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© Maccaferri do Brasil Ltda.

Fibers as Structural Element for the
R e i n f o r c e m e n t o f C o n c r e t e . Te c h n i c a l M a n u a l

Officine Maccaferri S.p.A.
Via Degli Agresti, 6
40123 Bologna - Italia
Tel: +39 051 6436000 Fax: +39 051 236507
e-mail: comit@maccaferri.com
www.maccaferri.com

Maccaferri Canada Ltd.
400 Collier MacMillan Dr. Unit
B Cambridge, Ontario - Canada
hq@maccaferri-canada.com
Maccaferri Inc.
10303 Governor Lane Blvd
Williamsport Maryland - United States
hdqtrs@maccaferri-usa.com

INDEX

1 - Introduction
2 - Fibers as structural element for the reinforcement of concrete
2.1 - Historical review of the technology of incorporating fibers in concrete
2.2 - Concept of reinforcement of concrete through fibers
2.3 - Fiber types – Classification of current commercial fibers in function of the
raw material. Organic fibers (natural and synthetic polymers) and inorganic
fibers (metallic)
2.4 - Steel fibers. Classification upon geometrical, physical, chemical, mechanical characteristics and production process
2.5 - Synthetic and natural fibers. Classification based upon geometric, physical,
chemical, mechanical characteristics and production process
2.6 - Current standard situation
2.7 - List of MACCAFERRI’s fibers. Classification of MACCAFERRI’s fibers
3 - Fiber reinforced concrete; Basic elements for the structural project
3.1 - Mechanical characterization of fiber reinforced concrete. Most important
resistant features
3.2 - Structural compatibility of fiber reinforced concrete elements
3.3 - Instructions for the design of fiber reinforced concrete frameworks
3.4 - Current standard situation
4 - Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
advice for fibers incorporation into the mixture
4. 1 - Concrete, technological aspects for its formulation
4.2 - Advice for the incorporation of fibers in concrete
4.3 - Advice for insertion of fibers into concretes for prefabricated elements
4.4 - Recommendations for the use of fibers into wet and dry sprayed concretes
4.5 - Concrete admixtures and their compatibility of use in fiber reinforced concrete
4.6 - Typical applications of the structural and not structural fiber reinforced concrete
4.7 - Current standard situation
5 - Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining
5.1 - Conventionally bored tunnels and tunnels excavated through TBM
5.2 - Design criteria for tunnel supports and linings
5.3 - Design of supporting structures made of fiber-reinforced shotcrete
5.4 - Design of lining made of fiber-reinforced concrete pumped on-site
5.5 - Use of fibers for fire resistance of concrete. Description of fiber mixes,
structural and anti-spalling proposal for final linings

INDEX

5.5.1 - Objective of passive protection of concrete against fire
5.5.2 - Polypropylene and cellulose fibers as passive protection of concrete
against fire
5.6 - Quality control of fiber-reinforced concrete in tunnels
5.7 - Current standard situation
6 - Appliances in Fiber reinforced concrete. Floors design
6.1 - Industrial, harbour, airport, road, and special uses
6.2 - Methodology of conventional design for floors
6.3 - Design of joints in floors
6.4 - Methods of floors design in fiber reinforced concrete
6.5 - Fiber reinforced concrete and the joints design
6.6 - Control of quality in fiber reinforced concrete for floorings
6.7 - Current standard situation
7 - Applications of fiber reinforced concrete: prefabricated elements
7.1 - The use of fiber reinforcement in prefabricated/pre-cast concrete
7.1.1 - Final remarks
7.2 - Design of precast segment in fiber reinforced concrete
7.3 - Examples of applications. Padding panels, prestressed beams, non-structural
prefabricated elements
7.3.1 - Closing panels
7.3.2 - Double T covering prestressed beams
7.3.3 - Structures for flat coverings
7.3.4 - Pre-casted stretched beams
7.3.5 - Different elements
7.4 - SFRC special applications
7.4.1 - Foundation systems
7.4.2 - New potential applications
7.4.2.1 - Structures exposed to earthquakess
7.4.3 - Flooring covering with metal shaped sheets or precast – metal deck
8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers
8.1 - Equipments for the introduction of fibers into concrete
8.2 - Measuring systems of fibers for shot concrete
8.3 - Measuring systems of fibers for the production of ashlars
8.4 - Measuring systems of fibers for floorings concrete
8.5 - Measuring systems of organic and polymeric fibers
8.6 - Circular batchers

INDEX

8.6.1 - Description of the machine
8.6.2 - Aim
8.6.3 - Typology
8.6.4 - Principle of working
8.6.5 - Principle of use
8.6.6 - Technical data and main dimensions
8.6.7 - Moving/conveyance
8.6.8 - Necessary electric arrangement
8.6.9 - Tools and implements necessary to the installation
8.6.10 - Positioning
8.6.11 - Feet fixing
8.6.12 - Eccentric masses adjustment
8.6.13 - Welding operations
8.6.14 - Fibers storage
8.6.15 - Information to gather for the correct configuration of the installation
8.7 - Pneumatic batchers
8.7.1 - Aim
8.7.2 - Typology
8.7.3 - Principle of working
8.7.4 - Principle of use
8.7.5 - DOSOBOX
8.7.6 - SC99/2
8.7.7 - Special machines
8.8 - Personalized machine
9 - Authors
10 - References

1 - Introduction.

The purpose of this manual is to provide general information, criteria and new methodologies for the
calculation, project and execution of concrete reinforced works with fibers. They will be presented,
therefore, the obtained data of the investigations made by Maccaferri, oriented to the study of the
behavior, resistance and efficiency of such structures.
The Maccaferri intention is to have new and useful contributions to concrete works reinforced with
fibers, helping the consultants and contractors work who act in the segment of structural engineering.
For a more detailed analysis on the arguments treated here, we suggest to consult the specific publications that are indicated in the bibliographical references.
This manual they will be presented and discussed theoretical foundations, numerical examples of
the of the concrete reinforced with fibers applications and details of the use of the Wirand® metallic
fibers and Fibromac® plastic fibers.
Maccaferri is placed to total disposition, to give solution to problems, cradle in its experience, acquired
along more than 100 years of existence in all the world.

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2 - Fibers as structural element for the
reinforcement of concrete.
2.1 - Historical review of the technology of incorporating fibers in concrete.
The idea of using a fibrous material to provide tensile strength to a material strong in compression
but brittle, looses itself in the mists of time; in ancient Egypt straw was added to clay mixtures
in order to provide bricks with enhanced flexural resistance, thus providing better handling
properties after the bricks had been dried in the sun.
Other historical cases of fiber reinforcement exist: plaster reinforced with horsehair, or again
with straw in the poorest building conditions, so as to avoid the unsightly occurrence of cracks
due to shrinkage, counter-ceilings made of plaster reinforced through reed canes, cement
conglomerates fiber-reinforced through asbestos, etc.
But the scientific approach to such a problem is definitely more recent.
First studies dealing with use of steel fibers and glass fibers in concrete date back to the 1950’s;
in the 60’s the first studies concerning fiber reinforced concrete using synthetic fibers appear.
Definition of fiber-reinforced concrete (Official Bulletin CNR n.166 part IV):
“The purpose of the utilization of fibers within a cement matrix is the formation of a composite
material in which the conglomerate, which can already be considered as a composite material
that is composed by a litic scaffold dispersed in a matrix of hydrate cement paste, is combined
with a reinforcing agent that is made of fibrous material of various nature”.

2.2 - Concept of reinforcement of concrete through fibers.
The presence of fibers having adequate tensile strength, and being homogeneously distributed
within concrete, builds a micro-scaffolding that, on the one side, demonstrates itself being efficient in counteracting the known phenomenon leading to crack formation due to shrinkage,
and, on the other side, leads the concrete’s ductility(1) to become increasingly relevant with
increasing strength of the fibers. This provides the concrete with a high toughness(2) as well.
As it is known, in the vast majority of currently applied calculation and verification rules, the
concrete’s tensile strength is generally neglected in the calculation route, given concrete’s brittle
behaviour. The use of a fiber-reinforced matrix makes it possible to stabilize tensile properties.
In this way, the tensile strength can be now be exploited as well between other mechanical
properties in the design phase. This highly relevant technical advantage will be reported in details in chapter 3 of the present publication.
Given operative difficulties, tensile tests are generally not realized onto the concrete directly.
The evaluation of tensile properties, as well as of ductility and toughness, are carried out indi(1)
(2)

Ductility is the ability of a material to stand considerable deformation thereby maintaining good resistance.
Toughness is the ability of a material to counteract crack propagation by dissipating deformation energy.

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2. Fibers as structural element for
the reinforcement of concrete.
rectly through bending tests on beams or sheets, as it will be reported in details in the following
sections.
Graphic 2.1 shows qualitatively the possible outcomes which can be obtained from bending
tests on fiber-reinforced concrete elements through graphs reporting load vs. crack formation
or load vs. deflection.

First-crack
point

Load

Under the incidence of moderate loads, below breaking loads for concrete, the material’s behaviour is always elastic and no fracture is produced in the specimen during the bending test,
independently from the presence or the quality and quantity of fibers. In contrast, considerably
different behaviours can occur in continuing the test, thus increasing the applied load departing
from point A, called “first-crack point”:

Deflection
Elastic phase

Non-elastic phase

Graphic 2.1 – Bending tests.

- Curve I depicts the behaviour of a traditional concrete without reinforcement. Since
the structure is isostatic (the beam is simply supported at both ends), it collapses immediately
after first-crack loading is reached, such as typically occurring for brittle materials.

- Curve II shows some ability of the (fiber-reinforced) concrete to absorb, departing from
the first-crack point, a certain although low load (A-B) through a progressive slower collapse
(degrading behaviour).

- Curve III, in contrast, is typical of a ductile material, and shows a concrete able to sustain, departing from the first-crack point, a considerable deflection (A-B) under constant load,
still before the even slower occurrence of collapse (plastic behaviour).

- Curve IV finally highlights even an increment in the tolerable load under a wide deflection (A-B) after the first-crack point (hardening behaviour).

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2. Fibers as structural element for
the reinforcement of concrete.

It is evident that all these possible behaviours, or different ductility and toughness levels acquired by the concrete, depend both from the quantity of the present fibers as well as from
their mechanical, and geometrical characteristics.

Absorved energy (%)

Considering the influence of the fiber geometry on the behaviour of FRC(3) and of SFRC(4),
although any aspect is relevant, it is the relationship between the fiber length and equivalent
diameter (L/D named aspect ratio or slenderness ratio) which is considered as the most characterising element, since ductility and toughness of a fiber-reinforced concrete depend in large
measure on its value (Graphic 2.2).

Aspect ratio (L/D)
Graphic 2.2 – Absorbed energy vs aspect ratio.

Equally important are the mechanical characteristics of fibers, and, between them, tensile
strength essentially. Tensile strength plays a fundamental role on the behaviour of FRC and of
SFRC as the hindered pull out, which is due to the real and the forced adherence between fiber
and concrete (Graphic 2.3), can lead to fiber breakage caused by insufficient tensile strength
(Graphic 2.4).

Pull - out load

Fibra com
Hooked
fiberAncoragem

Pull - out load

Fibrafiber
Reta
Straight

Displacement
Graphic 2.3 – Increase in the adherence fiber-concrete with fiber shape.
(3)
(4)

CRF = Fiber reinforced concrete
CRFA = Steel fiber reinforced concrete

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Displacement

2. Fibers as structural element for
the reinforcement of concrete.

STRAIGHT

HOOKED

PADDLED

CRIMPED

ENLARGED ENDS

IRREGULAR

DOUBLE
DUOFOR

ORDINARY
DUOFORM

INDENTED

(a) Various shapes of steel fibers

ROUND (wire)

RECTANGULAR (sheet)

(b) Types of cross sections

IRREGULAR (mel extract)
(c) Sticked steel fibers

Figure 2.3 - Different forms of steel fibers.

Equivalent diameter De (mm): it is defined by means of different methods, depending from the
cross-sectional shape and the production process.
Direct method
In the case of fibers obtained from wire, disregarding from the longitudinal shape, the equivalent
diameter De is equal to the nominal diameter of the original wire or of the finished fiber.



Indirect geometric method
In the case of fibers obtained from laminate, disregarding from the longitudinal shape, the
equivalent diameter De is equal to the circle having the same area as the fiber cross-section
given by the following relation.

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2. Fibers as structural element for
the reinforcement of concrete.

Whereby A is the area of the fiber cross-section (mm2).

Where w = width, t = thickness
Indirect gravimetric method
In the case of fibers manufactured using other production methods and having a variable crosssection, disregarding from the longitudinal shape, the equivalent diameter is calculated based
upon the mean length L of the fibers, the mean weight m [g] of a given number of fibers, and
on the base of a volumetric mass r = 7.85 g/cm3, following the relation:

Simplifying, in the case of steel fibers:

Following prEN 14889-1. Fibers for concrete. Part. 1: Steel fibers, the equivalent diameter is
calculated from the fully developed length of the fiber L d obtained by flattening or straightening
the fiber by hand or by hammering.

Number of fibers per kilogram [n°/kg]
The number of fibers in a kilogram is calculated using the following relationship:

where:
L = Length of the fiber (mm)
De = Equivalent diameter of the fiber (mm)
g = Density (kg/m3)

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2. Fibers as structural element for
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The aspect ratio [l=L/De] defines the slenderness of the fiber: for the same fiber length, the higher
is the aspect ratio, the smaller is the equivalent diameter, which is the thinner is the fiber.
Moreover, for the same fiber length, the greater the value of l, the more lightweight the fiber
is, indicating a higher fiber density.
If the direct method and the indirect geometric method are applied, the aspect ratio neglects
the longitudinal shape, thus the volume and weight of the fiber.
If, in contrast, the indirect gravimetric method is applied, the aspect ratio takes the effective
geometry of the fiber into account through the fiber’s mass:

The tensile strength Rm [N/mm2 or MPa] of the fiber is calculated by dividing the tensile force
necessary to break through the cross-section of the fiber or of the intermediate product (UNI EN
10218 for wire). Besides the tensile strength Rm, the standard UNI 11037 foresees that the tensile
strength for a residual deformation set of 0,2 %, Rp0,2, is indicated as well. Again, in the same Italian standard, the tensile strength is divided into three classes, R1, R2 and R3. Each of these three
classes is further subdivided depending upon the case that the tensile strength is referred to the
intermediate product applied to obtain straight fibers:
1) Straight fiber: in this case is does not matter to test the intermediate product or the fiber itself,
and the case that the tensile strength is referred to the intermediate product applied to obtain
shaped fibers.
2) Fiber with hooked ends: In that case, and for a same class, the strength threshold is higher if it
is foreseen that the shaping / forming process produces a detriment of the tensile strength of the
fiber. This classification of tensile strength takes into account the diameter of the fiber: to decreasing diameters correspond increasing strength thresholds.

Equivalent
diameter
(mm)

Rm

400

320

350

0.80 < De < 1.20 300

0.50 < De < 0.80

Rm

R1

1)

Rp0.2

0.15 < De < 0.50

2)

Rp0.2

Rm

480

400

280

450

240

390

R2

1)

2)

R3

Rp0.2

2)

Rp0.2

Rm

900

720

1.080

900

1.700 1.360 2.040 1.700

350

800

640

1.040

800

1.550 1.240 2.015 1.550

300

700

560

910

700

1.400 1.120 1.820 1.400

Rp0.2

Rm

1)

Rm

NOTE: The indicated mechanical properties in the present table mention all to it the types of steel fibers.
1) Straight fiber s.
2) Profiled fiber s.
Table 2.3 - Tensile strength for three fibers classes according to Italian norm.

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Tensile
strength
test

Tensile strength
2
(N/mm )

Rp0.2

All the
class
Tensile
strength

2. Fibers as structural element for
the reinforcement of concrete.
Ductility
To evaluate the ductility of a fiber, or of the intermediate product from which it is obtained, alternate
bending tests are applied. If drawn wire has to be considered, please refer to UNI EN 10218.
Production process
Following the standard UNI 11037, according to the production process different types of fibers
can be considered:

- Cold-drawn steel wire obtained from rod produced following standard UNI EN 100161,2,4 or UNI EN 10088-3

- Cold-laminated sheet of non-alloy (plain carbon) steel

- Other production methods (such as, e.g., milling from a steel block)
A
Fibers from drawn wire

B
Fibers from cut laminated sheet

C
Other production methods

The classification of fibers is further cross-impacted by the chemical composition:
A1
Low C
content

A2
High C
content

A3
Inox

B1
Low C
content

B2
High C
content

B3
Inox

C1
Low C
content

C2
High C
content

C3
Inox

Table 2.4 - Fibers classification in function of its chemical composition.

In prEN 14889-1. Fibers for concrete. Part. 1: Steel fibers the category “Other production
methods” is further detailed:
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group

I: cold-drawn wire;
II: cut sheet;
Ill: melt extracted;
IV: shaved cold drawn wire;
V: milled from blocks.

Chemical composition
The raw material might have various chemical compositions. It is for this reason that in the
standard UNI 11037 a prospect for the chemical analysis of casting has been elaborated.

Type of steel

C

Mn

A1-B1-C1
A2-B2-C2
A3-B3-C3

< 0.20 1)
1)
< 0.20

< 0.60
2)
< 0.80

Pmax.

Cr

Ni

0.045
0.045
0.06
0.05
Following UNI EN 10088-1

---

---

Si
2)

< 0.30
< 0.30

Smax.

Table 2.5 - Chemical composition of steel fibers according to Italian norm.

Surface coating
In order to guarantee durability in the case that the fibers are applied in particularly aggressive
environments, fibers may have a zinc surface coating. The following table presents coating thickness as a function of wire diameter:

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2. Fibers as structural element for
the reinforcement of concrete.

Diameter (mm)

Minimum coating mass (g/m2)

0.15 < De < 0.50

15

0.50 < De < 0.80

20

0.8 < De < 1.20

25

Table 2.6 - Minimum zinc coating for steel fibers.

Tolerances
Standards (UNI 11037, prEN 14889-1 and ASTM A820) provide different criteria for the evaluation of tolerances. The following table reports the most restrictive conditions provided by prEN 14889-1, which prescribes
that the percentage of conformity should not be less than 95 % of the verified specimens (whereby ASTM
A820 considers 90%, and additionally, with deviation onto the higher average nominal values):

prEn 14889-1 - Tolerances
Property
Length
> 30 mm
< 30 mm
Equivalent diameter
> 30 mm
< 30 mm
Length/diameter
ratio

Symbol

Deviation of the individual value
relative to the declared value

Deviation of the average value
relative to the declared value

L

+ 10%

+ 5%
+ 1.5 mm

De

+ 10%

+ 5%
+ 0.015 mm

= L/De

+ 15%

+ 7.5%

Table 2.7 - Dimensional tolerances of steel fibers according to European norm.
The least 95% of the individual samples the specified tolerances must be in agreement.

ASTM A820 - Tolerances
Deviation of the individual value
relative to the declared value

Deviation of the average value
relative to the declared value

Property

Symbol

Length

L

+ 10%

+ 10%

Equivalent diameter

De

+ 10%

+ 10%

Length/diameter
ratio

= L/De

+ 15%

+ 15%

Table 2.8 - Dimensional tolerances of steel fibers according to American norm.
The least 90% of the individual samples the specified tolerances must be in agreement.

Standard prEN 14889-1 indicates tolerances for the tensile strength and the Young’s modulus.
For tensile strength, a tolerance of 15% is considered onto the average value, and a tolerance of
7.5 % is considered onto individual values; at least the 95% of the specimens must be conform
to the above indicated tolerances.

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2. Fibers as structural element for
the reinforcement of concrete.
Designation
Following UNI 11037/2003 “steel fibers to be employed in the manufacture of fiber-reinforced
cement conglomerate”, fibers are designated through the following short-name:
UNI 11037 – A1 – 1.00 x 50 – R2 – shaped
Where:
A = indicates fibers obtained from drawn wire
1 = indicates low carbon content
1.00 = indicates the fiber diameter
50 = indicates the fiber length measured between its ends
R2 = indicates the 2nd tensile strength class (R > 910 MPa for the considered diameter)
Shaped = indicates transverse or longitudinal deformations greater than L/30

2.5 - Synthetic and natural fibers. Classification based upon geometric, physical,
chemical, mechanical characteristics and production process.
Synthetic fibers for use in the most common concretes can be grouped as indicated by the
following figure, taken from a BISFA document:
Polypropylene

Fiber composed of linear macromolecules
made up of saturated aliphatic hydrocarbon
units in which one carbon atom in two
carries a methyl side group, generally in an
isotactic configuration and without further
substitution.

Polyproyilene

Vinylal

Linear macromolecules of poly (vinyl
alcohol) whith different levels of
acetalization.

Acetalized poly (vinyl alcohol)

Where n > 0

Modarcrylic

Fiber composed of linear macromlecules
having in the chain at least 50% and less
than 85% by mass of acrylonitrile.

Acrylic copolymers

If X = H e Y = Cl
Poly(acrylonitrile or vinyl chloride)
If X = Y = Cl
Poly(acrylonitrile or vinylidene chloride)

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2. Fibers as structural element for
the reinforcement of concrete.

Polyamide
or
nylon

Fiber composed of linear macromolecules
having in the chain recurring amide linkages,
at least 85% of which are joined to aliphatic
cycloaliphatic units.

Polyhexamethylene adipamide (polyamide 66)

Polycaproamide (polyamide 6)

Aramid

Fiber composed of linear macromolecules
made up of aromatic groupps joined by
amide or imide linkages, at least 85% of
the amide or imide linkages being joined
directly to two aromatic rings and the
number of imide linkage, if the latter are
present, not exceeding the number of
aramide linkages.

Example 1:

Example 2:

Note: In example 1. the aromatic groups may be the
same or different.
Table 2.9 - Classification of synthetic fibers according to BISFA.

2.6 - Current standard situation.
From raw material to the intermediate product, the following standards can be applied (in a
European contest):

- UNI 5549 Mechanical tests for metallic materials – Alternate bending tests of thin
steel sheets and tapes with thickness below 3 mm.

- UNI EN 10002-1 Metallic materials – Tensile test – Part 1: Test method (at ambient
temperature).

- UNI EN 10016 Rod of non-alloy (plain carbon) steel destined to cold-drawing and/or
to cold-lamination.

- UNI EN 100 Stainless steels.

- UNI EN 10130 Flat cold-laminated products made of low carbon content steel for
dishing or cold bending.

- UNI EN 10204 Metallic products – Types of control documents.

- UNI EN 10218-1 Steel wire and wire products - Part 1: Generalities – Test methods.

