Since 1960's efforts have been made by scientists and engineers to develop concrete composites, devoid of the basic drawbacks of concrete, culminating in the development of two new composite materials - fiber reinforced concrete (FRC) and concrete polymer composites. Concrete polymer composites because of their excellent strength and durability properties have found extensive applications as protective coatings, overlays, precast products like industrial gratings, light and heavy duty floor tiles, pipe liners, etc. In spite of the enhancement in strength and improvement in durability characteristics, concrete polymer composites still retain one of the major deficiencies of concrete, viz., brittleness. The incorporation of fibers in the form of micro reinforcement is extremely useful in overcoming the inherent brittleness of concrete polymer composites. Thus fiber reinforced concrete polymer composites are a new class of strong, tough, and highly durable materials. The use of polymers also helps to improve the durability of fiber reinforced concrete especially those prepared using vegetable and natural fibers. Thus fiber reinforced concrete polymer composites are a consequence of synergistic synthesis of fiber reinforced concrete and concrete polymer composites. In this paper, the properties and performance of different types of fibers, concrete polymer composites and fiber reinforced concrete polymer composites are described and their potential applications are highlighted.
Authors are associated with Department of Textile Technology,D.K.T.E.Textile and Engineering Institute, Ichalkarnji
Originally published in Textile Review : June 2010