Fiber has always played an important role in reinforcing concrete since prehistoric ages. The use of straw in mud bricks and reinforcing them with horsehair is a well-known tradition being followed since ages. With time, the technology has improved and we are getting more options for reinforced concrete. As for example, in the twentieth century, asbestos fibers were added to cement to reinforce it. Today, we find more high strength concrete, thanks to the advancement in the technology.
What is fiber reinforced concrete?
Fiber reinforced concrete or FRC is concrete which has been mixed with the fibrous material to increase its integrity. Usually, short and discrete fibers are added that are randomly oriented and uniformly distributed. The most common fibers used are steel, glass, natural and synthetic.
Use of fiber reinforced concrete
As we said earlier, the use of fiber reinforced concrete dates back to centuries. Nowadays, with intense research in this area, we are seeing fantastic and innovative results that are helping us to make high-density concrete. Reinforcement with fiber is now common with normal concrete. The FRC finds use in many areas like for building pavements and on-ground floors. It can be used in construction parts like pliers and beams too.
Fibers are added to concrete to increase its tensile strength.
Different fibers and their uses
Let us study the different types of fibers used for reinforcement in concrete and their benefits too.
Glass fiber reinforcement concrete – this type of FRC is widely used since last 25 years. They are manufactured into big panels. Even intricate designs are being made using advanced techniques. Glass fiber reinforced concrete finds uses in architectural purposes like fixing ceramic tiles.
Steel fiber reinforced concrete– this concrete consists of steel fibers that enable the concrete to endure tensile cracking. By using steel fibers, the concrete is being made resistant to fracture, fatigue, and disintegration. Steel fiber reinforced concrete is better equipped to handle heavy loads.
Natural fiber is also used to reinforce concrete. Commonly fibers processed from pine trees are used.
Asbestos fiber is another variant being used with cement which is cheap and increases the thermal and chemical resistance of cement.
Carbon fibers are the recent addition to the list of fibers being added to cement. They are generating excellent results and are finding many applications. Carbon fibers are characterized by stiffness and strength which make them superior to steel fibers. However, carbon fibers are prone to damage and hence are treated with resin coatings.
The benefits of fiber reinforced concrete
There are several major benefits of using fibers to strengthen concrete.
The main reason for using fibers in concrete is to control cracking that result from drying and plastic shrinkage.
- The durability of the concrete is enhanced by using fiber.
- The tensile strength of the concrete is also increased.
- The air and water voids of the cement are reduced.
- Some types of fibers increase shatter- resistance in concrete.
- Using steel fibers can decrease requirements of steel reinforcement
It is evident that reinforcing concrete with fibers is very popular. A lot of researches are being conducted in this field and we would surely new elements to be added to cement to manufacture high strength concrete.