- EN 10244-2 Steel wire and wire products – Non-ferrous metallic coatings on steel
wire – Part. 2: Zinc or zinc alloy coatings on steel wire.

- ECISS CR 10261 Information circular n. 11 – Steels and cast irons – List of available
chemical analysis methods.

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2. Fibers as structural element for
the reinforcement of concrete.
Specific standards concerning steel fibers are:

- UNI 11037 Steel fibers to be applied for confection of fiber-reinforced cement conglomerate.

- ASTM A820 Standard specification for steel fibers for fiber-reinforced concrete.

- prEN 14889-1 Fibers for concrete – Part 1: Steel fibers – Definition, specifications and
conformity.
The standard EN 14889-1 has been further elaborated by CEN/TC104/WG11, under Mandate M128, CPD 89/106, and has been approved by the Formal Voting of May 2006. This is
a harmonized standard. The following scheme depicts the standard and the other correlated
standards:

Construction Product
Directive
CPD 89/106

M128
Products related to
Concrete, Mortar
and Grout

CEN/TC104/WG11
Concrete
fibers for concret

CEN/TC229/WG3/TG7
Precast concret products
Test method for metalic fiber

prEN 14845-1
Test method for fibers
in concret
Part 1 - References
concret

prEN 14845-2
Test method for fibers
in concret
Part 2 - Effect on strenght

prEN 14651
Test method for metalic
fiber concret
Measuring the flexural
strenght

Table 2.10 - Outline of the Norms prEN 14889-1 and correlated.

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CEN Enquiry
(May 2004)

CEN Enquiry
(May 2004)

CEN Enquiry
(July 2003)

CEN Enquiry (August 2004)

prEN 14889-1
Fibers for concret
Part 2. Steel fibers

prEN 14889-2
Fibers for concret
Part 1. Polymer fibers
CEN Enquiry (August 2004)

2. Fibers as structural element for
the reinforcement of concrete.

2.7 - List of MACCAFERRI’s fibers. Classification of MACCAFERRI’s fibers.
Officine Maccaferri produces shaped fibers and fibers cut from cold-drawn steel wire. Chemical
characteristics of the raw material (rod) are reported in the following table, in function of the
final diameter of the fiber:
Fiber classification
according to
productive process

Material of
production

Wirand FF1

Inorganic

Wirand FF3

Code of
the Fiber

Tensile
strength

Dimensions

(MPa)

Length
(mm)

Diameter
(mm)

Aspect
ratio
(L/d)

Number of
fibers for kg
(n°/kg)

Cold-drawn wire
with low
carbon content.

1100

50

1.00

50

3212

Inorganic

Cold-drawn wire
with low
carbon content.

1200

50

0.75

67

5710

Wirand FS1

Inorganic

Cold-drawn wire
with low
carbon content.

1200

37

0.55

67

14348

Wirand FS3N

Inorganic

Cold-drawn wire
with low
carbon content.

1200

33

0.75

44

8651

Wirand FS4N

Inorganic

Cold-drawn wire
with low
carbon content.

1200

33

0.60

55

13518

Wirand FS7

Inorganic

Cold-drawn wire
with low
carbon content.

1300

33

0.55

60

16087

FibroMac 12

Inorganic

Multifilament of
virgin polypropylene

320-400

12

0.02

180.000.000
(for m3 of
mixture)

Ultrafiber 500

Vegetal
organic

Multifilamento of
virgin cellulose

90-130 ksi

02:01

0.02

1.450.000.000

MC1

Inorganic

Melt
extracto

800

32

0.4

32

7657

Table 2.11 - Maccaferri fibers.

Wirand Wirand Wirand Wirand Wirand Wirand FibroMac Ultrafiber
FF1
FF3
FS1
FS3N
FS4N
FS7
12
500
Qualitative properties of the
steel fiber reinforced concrete.

Ductility and tenacity
Fatigue resistance
Impact resistance
Permeability
Microcracking control
Abrasion Resistance
Long term shrinkage
Fire resistance
Maximum performance
Table 2.12 - Qualitative behavior of the Maccaferri fibers.

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Minimum performance

MC1

2. Fibers as structural element for
the reinforcement of concrete.

Minimum dosages (kg/m³) and
minimum thicknesses (mm)

MC1
Wirand Wirand Wirand Wirand Wirand Wirand Wirand
Ultrafiber
FF1 FibroMac
500
FF1
FF3
FS1
FS3N
FS4N
FS7
12
(mix)

25

Maximum diameter of aggregates (mm)

25

15

18

15

15

25

Prefabricated and others

Tunnels

Floors and pavements

Dos. Thick. Dos. Thick. Dos. Thick. Dos. Thick. Dos. Thick. Dos. Thick. Dos. Thick.

Advised
addition

Advised
addition

Dosage

Dosage
0.6 / 0.9

Industries

25

200

25

200

30

200

0.6 / 0.10

Airports

35

300

30

300

40

300

1.9

Commercial areas
Improvement of sub-base
foundation
Foundation for machines base

20

150

20

150

20

100

20

100

20

60

25

50

20

50

20

50

30

200

0.6 / 0.10

40

250

35

250

30

250

35

250

35

250

35

300

35

300

25

150

35

150

30

150

25

150
35

300

0.6 / 0.9

60

300

0.6 / 0.9

Primary linings
Final linings

30

300

Precast segment

60

350

50

350

Light

25

Pretensile
Extruded

30

150

25

150

Channel linings

25

150

20

150

60

30

50

30

50

25

50

50

50

50

50

0.6 / 0.10

0.6 / 0.10

Table 2.13 - Application guide of the concrete fibers reinforced. Orientation according to type of fiber and thicknesses.
Comments:
All the advised dosages and thicknesses in this table are based on experiences, therefore they can vary each in accordance with case that will have particularly to be studied.
To consult the Structural Engineering department of the Maccaferri for a correct orientation to its project.

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3.1 - Mechanical characterization of fiber reinforced concrete. Most important
resistant features.
Introduction
By adding to concrete fibers of different kinds, either micro or macro fibers, as related in the previous
chapter, a new material with features different from normal concrete is obtained.
Such a mixture is called Fiber Reinforced Concrete. If it’s a reinforcement made of steel fibers it’s
called Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete.
The surveys of FRC different technological properties are made by normalized tests, some of which
typical of ordinary concrete, some others made on purpose for the fiber reinforced one.
Properties of the fiber reinforced concrete in hardened state
Here are the factors which affect the properties of a fiber reinforced concrete:



- The fibers: geometry, aspect ratio, contents, orientation and distribution;
- The matrix: resistance and maximum dimension of the aggregates;
- The interface fiber-matrix;
- The tests: test dimensions, geometry and methodology.

The properties of under load (static and dynamic) fiber reinforced concrete may be classified according to the following actions:








- Compression;
- Uniaxial direct traction;
- Splitting indirect traction;
- Bending indirect traction (measure of toughness and fracture energy);
- Shearing and torsion;
- Fatigue;
- Impact;
- Abrasion;
- Viscous deformation (Creep).

The physical and chemical behaviour is to be valued according to the following phenomena:




- Short-term shrinkage (plastic);
- Long-term shrinkage (hydraulic);
- Durability;
- Freeze-thaw;
- Carbonation;

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- Fibers corrosion in the presence of chlorides (cls cracked and not cracked);
- Exposure to the fire.

For each of the above-mentioned features suitable prescriptive references will be given.
Compression
Concrete compressive strength isn’t substantially modified by fibers addition.
A moderate increase for considerable rates of steel fibers (no less than 1.5% in volume, approximately) can be observed.
After reaching the peak, the material shows a marked ductility which strongly depends on fibers
contents:

Graphic 3.1 - Chart load vs. deformation, for concrete with different fiber dosages.

Again about the behaviour of fiber reinforced to compression, the elastic modulus and the ratio of
Poisson prove to be substantially unchanged for rates of fibers lower than 2% in volume.
Strength tests are made on cylindrical (diam 150mm, height 300mm) or cubical (side 100 or 150mm)
specimen.
Reference prescriptions are the same applied to ordinary concrete (ASTM C39, EN 12390-3, etc.).
Uniaxial direct traction
Fiber reinforced behaviour to uniaxial traction is strongly affected by the presence of fibers, particularly in the phase following the first cracking.

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Only by using high measurings, above all of microfibers (about 1.5 – 2% in volume and above), remarkable additions of peak value can be obtained:

Figure 3.1 - Arrangement
for direct tensile strength
test.

Graphic 3.2 - Load curve (P) vs. deformation (δ), for concrete with low fiber dosage (a) and high
fiber dosage (b).

It’s the case of High Performance Fiber Reinforced Cement Composites (fck > 100 MPa) and with
high short fibers measurings (Lf < 13 mm, measuring > 2% volume), where the behaviour turns into
hardening kind.
The direct traction test of fiber reinforced concrete isn’t easy to be carried out.
As it may be proved by the following picture, it’s better to engrave the specimen so as to spot the
crack:

Figure 3.2 - Arrangement for fiber reinforced concrete tensile strength test according UNI U73041440.

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At present there are no regulations on direct traction.
The UNI U73041440 norm, which provides some information on dimensions of the specimen, cylindrical or prismatical, on the engraving depth, by which the cracking aperture can be measured, is
being passed in Italy.
Indirect traction – Brazilian test
The practical difficulties to carry out the direct traction led to alternative procedures, as the splitting
indirect traction, also called “Brazilian test”:

Figure 3.3 - Arrangement for
Brasilian concrete tensile strength
test.

Photo 3.1 - Indirect tensile
strength test apparatus.

Photo 3.2 - Example of configuration for indirect tensile strength test
element.

In the picture the specimen is cylindrical but it’s also possible to test cubical or prismatical specimen.
The test consists in subjecting a cylindrical specimen to a compression force applied to a restricted
zone for the cylinder overall length.
The breaking comes after reaching the maximum traction strength in direction orthogonal to the
applied force. The fiber reinforced concrete indirect traction strength is obtained by the maximum
load.
To determine such a property it’s possible to apply to ASTM C496 and EN 12390-6 norms.
As for ordinary concretes, it’s possible to deduce the direct traction strength following up the indirect one (EC 2, Italian Technical Norms, ACI). The possible correlations also for fiber reinforced
concretes aren’t at present codified.
Indirect traction - Bending
The bending test is surely the most widespread owing to its carrying out relative facility and as it is
representative of many practical situations. Another reason for the success of this test comes from
the higher degree of the test redundancy, which points out the ductility brought by the fibrous reinforcement, more than it happens in the previous tests (compression and direct traction):

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5.0

Average tension t (MPa)

zoom w = 0.2 mm
TRA0 med
TRA4 med
TRA8 med

4.0
3.0
2.0
1.0
0.0
0.00

0.10
Displacement w (mm)

0.20

Graphic 3.3 - Results comparison of fiber reinforced concrete tensile strength with different dosage rates.

Load P (kN)

12.0

zoom w = 5.00 mm
FLE0 med
FLE4 med
FLE8 med

8.0

4.0

Plain
0.0

0.00

2.50

5.00

Deflection f (mm)
Graphic 3.4 - Results comparison of fiber reinforced concrete flexural strength with different disage rates.

There are two kinds of tests: bending test on prismatical specimen (beam) and plate (circular or
square) punching test.
Bending test on beam:
This test aims at determining the toughness brought by the fibers to concrete.
The toughness is the strength opposed by the material to the feed of breaking process (static, dynamic or after shock) owing to its capacity of dispersing energy distortion.
The specimen rests on two points, and is loaded in one or two points: the former case is called Three
Point Bending Test (3PBT), the latter Four Point Bending Test (4PBT) (Figures 3.4 and 3.5):

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Support

Loading device

Support
L

Figure 3.4 - Configuration of flexural test with the third point load
arrangement.

Figure 3.5 - Configuration of flexural test with the four point load
arrangement.

The beam on three load points is loaded at midspan, while in the four points one the span is divided
in three parts of equal length.
The beams dimensions in the main regulations aren’t so different one from another.
In ASTM C1018 norm, according to the fibers length, it’s possible to choose between two different
structures:
Standard

Specimen and
loading

Specimen
dimensions

Parameters
monitored

Measurements

ASTM 1018-92

- Beam
- Third-point loading

100 x 100 x 350 mm
preferred
(variations permitted)

- Load
- Net deflection at
midspan

- First crack strength and deflection
- Toughness index 15, 110, 120 (ratio of energy
absorbed up to nr and that absorbed energy up to
r (n = 3; 5,5; 10,5)
- Residual strength factor(s)

UNE 83-510-89
Spain

- Beam
- Third-point loading

d/b < 1,5
l = 3d
s > 3d + 50 mm

- Load
- Deflection at midspan

- First crack strength
- Energy absorbed until the deflection of 1/150
- Ratio of energy absorbed up to deflection of
15,5 r to that up to  r

P 18-409
France

- Beam
- Third-point loading

b = d = 140 mm
l = 420 mm
s = 560 mm

- Load
- Deflection at midspan
(avg)

- First crack load Pr
- Ratio of load at deflection  to load Pr
( = 0,7; 1,4; 2,8 mm)

NBN B 15-238
Belgium

- Beam
- Third-point loading

b = d = 150 mm
l = 3d
4d < s < 5d

- Load
- Net deflection at
midspan

- First crack strength
- Flexural strength
- Energy absorbed up to deflection l/n (n = 300, 150)
- Equivalent flexural strength up to deflection l/n
(n = 300, 150)
- Ratio of load at a deflection of l/n (n = 300, 150) to
the first crack load

Concrete
Institute
JSCE-SF4
Japan

- Beam
- Third-point loading

h = d = 100 mm for
ll < 40 mm
h = d = 140 mm for
If > 40mm
l = 3d + 80 mm

- Load
- Net deflection at
midspan, or Net
deflection at load
points

- Flexural strength
- Load ratio P*max / Pmax (P*max = maximum load
on reloading after unloading at 0,9 Pmax in the
post-peak; Pmax = maximum load)

DBV Recommendat
(Germany)

- Beam
- Third-point loading

h = d = 150 mm
l = 600 mm
s = 700 mm

- Total load
- Net deflection at
midspan (avg)

- First crack strength
- First crack load
- Equivalent flexural load carrying capacity until
deflection limit = (Gfibers/ )
- Equivalent flexural strength until deflection  limit

CUR Recommend
(The Netherlands)

- Beam
- Third-point loading

h = d = 150 mm
l = 450 mm
s = 600 mm

- Total load
- Net deflection at
midspan

- First crack strength and load
- Energy absorbed up to deflection  (  = 1,5, 3 mm)
- Equivalent flexural strength up to deflection to the
first crack strength

Concrete
Association
Recommend
Norway

- Beam
- Third-point loading

h = 125 mm
d = 75 mm
l = 450 mm
s = 550 mm

- Total load
- Load point deflection

- Flexural strength
- Residual flexural strength at deflections of 1 mm
and 3 mm
- Toughness classification based on residual flexural
strength

Table 3.1 - Comparison table of different international codes, description and results.

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Stiffness
ratio
(mm2)

System/
loading

Flex.
strength

Cq. flex.
strength

2000

150 x 150 x 550 / 550
(150 x 125 x 550 / 500)

781,3

3 pt/
centrally

LOP (Fu)
0,05 mm
interval

SIA 162/6

1999

h0 x h0 x 6h0 / 4,5h0
(h0 100)

370,4

4pt/3 pt

NB
publication
n°7

1999

125 x 75 x l / 450
( l 500)

260,4

Germany

DBV
tunneling

1996

150 x 150 x 700 / 600

4

Sweden

SB Report
nr 4

1997

5

Spain

AENOR UNE
83-5xx
CIMNE n°54

2000

6

Netherlands

CUR 35
Komo-Attest

7

Austria

8

Res. flex.
strength

Tensile
strength

Specialties

l/1000
(0.5 mm)
l/200
(2.5 mm)

-

0.37 x flex.
0.45 x flex

Notched beams
Concrete part
of absorption
taken into
account

-

Dependent on
crack location

-

-

Crack location
normalized

4 pt/3rd pt

Fu
(1 crack)

-

0.5 mm
1.0 mm
2.0 mm
4.0 mm

-

-

937,5

4 pt/3rd pt

Fu
(1st crack)
0,05 mm
interval

l/1200
(0.5 mm)
l/200
(3.0 mm)

-

0.37 x flex.
0.45 x flex

Concrete part
of absorption
taken into
account

125 x 75 (125) x l / 450
(l 550)

260,4
723,4

4 pt/3 pt

Fu, Fcr
(special
method)

-

fcr x R10, x/100
(ASTM 1018) 0.37 x flex.

Refers to
DBV, ASTM

150 x 150 x 600 / 450

1250,0

4 pt/3 pt
3 pt/
centrally

1994
1997

150 x 150 x 600 / 450

1250,0

4 pt/3 pt

OBV
guideline
for shotcrete

Fu
(1st crack)
0,05 mm
interval

l/300
(1,5 mm)
l/150
(3,0 mm)
l/300
(1,5 mm)
l/150
(3,0 mm)

1998

100 x 100 x 400 / 300
150 x 150 x 600 / 450

555,6
1250,0

4 pt/3rd pt

-

(DBV)

Belgium

NBN
B-15-238

1992

150 x 150 x 600 / 450

1250,0

4 pt/3rd pt

9

France

NF P 18-409

1993

140 x 140 x 560 / 420

1088,9

-

Fu
Fr (0,05 mm
interval)

10

Japan

JSCE-SF4

1984

100 x 100 x 380 / 300
150 x 150 x 530 / 450

555,6
1250,0

4 pt/3rd pt

11

USA

ATSM
C 1018

1997

100 x 100 x 350 / 300
150 x 150 x 500 / 450

555,6
1250,0

4 pt/3 pt

Issued

Dimensions/span
w x d x l/s (mm)

World

Rilem
TC 162-TDF

1

Suisse

2

Norway

3

Country

Standard

nn

1989

rd

st

rd

rd

-

-

-

R = feq/fcr

-

-

Toughness
classes
l/600 l/150

-

-

-

-

-

-

l/600 (0,7 mm)
l/300 (1,4 mm)
l/150 (2,8 mm)

-

ctility factors
dx.x = Fx.x/Fcr

Fu

l/600 (0,75 mm)
l/300 (1,5 mm)
l/200 (2,25 mm)
l/150 (3,0 mm)

Residual
factor after
reloading
F 0.9/Fu

-

Reloading
of specimen

Fcr

Toughness
indices
Ixx

Residual
strength
factors Rx,x

-

Evaluation stages
depending on
cracking
displacement

Fu, Fcr

rd

Fu, Fr
l/300 (1,5 mm)
0,05 mm
l/150 (3,0 mm)
interval

rd

Table 3.2 - Comparison table of different flexural test international codes, description and results.

The bending test may be represented by a Load curve – Vertical displacement (measured under load
points) or, if the specimen is engraved, by a Load curve – Crack Opening Displacement or COD), so
as it can be seen in the following picture:
R60-FF3-35 - Vf=0,45%

7,0

6,0

Nominal stress (MPa)

5,0

4,0

3,0
CTODm A
CTODm B
CTODm C
CTODm D
CTODm E
CTODm F
CTODm G

2,0

1,0

0,0

0,0

0,5

1,0

1,5

CTODm (mm)

2,0

Graphic 3.5 - Example of UNI 11039 flexural test. Load vs. crack opening.

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A particularly interesting parameter is the “first crack point”, starting from which the fibers start to
give their share.
This parameter is prearranged, owing to the difficulty to determine the trigger of crack procedure.
The first crack formation is associated by some regulations to the loss of linearity of the load-displacement curve (ASTM), while in further cases it is associated to the intersection between the loaddisplacement curve and a parallel to the linear outline starting from a uniform value of 0.05 mm on
abscissae axis (vertical displacement) (RILEM, CUR, DBV, AFNOR, NBN).
As for the behaviour in postcracking phase, the regulations are based on the definition of dimensionless ductility indexes based on the energy dispersed in the cracking procedure and/or on the
residual strength.
In ASTM C1018 norm it’s calculated the area subtended by the Load-Displacement curve for multiple values of the first crack displacement; in other cases it’s assumed the punctual residual strength
for a vertical displacement denominated as ratio of the beam span (NBN, JCI-SF4).
The recent European norm EN 14651 locates the postcracking residual strength values as punctual
values of crack aperture: the RILEM norm assumes “equivalent” strength values which are obtained
by the energy absorbed in crack aperture intervals

Figure 3.6 - Example of first crack moment definition. Energy absorption calculation in the post cracking phase in the load vs. crack opening
chart.

The Italian norm UNI 11039 is based on bending tests on 4 points in control of crack aperture.

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Figure 3.7a - Geometry and restraints for fiber reinforced concrete beams.

Figure 3.7b - Detail of the triangular shaped engraving.

Photo 3.3 - Frontal view of an instrumented specimen before the beginning of the test.

The UNI 11039 norm allows to classify the fiber reinforced concrete according to its resistance and
its toughness.
The first crack strength (fIf) derives from the relation

Where:

- l is the distance between inferior supports (450 mm)

- b is the width of the beam (150 mm)

- h is the height of the beam (150 mm)

- a0 is the depth of the engraving (45 mm)
The norm provides as well the determination of two post-crack strengths: the former, typical for exercise

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conditions, is the medium tension in the stretch with crack aperture at the top of the engraving
(CTOD) variable between 0 and 0.6 mm (feq (0-0.6)); the latter, typical of breakdown conditions, is the
medium tension in the stretch of crack aperture variable between 0.6 and 3.0 mm (feq(0.6-3.0)):

.

.

.

.

.

.

With:

U1

CTOD 0

Stress

Load

P If

U2

CTOD 0 + 0.6mm

CTOD 0 + 0.3mm

Graphic 3.6 - Typical Load – CTOD curve.

U1

0.3

U2

0.6

1.8

3 mm

Graphic 3.7 - Crack intervals considered for the calculation of equivalent
tensions.

The UNI 11039 norm (2003) proposes to determine two “Ductility indexes” defined as:

.

.

.
.

Bending test on plate
The bending test on plate, also called punching test, was codified for the first time by SNCF (French
Railways Company) in 1989.
Unlike the bending test on beam, in this case a plate, square or circular, is subjected to central
concentrated load, so as to determine, for a prearranged lowering of the load point, the absorbed
energy.
Both in case of square plate and in case of circular plate, the lowering is equivalent to 1/20 of the
free span, so as to generate a very large cracking sight, concerning more than a cracking line of
remarkable width.

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Figure 3.8 - UNI 10834 or EFNARC test arrangement.
Plate test or energy absorption test.

Photo 3.4 - UNI 10834 or EFNARC test full configured front view.

