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Why UHPC has different fibers and what fibers should be selected in façade application?

February 20,2023

Fibers in Concrete Facade Panels with Ultra-High Performance


The microstructure, failure mode, mechanical properties, autogenous shrinkage, and durability ofuhpc are all affected by different types of fibers. This paper examines the effects of various fibers on these properties, including synthetic fibers (polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene (PE), mineral fibers (basalt fibers, wollastonite fibers), carbon fibers, and hybrid fibers.

This contains an image of: Gallery of Fiber Cement Facade Panel Linea - 1

Source: https://i.pinimg.com 

1. Carbon Fiber

Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) is a high-performance cementitious material with high strength, tensile ductility, and durability. Highway bridges, field cast connections, rehabilitation, and facades are among its primary applications. Tunnel and canal linings, airport runways and aprons, hydraulic structures, pipes, and slope stabilization are all applications for UHPC.


Steel fibers are typically added touhpc concrete mix to improve mechanical properties. It can significantly improve the UHPC material's strength, tensile ductility, peak load deflection, and toughness. Furthermore, the addition of fibers can alter the crack pattern, delay the appearance, and limit crack expansion in concrete specimens, effectively improving the UHPC's performance.


There are numerous types of fibers available for UHPC. Steel fibers are the most commonly used among them. These fibers have a long lifespan, a strong bond to the matrix, and are resistant to corrosion and degradation.


They are also highly abrasion resistant, have low thermal conductivity, and are dense. As a result, they are an excellent reinforcement for UHPC.


Steel fibers' effectiveness in UHPC, on the other hand, is determined by their bond mechanism, fiber shape, fiber orientation, and hybridization with the concrete matrix. Understanding how these factors affect the microstructure, failure mode, mechanical properties, autogenous shrinkage, and durability of UHPC is critical.


In this study, the effect of steel fibers on the flexural strength and fracture energy of UHPC with various varieties, sizes, and hybridization was investigated. The results demonstrated that the hybridization of different fiber varieties and sizes can fully play the strengthening and toughening effects of fibers and increase the tensile strength, peak load deflection, and fracture energy of UHPC.


Furthermore, it can lower the cost of UHPC preparation while also promoting the development of UHPC preparation technology and engineering applications. It can also be used to choose the fiber variety, determine the fiber geometry, and prepare high-toughness UHPC.


There are two types of UHPC with different fibers based on the tensile stress-strain curve. They are classified as Type A and Type B. The tensile stress-strain relationship in type A is linear until the specimen cracks. Strain hardening is more likely to occur before specimen cracking in type B, whereas the bridging effect of fibers between cracks inhibits the development of early microcracks and allows for a smooth transition to softening after the specimen is cracked.

Facade Panels - concrete skin from Rieder Group

Source: https://i.pinimg.com 

2. Glass Fiber

The choice of fibers for a facade affects the overall design. The cost, sustainability, and durability of the fibers should all be considered during the fiber selection process. It is also critical to consider the final product's structural and mechanical properties.


The various fibers each have unique properties that make them suitable for specific applications. The mechanical properties, microstructure, and durability of each fiber are the most important characteristics. Furthermore, they can give the material a distinct appearance that distinguishes it from other structures.


Furthermore, the shape and texture of the fibers can influence their appearance and visual impact. Architects can achieve the desired look by selecting from a variety of colors and finishes. They can also have the panels cut and arranged in various geometric shapes, or they can have them perforated with various designs to create an interesting surface texture.


UHPC is a high-performance concrete that can be used in a variety of bridge-building projects, such as precast concrete panels, overlays, and field-cast connections between prefabricated elements. It is also suitable for use in pavements, tunnel linings, and bridge decks.


Steel fibers can be used to increase the flexural strength ofuhpc facade. These fibers improve the composite's bridging effect and can significantly reduce fracture energy, resulting in more durable UHPC. This is especially useful for lowering the risk of failure in high-stress environments and extending the life of UHPC.