This kind of test has become very popular in common in usual practice being fairly easy to be carried
out. On the other hand, the results show a marked statistical dispersion, owing to the redundant
bond: that’s why it’s spreading, starting from the USA, the test on circular plate put on 3 spherical
hinges and for this reason statistically determined.

Figure 3.9 - ASTM C1550 plate test, geometric arrangement.

Photo 3.5 - Example of ASTM C1550 energy absorption test configuration.

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A schedule of the existing regulations is following.
Standard

Issued

Dimensions
a x b x d/s (mm)

System/loading

Toughness classes

Specialties

UE

CEN TC229

-

600 x 600 x 100 / 500

Allround hinged,
centrally loaded
100 x 100

E in J

-

nn

UE

EFNARC

1996

600 x 600 x 100 / 500

Allround hinged,
centrally loaded
100 x 100

E1: > 500 J
E2: > 700 J
E3: > 1000 J
(@ 25 mm defl.)

-

1

Suisse

SIA 162/6

1999

600 x 600 x 100 / 500
Ø 800 x 100 / 700

Allround hinged,
centrally loaded
100 x 100

l: 500 J
ll: 800 J
lll: 1000 J
(min G = 4 kN/m)

Calculation of equivalent
flex. tensile strength

2

Norway

NB
Publication
n°7

1999

600 x 600 x 100 / 500

Allround hinged,
centrally loaded
100 x 100

E700: > 700 J
E1000: > 1000 J

-

3

Austria

OBV
Guideline for
Shotcrete

1998

600 x 600 x 100 / 500

Allround hinged,
centrally loaded
100 x 100

E1: > 500 J
E2: > 700 J
E3: > 1000 J
(@ 25 mm defl.)

-

4

EUA

ASTM
C1550-05

2005

Ø 800 x 75 / 700

4 pt/3 pt support

@ 5, 10, 20, 40 mm

Country

nn

Bernard´s statically
determined test

Table 3.3 - Comparison table of different energy absorption test or plate test.

Shearing and torsion
Generally, steel fibers increase the strength to shearing and to concrete torsion.
After test carried out on beams in which fibers for shearing and longitudinal framework for bending
had been used, it’s possible to state that fibers can replace partially or totally the traditional hangers
for tangential strains, by modifying the mechanism of shearing cracking in bending cracking, with
suitable contents and kind of fiber.
A few formulations of beams shearing strength (ACI Building Code, Walraven, etc.) have been suggested.
Some of them are following:
(ACI Building Code)

(ACI Building Code – simplified rel.)

(Walraven)

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(Minelli)

Generally, it’s possible to state that the field of validity of all the expressions above is anyway still
rather restricted, as they derive from experimental observations and as specific national regulations
don’t exist.
Fatigue
The increase of fatigue strength caused by the introduction of fibers is well known: in support there
exists a wide literature based on several experimental campaigns.
The tests dimensions and procedures are various: in this case, too, there are no regulations in this
matter.
The fatigue strength can be defined as the maximum stress level to which the fiber reinforced concrete can resist for a definite number of load cycles before cracking, or as the maximum number of
load cycles necessary to breaking for a definite stress level (ACI Committee: Report 544.1R – Fiber
Reinforced Concrete; Report 544.2R – Measurement of Properties of Fiber Reinforced Concrete).
Impact
The behaviour of fiber reinforced concrete may be studied by various test procedures (ACI Committee: Report 544.2R – Measurement of Properties of Fiber Reinforced Concrete):






1. Weighted Pendulum Charpy-type impact test;
2. Drop-weight test (single or repeated impact);
3. Constant strain-rate test;
4. Projectile impact test;
5. Split-Hopkinson bar test;
6. Explosive test;
7. Instrumented pendulum impact test;

For instance, in the case 2, the number of drops necessary to generate a certain level of damage in
the specimen is measured.
With these kinds of tests it’s possible to compare:

1. Difference of behaviour between fiber reinforced and ordinary concretes;
2. Difference of behaviour between fiber reinforced subjected to impact and static load.

Some experiments carried out by several researchers have proved that, by using drop-weight procedure, it’s registered a very strong increase of the strength of normal strength concretes, of about 6-7

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times in comparison with not reinforced concretes, with measurings in volume equivalent to 0.5%
of steel fibers.
Abrasion
The calculation of abrasion, cavitation and/or erosion strength may be carried out by ASTM C418
and C779 tests.
Particularly interesting it’s the use of fiber reinforced to prevent or repair the damages caused by cavitation, as it was experimentally proved in laboratory by carrying out some tests according to ASTM
C779 - C779M-05 Standard Test Method for Abrasion Resistance of Horizontal Concrete Surfaces.
Another suggested procedure is CRD-C 63-80 “Test Method for Abrasion-Erosion Resistance of
Concrete (Underwater Method)”, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
On the other hand, it isn’t easy to prove the advantage brought by fibers in improving the behaviour
of the surfaces subjected to traffic of tyred vehicles.
Viscous deformation (Creep)
The tests carried out so far don’t show remarkable differences between ordinary and fiber reinforced
concretes (fibers contents < 1%) subjected to compression prolonged in time.
The norm for the test is the same as for ordinary concrete: ASTM C512-02 Standard Test Method for
Creep of Concrete in Compression.
Short-term shrinkage (plastic) – Plastic Shrinkage Cracking
The plastic shrinkage cracking develops owing to water leak in the transformation from the liquid
to the plastic state.
The concrete plastic shrinkage may be efficiently controlled by using microfibers of polymeric kind in
virtue of the very high specific surface of such fibers for volume unit and therefore of their capacity
of restraining water for superficial tension.
There are various procedures to measure cracking, one of which is AASHTO PP34-98 “Standard
Practice for Estimating the Crack Tendency of Concrete”.
A specific norm for fiber reinforced has been recently drawn up: ASTM C1579-06 “Standard Test
Method for Evaluating Plastic Shrinkage Cracking of Restrained Fiber Reinforced Concrete (Using a
Steel Form Insert)”.
Long-term shrinkage (hydraulic) – Long Term Shrinkage cracking
During concrete ripening the water leak goes on and that requires a volumetrical reduction: should
this happen freely there would be no tensions in the structure.

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If, on the contrary, the structure isn’t free of shrinking, there would arise some traction tensions
which can overcome the material resistant capacity causing the arising of cracks spread over concrete.
It’s possible to get out of this phenomenon by adding to the mixture short fibers, in suitable quantity.
The optimum fibers in this sense are steel microfibers (Q ≤ 0.20 mm) owing to the larger specific
surface and, therefore, to the possibility of interacting with cementitious matrix.
One of the procedures used to measure the effects of shrinking, in not confined conditions, is the
norm ASTM C157 “Standard Test Method for Length Change of Hardened Hydraulic-cement Mortar and Concrete”.
At present, there are no confined condition regulations, for fiber reinforced concretes.
Durability
In the recent instructions CNR DT204 2006 it’s reproduced a table concerning steel fibers, which
specifies these fibers possibilities of use according to exposure classes (in accordance with the norm
EN 206-1:2006 - Concrete - Part 1: Specification, performance, production and conformity) and to
penetration depth of water under pressure (UNI EN 12390-8).
Freeze-thaw
As for frost resistance of fiber reinforced mixtures with steel fibers, it must be said that just an increase of air pockets ratio is to be held as efficient: only by acting this way it’s possible to obtain frost
resistant concretes and this is true also for fiber reinforced concretes.
Reinforced concretes with steel fibers, with suitable air contents show a very good resistance to
freeze-thaw cycles in comparison with not reinforced concretes (Massazza and Coppetti, Italcementi, 1991).
The norm to be used, ASTM C666-03 “Standard Test Method for Resistance of Concrete to Rapid
Freezing and Thawing”, applies to fiber reinforced concretes, too.
In European ambit it’s possible to use the regulations CEN/TR 15177:2006 “Testing the freeze-thaw
resistance of concrete - Internal structural damage”, EN 13581-2003 “Products and systems for the
protection and repair of concrete structures - Test method - Determination of loss of mass of hydrophobic impregnated concrete after freeze-thaw salt stress” or the norm UNI 7987-2002 “Concrete
- Determination of deterioration resistance for freeze and thaw cycles”.
Carbonation
The presence of fibers seems not to affect meaningly the carbonation phenomenon as no increases
of the depth of CO2 face have been noticed.

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The measurement of fiber reinforced concrete carbonation depth is carried out by the test procedure
used for ordinary concretes: UNI 9944-1992 “Corrosion and protection of concrete framework. Determination of carbonation depth and of profile of penetration of chloride ions into concrete”.
Fibers corrosion
In order to estimate the effects of the exposure of fiber reinforced concrete to aggressive environments (environment saturated with salt, aggressive ions, etc.) it’s necessary to distinguish between
integral concretes and pre-cracked concretes.
In the first case the corrosion is restricted to the surface fibers with just an aesthetical result.
In the case of cracked specimen, the strength lowering is moderate and depends on the crack width
and depth: with crack apertures larger than 0.1 mm, but limited in depth, there are no consequences on structural efficacy (ACI 544.1R – Fiber Reinforced Concrete).
Fire exposure
The following statements are integrally drawn from the Instructions CNR DT204 2006. On the basis
of the experience so far acquired on the behaviour in the presence of fire of fiber reinforced concretes with steel fibers the following remarks can be expressed:

- Low ratios of fibers (up to 1%) don’t’ alter meaningly the thermal diffusivity, which remains
therefore computable on the basis of the data available for the matrix;

- The damage caused in the material by a thermal cycle pushed up to 800 °C proves to be
mainly correlated to the maximum temperature reached in the cycle and produces an irreversible
effect on the matrix. This behaviour, mainly noticed in presence of limited volumetrical fractions of
metallic fibers, suggests, once restore the room temperature, to rate the deterioration produced
through the calculation of the remaining strength;

- As the exposure maximum temperature varies, the first crack strength proves to be basically
lined up with that of the matrix. With temperatures above 600°C, the fibers improve the behaviour
of the matrix;

- As the exposure maximum temperature varies, the coefficient of elasticity of fiber reinforced concretes isn’t meaningly affected by the presence of limited volumetrical fractions (≤ 1%) of
fibers and, therefore, it may be assimilated to that of the matrix;

- The presence of polypropylene fibers proves to be effective to limit the consequences of
destructive spalling. In particular, such fibers partially sublimate at a temperature of 170°C leaving
free cavities in the matrix. A volumetrical fraction of fibers included between 0.1% and 0.25% can
meaningly mitigate or remove the phenomenon.
To verify the effects of fire exposure, there are several procedures, some of which here quoted:

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- ISO 834 – 1994: Fire-resistance tests - Elements of building construction;
- BS 476 – 2004: Fire tests on building materials and structures.

3.2 - Structural compatibility of fiber reinforced concrete elements.
In principle, the use of fiber reinforced concrete is recommended above all for redundant frameworks, as the remaining traction strain can increase the total load capacity of the framework and
improve its ductility.
The mechanical properties of fiber reinforced concrete must be directly determined on specimen
through normalized tests.
In absence of specific tests the properties not explicitly specified below can be assimilated to those
of ordinary concrete.
Here are the minimum requirements, as quoted in “Instructions for the Design, the Execution and
the Control of Fiber Reinforced Concrete Frameworks - CNR DT204 2006”:

- The minimum measuring of the fibers for structural employments mustn’t be inferior to
0.3% in volume;

- The employment for structural aims of fiber reinforced concrete with deteriorating behaviour is allowed provided that the remaining strength to traction in exercise fFts is equal or superior to
20% of that of the matrix fct;

- In all fiber reinforced frameworks it’s necessary to assure that the maximum load is superior
of at least 20% to that of first crack; otherwise it can be at least equal or superior provided that the
ratio between the maximum displacement and that of first crack is at least equal to 5;

- It’s possible to carry out monodimensional elements in fiber reinforced concrete in absence
of traditional framework if, besides satisfying the previous restrictions, the fiber reinforced concrete
has a hardening behaviour to traction so that the ratio between the last remaining strength fFts and
the matrix strength fct is at least equal to 1.05.

Graphic 3.8 - Tension vs. deformation relation.

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3.3 - Instructions for the design of fiber reinforced concrete frameworks.
The design of fiber reinforced concrete frameworks is based on the principles stated by the Eurocodes for concrete and reinforced concrete frameworks.
In this paragraph there will be a hint at the regulations included in “Instructions for the Design, the
Execution and the Control of Fiber Reinforced Concrete Frameworks” (CNR DT-204/2006) and in
the document “RILEM TC 162-TDF: Test and design methods for steel fiber reinforced concrete –
s-e Design Method”.
The strength and the constitutive connection to compression of fiber reinforced concrete may be
assimilated to those of ordinary concrete, therefore according to what provided in EUROCODE 2,
“Design of Concrete Structures”, ENV 1992-1-2, 2003.
For the traction, if there isn’t a hardening behaviour reachable only for measurings of about 1.5–2%
in volume, the traction strength is the same of the cementitious matrix fct, which may be drawn
starting from the first crack strength obtained by the bending test (Instructions CNR DT204 2006
and RILEM TC 162-TDF).
The constitutive connections s - e are drawn by the curves s - e obtained by the bending tests, (UNI
11039 or RILEM TC TC 162-TDF – Bending test).
In case of hardening or deteriorating bending behaviour there are some equivalence formulae to obtain the values of remaining strength to traction in service fFts and last fFtu starting from the equivalent
strengths feq(0-0.6) and feq(0.6-3.0).
In case of rigid plastic behaviour, in CNR Instructions slightly different formulae are used:


Hardening

(Fibers Volumen > Critical Volumen)

Plastic-Rigid

(Fibers Volumen = Critical Volumen)

Softening

(Fibers Volumen < Critical Volumen)

Graphic 3.9 - Constitution law determination, tensile strength vs crack opening. Hardening, plastic-rigid and softening behavior idealization. CNR DT
204/2006.

The same can be said for the advice RILEM TC 162-TDF, with some differences in the constitutive connection and in the formulae which correlate the bending remaining strengths and the traction ones:

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fc

2

(N/mm )

(%0)

(%0)

(Axial force)

fc

(N/mm2)

Graphic 3.10 - Tension versus deformation diagram considered for RILEM TC-162).

The testings of fiber reinforced elements must be carried out both concerning the limit states of
exercise (SLE), and concerning the last limit state (SLU), as determined in the regulation in force.
It must be tested, through the partial coefficients procedure, that, in all design situations, adopting
the design values of actions, of stresses and of strengths, no limit state has been violated.
Therefore it must come out:

where Ed and Rd are, respectively, the design values of the generic effect taken into consideration
and of the corresponding strength in the environment of the limit state examined.
The design values are obtained from the characteristic ones, resulting from laboratory normalized
tests, through suitable partial coefficients, the values of which, for the various limit states, are those
recommended by the regulation in force appropriately supplemented concerning fiber reinforced
concrete traction strength.
The properties values of the materials used in the fiber reinforced frameworks design must have
been determined through laboratory normalized tests.
The mechanical properties of strength and distortion of the materials, as it was said above, are quantified by the corresponding characteristic values.
The only rigidity parameters (coefficient of elasticity) of the materials are evaluated through the corresponding average values.
The design value of the generic strength property, Xd, may be expressed in general form through a
relation such as:

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where Xk is the characteristic value of the generic property and gm is a partial coefficient of the ­material.
In the determination of the characteristic value of the fiber reinforced concrete traction strength it’s
possible to consider the structural redundancy:

where fFtm is the middle value, k is Student’s factor, s the standard deviation while a is a coefficient
which decreases when structural redundancy increases.
Testing to limit states for monodimensional elements
Combined compressive and bending stress
The design to SLU of beam elements subjected to bending requires the reckoning of the resistant
last moment and the comparison with the design moment.
It’s assumed that bending cracking shows when one of the following conditions takes place:


- Reaching of the maximum compression distortion in concrete;
- Reaching of the maximum traction distortion in framework steel (if present);
- Reaching of the maximum traction distortion, eFu, in fiber reinforced concrete.

For a deteriorating constitutive connection, the maximum traction distortion is assumed equal to 2%
and anyway the maximum crack aperture mustn’t be wider than 3 mm.
For a hardening constitutive connection, the maximum distortion is about 1%.
The calculation of bending and combined compressive and bending stress SLU, with or without the
presence of steel bars ordinary framework, can be carried out on the basis of constitutive connections simplified as in the following picture:

Hardening
(Vf>Vcrítico)

Softening
(Vf<Vcrítico)

Graphic 3.11 - Limit states for the combined compressive and bending stress: use of the constituent simplified laws (stress-block with coefficients η e
λ as EC2).

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A similar approach is followed in the advice RILEM TC 162-TDF:
Equivalent
resistance

Axial
strenght

Factors

Relation

Relation

Graphic 3.12 - Limit states for the combined compressive and bending stress: simplified method (stress-block as RILEM TC-162).

As already quoted, the values to be used in testing come out of bending tests in laboratory and are
then converted into traction values, reduced of safety partial coefficients.
Shearing and torsion
Without going into details (it’s possible to refer to the quoted normative documents for the study in
depth) it’s interesting the possibility of quantifying the contribution due to fibers (to be determined
with the same procedure followed for the combined compressive and bending stress) which allows
to replace, partially or totally, the shearing or torsion framework.
If the shearing or torsion strain is of little importance, the regulations require, however, a minimum
framework which can be guaranteed by the fibrous reinforcement.
Testing to SLU for plate elements
For plate elements without conventional framework subjected to prevalent bending strains, the
strength testing can be carried out referring to the resistant moment, mRd, reckoned assuming the
rigid-plastic constitutive connection:

In case of contemporary action of two bending moments mx and my acting in orthogonal directions,
the testing to SLU requires the fulfilment of the restriction:

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It’s worth noticing that the resistant capacity of a plate lying on the ground, as in the case of floorings, would be of little importance if estimated, with a traditional approach, in tension terms, as
prescribed by all regulations, and CNR Instructions aren’t an exception.
To consider properly the contribution given by structural redundancy, very high in case of ground
floorings, absolutely necessary for deteriorating bending behaviours, it’s possible to work with not
linear analysis methods (Yield lines method or Non-Linear Fracture Mechanics method).
Testing to Exercise Limit State
Tensions testing
The testing of compression tensions in exercise must be carried out according to the current regulation, as for ordinary concrete.
If the structure is made with a deteriorating behaviour fiber reinforced, the testing of traction tensions in exercise is implicitly fulfilled if the same structure has been tested at the SLU.
If, on the contrary, the fiber reinforced concrete has a hardening behaviour, it’s also necessary to
carry out the testing of traction tensions in exercise, checking that the maximum stressing tension
complies with the following condition:

Cracks aperture
In reckoning the cracks characteristic width, it’s possible to quantify the contribution given by fibers
through the aliquot of the strain absorbed by the fiber reinforced for the benefit of the ordinary
framework (RILEM TC 162-TDF and Instructions CNR DT204 2006).
To do this the CNR Instructions suggest to assume a constant distribution of width tensions equal to
traction tension characteristic to SLE, fFtsk.
Minimum framework for crack control
In order to control crack, in bent elements it’s necessary to provide for a minimum framework.
In CNR Instructions the minimum framework area is equal to:

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where:

- As is the stretch bending framework area [mm2]. In case As is negative, the minimum framework may consist only of fibrous reinforcement;

- Act is the concrete area of the section subjected to traction [mm2], determined assuming a
strain state to the elastic limit;

- ss is the maximum tension in the framework admissible in cracked phase. It may be assumed equal to steel yield;

- fct,ef is the traction strength to concrete effective at first crack moment [mm2]. It depends
on environment conditions. In absence of specific data, the traction strength must be considered as
determined 28 days after the casting;

- kc is a coefficient which considers sectional reallocation of strains soon before the crack.
kc = 1 in presence of pure traction, kc = 0.4 in presence of pure bending,

for e/h<0.4;

for e/h>0.4;

- ks considers the effect of not uniform autobalanced strains. In absence of precise data, this
value may be considered equal to 0.8;

- kp considers the presence of precompression:

where

is the precompression ratio, ev is the eccentricity of precompression strength resultant,
In pure bending kc = 0.4 , then kp = 1-1.5a

3.4 - Current standard situation.
All norms previously quoted are following.

- ACI Committee - Report 544.1R – State-of-the-Art Report on Fiber Reinforced Concrete

- ACI Committee - Report 544.2R – Measurement of Properties of Fiber Reinforced Concrete

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- ACI Committee – Report 544.4R – Design Considerations for Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete

- ASTM C39 - Standard Test Method for Compressive Strength of Cylindrical Concrete Specimens

- ASTM C157 - Standard Test Method for Length Change of Hardened Hydraulic-cement
Mortar and Concrete

- ASTM C418 - Standard Test Method for Abrasion Resistance of Concrete by Sandblasting

- ASTM C496 - Standard Test Method for Splitting Tensile Strength of Cylindrical Concrete
Specimens

- ASTM C512 - Standard Test Method for Creep of Concrete in Compression

- ASTM C666 - Standard Test Method for Resistance of Concrete to Rapid Freezing and
Thawing

- ASTM C779 - Standard Test Method for Abrasion Resistance of Horizontal Concrete Surfaces

- ASTM C1018 - Standard Test Method for Flexural Toughness and First-Crack Strength of
Fiber Reinforced Concrete

- ASTM C1116 - Standard Specification for Fiber Reinforced Concrete and Shotcrete

- ASTM C1399 – Standard Test Method for Obtaining Average Residual-Strength of Fiber
Reinforced Concrete

- ASTM C1550 - Standard Test Method for Flexural Toughness of Fiber Reinforced Concrete
(Using Centrally Loaded Round Panel)

- ASTM C1579 - Standard Test Method for Evaluating Plastic Shrinkage Cracking of Restrained Fiber Reinforced Concrete (Using a Steel Form Insert)

- CRD-C 63-80 - Test Method for Abrasion-Erosion Resistance of Concrete (Underwater
Method), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

- AASHTO PP34-98 - Standard Practice for Estimating the Crack Tendency of Concrete

- EFNARC - European Specification for Sprayed Concrete

- EN 206-1 - Concrete - Part 1: Specification, performance, production and conformity

- EN 12390-3 - Testing hardened concrete - Compressive strength of test specimens

- EN 12390-6 - Testing hardened concrete - Tensile splitting strength of test specimens

- EN 12390-8 - Testing hardened concrete - Depth of penetration of water under pressure

- EN 13581 - Products and systems for the protection and repair of concrete structures - Test
method - Determination of loss of mass of hydrophobic impregnated concrete after freeze-thaw salt
stress

- EN 13687-1 - Products and systems for the protection and repair of concrete structures
- Test methods - Determination of thermal compatibility - Freeze-thaw cycling with de-icing salt immersion

- EN 14651 – Precast concrete products - Test method for metallic fiber concrete - Measuring
the flexural tensile strength

- CEN EN 1992-1-1 - Eurocode 2 – Design of concrete structures - Part 1-1:general rules and
rules for buildings

- CEN/TR 15177 - Testing the freeze-thaw resistance of concrete - Internal structural damage

- RILEM TC 162-TDF: Test and design methods for steel fiber reinforced concrete – Bending test

- RILEM TC 162-TDF: Test and design methods for steel fiber reinforced concrete – s-e Design Method

- RILEM CPC-18 – Measurement of hardened concrete carbonation depth

- NF P18-409 – Beton avec Fibers Metalliques. Essai de flexion

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3. Fiber reinforced concrete; Basic elements
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- UNE 83-510 – Determination del Indice de Tenacidad y Resistencia a Primera Fisura

- NBN B 15-238 – Essai des bétons renforcés des fibers. Essai de Flexion sur éprouvettes prismatiques

- JCI–SF4 – Method of Tests for Flexural Strength and Flexural Toughness of Fiber Reinforced
Concrete

- UNI 7087 - Calcestruzzo - Determinazione della resistenza al degrado per cicli di gelo e
disgelo

- UNI 9944 - Corrosione e protezione dell’armatura del calcestruzzo. Determinazione della
profondità di carbonatazione e del profilo di penetrazione degli ioni cloruro nel calcestruzzo

- UNI 11039-1 – Calcestruzzo rinforzato con fiber di acciaio. Part. I: Definizioni, classificazione e designazione

- UNI 11039-2 – Calcestruzzo rinforzato con fiber di acciaio. Part. II. Metodo di prova per la
determinazione della resistenza di prima fessurazione e degli indici di duttilità

- UNI U73041440 - Progettazione, esecuzione e controllo degli elementi strutturali in calcestruzzo rinforzato con fiber d’acciaio

- Norme Tecniche per le Costruzioni – Decr. 14/09/05 – G.U. 23/09/05

- CNR DT204 2006 - Istruzioni per la Progettazione, l’Esecuzione ed il Controllo di Strutture
di Calcestruzzo Fibrorinforzato

- ISO 834 – Fire resistance tests - Elements of building construction

- BS 476 - Fire tests on building materials and structures

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4 - Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
advice for fibers incorporation into the mixture.
4. 1 - Concrete, technological aspects for its formulation.
Concrete is, no doubt, the material most employed by humankind in the construction of civil engineering works. Much testing and research has been done in order to better understand the behaviour and to improve the performance of the material. This chapter will summarize briefly the main
characteristics of the material, and identify the contribution that fiber reinforcement can provide. The
aim of this chapter is to give the reader a picture of the technological aspects for the formulation of
reinforced concrete with steel fibers.
Steel fiber reinforced concrete (SFRC) is simply a standard concrete mixture into which reinforcing
fibers are incorporated, creating in the matrix a three-dimensional framework that significantly increases the post-crack mechanical strength of the concrete.
Concrete of pumped or cast kind is nowadays the most used in the greater part of appliances. When
designing a concrete mixture, it is important to consider the what its use will be and whether it’s
necessary more or less workability. In this chapter will be introduced, concisely, the main factors and
necessary considerations for your formulation.
For the formulation of any kind of concrete, it is necessary to consider the three main variables which
must be modified to reach the desired result: water/cement ratio, workability (measured by Abrams’s
cone) and cement content. The interaction of these three variables allows the designer to achieve a
specific concrete strength. Any variation in one requires the others to vary accordingly if the same
strength is to be achieved (See Figure 4.1).

STRENGTH

WATER/CEMENT RATIO

WORKABILITY
Figure 4.1. - Base relation between the parameters which affect the mixture.

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4. Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
advice for fibers incorporation into the mixture.
The relation existing between these three variables may be determined with reasonable precision
through the following equation:

Where:
c = cement content (kg/m3)
a = a/c = water/cement ratio (1/kg)
T = Slump of Abrams’s cone (cm)
K, m e n are variables which depend on the kind of aggregate used.
This equation is known as the triangular ratio. Together with Abrams’s law (workability), these relationships form the two main laws which must be considered for the design of concrete mixture using
the method presented in this handbook.
At present, there are many design methodologies proposed for the design of concrete mixtures. For
the purpose of this handbook, a method with a general character has been selected that has been
used and proven on many occasions. The method has been developed for use in the design of compression strength concretes (average strength after 28 days of age, in cylindrical test tubes of 15 cm
of diameter and 30 cm of height) between 18 MPa and 42 MPa and Abrams’s cone lowering between
2,5 cm and 18 cm. For concrete mixes that differ from these stated conditions, it is recommended
to use another design methodology.
The methodology which follows will be proposed in summed up form, if there’s the wish of analysing
better this subject it’s advisable to see the corresponding regulations.
Entry data
1) Strength
The calculation strength or characteristic strength will have to be equal to compression strength expected by the designer, increased through the following equation (strength measured in test tubes
of 15 cm of diameter and 30 cm of height):

Where:
Fcr = calculation compression strength or characteristic strength.
f´c = compression strength expected by the designer.
Z = student’s variable of normal distribution (see Table 4.1).
s = deviation expected for concrete (see Table 4.2).

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Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
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FRATTILE %

Z

20

0,842

10

1,282

5

1,645

Table 4.1 - Frattili and values of Student’s variable Z correspondent.

CONTROL DEGREE

WITHOUT
CONTROL

BAD

MEDIUM

GOOD

EXCELLENT

STANDARD DEVIATION MPa

9,0

6,5

5,0

4,0

3,0

STANDARD DEVIATION kg/cm2

>92

66

51

41

31

Table 4.2 - Ratio between control degree and standard deviation.

2) Workability
It has to be calculated through Abrams’s cone. It must be considered that the more it’s difficult to
cast concrete, the greater the expected lowering will have to be. Table 4.3 shows the usual values
of lowering to the cone:

Element

Design Slump (cm)
None

6

Huge foundations

3

8

Reinforced pedestals and foundation walls

4

8

Floors

5

8

Plates, beams, columns, edgewise walls

6

11

Thin structural walls

10

18

Carried by pumping

6

18

Superplasticized

Greater than 18

Prefabricated building

Table 4.3 - Typical values for slump.

3) Aggregates maximum dimension
The maximum aggregate dimension will have to be selected according to the application of the
structure and the type of structure being designed. The maximum aggregate dimension should not
be more than ½3 of the minimum dimension of the element to be produced, nor should it be more
than ¾ of the spacing distance between two adjacent pieces of reinforcement.

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4. Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
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Normally the maximum dimension of the aggregate varies between 20 and 50 mm; if aggregates of
greater dimension are used, there will be a tendency for the mixes to segregate. For high strength
concretes, reduced maximum dimensions are recommended.
4) Aggregate gradation limits
In concrete there must be aggregates of different dimensions, allocated so as to minimize the contents of interstitial voids. On this subject there are many theories about the optimum combination or
better granulometry which must be adopted in a definite design. Table 4.4 presents granulometrical
limits suitable for aggregate of different maximum dimensions.
5) Ratio b
It represents the weight of sand expressed in percentage in ratio with the aggregates total weight to
be found in the mix (sand + coarse aggregate) and is expressed through the following equation:

This ratio must be such as to include the granulometry in the zone recommended in Table 4.4.
There are several methods for the correct calculation of b, the easiest and quite precise it’s the graphic
method which can be found in the usual bibliography for the formulation of concrete.
6) Abrams’s law
This law fixes the correlation existing between concrete strength and the relation of water content/cement in
weight, the expression of which is called a:

Where:
a = water weight;
c = cement weight.
Abrams’s law can be expressed as:

where:
R = strength to a defined age of ripening;

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Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
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M and N: they are constants which depend on the characteristics of the materials component the
mixture and on the test age.

Sieve

Maximum dimension

(mm/inches)

88,9mm
76,2mm
63,5mm
60,8mm
38,1mm
25,4mm
19,0mm
12,7mm
9,53mm
6,35mm
4,76mm
2,38mm
1,19mm
0,595mm
0,298mm
0,149mm

(mm / inches)

3 / ''
3''
2 / ''
2''
1 / ''
1''
/ ''
/ ''
/ ''
/ ''
4''
8''
16''
30''
50''
100''
1

1

1

3

1
3
1

2

2

2

4

2
8
4

88,9mm

76,2mm

63,5mm

50,8mm

38,1mm

25,4mm

31/2 ''

3 ''

21/2 ''

2 ''

11/2 ''

1 ''

100-90
95-80
92-60
85-50
76-40
68-33
63-30
57-28
53-25
45-22
45-22
40-20
35-15
25-10
16-7
8-2

100-90
92-70
87-55
80-45
72-38
68-35
62-35
58-30
48-25
48-25
43-20
35-15
25-10
16-7
8-2

100-90
87-65
80-55
73-47
68-43
62-37
60-35
58-30
50-28
45-20
35-15
25-10
16-7
8-2

100-90
87-73 100-90
77-59 84-70
73-53 77-61
68-44 70-49
65-40 65-43
60-35 60-35
55-30 55-30
45-20 45-20
35-15 35-15
25-10 25-10
16-7
16-7
8-2
8-2

100-90
90-70
75-55
68-45
60-35
55-30
45-20
35-15
25-10
16-5
8-2

19,0mm
/4 ''

3

12,7mm
/2 ''

1

100-90
85-65 100-90
75-55 78-90
65-45 65-51
60-38 58-42
45-20 43-37
35-15 31-17
25-10 20-10
16-5
11-5
8-2
6-2

9,53mm
/8 ''

3

100-90
73-61
62-48
40-26
26-14
13-5
7-3
5-1

6,35mm
/4 ''

1

100-90
62-52
38-26
21-9
8-2
5-1
2-0

Table 4.4 - Gradation limits recommended for different maximum dimensions of the aggregate – passing rates.

If from the expression 37 the unknown a is made explicit, the result is:

For coarse aggregates of 25.4 mm of maximum dimension, natural sand (both in saturated condition with dry surface) and Portland cement Type I of a medium quality, good approximations are
obtained with:
a) R7 = 902.5 / 13.1a ; a = 1.724 – 0.3887 Ln R7 ; (MPa)
b) R28 = 88.50 / 8.69a ; a = 2.073 – 0.4628 Ln R28 ; (MPa)
c) R90 = 95.43 / 7.71a ; a = 2.232 – 0.4896 Ln R90 ; (MPa)
Formule 37. Specific Abrams Low.
7) Correction of a
In case the conditions of M and N aren’t those expected originally, there is a factor KR the aim of which
is to fit the values of a to the different kinds of aggregates. Refer to Table 4.5 and Table 4.6.

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Dimension

6.35

9.51

12.7

19.0

25.4

38.1

50.8

64.0

76.1

Maximum

(1/4)

(3/8)

(1/2)

(3/4)

(1)

(1 ½)

(2)

(2 ½)

(3)

Factor KR

1.60

1.30

1.10

1.05

1.0

0.91

0.82

0.78

0.74

Table 4.5 - KR, factors to correct a for maximum dimension, mm (inches).

Coarse
Fine
Natural sand
Ground sand

Ground

Half-ground

Cobblestone
(natural gravel)

1.00

0.97

0.91

1.10

0.93

1.14

Table 4.6 - KA, factors to correct a for kind of aggregate.

Once calculated, it is necessary for the correction factors KR and KA to be applied according to the
kind of aggregate to be used so as to obtain a more precise value
8) Limits of a for durability
It’s important to consider that a must be within certain limits, as this factor affects concrete durability. In case a exceeds these values, its value will have to be considered as the maximum allowable.
See Table 4.7.

Kind of damage

Conditions

Maximum
0.75
0.60

Deterioration of
concrete and
corrosion of
frameworks

0.55
,

0.50
0.40
According to case

Deterioration for
washed out.
permeability

0.45
0.65

Table 4.7 - a maximums for different conditions of services or environments.

9) Triangular ratio
Through this law, it is possible to correlate three of the most important parameters which are typical
of concrete, water/cement ratio (a), quantity of cement (c) and slump through Abrams’s cone.

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Where K, n and m are constants which depend on the characteristics of the materials being parts
of concrete.
Similarly to the case of a, in the situation where concrete is formed by coarse, round aggregates of
25.4 mm of maximum size, natural sand (both in saturated condition with dry surface) and Portland
cement Type I of a medium quality, good approximations are obtained with:

c = 117.2 . -1.3 . T 0.16
(39)

is expressed in cm and c in kg/m3.
10. Correction of c
Similarly to the case of a, in the event of using other characteristics different from those previously
described for concrete components it’ll be necessary to use Tables 4.8 and 4.9 to correct the quantity
of cement to be used.

Dimension

6.35

9.51

12.7

19.0

25.4

38.1

50.8

64.0

76.1

Maximum

(1/4)

(3/8)

(1/2)

(3/4)

(1)

(1 ½)

(2)

(2 ½)

(3)

Factor KR

1.33

1.20

1.14

1.05

1.0

0.93

0.88

0.85

0.82

Table 4.8 - C1 factors to correct c in function of the maximum dimension, mm (inches).

Coarse
Fine

Ground

Natural sand

1.00

Ground sand

1.28

Half-ground

Cobblestone
(natural gravel)

1.03

0.90

1.23

0.96

Table 4.9 - C2, factors to correct c for kind of aggregate.

And, as in case of a, the quantity of cement will never have to be inferior to the values shown in
Table 4.10

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Service or environmental conditions

Quantities of cement
3
(kg/m )

In any circunstance (massive concretes are a special case)

270

.
In sea aggressive environments. etc. or
in concretes subjected to deterioration

350

Table 4.10 - Minimum contents of cement according to environment al service conditions.

11) Calculation of the remaining components
Any mixture design is carried out on the basis of one cubic metre (1000 litres), therefore it’s necessary to consider the other components which form concrete. As the aim of this handbook isn’t that
of give specific details, the remaining components will be briefly described.
- Included air:

Where:
V = volume of included air
c = quantity of cement (kg/m3)
P = maximum dimension of aggregates (mm)
- Cement absolute volume:
It’s equal to the weight of the material divided by its specific gravity, it’s a value which must be calculated in laboratory, for the aim of this handbook it’s sufficient to know that, in normal conditions,
this value is equal about to 3.3, the opposite of which is 0.3.
- Water absolute volume (kg/m3)

Considering that water specific gravity is equal to 1.
- Aggregates absolute volume
It corresponds to their weight, divided by their respective specific gravities. These specific gravities
will have to be calculated in laboratory; for the aim of this handbook it’s sufficient to know that, in
normal conditions, this value is on average near to 2.65 both for big aggregates and for sand.

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12) Final calculation of mixture
As said before, the mixture design must be carried out on the basis of 1 cubic metre, therefore, the
sum of components will have to be equal to unity;

(G+A)
+ 0.3.c + a + V  1000 litros
 (G+A)

(42)

Where:
g (G + A) = Specific gravity of the combined aggregate. This value can be calculated on the basis of b
through the following expression:

; ( b < 1)

Finally, drawn A + G from formule 42 and using ratio b, each of the weights can be obtained separately;

A....G

G+A = 1000 - (0.3.c + a + V).G+A
A =
G+A
(44)

Evidently, as already previously explained, the method shown in this handbook is rather simplified and
doesn’t consider many other factors which may come into play when designing a mixture, nevertheless it sums up, in a simple way, the main steps to follow for concrete formulation.

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4. Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
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4.2 - Advice for the incorporation of fibers in concrete.
Fiber Reinforced Concrete is simply a standard concrete mix with an additional component, reinforcing
fibers. For the mixture production, the fiber must be considered as an additional aggregate; it is necessary
to slightly modify the components after adding these in the mixture design. The initial considerations
to obtain specified compression mechanical strength and the breaking modulus remain valid.
There is fundamental advice to control the addition of fibers in a mixture which meet the suitable
geometrical selection of the element, to avoid some problems such as segregation, agglomeration
and assuring then a uniform distribution. There follow such fundamental rules which are valid for
any kind of concrete and for any appliance:
- The length of the selected fiber will have to be greater than double maximum dimension of the
aggregates with 20% tolerance.
q max > 0.5 LFiber , com uma tolerância de até 20%.
Example: aggregate maximum 1” (25 mm) of diameter, would require a fiber of 2” (50 mm) of length,
with a variation not superior to 20% of length (40 mm < LFiber< 60 mm).
- The fiber length will be defined in function of the minimum dimension of the structural element,
according to the following ratio:
Smin ≥ 1,5 LFiber
For this rule, too, a 20% tolerance can be accepted.
- It will be necessary to consider the minimum measuring advised according to the current regulation
of the country where the fiber is used. It’s never advised to use less than the following measuring
of steel fibers:
• Minimum Measuring: 20 kg/m3 (0.25%V) for not structural elements.
• Minimum Measuring: 25 kg/m3 (0.3%V) for structural elements.
As we have commented for previous rules, which can be applied to any kind of concrete, some hints
in function of the peculiarities of mixtures for cast on site concretes are following.
These concretes must have a workability compatible with the difficulty of their allocation and the
general advice for fibers applications is to consider an additional lowering of 1” (25 mm), to make
up for the loss of workability which can occur owing to fibers forming a minimum interblocking.
Such a device is valid for measurings which go from a minimum of 20 kg/m3 to a maximum of 45
kg/m3. Clearly all that follow the basic rules of fibers geometrical selection, and non-keeping them
may substantially damage the result with the possibility of causing problems such as, for instance,
segregation and agglomeration.
The lowering expected in the reference schedules previously shown, will have then to be increased no more
than 1” (25 mm), and the workability will have to be obtained with concrete plasticizing admixtures.

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Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
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Fibers can be incorporated in the mixture in two ways:
Incorporation into batched mixture at site. The fibers are added directly into the truck mixer prior to
placing into the concrete formwork. In this particular case, it is advisable to specify the mix workability/slump before and after the incorporation of fibers in the mixture, and to conduct field testing to
verify. In any case, following the hints previously given, there mustn’t be any problems of workability
caused by adding fibers.

Photo 4.1 - Mechanical addition in the truck mixer.

Photo 4.2 - Manual addition to the truck mixer.

Photo 4.3 - Appearance of wet concrete mixture after adding fibers.

Photo 4.4 - Slump testing after adding fibers.

Insertion with the aggregates at batching plant. The fibers are incorporated with the dry aggregates
during the batching of the concrete mix. In this case, it is important to specify the correct water/cement ratio in order to obtain the desired workability. The design slump can vary up to +/- 25 mm.

Photo 4.5 - Manual insertion with the aggregates in the belt
conveyer.

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Photo 4.6 - Slump testing of batched concrete mixture.

4. Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
advice for fibers incorporation into the mixture.

Photo 4.7 - Manual insertion in the concrete mixer.

Photo 4.8 - Slump testing of batched concrete mixture.

The use of fiber reinforced concrete cast on site does not require the additional use of specialized
equipment. Equipment normally used, such as vibrators and pumps, is all that is required. Special
care is required when using pumped concrete mixes in order to avoid clogging. The fiber length must
not exceed 70% of the diameter of the exit mouth of the pumping system.
Presented below are photos of fiber reinforced concrete mixes being poured in various conditions
and using different types of equipment.

Photo 4.9 - Casting directly from truck mixer.

Photo 4.10 - Casting directly from truck mixer.

Photo 4.11 - Placing pumped concrete.

Photo 4.12 - Discharging concrete mix into pump hopper.

Concretes poured in the field typically have slumps ranging between 100-150 mm and water/cement
ratios of 0.3-0.5. The choice of the aggregates and their granulometry will have to suit the element
to cast and will be affected only by the structure and the mechanical strength required by the design,
so the choice of the fiber will have to be compatible with these bases.

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Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
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4.3 - Advice for insertion of fibers into concretes for prefabricated elements.
In the previous sections, it has been widely described the manufacture of mixtures with the addition
of fibers, and the fundamental rules to avoid problems of segregation or fibers conglomeration. The
flexibility of the insertion of fibers into the mixture is so wide that can generate concretes with very
low ratio water/cement, in this particular case, the rules of fibers configuration and geometrical selection are of maximum importance. Nowadays, the steel fibers of loose format can be incorporated
to dry mixtures without harming homogeneity.
In the case of concrete mixes with a low water/cement ratio, the role of the additives is to keep the
mixture workable and to obtain a suitable finish of the precast elements.
The suggestion for these types of mixes is to use fibers with low high aspect ratios. This will avoid
fiber conglomeration during the dry mixing process that can prevent the development of uniform
fiber distribution in the mix. It is generally accepted that fibers with high aspect ratios have a greater
tendency towards conglomeration; there are few producers that have been successful in controlling
this phenomenon.
One possible solution to control the tendency to conglomerate of high aspect ratio fibers is to use
fibers that have a thin coating of glued. This approach is problematic in the case of low ratio water/
cement mixtures, as the small quantity of water cannot thin completely the glue resulting in a certain
amount of conglomeration of fibers. The use of plasticizing admixtures in this case can help improve
this situation.
As previously mentioned, the presence of the fibers in the concrete mix does not require the use of
specialized production equipment. Standard concrete batching facilities are used and the fibers are
incorporated as an additional aggregate, as shown in the photos below:

Photo 4.13 - Example of dry mixture with fibers.

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Photo 4.14 - Mixer in a precast concrete plant producing dry mixture
for vibrocompressed concrete.

4. Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
advice for fibers incorporation into the mixture.

Photo 4.15 - Batching of dry mix for vibrocompressed concrete.

Photo 4.16 - Incorporation into the pump.

Photo 4.17 - Batching of dry aggregates for ashlar concrete.

Photo 4.18 - Introduction into the pump.

In case of mixtures used in the manufacture of precast concrete elements, it is possible to sometimes
use higher slump mixes than normally used for cast-in-place structures. The considerations previously
stated for cast-in-place concretes must be followed.
The selection of aggregates and their gradations are generally controlled by the dimensions of the
precast elements to manufacture. The choice of fiber used in these mixes should be compatible with
the element dimensions and aggregates used.

4.4 - Recommendations for the use of fibers into wet and dry sprayed
concretes.
A sprayed mixture of sand, water and cement commonly referred to as shortcrete or gunite has been
used for almost a century in the field of civil engineering. The materials used in the formulation of the
mix are the same as in traditional concrete mixes, only the method of application differs – pneumatic
spraying instead of casting.
There are two general methods of applying shotcrete mixtures, wet or dry. In the dry method, sand,
gravel and cement are worked in a mixer and then conveyed through pipes using pressured air. In
the wet method, the mixture is conveyed through pipes as well, but water is introduced at the point
of discharge.
A combination of the wet and dry methods of shotcrete application is also used. A small amount of
water is incorporated into the mix during batching. The resultant ‘damp’ mixture is conveyed through
pipes and onto the work surface by pressured air. This procedure is in common usage throughout
the world. In some countries, it is the only method used.