Researchers, for example, have found that incorporating steel fibers into UHPC can increase its flexural strength by more than 20%. As a result, before incorporating UHPC with steel fibers into real-world constructions, it is critical to conduct a thorough study of their flexural strength.


It is also suggested that the tensile strength and splitting tensile strength of UHPC with fibers be evaluated in relation to a given deflection value. The corresponding fracture energy values should be determined because this is an important factor in the serviceability of a fiber-reinforced UHPC. When calculating the fracture energy, a reliable deflection of 3 mm should be used.

3. Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA)

A well-balanced fiber selection is critical when designinguhpc facade panels for overall mechanical performance and durability. This is due to the fact that fiber orientation, slenderness, and geometry all have an impact on concrete rheology, strength, and crack width and spacing during mixing, pouring, and construction.


In general, there are two types of tensile stress-strain curves in UHPC: type A and type B. Type A has greater tensile ductility and strength than type B. Type A has a higher concentration of microfibers.


It also reduces the permeability of UHPC. As a result, it is less susceptible to water infiltration and dehydration (Dils et al., 2012). Furthermore, a well-balanced mixture of fine aggregates can reduce the formation of air bubbles, which can further strengthen the material.


On the other hand, hybrid reinforcement of UHPC with a variety of fiber types and sizes has both advantages and disadvantages. It can fully exploit the strengthening and toughening effects of various fiber varieties and sizes, improve fracture energy and toughness, and reduce preparation costs. As a result, it is a promising solution for improving UHPC's workability and cost competitiveness.


Furthermore, the fracture behavior of hybrid reinforced UHPC reinforced with a combination of PP and BF fiber differed from that of PP fiber alone. The PP-reinforced specimens underwent a lengthy process of strain hardening and failure prior to cracking, resulting in a slower fracture rate. Furthermore, hybrid reinforced UHPC with a hybrid mix of PP and BF fiber had a higher tensile strength than PP-reinforced specimens with a single type of BF fiber.


Similarly, hybrid reinforced UHPC with a single type of PF fiber had lower tensile ductility than hybrid reinforced UHPC with a mixed SF and PF content. Tensile strength of hybrid reinforced UHPC mixed with 0.25, 0.5, and 1% SF was 47, 52, and 37% higher than that of concrete without steel fibers, respectively.

4. Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic fibers are fibers that are man-made and not derived from natural sources. They are created by chemically combining small units into larger single units known as polymers. These are used to make fabrics wrinkle-free and strong.


Nylon, polyester, and rayon are some of the most popular synthetic fibers. These are widely used in the production of garments, carpets, and ropes.


Synthetic fibers are stronger and more durable than natural fibers. They are also less expensive and simpler to produce.


DuPont created the first fully synthetic fiber in the 1930s, and it quickly became the world's most popular man-made fiber. It was a fashion industry breakthrough that altered how women dressed and lived their lives.


A wide variety of synthetic fibers are now available on the market. Some are made from coal and petroleum, while others are made from plants and minerals.


The majority of synthetic fibers are created through the polymerization process, which is a chemical reaction that occurs when a mixture of different components is heated in a furnace to form a solid or liquid product. This is the most common method of producing synthetic fibers, which are then extruded into strands and spun.


When the strands are twisted together, they form polymer, a fabric-like material. These fabrics are extremely durable and often very lightweight, which is ideal for building high-performance structures.


The polymerization process is critical to the success of synthetic fibers. The polymer constituents are converted to a liquid state and then extruded into strands in this process.


Temperature and pressure are also important factors in the successful development of a polymer. Temperature and pressure influence a polymer's crystalline structure and thus its properties. The more stable the polymer, the higher the temperature and pressure.


The fibers used in UHPC should be carefully chosen. They should have a high tensile strength and the ability to bridge cracks in the concrete matrix, increasing their durability.


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