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There are numerous fields where shotcrete technologies have been applied. The ease of use of its
manufacture and the advantages it offers in approaching in quick and effective way places difficult
to be reached in another way, are some of the reasons for which this procedure was and keeps on
being used all over the world. Typically applications are:




- Building of tunnels.
- Mining industry.
- Slope facing.
- Stabilization of excavations for foundations.
- Clearance works.

Generally, shotcrete can be used in any kind of work directed to pursue the stabilization or the covering
of an irregular superficial layer where the conventional formwork cannot be used. Although the primary application is that of soil support, it can be used in the general repair of concrete structures.
GENERAL ASPECTS OF MIX DESIGN
As it has already been stated, the composition of shotcrete is similar to that of conventional concrete
mixes. There are, however, some differences, including:



- Low water/cement ratio.
- Lower quantity of water.
- Lower quantity of cement.
- Maximum aggregate of 16 mm.

Regarding the water/cement ratio, it is necessary to mention the differences between the two application procedures. For the dry application method, the water/cement ratio is calculated considering
not only the water which will be added to the pipe mouth, but also the moisture content of the aggregates used in the mix. Nevertheless, in this procedure there isn’t a definite value for the aforesaid
ratio as the worker who controls the pipe is the same who controls the quantity of water which will
be discharged, which is a disadvantage. Just the physical characteristics of concrete get Water/Cement
ratio not to be so changed, because in case such proportion isn’t between the allowed values either
there will be an excess of powder (in case of water shortage) or concrete will not fix to the surface
(in case of water excess). Such ratio varies normally between 0.4 and 0.5.
In the damp way procedure, the Water/Cement ratio keeps the same levels as the dry way procedure,
the difference is that, as the mixture has been manufactured previously, it’s possible to control such
ratio from the beginning.
Owing to the fact that, in most cases, gunite is used through damp way, this will be the method of
most reference in this chapter.

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4. Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
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As for aggregates composition, it’s important to pay special attention, as for any kinds of concrete,
to their quality. In order to obtain good results it’s necessary to have a good granulometric distribution of the aggregates. Some of the criteria on which it’s impossible to skip at the moment of using
shot concrete are:
- The aggregates maximum dimension mustn’t exceed 16 mm and, in any case, it’s advisable that
parts larger than 8 mm don’t exceed 10% of the total, otherwise there will be an excessive bouncing when these get in touch with the surface.
- The aggregates granulometric curve is of maximum importance, none of the fragments will have
to exceed 30% of the total weight. It will be necessary to pay special attention to the inferior section of the curve, the finest aggregates (Sieve no 0.125) will have to be between a minimum of 4%
and a maximum of 9%. In case there is an excess of fine material there would occur segregations
which would cause obstructions of the pipe. A shortage of the material will cause on the contrary
that mixture loses cohesion interfering on the last concrete strength (See Graphic 4.1).
- The use of additives has the aim of improving the material conditions, such as for instance:



- Increasing setting quickness.
- Improving concrete workability.
- Improving aggregates distribution.
- Reducing bouncing.

Given the importance and the variety of the additives existing on the market, this subject has been
left for a separate chapter. For more information see chapter 3.1 and 3.2.
- The insertion of fibers distributed homogeneously in concrete, on one hand proves to be extremely
effective to contrast the phenomenon of shrinking crack and, on the other hand, gives the concrete
a ductility which may become remarkable insofar as the fibers strength is increased. For further
information see chapters 3.1 and 3.2.
As peculiarity of the dry way procedure, the fibers incorporation isn’t very spread as they then bounce
in great quantity (up to 50%).

Sieve ISO
.

.

Detein rate (%)

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Sieve ASTM (mm)
Graphic 4.1 - Recommended granulometric curve for shot concrete.

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.

.

.

.

4.

Tamiz ASTM (mm)

Tamiz ISO

Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
advice for fibers incorporation into the mixture.

Min. %

Max. %

0.149

0.125

4

12

0.297

0.25

11

26

0.595

0.5

22

50

1.19

1

37

72

2.38

2

55

90

4.76

4

73

100

9.51

8

90

100

19

16

100

100

38.1

32

-

-

76.1

64

-

-

Table 4.11 - Selection of aggregates in function of the sieve for a shotcrete mixture.

Shotcrete application equipment
The specification and selection of the type of equipment used to apply the shotcrete is as important
as the selection of the suitable components from which form the concrete mixture. Depending on
the procedure used (wet or dry process) there are substantially two different kinds of equipment.
Dry process:
There is on the market a wide range of mixers for this use, anyway all are based on the same principle. The aggregates mixture must be poured into the hopper designed for such aim (Figure 4.2(A)).
Insofar as the mixer turns (See Figure 4.2 (B)) the aggregates begin to fall and to fill the ejection zone
and, in the end, through an air pressure between 3 and 6 bars, are shot through the conveying pipe
which ends into the mouth where they are mixed with water (See picture 4.2 (C)).

A

ut
out
ay way o
w
r
s
e
te
Wa regat
Agg

P

B

C

P

Figure 4.2 - Diagram of equipment for dry mixture. On the left diagram of mixer machine: A. Material, B. mixture rotor, C. pipe way
out nozzle, P. pressure from the compressor to pump the mixture.

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4. Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
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Here follows a photographic sequence of preparing and using of concrete mixture with dry way
process:

Photo 4.19 - Introduction of aggregates into the mixture.

Photo 4.20 - Introduction of fibers into the mixture.

Photo 4.21 - Coming out of dry mixture from the mixer.

Photo 4.22 - Material conveyance by belt.

Photo 4.23 - Material conveyance by belt.

Photo 4.24 - Material conveyance by belt.

Photo 4.25 - Aggregates belt and spraying equipment.

Photo 4.26 - Detail of spraying equipment.

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Photo 4.27 - Mixer detail.

Photo 4.28 - Pumping of mixture into the system.

Photo 4.29 - Detail of spraying with insertion of water in the way
out nozzle.

Photo 4.30 - Detail of spraying with insertion of water in the way
out nozzle.

Damp process:
At present, the pumping mechanisms of the equipments used for spraying concrete through damp
way use two kinds of systems: a) a spiral system which pumps the flow of concrete or b) a system of
plungers which, through pressure, expel the mixture from the conveying pipe.
It’s important to point out that in damp way procedure the mixture must be prepared before being
incorporated to the machine (including corresponding water). This mixture must be enough fluid to
avoid obstructions of the pipe, it’s advisable the use of additives to increase concrete fluidity at the
moment of pumping.
Here follows a photographic sequence of preparing and using of concrete mixture with damp way
process:

Photo 4.31 - Fibers loose for the mixture.

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Photo 4.32 - Insertion of fibers into the truck.

4. Design and detailed considerations for concrete mixtures;
advice for fibers incorporation into the mixture.

Photo 4.33 - Ready damp mixture.

Photo 4.34 - Ready mixture with fibers uniformly distributed.

Photo 4.35 - Check of lowering (slamp).

Photo 4.36 - Notice the mixture homogeneous distribution.

Photo 4.37 - Incorporation of mixture into concrete pump.

Photo 4.38 - Incorporation of mixture into the pump.

Photo 4.39 - Spraying with manual nozzle.

Photo 4.40 - Spraying with manual nozzle.

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Spraying techniques
As already pointed out, being shot concrete a method of application, its correct carrying out is as
important as the mixture composition. An uncorrected carrying out leads to a faulty result.
With a good application of Shotcrete a conglomerate with the characteristics required by the designer
is obtained. The uncorrected carrying out may lead to a bad distribution of the components, excessive
waste or bouncing, bad allocation, among the other unwanted factors.
In order to finish this chapter there will follow some of the most important recommendations which
will have to be respected during the gunited:

Photo 4.41 - Worker who keeps the perpendicularity between the surface to gunite and the position of
the plain of the nozzle mouth.

Angle of incidence:
The angle of incidence through which the concrete casting is going to reach the surface must be
perpendicular to the surface itself. Otherwise, the quantity of bouncing material (wasted material)
will be excessive. For this reason, the mouth of the conveyance pipe will always have to be perpendicular to the surface.
Velocity of impact:
The distance between the mouth and the surface is of great importance; this distance is directly proportional to the way out speed of concrete that is, the faster it is, the greater the distance will have
to be and vice versa. So, in case the velocity of impact is very high there will be an excess of bouncing
preventing that concrete gets fixed effectively to the surface, on the contrary, owing to absence of
cohesion, the mass of concrete won’t get fixed to the surface causing wide leaks.

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In order to reach a balance in this relation, it’s advisable to add some air at the rate of 7-15 m3/min
at a pressure of about 7 bars in the end mouth and, in this situation, the distance between the pipe
and the surface will have to be between 1 and 2 meters.

Selection of the suitable worker:
As it can be seen in the two previous recommendations, much of the responsibility is charged to the
worker who uses the pipe (both manually and through a robot), the choice of the right person for
the gunited is of great importance, as he largely affects the final result (nozzle allocation, distance
of separation, quantity of water in the dry way process, etc.).

Photo 4.42 - Gunited with robot.

Photo 4.43 - Manual gunited with pipe.

4.5 - Concrete admixtures and their compatibility of use in fiber reinforced
concrete.
In the application of Fiber Reinforced Concrete (FRC), there are common considerations on the application of additives in the mix-design which aren’t different from those commonly adopted for
mixtures of simple concrete.
Here are following, according to the technological aspects of mixtures formulation on the basis of
the different applications previously described, the additives which can be used.
- Plasticizers and retarders. As their names imply, these admixtures are used to control the workability
of the concrete mix. They are normally they are based on Sulfonato Naphtalene, Vinyl Copolymers,
Modified Policarboxilati. They can keep the concrete workability from 2 to 6 hours, according to the
mix design requirements. These additives are incorporated, once the mixture has been prepared, to
control the time of workability when there are difficulties of access to the place of shotcrete or in
case of long way stretches of concrete up to arrive at the work. Liquid format.
- Setting accelerants. These admixtures are setting accelerants and are incorporated to the mixture to
obtain a rapid increase of strength. Normally they are products derived from silicates and aluminium
sulphate. It is important to control the rate of application of these chemicals as excessive use for a
prolonged period of time can reduce the material strength. A typically dosage rate is 4% to 6% of
the cement fraction. The format may be in powder or liquid.
- Corrosion protectors. This is a newer class of additives that can be used to inhibit chloride ions
reactions within the concrete.

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The additives discussed above are in common usage in the design and batching of concrete mixtures.
There have been no interaction problems reported with the use of fiber reinforcements. The additives control the mixture quality and workability; the fibers are a reinforcement. The fiber dosage in
a concrete volume does not appear to represent a workability problem requiring additional methods
of control.

4.6 - Typical applications of the structural and not structural fiber reinforced
concrete.
Starting in the1960’s, the technology of steel fiber reinforced concrete has evolved from lab experimentation done in the 1950’s, into practical industrial applications. Examples of the various applications are monolithic prefabricated elements, industrial floors, the supports of surface and subsurface
excavations using shotcrete, and prefabricated tunnel lining segments. Steel fibers reinforcement is
now accepted as a viable alternate to conventional reinforcing steel.
The steel fibers were initially incorporated to the concrete matrix in order to avoid brittle behaviour
and improve its physical characteristics. Under normal conditions concrete, will tend to crack, mainly
owing to the traction forces which are internally produced. In order to avoid this phenomenon, it
is necessary to reinforce the concrete either with welded wire mesh or with fibers. The advantage
of using fibers is that the fibers will blend into the matix, creating a three-dimensional framework,
avoiding then the phenomenon of plastic shrinking.
Additional research has concluded that fiber reinforcement not only improves the physical properties of the concrete, but also improves the mechanical characteristics. These improvements allow the
fibers to used as structural reinforcement in many cases.
There are many cases in which fibers can be and are used as structural reinforcement. Nevertheless,
the lack of a clear and simple regulation is the greatest restriction limiting this “new” technology to
be able to spread among a greater number of engineers and applications.

4.7 -Current standard situation.
There are many different standards and codes involved in design and manufacturing of concrete
mixtures. These documents have been previously presented in chapter 3 of this handbook, and
cover such phases as:



- Mixture design.
- Fibers, regulations for their incorporation in different production processes.
- Control of material mechanical properties.
- Structural design codes.

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.
5.1 - Conventionally bored tunnels and tunnels excavated through TBM.
When great length and constant geometrical properties are characterising elements for the project
design of an underground tunnel, conditions are in principle suitable to choose for a mechanised
construction through the use of a TBM (Tunnel-Boring Machine), which can be adequately selected
between the ever increasingly wide range of ever more versatile design alternatives.

Photo 5.1 - Tunnel obtained through TBM of 12 m diameter, Line 9 of the metro in Barcelona, Spain.

In the almost total number of cases, this mechanised excavation procedure is associated to the use
of lining rings made of precast segments of reinforced concrete. These segments are adequately assembled within the underground tunnel systematically and continuously throughout the advancement
of the excavation works in such a way that the tunnel turns out to be completed after the passage
of the TBM.

Photo 5.2 - Precast ashlars for TBM tunnel construction, Line 9 of the metro in Barcelona, Spain.

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.
However, when we decide by the conventional excavation of a tunnel, be by means of the explosives
use or resorting to mechanical removal of the soil, generally we procede immediate stabilization of
the exposed cavity with the front advance of excavation, where are placed supports, characterized
by your technological compatibility in the extensive use of the projected concrete. These supports
are eventually integrated for metallic structures elements, such as anchorages and profiles. (It is then
placed a support by the construction of which current technology does extensive use of the shotcrete,
eventual integrated with metallic structural elements, which are the anchorages and the profiles).

Photo 5.3 - Example of a tunnel obtained through conventional excavation with explosives. Railway
line Caracas-Charallave, Venezuela.

Photo 5.4 - Example of a tunnel obtained through conventional excavation with explosives, placement of metallic support. Railway line Caracas-Charallave, Venezuela.

Right after or even immediately after tunnel excavation has been completed, the cavity is generally,
although not necessarily, covered through an on-site casting of completely or partially reinforced
concrete, which function may vary from rigorously structural to purely “cosmetic”. This depends from
the geostatic and functional conditions of each specific work.

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.

Photo 5.5 - Example of tunnel obtained through conventional excavation with explosives, which final
lining is obtained though on-site concrete casting. Railway line Caracas-Charallave, Venezuela.

For all the above sequentially mentioned elements, such as the precast concrete rings, the primary
supporting structures in shotcrete and the linings of cast-in-place concrete, modern technology of
structural concrete makes use of metal fibers, either in substitution or in addition to conventional
reinforcement metal bars, ever more frequently and with ever increasing comparative advantages
and excellent results. Metal fibers may be eventually also complemented through the use of synthetic
fibers.

5.2 - Design criteria for tunnel supports and linings.
The geostatic behaviour of an underground excavation depends, between many other factors, on
the geomechanical characteristics of the working environment, on the natural stresses which were
already present in the environment, on the adopted construction process and constructing procedures, thus including the nature of the construction support which has been eventually installed,
and the specific circumstances in which the installation was made. The aforesaid reflects in what is
appropriately defined as “type of behaviour of the excavation” that comprehends, between other
factors, the geomechanical concretization of the environment (the geomechanics of the rock mass to
be excavated) as well as the definition of the status of natural stresses (as function, in a first instance,
of the depth or covering of the tunnel and of the density of the rock mass).
The initial, or primary phase, support shall guarantee safety conditions for workers and (possibly total) stability of the cavity in the short term. It is generally put in place in uncomfortable, hostile and
even dangerous environmental conditions, which render controls over its quality generally limited
and sometimes even insufficient. As a result, it is recommended not to assign a formal long-term
structural reliability to such initial lining, but only an immediate and temporary task of support in
guaranteeing structural integrity. A conservative initial lining (such as made up of shotcrete containing
metal fibers, metallic ribs or sewing or fixing spiles) may be integrated with elements for mechanical
strengthening (for improvement) of the rock mass (such as e.g. metal spiles, glassfiber composite,
injections, etc.) or alternatively, with elements having pre-supporting function (such as e.g. truncated
cone archs of concrete in pre-shear, or jet-grouting, or microspiles). These criteria may be applied each

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
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time that such an integration may result necessary or beneficial towards improving safety conditions
and achieving an adequate control over stabilization of the cavity in the short term, concurring at
the same time to the establishment of more efficient static conditions in view of the exploitation of
the final lining’s functions.
The deformation of the advancing nucleus of the excavation represents a fundamental element in
the control of stability of the excavation. Thus, controlling and limiting deformation of the advancing nucleus (extrusion) by appropriately increasing its rigidity plays a fundamental role in the whole
tunnel’s stability both in the short and in the long term. This derives all from the proven existence of
a strict relationship between the phenomenon of nucleus’s extrusion at the excavation advancement
face and the phenomena of pre-convergence and convergence of the cavity, where a chronologic
dependence exists between phenomena of deformation of the cavity and those preventively impacting the nucleus at the excavation face. Analogously, an equally strict relationship exists between the
instability or collapse of the excavation face or advancing nucleus and the consequent instability or
collapse of the cavity, though preventively stabilized.
The final lining shall guarantee that the adequate safety factor or the reliability defined for the work
are achieved, thereby absorbing loads estimated to be applied to the lining in the long term, following criteria defined to the purpose. Between those loads, at the beginning, seismic actions will
not be included, unless it is dealt with specific sections corresponding to situations considered to
be particularly sensitive to seismic actions, such as e.g. it happens for tunnel sections located close
to the surface or for tunnel sections excavated in particularly unfavourable geologic sectors (fault
fractures, etc.). In the lining sections where reinforcing steel is not requested to be applied to absorb
static tensile stresses, steel will be placed to control cracking due to shrinkage.
In case tensile stresses are limited and in case reinforcing steel is only requested to be applied to
control cracking due to shrinkage, reinforcing steel can be advantageously applied in form of metal
fibers in the adequate quantity. When the lining is not to be directly applied to fulfil structural requirements, its functions will be, between others: to facilitate natural ventilation, to guarantee geometric
regularity of the section, to contribute to waterproofness. In these cases, the lining thickness will
be limited to minimum values compatible with technological requirements (in the order of 30 cm),
and, in those cases, the quantity of reinforcing fibers to be applied will be limited to minimum values
foreseen by standards (25 kg/m3).
Procedures to be applied for excavation, as well as for the support and the lining, shall be selected
in such a way that they will result statically efficient, feasible from the point of view of construction,
and ideal from an economic perspective. As a result, at the beginning, they will be characterised by a
horseshoe profile, or by a single arch of a circle, except for the upper part, which will be adequately
selected for each sector of the tunnel, thereby ranging from flat to curve, with same radius as the
rest of the tunnel section perimeter, inasmuch as the geomechanical quality of the excavated section
ranges from very good to highly precarious
In the case that the final lining is not conceived to have structural character or provide structural function, but to provide a “cosmetic” function only, including the case in which this element should miss
completely such as it happens in some designs, then, it will be the primary phase support that will
have to fulfil all structural functions formerly assigned to the final lining, both in terms of structural
capacity as well as in terms of structural reliability.

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
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In a certain sense, something similar happens also in the case of the pre-cast concrete ring segments
applied to cover tunnels excavated through TBM, because of the fact that this single support shall
fulfil all permanent static functions. Moreover, in this case, each element composing the lining shall
fulfil as well all highly demanding temporary structural functions, which are related to the construction process, to the storing, handling, assembling processes, and, sometimes, to the process of
counteracting forces exerted at the face by the TBM during excavation.
Finally, and independently from which is the case, the structural design shall begin from the definition of acting loads and of boundary conditions. As such, the geomechanical characterisation of the
environment to be excavated results being a fundamental prerequisite.
Geomechanical characterisation of rocks and ground.
The identification of grounds, soils, rocks and rock mass, which will be impacted by the excavation,
is the first step in the complex process of designing a tunnel. This characterisation is directly related
to results of what is traditionally named a geological study, or a geological survey, or, more simply,
the geology of the site of the underground construction work.
It is important that such identification and eventual classification of the involved soils, rocks and
rock mass, is carried out not just following geologic criteria, but also following engineering criteria,
in what is meant considering at any time physical and mechanical conditions and properties of the
materials and of the system as a whole.
Since the tunnel will be definitely excavated and constructed in the rock mass on a natural scale, this
will be in the end the medium towards which the geomechanical characterisation will be directed.
Nonetheless, as a consequence, characterisation will pass from the characterisation of single materials (soils and intact rock) forming the rock mass, to the characterisation of structures (discontinuities)
interconnecting materials composing the rock mass.
For highly pronounced rocky environments, in function of the fracture density and orientation (level
of anisotropy) with respect to the rock medium, the rock mass can be represented with a continuum
model, a discontinuum model, or an equivalent continuum model. For environments typically consisting
of cohesive or incoherent soils, it will be generally referred to the respective continuum models.
In case a discontinuum model is applied, fundamental objective of the characterisation is to identify
geometric and strength characteristics of discontinuities, thereby utilizing, as an example, Barton’s
criterion, which becomes explicit through the following equation for shear stress:

Where:
t - shear stress
sn - normalized stress
fb - base friction angle (obtained through shear tests onto smooth, non-altered, surfaces)

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
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JRC = roughness coefficient (Joint Roughness Coefficient)
JCS = compressive strength of the discontinuity (Joint Compressive Strength).
In case rock mass can be represented by a continuum model or an equivalent continuum model, according to the methodology proposed by Hoek and Brown (1997), in order to estimate geomechanical parameters such as strength and deformation of the rock mass, which can be macroscopically
considered isotropic related to the specific scale of application, the following thee basic parameters
should be know, whereby two of them are related to the rock materials forming the rock mass, and
the third is related to the macro-structure of the rock mass:


- The uniaxial compressive strength of intact rock ¨sci¨
- The constant ¨mi¨ defining the friction character of the rock
- The Geological Strength Index ¨GSI¨ of the rock mass.

Two tables summarizing values to be possibly assumed by each of the first two parameters mentioned
above are enclosed. These tables can be used, as a first approximation, to estimate values which those
two parameters could assume for a specified rock, if laboratory tests are completely missing, or to
be used as complement to laboratory test results. Subsequently, Hoek’s tables to be applied for the
definition and determination of the third parameter, the GSI, are enclosed as well.
The following step consists in considering the geomechanical characteristics of strength and deformation of the rock mass:



- The angle of friction of the rock mass ¨ϕm¨
- The cohesion of the rock mass ¨cm¨
- The uniaxial compressive strength of the rock mass ¨scm¨
- The modulus of deformation of the rock mass ¨Em¨.

The following empirical equations are recommended by Hoek and Brown:
ϕm = sen-1[(6amb(s+ mb s3n)a-1)/(2(1+ a)(2+ a)+ 6amb(s+ mb s3n)a-1)]

cm = sci[(1+2a)s+(1-a)mb s3n](s+ mb s3n)a-1/(1+a)(2+a)[1+(6amb(s+mb s3n)a-1)/((1+a)(2+a)]0.5
scm = sci [(mb+4s–a(mb–8s))*(mb/4+s)a-1]/[2(1+a)(2+a)]
Em = 1000(sci/100)1/2 10 (GSI-10) / 40 (in MPa)
Where:

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(s3max/scm) = 0.47.(scm/γ.H)-0.91

s3n = s3max/sci

with H = depth of the tunnel and ¨D¨ construction disturbance factor: equal to ¨0¨ for undisturbed
conditions and equal to ¨1¨ for not well controlled explosions.
It must be highlighted that since these equations are empirical, they should be used carefully. And
in any case, it is recommended that each of those seven geomechanical parameters is quantified in
statistic terms, thus assigning to each of them a probabilistic distribution in function of its nature,
and some statistic indexes and factors in function of the specific knowledge available for them.

Point
load
index
(MPa)

Field estimate of strength

Examples

Grade*

Term

Uniaxial
comp.
strength
(MPa)

R6

Extremely
strong

> 250

> 10

Specimen can only be chipped with a
geological hammer.

Fresh basalt, chert, diabase, gneiss,
granite, quartzite.

R5

Very strong

100 - 250

4 - 10

Specimen requires many blows of a
geological hammer to fracture it.

Amphibolite, sandstone, basalt,
gabbro, gneiss, granodiorite,
peridotite, rhyolite, tuff.

R4

Strong

50 - 100

2-4

Specimen requires more than one blow
of a geological hammer to fracture it.

R3

Medium
strong

1-2

Cannot be scraped or peeled with a
pocket knife, specimen can be
fractured with a single blow from a
geological hammer.

Concrete, phyllite, schist, siltstone.

Chalk, claystone, potash, marl,
siltstone, shale, rocksalt.

25 - 50

Limestone, marble, sandstone,
schist.

R2

Weak

5 - 25

**

Can be peeled with a pocket knife with
difficulty, shallow indentation made by
firm blow with point of a geological
hammer.

R1

Very weak

1-5

**

Crumbles under firm blows with point of
a geological hammer, can be peeled by
a pocket knife.

Highly weathered or altered rock,
shale.

R0

Extremely
weak

0.25 - 1

**

Indented by thumbnail.

Stiff fault gouge.

* Grade according to Brown (1981).
** Point load tests on rock with a uniaxial compressive strength below 25 MPa are likely to yield highly ambiguous results.
Table 5.1 - Rock bulk degrees in accordance with the estimates of resistance the uniaxial compression for different types of rock.

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
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Values of the constant Mi for intact rock group. Note that values in parenthesis are estimates. The
range of values quoted for each material depends upon the granularity and interlocking of the crystal
structure - the higer values being associet with tightly interlocked and more frictional characteristics.
Rock
type

Group

Class

SEDIMENTARY

Clastic

Carbonates
NonClastic

Texture

Coarse
Conglomerates
(21 + 3)
Breccias
(19 + 5)

Medium
Sandstones
17 + 4

Fine
Siltstones
7+2
Greywackes
(18 + 3)

Very fine
Claystones
4+2
Shales
(6 + 2)
Marls
(7 + 2)

Crystalline
limestone
(12 + 3)

Sparitic
limestones
( 10 + 2 )

Micritic
limestones
(9 + 2)

Dolomites
(9 + 3)

Gypsum
(8+2)

Anhydrite
( 12 + 2 )

Evaporites

Chalk
07 + 2

METAMORPHIC

Organic
Marble
9+ 3

Hornfels
( 19 + 4 )
Metasandstone
( 19 + 3 )

Slightly foliated

Migmatite
(29 + 3)

Amphibolites
26 + 6

Foliated*

Gneiss
28 + 5

Schists
12 + 3

Granite
32 + 3
Granodiorite
(29 + 3)

Diorite
25 + 5

Cabbro
27 + 3

Dolerite
(16 + 5)

Non foliated

Light
Plutonic

IGNEOUS

Dark

Hypabyssal

Norite
20 + 5

Vulcânica
Pyroclastic

Phyllites
(7 + 3)

Slates
7+4

Diabase
(15 + 5)

Peridotite
(25 + 5)

Rhyolite
(25 + 5)
Andesite
25 + 5

Dacite
(25 + 3)
Basalt
(25 + 5)

Obsidian
(19 + 3)

Breccia
(19 + 5)

Tuff
(13 + 5)

Porphyries
(20 + 5)

Lava

Agglomerate
(19 + 3)

Quartzites
20 + 3

* These values if relate the proven samples of unbroken rock in the normal direction to the stratification. The gotten value of mi it can vary significantly if the
rupture itself verifies in the direction of the weak or plain plan of stratification.
1* Note: this table contains substantial exchanges in reference to the shown ones in preceding publications. Such exchanges had been made to reflect given
accumulated in recent tests of laboratory and the gotten experience of great quarrels techniques with Geologists and Engineers geologists.
Table 5.2 - Values of mi for different classifications of rock according to its geomorfológical origin.

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Rock type:

SURFACE CONDITIONS

General
VERY
GOOD

GSI selection: 31
STRUCTURE

GOOD

FAIR

VERY
POOR

POOR

DECREASING SURFACE QUALITY

INTACT OR MASSIVE - Intact rock specimens
or massive in situ rock with a few widely spaced
discontinuities.

90

N/A

N/A

80

VERY BLOCKY - Interlocked, partially disturbed
mass with multi-faceted angular blocks formed
by 4 or more joint sets.

BLOCKY/DISTURBED/SEAMY - Folded with
angular blocks formed by many intersecting
discontinuity sets. Persistence of bedding
planes or schistosity.

70

DECREASING INTERLOCKING OF ROCK PIECES

BLOCKY - Well interlocked un-disturbed rock
mass consisting of cubical blocks formed by
three intersecting discontinuity sets.

60
50
40
30

DISINTEGRATED - Poorly interlocked, heavily
broken rock mass with mixture of angular and
rounded rock pieces.

LAMINATED/SHEARED - Lack of blockiness
due to close spacing of weak schistosity or
shear planes.

20

N/A

10

N/A

Table 5.3 - Classroom determination of rock according to GSI.

Rock type: Flysch

SURFACE CONDITIONS OF DISCONTINUITIES

GSI Selection: 31
VERY
GOOD

COMPOSITION AND STRUCTURE
A- Thick bedded, very blocky sandstone
The effect of pelitic coatings on the bedding planes is
minimized by the confinement of the rock mass. In shallow
tunnels or slopes these bedding planes may cause structuraly
controlled instability.
B - Sandstone with
thin interlayers of
siltstone

C - Sandstone and
siltstone in
similar
amounts

C, D, E and G - May be more or less folded
than illustrated but this does not change the
strength. Tectonic deformation, faulting and
loss of continuity moves these categories to F
and H

G - Undisturbed silty or clayey
shale with or without a few very
thin sandstone layers

D - Siltstone
or silty
shale with
sandstone
layers

70

FAIR

VERY
POOR

POOR

A
60

E - Weak
sitstone or
clayey shale
with
sandstone
layers

F - Tectonically deformed, intensively
folded/faulted, sheared clayey shale or
siltstone with broken and deformed
sandstone layers forming an almost
chaotic structure
H - Tectonically deformed silty or clayey
shale forming a chaotic structure with
pockets of clay. Thin layers of
sandstone are transformed into small
rock pieces

Means deformation after tectonic disturbance
Table 5.4 - Values of the GSI in function of the condition of the rock in the surface and its breaking.

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GOOD

50

B

C

D

E

40
30

G

F
20

H

10

VERY BAD
Mirrors of breaking, surfaces very meteorized with
hard clay waddings.

BAD
Mirrors of breaking, surfaces very meteorized with
hard waddings of angular fragmentos.

MEDIA
Plain, moderately meteorized, modified surfaces.

STRUCTURE

VERY GOOD
Very wringled, surfaces without meteorization.

From the description of the structure and the conditions of the surface
of the rock mass, to select the appropriate interval of this table.
Esteem the average value of Geolocical Strength Index (GSI) of this
interval. It does not have very to be looked for to be necessary. To
choose an acceptable value of GSI between 36 e 42 that to fix a GSI =
36. It is also important to recognize that the criterion of Hoek-Brown
will have only to be applied in rock bulks where the dimension of the
fragmented blocks is small making a comparison with the dimension
of the hollowing that must be evaluated. When the dimension of the
individual blocks is approximatively bigger to the quarter of the
dimension of the excavation, generally the rupture would be
controlled for the structure and the criterion of Hosk-Brown would not
have to be used.

SURFACE CONDITION

GEOLOGICAL STRENGTH INDEX

GOOD
Wringled, slightly meteorized, spotted oxide surfaces.

5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
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Reduction of the surface quality

UNBROKEN OR MASSIVE - unbroken rocks or
massives rocks with few widely separate
discontinuities

90

N/A

N/A

80
BROKEN - Massive rock partially disturbed,
formed in cubic blocks formed for three ortogonais
systems of discontinuity, very joined well between
itself.

BROKEN/DISTURBED - Massive rock folded
and/or failed with angular blocks formed by the
intersection of the some systems of discontinuity.

60
Decreasing interlocking of rock pieces

MUCH BROKEN - Massive rocky partially
disturbed, formed in blocks joined between itself,
formed for four more the systems of discontinuity.

70

50
40
30

DISINTEGRATED - Massive rock highly broken
with mixtures of angular and rounded off, joined
fragmentos poor between itself.

STRATIFIED/LAMINATED - Rock tectonic
stratified and fissured. The schists prevail on any
system of discontinuity, completely without blocks.

20

N/A

N/A

10

Table 5.5 - GSI determination in function of the superficial quality observed and its degree and breaking.

Type of behaviour and pre-selection of the initial support.
The geostatic behaviour of an underground excavation, or more schematically, the “type of behaviour
of the excavation”, depends from the combination of a number of factors, which can be identified,
in highly simplified terms, as: the state of pre-existing natural stresses in the environment where the
excavation will take place, and its geomechanical strength.

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In a first approximation (and in case additional elements such as on-site measurements are missing),
the state of natural stress can be related directly to the depth or covering of the excavation (H) and
to the geomechanics of the environment where the excavation will take place. Moreover, it can be
related, with some approximation, to the strength of materials dominating the environment on the
one side, and to the geomechanical macro-structure of the rock mass on the other side (fractures,
modifications, anisotropies and morphologies of surfaces from discontinuities, between others), for
whose identification several geomechanical quality indexes can be used (such as e.g. the RMR of
Bieniawsky, the Q of Barton, the RSR of Wikham, etc.), and especially the already commented Hoek’s
GSI.
If natural stresses result being considerably high with respect to the strength of the rock mass, and
simplifying further, one can directly refer to the non-confined compressive strength of the rock mass
(scm). The latter can be directly related to the state of natural stress (g.H), with (g) being the density
of the rock mass, whereby, for such correlation, the important concept of “index of excavation competence” (IC=scm/g.H) is introduced, which will be very useful at the time of discriminating the type
of behaviour of the excavation in the above described circumstances. Whereas, for high values of
the above mentioned index (IC), such as it generally happens for moderate coverings, where natural
stress conditions result being low as well, the geomechanical quality of the rock mass (GSI) alone
will be sufficiently conditioning and discriminating of the type of behaviour, as it will be explained
forward.
Within this framework, for practical reasons, the possible types of behaviour of an excavation can be
summarized in the following five ones:
*TYPE OF BEHAVIOUR “A”
Behaviour presenting stable overhead face and cavity. This type of behaviour appears when the state
of stress at the cavity face and the surrounding, forming as a consequence of the redistribution of
natural stresses following excavation, is such that stresses in the environment are not overcoming
strength characteristics of the environment itself. Thus, the relationship of mobilization between
strength and stresses is always greater than one (FS>2.5).
The deformation phenomena, which follow the excavation, evolve by maintaining themselves in the
elastic range; they are immediate and generally of modest capacity, thereby limiting themselves to
the order of few centimetres. The nucleus’ axial deformations, which appear in the form of extrusions, are negligible.
The free radial deformation of the cavity (percentage relation between radial displacement and radius
of the tunnel: Ro) is very low (e<1%). Even lower is the radial deformation at the face (eo<<0.5%). The
plastification (expressed as the spread of plastic radius, Rp) is practically inexistent (Rp/Ro=1), and the
index of excavation competence results being very high (IC>>0.45). The GSI, which is the principal
control over the behaviour of the when coverings are contained, is high (GSI>60).
The eventual presence of water, also if hydrodynamic conditions exist, does generally not influence the
stability of the tunnel, unless for loose ground, or unless excessively high hydraulic gradients cause such
a wash-out that shear strength along the existing planes of discontinuities is drastically reduced.

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The whole excavation is globally stable. Eventually, only extremely localized instabilities might occur
in the form of isolated blocks falling down, due to localized unfavourable geo-structural conditions
within discontinuous rock mass.
Stabilizing interventions are generally the lowest and are principally directed towards avoiding the
occurrence of localized sliding of ground, which could be potentially dangerous for people, and, at
the same time, towards maintaining a regular excavation profile.
Regarding specifically the support to be pre-selected for this class, the installation of isolated spiles
is deemed to be sufficient. Eventually, a thin layer or fiber-reinforced shotcrete may be applied as
well.

Photo 5.6 - Example of excavation in area of type A behaviour.

*TYPE OF BEHAVIOUR “B”
Behaviour presenting stable overhead face and stable cavity in the short term. This type of behaviour
appears when the state of stress at the cavity face and the surrounding, forming as a consequence
of the redistribution of natural stresses following excavation, is such that stresses in the environment
approach elastic strength characteristics of the environment itself. Thus, the relationship of mobilization between strength and stresses is greater than one (FSf≈2) at the face and is near to one (FSc≈1)
in the cavity surrounding at a certain distance from the prior one.
The deformation phenomena, which follow the excavation, evolve in the elastoplastic range in the
cavity surrounding; they are slightly postponed in time and generally of modest capacity, in the order
of few centimetres. The nucleus’ axial deformations, which appear in the form of extrusions, are
limited and do not influence the stability of the tunnel since the ground is still capable to mobilize
sufficient residual strength.
In case of high coverings, the free radial deformation of the cavity corresponds to (1%<e<2.5%).
The radial deformation at the face corresponds to (eo<0.5%). The plastification radius corresponds
to (1<Rp/Ro<2), and the index of excavation competence corresponds to (0.3<IC<0.45). The GSI,

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which is the principal control over the behaviour of the excavation when coverings are contained, is
relatively high (40<GSI<60).
The eventual presence of water, and particularly if hydrodynamic conditions exist, promotes expanding of plastification by reducing the ground’s shear strength capacity, thereby increasing the relative
importance of instability phenomena. As a result, the presence of water must be prevented, especially
at the excavation advancement face, by draining water in order to keep it as far as possible towards
the nucleus’ outer side.
Instability phenomena, appearing in the form of localized sliding at the face and the surrounding of
the cavity, leave generally the time to take action after a relatively short dismissal from the working
front, allowing the use of traditional radial containment intervention methods.
Stabilizing interventions are generally of conservative type and are based on passive contrast techniques,
which are directed towards avoiding complete confining of the rock mass in the cavity surrounding
and thus its decompression well beyond the surrounding itself.
Regarding specifically the support to be pre-selected for this class, the installation of a system composed of the integration of a layer of fiber-reinforced shotcrete of moderate thickness with short
spiles, and eventually light metal centres, capable to contrast radial loads with an appropriate safety
factor, is considered appropriate.

Photo 5.7 - Example of excavation in area of type B behaviour.

*TYPE OF BEHAVIOUR “C”
Behaviour presenting unstable cavity. This type of behaviour appears when the state of stress at the
cavity face and the surrounding, forming as a consequence of the redistribution of natural stresses
following excavation, is such that stresses in the environment slightly overcome elastic strength
characteristics of the environment itself. Thus, the relationship of mobilization between strength and

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stresses is near to one (FSf≈1) at the face and is lower than one (FSc<1) in the cavity surrounding at
a certain distance from the prior one.
Deformations develop slowly with respect to normal excavation advancement velocities, and, although
evident collapses of the overhead face do not take place because of the moderate tension unbalance,
the nucleus’ axial deformations, which appear in the form of extrusions, may influence the stability
of the tunnel. Moreover, due to the occurrence of plastic deformations already at the face itself, the
cavity conditions far from the face result rather critical, and the plastic fringe develops radially with
an extension which overcomes the tunnel radius, thus resulting in a considerable radial convergence
and axial deformations at the front.
In case of high coverings, the free radial deformation of the cavity corresponds to (2.5%<e<5% The
radial deformation at the face corresponds to (0.5<eo<1%). The plastification radius corresponds to
(2<Rp/Ro<4), and the index of excavation competence corresponds to (0.2<IC<0.3). The GSI, which
is the principal control over the behaviour of the excavation when coverings are contained, is low
(30<GSI<50).
The eventual presence of water promotes expanding of plastification by reducing the ground’s shear
strength capacity, thereby increasing the relative importance of instability phenomena. As a result,
the presence of water must be prevented, especially at the excavation advancement face, by draining
water in order to keep it as far as possible towards the nucleus’ outer side.
Regarding specifically the support to be pre-selected for this class, stabilization actions are generally
realized in that only an adequate counteracting structure is applied, which consists of ribs and fiberreinforced shotcrete, having sufficient weight to withstand equilibrium loads. Just eventually, the
structure may be complemented by scaffolding the overhead face with glassfiber composite elements,
which are placed up to a distance of the same dimension order of the tunnel radius, with the objective of providing to the overhead face enough stiffness so as to enable the temporary equilibrium of
the cavity. These elements’ function will end as soon as the installation of the primary support will
begin, after a limited, thus beneficial, convergence of the cavity will have taken place.
Though, due to the more critical conditions characterizing this class, interventions may become
mainly of improving character. For this purpose, the consolidation of the face by means of glassfiber
composite elements may be extended to the vicinity of the excavation perimeter, by installing a set
of outlying glassfiber composite elements. These will be slightly sloping with respect to the tunnel
axis so as to interfere with the mechanical action of the pre-consolidating scaffolding, a rock crown
immediately outside the excavation perimeter, thus contributing to limit the extension of the plastification radius of the rock around the excavation, and, as a result, limit final equilibrium loads above
the selected support.

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Photo 5.8 - Example of excavation in area of type C behaviour.

*TYPE OF BEHAVIOUR “D”
Behaviour presenting unstable overhead face. This type of behaviour appears when the state of stress
at the cavity face and the surrounding, forming as a consequence of the redistribution of natural
stresses following excavation, is such that stresses in the environment overcome strength characteristics of the environment itself. Thus, the relationship of mobilization between strength and stresses
is lower than one (FSf≈<1) at the face and is much lower than one (FSc<<1) in the cavity surrounding
at a certain distance from the prior one.
Deformation phenomena are unacceptable as they evolve rapidly in the braking range, thus giving
rise to serious instabilities’ displays such as breakouts at the face and collapses of the cavity, which do
not leave the time to take action through radial containment interventions. As such, the nucleus’ axial
deformations, which appear in the form of extrusions or collapses, influence the stability of the tunnel.
At the face the tension unbalance is such that it gives rise to high deformation gradients, because
the face’ stability conditions result critical for normal excavation advancement velocities. Moreover,
the cavity conditions far from the face result critical, and the plastic fringe develops radially with an
extension which overcomes the tunnel radius, thus resulting in a highly important radial convergence.
As a result, pre-consolidating interventions must be provided upstream of the excavation advancement
face in order to put in place pre-containment actions capable to induce artificially arc effects.
In case of high coverings, the free radial deformation of the cavity corresponds to (5%<e<10%).
The radial deformation at the face corresponds to (eo>1%). The plastification radius corresponds to
(Rp/Ro>4), and the index of excavation competence corresponds to (0.15<IC<0.2). The GSI, which
is the principal control over the behaviour of the excavation when coverings are contained, is low
(20<GSI<40).
The eventual presence of water, if hydrostatic conditions exist, reduces even more the ground’s shear
strength capacity, thus promoting a further increase of plastification and increasing the magnitude
of deformation phenomena. If hydrodynamic conditions exist, water produces materials dragging

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.
phenomena and siphoning phenomena, which are absolutely unacceptable and dangerous for the
global stability of the excavation. As a result, the presence of water must be prevented, especially
at the excavation advancement face, by draining water in order to keep it as far as possible towards
the nucleus’ outer side.
In order to contain the development of plastification, both beyond the overhead face and in the radial
direction, a massive intervention of improving character directed towards the preventive consolidation of the nucleus by means of resistant glassfiber composite elements connected to the rock mass
through the injection of cement mixes is very useful.
The pre-selected primary support must be heavy and should be constituted by a thick fiber-reinforced
shotcrete layer and heavy metal ribs eventually integrated with radial elements to be applied for the
improvement of the rock mass, whose number and length will depend essentially from the deformation behaviour of the rock mass around the excavation. Such radial improving elements may be made
of glassfiber composite, or they may be constituted by structurally equivalent strands or spiles. This
will depend from the practical feasibility related to construction with respect to the number and the
length which will result necessary.

Photo 5.9 - Example of excavation in area of type D behaviour.

*TYPE OF BEHAVIOUR “E”
Unstable behaviour. This type of behaviour appears when the state of stress at the cavity face and the
surrounding, forming as a consequence of the redistribution of natural stresses following excavation,
is such that stresses in the environment highly overcome strength characteristics of the environment
itself. Thus, the relationship of mobilization between strength and stresses is much lower than one
(FS<<1) both at the front and in the cavity surrounding.
This type of behaviour is characterised by a short-term instability of the front with immediate sliding
breakouts of the face itself as a result of advancement operations and by the presence of a highly
emphasized free convergence of the cavity.

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Such behaviour is typical e.g. of incoherent grounds, of cataclastic rock mass, as well as in fault
zones, or in the presence of high hydraulic gradients, or in any case whereby extremely high tension
unbalances determine immediate sliding of the face just as the cavity is opened.
In the case of crossing faults, or in any tract characterised by a short-term instability of the face with
immediate collapse conditions, the necessity of pre-confining, pre-support or improvement interventions, or eventually of an adequate combination of the aforesaid methods, to be applied during
excavation advancement should be evaluated in function of geo-structural and hydrogeological
characteristics.
In case of high coverings, the free radial deformation of the cavity corresponds to (e>10%). The radial
deformation at the face corresponds to (eo >>1%). The plastification radius corresponds to (Rp/Ro>>4),
and the index of excavation competence corresponds to (IC<0.15). The GSI, which is the principal
control over the behaviour of the excavation when coverings are contained, is very low (GSI<20).
The eventual presence of water reduces drastically the ground’s shear strength capacity, thus promoting a greater extension of plastification and increasing the magnitude of deformation phenomena,
thereby possibly producing materials dragging phenomena and siphoning phenomena, which are
absolutely unacceptable and dangerous for the global stability of the excavation. As a result, the
presence of water must be prevented by draining water in order to keep it as far as possible towards
the outside.
Due to the reduced load capacity of soils, besides resulting sufficiently heavy and properly integrated
such as for the prior type, the primary phase counteracting system should foresee as well adequate
complementary technical solutions (such as e.g. ribs with incremented support, remedial treatments
of the centres’ foundation ground, temporary inverted archs, permanent inverted archs during the
advancement of works, excavation’s pre-supporting archs, etc.).
The pre-selected primary support must be extremely heavy and should be constituted by a extremely
thick fiber-reinforced shotcrete layer and heavy metal ribs integrated with radial elements to be densely
applied for the improvement of the soil. Such radial improving elements may be made of glassfiber
composite, or they may be constituted by structurally equivalent strands or spiles. This will depend
from the practical feasibility related to construction with respect to the number and the length which
will result necessary.

Photo 5.10 - Example of excavation in area of type E behaviour.

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Figure 5.1 - Example of conceptual representation of support for type E soils.

5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.

TYPE

A

BEHAVIOUR

Stability at the face
Stability in the cavity
Eventual instabilities
(blocks' kinematisms)
FSf > 2.5
< 1%
(Rp/Ro = 1)

FSc > 2.5
o<<0.5%

COVERING
HIGH
IC

LOW
GSI

Sprayed concrete (5-10 cm)
> 0.45

> 60

Stability at the face
Instable cavity
B

FSf 2,5
1%< <2.5%
(1<Rp/Ro < 2)

FSc 1
o<0.5%

FSc > 1
FSf 1
2.5% < <5% 0.5%< o<1%
(2 < Rp/Ro < 4)

0.3 - 0.45

40 - 60

FSf 1
5% < <10%
(2 < Rp/Ro < 4)

FSc > 1
o<1%

0.2 - 0.3

30 - 50

FSf << 1
> 10%
(Rp/Ro >> 4)

+ Spiles (L = 6 m) (density 0.5/m²)
or Medium ribs @ 1 m
+ Reinforcement of the face (eventual)
Sprayed concrete (20-25 cm)

0.15 - 0.2

20 - 40

+ Heavy ribs @ 1 m
or spiles (L = 6-9 m)
(density 1/m²)
+ Reinforcement of the face and extrados
+ Integrative spiles (eventual)
Sprayed concrete (20-30 cm)

Generalized instability
(very poor rock mass
and/or fault zone)
E

+ Spiles (L= 4-6 m)
(density 0.25/m²)
or light ribs @ 1.5 m

Sprayed concrete (15-20 cm)

Instable face
Instable cavity
(high deformations)
D

+ Spiles L = 4 m (eventual)

Sprayed concrete (10-15 cm)

Face approaching equilibrium
Instable cavity
C

PRESELECTION OF THE SUPPORT
(Tunnel of approx. 10 m diameter)

FSc << 1
o >> 1%

+ Very heavy ribs @ 1 m
< 0.15

< 20

+ Reinforcement of the face and extrados
+ Integrative spiles
+ Pre-support (eventual)

Table 5.6 - Classification of support behavior in function the GSI, index of competence and quality of the bulk and the covering of the escavation.

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Determination of applied loads.
Once the support, necessary for an adequate stabilization of the tunnel, has been pre-selected, and
considering the determination of the type of behaviour of the excavation, according to rules defined
before, as base, in order to proceed in elaborating a detailed structural design, all related analyses and
calculations must be conducted stepwise. The fundamental objective of such analyses and calculations
is the determination of loads acting over the support structure, besides, obviously, the calibration of
the rigidity of the soils which will hold the same structure of the support to be designed.
In order to proceed to the practical determination of applied loads, it is convenient to differentiate
the excavated sections of the tunnel corresponding to modest coverings (up to the order of 10 times
the width ¨b¨ of the tunnel) from the deeper excavated sections, given the fact that those applied
loads depend from such covering (H) conditions. Applied loads are then generally estimated by applying two different methodologies for the two cases: the methodology of the “loads’ solid” in the
first case, and the one of the “characteristic lines” in the second case.
Moreover, different schemes are applied as well for the acting loads’ distribution: over the final lining
this is vertical gravitational loads in the vault and horizontal loads in the frontispieces for sections with
moderate coverings, and radial loads only in the vault for deeper sections. Over the primary support,
the model of radial loads in the vault and in the frontispieces is generally applied indiscriminately.
For excavated sections below modest coverings, and classifiable as “superficial” (H<2b), the contrasting equilibrium load over the primary support and the vertical loads acting over the final lining will
be the same, and will be also equal to gravitational loads (g.H) corresponding to a solid of the same
height of the specific covering.
Over the final lining of these sections, design horizontal loads will be the same as loads derived from
the application of the classical theory of thrusts over soils containment structures, whereby seismic
actions will contribute additionally.
For excavated sections below modest coverings, and classifiable as “moderate” (2b<H<=10b), the
contrasting equilibrium load acting over the primary support will be radial and will be equal to the
gravitational load corresponding to a solid of height Hp=a.(b+h), where ¨a is a coefficient of linear
proportion (Terzaghi’s coefficient) that is function of the geomechanical characteristics of the ground,
and ¨h¨ Is the height of the tunnel section.
The linear proportion coefficient (a) is function of the ¨GSI¨ and of ¨mi¨, as it can be observed in the
graph attached, and can be derived approximately through the following equation:
a = 1244 mi-1.433.GSI (0.0004.mi2-0.0046.mi-1.2344)

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.
4.0

mi = 7

mi = 5

 = 1244mi

3.8

–1,433

(mi0,0004mi–0.0046mi–1.2344)

GSI

3.6
3.4
3.2
3.0
mi = 10

2.8
2.6
2.4

mi = 13

2.2
2.0
1.8
mi = 16

1.6
1.4

mi = 20
1.2
1.0

mi = 25

0.8
mi = 30
0.6

mi = 35

0.4
0.2
0.0
0

10

20

30

40

50
GSI

60

70

80

90

100

TERZAGHI'S LOAD FACTOR “ALPHA” (Perri, 2000)

Graphic 5.1 - Terzaghi’s load factor “alpha” (Perri, 2000).

In those sections classified as intermediate, in order to estimate vertical loads acting over the final lining, an appropriate reduction of the factor ¨a¨, between 25% and 50% of the value derived through
the equation, could be eventually considered. This would depend from the geomechanical conditions
and from the construction times foreseen for the lining.

LOADS ABOVE OF THE ARC VS. COVERING (H)
AND TYPE OF ROCKS (GSI)

SUPERFICIAL SECTIONS

HI

INTERMEDIATE SECTIONS

DEEP SECTIONS

CHARACTERISTIC LINES

LOAD SOLID
Dv = YH

Hs

Dv = Ya(b+h)

Dv = Pppl

b

b(GSI/5)

h

b(75/GSI)

Graphic 5.2 - Relationship between loads acting in to the supports vs. covering, incidence of the factor Alfa in function of
the GSI.

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The above mentioned reduction of the design load acting over the lining would be in fact the more
emphasized, the more it can be assumed that the primary support has been effectively loaded by
the effects of the loads’ solid before the construction of the lining. Thus, the latter should only hold
the whole portion of loads not already taken over by the primary support due to the effects of the
loads’ solid before the construction of the lining.
Over the final lining of these intermediate sections, design horizontal loads will be the same as loads
derived from the application of the classical theory of thrusts over soils containment structures, or
they will be simply the same as loads deriving from the elastic reaction to confining generated by
the soil over the deformable lining, following what is indicated by the analysis model applied in each
specific case.
Seismic actions will be only considered where explicitly recommended by geologic and geotechnical
studies.
For sections classifiable as “deep” (H>10b), the contrasting equilibrium loads acting over the primary
support will be the ones derived through an interaction analysis following the characteristic lines
method.
Over the final lining, design horizontal loads will be radial and will be only applied in the area of the
vault. Their value will be proportional to the extension of the plastification radius obtained at the
equilibrium reached by the application of the primary support, or, eventually, of the radius which
can be actually reached up to the actual entrance into action of the lining, while applied horizontal
loads will be resulting from the elastic reaction to confining generated by the soil over the deformable lining.
Seismic actions will be only considered where explicitly recommended by geologic and geotechnical
studies.
All the afore mentioned elements, related to criteria to be used to calculate loads acting over supports, can be accurately applied to obtain a detailed structural design on the base of the structural
capacity of specific supports to be possibly applied in each specific case.
These same elements have been used in this handbook to define supports to be applied on the base
of most common geomechanical conditions, and considering generally available supports, as it will
be reported in the following chapters.

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
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Spiles
2 IPN-140

R

5.
5

4

Sprayed
concrete
espessura
e = 0.14

R

7
4.3

1.83

10º

1.76

Centres
0.71

TDR

7.99

Figure 5.2 - Primary support - loading scheme.

R

min

7.3

96

CB

1.09

0.70

19º

1.83

CH

1.09

.05
R4

R5

.14

CH

19º

TDR

4.09

4.09

CB = Loads in the vault

CH = Loads in the sides

Figure 5.3 - Loading scheme on the final lining - moderate coverings.

R

min

7.3

96

CB

1.09

0.70

19º

1.83

CH

1.09

.05
R4

R5

.14

19º

TDR

4.09

4.09

CB = Loads in the vault

CH = Loads in the sides

Figure 5.4 - Loading scheme on the final lining - high coverings.

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.

5.3 - Design of supporting structures made of fiber-reinforced shotcrete.
In modern tunnels technology, supporting structures placed during the excavation are composed of
a number of resistant elements, of which fiber-reinforced shotcrete, eventually complemented by
metal ribs and spiles, is the principal element. The placement of ribs and spiles may occur, case by
case, following different combinations. Examples are indicated in the following table for five typical
primary supports (SP-a; SP-b; SP-c; SP-d; SP-e), which, in the specific case of the table, are referred
to a tunnel of approximate width (b), or equivalent diameter, of 10 meters.
In the mentioned table, it can be observed that, with except for the two extreme situations corresponding, in the one case, to geomechanical conditions for which it is not necessary to integrate
the support with metal ribs, and in the other case, to geomechanical conditions for which their use
is essential, in all other intermediate situations, which are more recurrent in tunnel practices, it is
always possible to decide upon at least to alternative technical solutions for the support. One solution is based on the use of metal ribs to integrate the shotcrete, while the other solution is based on
a systematic and intensive use of metal spiles to integrate the shotcrete.
In fact, from a strictly structural point of view, it is certainly possible to reach the same result in
what concerns the structural capacity or the contrasting capacity of the support, by using the two
alternative technological solutions. Thus, finally, a practical selection depends anyway from other
factors such as, for example: the availability of the elements on the construction site, the availability
of equipment for the placement of those elements, compared costs for those elements on a specific
market, contractual conditions, production efficiencies, the expertise and tradition of the constructor,
and the workers’ safety.
Of course, a wider set of other technical-comparative advantages or disadvantages might be mentioned
as well for the two alternative solutions, but the subjective judgement of the author would certainly
strongly influence this aspect, and this would definitely invalidate all respective positions.
In order to highlight technical-economic advantages to which it is normally turned to when the alternative solution of fiber-reinforced concrete must be sustained, without damaging however the objective
proposal for other supporting solutions, we underline that this solution leads to qualitatively important
technical improvements, which provide added value to the design, thus allowing to obtain:

- A homogeneous lining without cavities or voids which might be generated at the interface
between the rock mass and the shotcrete with welded wire mesh.

- The reduction of rebound of material on the welded wire mesh.

- A more compact and even mix.

- An improvement in safety conditions of the construction site due to the reduction of the
personnel’s exposure time to excavation operations. In fact, it is possible to begin stabilization of the
working face immediately after explosions have taken place. In this way, it is avoided that personnel
is exposed to the risk of eventual sliding of material remaining on the surface of the excavation, as
it is the case for fastening operations of the welded wire mesh.

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- A homogeneously reinforced surface, capable to absorb stresses in its entire thickness.

- It generates a dúctil concrete capable to absorb efforts.

- Flexural-tension stress capacity.

- Capability to absorb energy through deformation.

Finally, on the base of the available, or the foreseen, supporting solutions alternatives for each design,
it is necessary to proceed to a specific selection for each design section, by comparing values of pressures (loads) applied in function of the coverings and of the possible geomechanical conditions of
the forward coming soils (whereby these are represented, for example, by Hoek’s Geological Strengh
Index) with values of capacities (strengths) of the available supporting structures.
For example, following this procedure for a tunnel with approximate width and equivalent diameter
of 10 meters, the supports indicated in the following table have been preliminarily obtained.

Type of
support

Fiberreinforced
shotcrete

Metal ribs

Metal spiles 20 t

Capacity
(Kg/cm²)

SP-a

10 cm

-

-

1.5

SP-b

14 cm

SP-c

16 cm

SP-d

20 cm

SP-e

20 cm

2 IPN140 each 150 cm

or, alternatively, 7 spiles x 4 @ 150 cm (without ribs)
2 IPN160 each 125 cm

4 x 6 m each two ribs

or, alternatively, 11 spiles x 6 each 150 cm (without ribs)
2 IPN200 each 100 cm

6 x 6 m each two ribs

or, alternatively, 15 spiles x 6 each 100 cm (without ribs)
2 IPN200 each 075 cm

Table 5.7 - Geomechanical and structural characteristics of base supports.

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2 x 4 m each two ribs

10 x 6 m each two ribs

2.5

3.5

4.5

6.5

5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.

Covering:
Geomechanics

H (m)

H (m)

H (m)

H (m)

H (m)

H (m)

H (m)

5 -10

10-20

20-100

100-150

150-200

200-300

300-500

GSI <= 20

SP-e

SP-e

SP-e

SP-e

SP-e

SP-e

SP-e

20 < GSI < 40

SP-e

SP-d

SP-d

SP-d

SP-d

SP-d

SP-e

30 < GSI < 50

SP-d

SP-c

SP-c

SP-c

SP-c

SP-d

SP-d

40 < GSI < 60

SP-c

SP-b

SP-b

SP-a

SP-b

SP-b

SP-c

GSI > 60

SP-c

SP-b

SP-a

SP-a

SP-a

SP-a

SP-a

Table 5.8 - Pre-selection of base supports in function of the GSI and of the covering.

Alternatively, the design of a support made of fiber-reinforced shotcrete may be also realized on the
base of the calculation of its residual flexural strength, with respect to a support made of shotcrete
reinforced through welded wire mesh.
In fact, it is already since some decades that shotcrete has been traditionally applied universally in
tunnels construction, thereby being coupled with a layer of metallic wire mesh with various objectives: providing a certain flexural strength to the concrete, controlling shrinkage cracking, improving
adhesion to faces and heading of the excavation, and limiting rebound.
Thus, since the principal functions of the mesh result being much more efficiently performed by metal
fibers, it is easy to understand how the replacement of the metallic wire mesh with metal fibers has
taken rapid spread.
At the same time, it has been equally easy and obvious to turn to a calculation methodology, for
supports made of fiber-reinforced shotcrete, that departed from researching mechanical equivalence
between the pressure-flexural strength capacity of a layer of concrete reinforced through a metallic wire
mesh installed in the middle of its thickness, and an equivalent layer of fiber-reinforced concrete.
The flexural strength (maximum resistant moment) of a 1 m concrete slab of thickness (d) reinforced
by a metallic wire mesh of section Sm (mm2) and strength σy’ (N/mm2), installed in the middle of its
thickness (d/2 in mm), can be obtained (in Nmm) through the equation:

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while the maximum resistant moment of the same 1 m fiber-reinforced concrete slab results from:

where feq is the equivalent tensile strength on bending of fiber-reinforced concrete in N/mm² (MPa),
whereby, from the equivalence of the resistant moments, it is finally obtained:
feq = 0.0027.Sm .σy’/d (strength requested to achieve the equivalence given a specified thickness)
d = 0.0027.Sm .σy’/feq (thickness requested to achieve the equivalence given a specified feq)
The characteristic equivalent tensile strength of the fiber-reinforced concrete feq must be initially obtained directly from tests on the beam, or, if testing results are missing, it can be preliminarily derived
by empirical correlation with the base concrete type (from which tensile strength at the first-crack
point on bending of fiber-reinforced concrete fIf principally depends) and the type and dosage of
fibers (elements from which ductility of fiber-reinforced concrete depends, expressed through the
indexes D0 and D1).
Accordingly to all what was mentioned before, the structural design of supporting structures is based
on the equivalence between flexural strength of shotcrete reinforced through metallic wire mesh
(for example: 4 x 100 x 100 mm) and flexural strength of fiber-reinforced shotcrete. Essentially, it
consists of the determination of the fiber dosage (kg/m3), assuring to the fiber-reinforced concrete,
for a specified concrete strength class and for a specified thickness, an equivalent tensile strength (f eq)
that is capable to provide the same resistant moment as the one obtained through a corresponding
section of concrete reinforced through welded wire mesh.
Thus, one should begin with determining the value of the reported minimum equivalent strength
which should be achieved, for each of the foreseen primary supports, and then, one should use the
correlation (referential or experimental) between the dosage of the selected fiber and the equivalent
tensile strength on bending (feq) of the specifically foreseen shotcrete (for example: C24/30).
By applying the equations reported before, the following minimum strengths are obtained, for
fiber-reinforced concrete, for each of the four primary supports, corresponding to the four concrete
thicknesses examined (10 cm – 14 cm – 16 cm – 20 cm):

10 cm (P-a)
feq = 1.40 (MPa)

14 cm (P-b)
feq = 1.00 (MPa)

16 cm (P-c)
feq = 0.88 (MPa)

20 cm (P-d/e)
feq = 0.70 (MPa)

For concrete type C24/30, corresponding to a characteristic cylindrical strength f’c = 240 kg/cm2,
European EFNARC standards indicate a tensile strength at the first-crack point of fIf = 3.4 MPa and,
for Wirand FS3N fibers, whose characteristics are included as an example, the producer reports the
following approximate correlation between minimum ductility and dosage:

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Ductility (feq/flf)
3

kg/m de FS3

50 %

40 %

30 %

25 %

20 %

33

26

23

21

20

Thus, the following correlation, between dosage and minimum equivalent tensile strength on bending, results for concrete type C24/30:
kg/m Fs3
feq (MPa)
3

33
1.70

26
1.36

23
1.02

20
0.68

21
0.85

An Excel sheet, appositely developed to complete the described procedure, follows, which corresponds
to the design of fiber-reinforced sections whose flexural strength is equivalent to strength of sections
reinforced through welded wire mesh.
In the last row of the table, one can observe that recommended dosage is maintained at 25 kg/m3 as
minimum value, with reference to standards indicating this value as the minimum value for structural
concrete, independently from theoretical results of analyses conducted.

A) Calculation of the equivalent strenght
mm
N/mm

2

mm

Concrete e=10cm

Concrete e=14cm

Concrete e=16cm

Mesh
(4/100)

Mesh
(4/100)

Mesh
(4/100)

Fiber
(0.75x30)

Fiber
(0.75x30)

Concrete e=20cm

Fiber
Mesh
(0.75x30) (4/100)

Thickness (h) of the shotcrete section

100

140

160

200

Tensile strenght of the welded mesh

414

414

414

414

4

4

4

4

100

100

100

100

Diameter of the welded mesh

mm

Side of the welded mesh

mm2

Area (s) of the weldwd mesh in the section of 1 meter of base

kg/m2

Weight of mesh/m

kg/m3

Weight of mesh/m

125.7

125.7

125.7

125.7

2

1.97

19.7

19.7

1.97

3

19.7

14.1

12.3

9.9

50

70

80

100

Fiber
(0.75x30)

mm

Useful thickness (d) of the section of concrete with mesh

Nmm

Flexion resistant moment of the concrete withmesh

Nmm

Flexion resistant moment of the concrete with fibers

2,341,115

3,277,561

3,745,784

mm

Thickness (h) of the section of concrete without fibers

100

140

160

200

Equivalent strenght feq requested of the concrete with fibers

1.40

1.00

0.88

0.70

2

N/mm

B) Experimental determination of the fibers dosage
N/mm2
N/mm

2

%
3

kg/m
%

3

kg/m

2,341,115

3,277,561

Concrete e=10cm
Mesh
Fiber
(4/100) (0.75x30)

4,682,230

3,745,784

Concrete e=14cm
Mesh
Fiber
(4/100) (0.75x30)

4,682,230

Concrete e=20cm
Concrete e=16cm
Mesh
Fiber
Mesh
Fiber
(4/100) (0.75x30) (4/100) (0.75x30)

Minimum equivalent strenght fm requested

1.40

1.40

1.40

1.40

Theoretical flexion resistance fr of the concrete base (C24/30)

3.40

3.40

3.40

3.40

41

41

41

41

27

27

27

27

10

10

10

10

30

30

30

30

Minimum requested ductility for concrete with fibers
Empirical reference dosage vs. requested ductility
Rebond only of fibers
Recommended dosage

Table 5.9 - Mechanical comparative degree between reinforced sections with fibers and sections reinforced with conventional steel for the determination of
the thicknesses in the primary covering.

What has been reported is certainly a simplified way to proceed in sizing a resistant section made of
SFRS to be applied as support for tunnels. The objective is essentially to define the section having the
same flexural strength as the strength of an equivalent section reinforced through welded wire mesh.
Nevertheless, it may be eventually useful whether it is the case to take a decision towards a change in the
construction technology, thus whether to decide for the use of fiber-reinforced concrete for a project, for

HOME

5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.
which the use of concrete reinforced through traditional reinforcing techniques was originally foreseen.
Standards for the design of fiber-reinforced concrete are under approval procedure, where criteria for
calculation of the minimum reinforcement are prescribed. These will be also described in chapter 3 of
the following publication, and may be applied to this design situation, being more elaborated.
On the other hand, other structural analysis and calculation methodologies are available, which can
be easily adopted and comfortably adapted to the design of structural resistant elements made of
fiber-reinforced concrete. These range from simpler analytical methods to more sophisticated and more
versatile numerical approaches, such as methods which make use of powerful and widespread codes
like SAP 2000®, or of other even more complex codes based on bi-dimensional or three-dimensional
finite difference and finite element algorithms, such as ABAQUS®.
Input data necessary for sizing fiber-reinforced concrete supporting structures vary following the analysis
method applied: in the simpler case based on the equivalence of flexural strength, only the value of the
equivalent tensile strength of fiber-reinforced concrete on bending (feq) is required, while for numerical modelling the detailed geometry of the structure, of the specific loads and of constraints (such as the stiffness of
supporting soils, and particularly the modulus of reaction of the soil k), are required, besides, again, the value
of the equivalent tensile strength of fiber-reinforced concrete on bending, and its modulus of elasticity.
Analysis results for supports of 10 m width tunnels will be illustrated, whereby numerical modelling has been
conducted through the code SAP (Structural Analysis Program) of the University of California - Berkeley, for
three of the already considered thicknesses of fiber-reinforced shotcrete (14 cm for P-b, 16 cm for P-c and 20
cm for P-d/e). The primary support P-a of thickness 10 cm was not analysed because its use is generally limited
to cases with zero static loads or very low static loads, and its function is essentially to protect against possible
localized accidental breakouts of small rock blocks from the heading and the faces of the excavation.
The most representing cases, between the numerical analyses conducted, are represented for what concerns maximum tensile stresses in critical areas of the structural section of the support (the vault and the
faces). These are function both of the stiffness levels of the ground and of the loading schemes which
have been considered for the analyses, which is: a uniform normal pressure over the whole perimeter of
the supporting arch, and, more critically, again a normal pressure but of different intensity in the vault
and in the faces (lateral pressure is gradually reduced only to a fraction towards the bottom of the arch).
Highest tensile stresses are obtained for those analyses simulating ground’s loads over the support
having a reduced lateral pressure, while lowest tensile stresses, in contrast, are obtained for those
analyses simulating uniform pressures over the whole perimeter of the support.
The most critical areas for what concerns the presence and intensity of tensile stresses in the support
are those of the faces in contact with the ground; in analyses considering uniform pressure over the
whole perimeter of the support, no tensile stresses are produced in the area of the vault, while in
analyses considering reduced lateral pressure, tensile stresses produced in the area of the vault result
being always lower than the ones generated at the faces.
Tensile stresses in the faces’ areas, which are generated as well in the case of uniform pressure over the
whole perimeter of the support, are always higher, if a lower stiffness of the ground is considered.
The highest tensile stress that has been obtained is equal to 9.0 kg/cm2 (0.9 MPa), followed by some
other high values (8.2; 7.3; 5.7 and 3.9 kg/cm2). All the other maximum tensile stresses obtained are
equal to 2.8 kg/cm2 (0.3 MPa), or lower.

HOME

5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.

Loads
cases
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

More rigid
ground

Less rigid
ground

Traction in walls
2
2
(kg/cm )
(kg/cm )
0.80
0.94
0.55
0.56
2.50
2.53
1.30
1.50
0.45
0.51
0.35
0.41
1.10
1.54
2.80
2.80
0.20
1.30
1.10
2.90

Lesser lateral pressure
Traction
Traction
walls
roof
2

(kg/cm )
2.50
2.00
8.20
5.70
2.30
1.50
7.30
9.00
2.40
3.90

Support
type

2

(kg/cm )
2.10
1.30
3.30
2.60
1.50
0.90
4.10
3.70
1.50
2.20

P-c
P-c
P-d
P-d
P-d
P-c
P-e
P-d
P-e
P-d

Table 5.10 - Values resulting from the analysis of the maximum tensile stresses in primary.

All the considered case studies, including the ones corresponding to the most unfavourable conditions
as far as loads’ intensity and schemes are concerned, such as the stiffness of the ground, show how
tensile stresses generated in supports result always being lower than 1 MPa, thus, being in principle
always compatible with the characteristic equivalent tensile strength on bending that can be reached
for shotcrete type C24/30 with minimum dosage of metal fibers (25 kg/m3), which is approximately
1.5 MPa according to various test results.
Numerical analyses allow thus to conclude that, from a strictly structural point of view, replacing
welded wire mesh with a minimum dosage (25 kg/m3) of adequate metal fibers in shotcrete for tunnel
supports is generally technically feasible, thereby confirming results obtained with simpler calculations based on the equivalence between flexural strength of supports made of shotcrete reinforced
through welded wire mesh and flexural strength of supports made of shotcrete reinforced through
metal fibers.
In more general terms, numerical analysis allowed to demonstrate that by using adequate metal fibers
in shotcrete type 24/30 (and obviously also of more elevated type), a fiber dosage of 25 25 kg/m3,
such as indicated as minimum value for structural concretes by main standards, is in principle sufficient to provide to shotcrete a tensile strength (feq) as high as (1.0 –1.5 MPa), which is compatible
with stresses that are generally generated in tunnels supports in the most common geotechnical,
geometrical and covering conditions.

HOME

5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.
Fiber FS3 (30/0,75)
Sample
Sanchon_Test_1A
Sanchon_Test_1B
Sanchon_Test_1C
Sanchon_Test_4A
Sanchon_Test_4B
Sanchon_Test_4C
Corona_Test_3A
Corona_Test_3B
Corona_Test_3C
Pila 4-2 27-8-04
Pila 4-4 27-8-04
Pila 1-2A 01-9-04
Pila 1-2B 01-9-04
Pila 1-2C 01-9-04
Midium

Concrete C24/30
f(0-0,6)
f(0,6-3)
(MPa) (MPa)
Do x Dl

f/f
(MPa)

3,01
2,47
3,58
3,89
1,95
2,21
2,52
1,04
1,32
1,97
1,61
1,79
1,29
1,83
2,44

0,3111
0,2620
0,3865
0,4074
0,3458
0,4418
0,3517
0,6726
0,3482
0,3881
0,4167
0,4339
0,4181
0,5663
0,39

4,5
3,7
4,3
4,2
2,6
3,0
3,5
2,7
2,8
2,8
2,6
2,8
3,1
2,5
3,22

Dos. 25kg/m
feq
(MPa)

Dosage
(kg/m3)

m

25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
25
30
30
30
30
30
25

1,40
0,97
1,66
1,71
0,90
1,33
1,23
1,82
0,97
1,09
1,08
1,21
1,30
1,42
1,33

2

1,72
1,27
2,04
2,15
1,11
1,50
1,49
1,66
1,04
1,26
1,19
1,33
1,30
1,50
1,47

Table 5.11- Table representing average strength values obtained through bending tests following UNI11309.

To continue, the table related to the design of the primary support, obtained by the union of all
analyses conducted, following what has been reported so far, is enclosed. The table can be carefully
applied in order to produce an immediate preliminary design for a tunnel support having equivalent
diameter in the order of 10 metres.
The first part of such table allows selecting the support on the base of the type of behaviour of the
excavation, which can be referred to: the GSI (Geological Strength Index) for sections of tunnels below
moderate coverings, and, for sections of tunnels of greater covering, to the Index of Competence:
IC = scm/g.H = (0.0034.mi 0.8).sci[1.029+0.025.e (-0.1mi)]GSI/g.H.
CLASS OF BEHAVIOUR OF THE EXCAVATION IN FUNCTION - H - ci
mi
5
7,5
10
15
20
25
30
35
5
7,5
10
15
20
25
30
35
5
7,5
10
15
20
25

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

0,11
0,15
0,18
0,24
0,29
0,35
0,40
0,45
0,17
0,22
0,26
0,33
0,40
0,47
0,54
0,60
0,26
0,32
0,38
0,47
0,56
0,64

0,09
0,13
0,16
0,21
0,26
0,30
0,35
0,39
0,15
0,19
0,23
0,29
0,35
0,41
0,47
0,53
0,23
0,28
0,33
0,41
0,49
0,56

0,08
0,11
0,14
0,19
0,23
0,27
0,31
0,35
0,13
0,17
0,20
0,26
0,31
0,37
0,42
0,47
0,20
0,25
0,29
0,37
0,43
0,50

0,08
0,10
0,12
0,17
0,21
0,24
0,28
0,31
0,12
0,15
0,18
0,23
0,28
0,33
0,38
0,42
0,18
0,23
0,26
0,33
0,39
0,45

0,07
0,09
0,11
0,15
0,19
0,22
0,25
0,28
0,11
0,14
0,17
0,21
0,26
0,34
0,38
0,16
0,21
0,24
0,30
0,35
0,41

0,06
0,08
0,10
0,14
0,17
0,20
0,23
0,26
0,10
0,13
0,15
0,20
0,24
0,27
0,31
0,35
0,15
0,19
0,22
0,27
0,32
0,37

0,06
0,08
0,10
0,13
0,16
0,19
0,21
0,24
0,09
0,12
0,14
0,18
0,22
0,25
0,29
0,32
0,14
0,17
0,20
0,25
0,30

30
35
5
7,5
10
15
20
25
30
35
5
7,5
10
15
20

0,72
0,80
0,43
0,52
0,59
0,71
0,81
0,92
1,03
1,14
0,94
1,07
1,16
1,30
1,44

0,63
0,70
0,38
0,46
0,52
0,62
0,71
0,81
0,90
1,00
0,82
0,94
1,02
1,14
1,26

0,56
0,63
0,34
0,41
0,46
0,55
0,72
0,80
0,89
0,73
0,83
0,90
1,01
1,12

0,51
0,56
0,30
0,37
0,41
0,49
0,57
0,65
0,72
0,80
0,66
0,75
0,81
0,91
1,01

0,46
0,51
0,28
0,33
0,38
0,45
0,52
0,59
0,66
0,73
0,60
0,68
0,74
0,83
0,92

0,42
0,47
0,25
0,30
0,35
0,41
0,47
0,54
0,60
0,67
0,55
0,63
0,68
0,76
0,84

0,39
0,43
0,23
0,28
0,32
0,38
0,44
0,50
0,56
0,62
0,51
0,58
0,63
0,70
0,78

0,05
0,07
0,09
0,12
0,15
0,17
0,20
0,22
0,08
0,11
0,13
0,17
0,20
0,24
0,27
0,30
0,13
0,16
0,19
0,24
0,28
0,32
0,36
0,40
0,22
0,26
0,30
0,35
0,41
0,46
0,52
0,57
0,47
0,54
0,58
0,65
0,72

0,05
0,07
0,08
0,11
0,14
0,16
0,19
0,21
0,08
0,10
0,12
0,16
0,19
0,22
0,25
0,28
0,12
0,15
0,18
0,22
0,26
0,30
0,34
0,38
0,20
0,24
0,28
0,33
0,38
0,43
0,48
0,53
0,44
0,50
0,54
0,61

0,05
0,06
0,08
0,10
0,13
0,15
0,17
0,20
0,07
0,09
0,11
0,15
0,18
0,21
0,23
0,26
0,11
0,14
0,17
0,21
0,24
0,28
0,32
0,35
0,19
0,23
0,26
0,31
0,36
0,40
0,45
0,50
0,41
0,47
0,51
0,57
0,63

25
30
35

1,60
1,76
1,94

1,40
1,54
1,70

1,24
1,37
1,51

1,12
1,23
1,36

1,02
1,12
1,23

0,93
1,03
1,13

0,86
0,95
1,04

0,80
0,88
0,97

0,75
0,82
0,91

0,70
0,77
0,85

H/ ci

(m/MPa)

GSI <=20

GSI =(20-40)

GSI = (30-50)

GSI =(40-60)

GSI > 60

B

D

C

A

16

17

0,04
0,06
0,07
0,10
0,12
0,14
0,16
0,18
0,07
0,09
0,11
0,14
0,17
0,19
0,22
0,25
0,11
0,13
0,16
0,19
0,23
0,26
0,30
0,33
0,18
0,22
0,24
0,29
0,34
0,38
0,42
0,47
0,39
0,44
0,48
0,54
0,59σ
0,66
0,73
0,80

G.Perri, 2002

18

19

20

23

25

28

30

35

40

45

50

60

70

80

90

100

0,04
0,06
0,07
0,09
0,11
0,13
0,15
0,17
0,06
0,08
0,10
0,13
0,16
0,18
0,21
0,23
0,10
0,13
0,15
0,18
0,22
0,25
0,28
0,31
0,17
0,20
0,23
0,27
0,32
0,36
0,40
0,44
0,37
0,42
0,45
0,51
0,56

0,04
0,05
0,07
0,09
0,11
0,13
0,15
0,16
0,06
0,08
0,10
0,12
0,15
0,17
0,20
0,22
0,09
0,12
0,14
0,17
0,20
0,24
0,27
0,30
0,16
0,19
0,22
0,26
0,30
0,34
0,38
0,42
0,35
0,40
0,43
0,48
0,53

0,04
0,05
0,06
0,08
0,10
0,12
0,14
0,16
0,06
0,08
0,09
0,12
0,14
0,16
0,19
0,21
0,09
0,11
0,13
0,16
0,19
0,22
0,25
0,28
0,15
0,18
0,21
0,25
0,28
0,32
0,36
0,40
0,33
0,38
0,41
0,46
0,51

0,03
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,09
0,11
0,12
0,14
0,05
0,07
0,08
0,10
0,13
0,15
0,17
0,19
0,08
0,10
0,12
0,15
0,17
0,20
0,22
0,25
0,13
0,16
0,18
0,22
0,25
0,29
0,32
0,36
0,29
0,33
0,36
0,41
0,45

0,03
0,04
0,05
0,07
0,08
0,10
0,11
0,13
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,09
0,11
0,13
0,15
0,17
0,07
0,09
0,11
0,13
0,16
0,18
0,20
0,23
0,12
0,15
0,17
0,20
0,23
0,26
0,29
0,32
0,26
0,30
0,33
0,36
0,40

0,03
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,09
0,10
0,11
0,04
0,06
0,07
0,09
0,10
0,12
0,14
0,15
0,07
0,08
0,10
0,12
0,14
0,16
0,18
0,20
0,11
0,13
0,15
0,18
0,21
0,23
0,26
0,29
0,24
0,27
0,30
0,33
0,37

0,03
0,03
0,04
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,09
0,10
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,08
0,09
0,11
0,13
0,14
0,06
0,08
0,09
0,11
0,13
0,15
0,17
0,19
0,10
0,12
0,14
0,16
0,19
0,22
0,24
0,27
0,22
0,25
0,27
0,30
0,34

0,02
0,03
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,09
0,03
0,04
0,05
0,07
0,08
0,09
0,11
0,12
0,05
0,06
0,08
0,09
0,11
0,13
0,14
0,16
0,09
0,10
0,12
0,14
0,16
0,18
0,21
0,23
0,19
0,21
0,23
0,26
0,29

0,02
0,02
0,03
0,04
0,05
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,03

0,62
0,69
0,75

0,59
0,65
0,71

0,56
0,62
0,68

0,50
0,55
0,60

0,45
0,49
0,54

0,41
0,45
0,49

0,37
0,41
0,45

0,32
0,35
0,39

0,02
0,03
0,03
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,03
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,09
0,11
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,10
0,11
0,13
0,14
0,08
0,09
0,10
0,12
0,14
0,16
0,18
0,20
0,16
0,19
0,20
0,23
0,25
0,28
0,31
0,34

0,02
0,02
0,02
0,03
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,06
0,02
0,03
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,08
0,04
0,05
0,05
0,07
0,08
0,09
0,10
0,11
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,10
0,11
0,13
0,14
0,16
0,13
0,15
0,16
0,18
0,20
0,22
0,25
0,27

0,01
0,02
0,02
0,03
0,03
0,04
0,05
0,05
0,02
0,03
0,03
0,04
0,05
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,03
0,04
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,09
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,09
0,11
0,12
0,13
0,11
0,13
0,14
0,15
0,17
0,19
0,21
0,23

0,01
0,01
0,02
0,02
0,03
0,03
0,04
0,04
0,02
0,02
0,03
0,03
0,04
0,05
0,05
0,06
0,03
0,03
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,09
0,10
0,11
0,09
0,11
0,12
0,13
0,14
0,16
0,18
0,19

0,01
0,01
0,02
0,02
0,03
0,03
0,03
0,04
0,01
0,02
0,02
0,03
0,04
0,04
0,05
0,05
0,02
0,03
0,03
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,06
0,07
0,04
0,05
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,09
0,10
0,08
0,09
0,10
0,11
0,13
0,14
0,15
0,17

0,01
0,01
0,01
0,02
0,02
0,03
0,03
0,03
0,01
0,02
0,02
0,03
0,03
0,04
0,04
0,05
0,02
0,03
0,03
0,04
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,06
0,03
0,04
0,05
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,09
0,07
0,08
0,09
0,10
0,11
0,12
0,14
0,15

0,01
0,01
0,01
0,02
0,02
0,02
0,03
0,03
0,01
0,02
0,02
0,02
0,03
0,03
0,04
0,04
0,02
0,02
0,03
0,03
0,04
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,03
0,04
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,07
0,08
0,08
0,09
0,10
0,11
0,12
0,14

ABILITY INDEX (IC = cm/yH)

E

0,04
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,08
0,09
0,04
0,05
0,06
0,07
0,09
0,10
0,11
0,13
0,07
0,08
0,09
0,11
0,13
0,14
0,16
0,18
0,15
0,17
0,18
0,20
0,22
0,25
0,27
0,30

Table 5.12 - Type of behaviour of the excavation in function of:GSI –H - ci for tunnel of 10 m width or equivalent diameter.

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The second part of the table describes basic geometrical and structural characteristics of the supports mentioned, for which, according to the principal structural element identifying those supports
that is fiber-reinforced shotcrete, the related minimum equivalent tensile strength on bending (feq)
referentially recommended for each case, is indicated.
DESIGN OF THE PRIMARY SUPPORT: Tunnel of width ~ 10 m
COVERINGS < 20 m

COVERINGS 20 - 100 m

COVERINGS > 100 m

GSI <= 20

SP-e

GSI <= 20

SP-e

IC<=0.15

20< GSI <= 40

SP-e

20< GSI <= 40

SP-d

0.15< IC<= 0.20 SP-d

30< GSI <= 50

SP-d

30< GSI <= 50

SP-c

0.20< IC<= 0.30 SP-c

40< GSI <= 60

SP-c

40< GSI <= 60

SP-b

0.30< IC<= 0.45 SP-b

GSI > 60

SP-c

GSI > 60

SP-a

IC > 0.45

SP-e

SP-a

Table 5.13 - Supports classification for tunnels of 10 meters of diameter in function of the GSI.

SUPPORT

Shotcrete
(fiber-reinforced)

Metal ribs

Metal Spiles (20 t)

SP-a

10 cm (feq = 1,0 MPa)

-

-

SP-b

14 cm (feq = 1,1 MPa)

2 IPN160
each 150 cm

2 x 4 m each two ribs

SP-c

16 cm (feq = 1,2 MPa)

2 IPN160
each 125 cm

4 x 4 m each two ribs

SP-d

20 cm (feq = 1,3 MPa)

2 IPN200
each 100 cm

6 x 6 m each two ribs

SP-e

20 cm (feq = 1,4 MPa)

2 IPN200
each 075 cm

10 x 6 m each two ribs

Table 5.14 - Example of specification of resistance required for the concrete reinforced with fibers in the primáry support of tunnels.

5.4 - Design of lining made of fiber-reinforced concrete pumped on-site.
The table for the design of a support made of fiber-reinforced shotcrete, eventually integrated with metal
spiles and/or ribs, that is reported in the previous chapter, refers to a support conceived as a primary
support, which foresees the subsequent construction of a final lining. The primary lining shall be realized
by considering safety and reliability requirements that correspond to a permanent structure, as it should
fulfil the objective of stabilizing the excavation in the short term, thus considering a relatively low safety
factor (e.g. 1.1 to 1.5), or, what is the same, a relatively high defect probability (e.g. 1% to 5%).
If in contrast, the fiber-reinforced shotcrete structure would be conceived as the only permanent
structure to be applied for the structural support of the tunnel, as it is often the case in modern engineering when geomechanical and geostructural conditions of the excavation are contained within
non-critical limits, and when functional characteristics of the tunnel enable such a situation, then,
it would be necessary to design such structure by considering much higher safety factors, or much
lower defect probabilities.

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Requests of
containment

Interaction
containment-ground

Figure 5.5 - Basic scheme of structural model for final lining.

In a first approximation, the design of such a type of structure, constituting in fact the final lining of
the tunnel, can be carried out on the base of the same principles and procedures as illustrated before
with reference to primary supports, whereby the required safety and reliability factors characteristic
of a permanent final lining must be included in calculations.
By proceeding in the same way for the same five types of behaviour of excavations that were previously
defined in function of the GSI and the IC, respectively for moderate and for high coverings, results
summarized in the following tables are obtained for tunnels with approximate equivalent diameter
of 10 metres. Tables are as well in accordance with numerical results of corresponding systematic
structural analyses that were conducted, in a similar way to the ones reported afterwards, for linings
made of cast-in-place concrete.
Final linings result having a minimum thickness of 20 cm, and, in order to apply fiber-reinforced shotcrete, this should have more demanding mechanical characteristics, which should be characterised
by tensile strength not lower than 1.5 MPa (feq >=1.5 MPa), capable to provide high and permanent
flexural strength to resistant sections of the lining’s structure.

COVERINGS < 20 m

COVERINGS 20 - 100 m

COVERINGS > 100 m

GSI < = 20

RD - e

GSI < = 20

RD - e

IC < = 0.15

RD - e

20 < GSI < = 40

RD - e

20 < GSI < = 40

RD - d

0.15 < IC < = 0.20

RD - d

30 < GSI < = 50

RD - d

30 < GSI < = 50

RD - c

0.20 < IC < = 0.30

RD - c

40 < GSI < = 60

RD - c

40 < GSI < = 60

RD - b

0.30 < IC < = 0.45

RD - b

GSI > 60

RD - c

GSI > 60

RD - a

IC > 0.45

RD - a

Table 5.15 - Basic project of structural model for the definitive covering.

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Type of
lining

Fiber-reinforced
Shotcrete

Metal ribs

Metal spiles 20 t

RD - a

20 cm
(feq >= 1,5 MPa)

-

-

2 IPN200 @ 150 cm

2 x 4m @ each two ribs

RD - b

20 cm
(feq >= 1,5 MPa)

RD - c

RD - d

RD - e

25 cm
(feq >= 1,5 MPa)

25 cm
(feq >= 1,5 MPa)

30 cm
(feq >= 1,5 MPa)

or, alternatively 7 spiles x 4m @ 150 cm (without ribs)
2 IPN200 @ 125 cm

2 x 6m @ each two ribs

or, alternatively 11 spiles x 6m @ 125 cm (without ribs)
2 IPN200 @ 100 cm

6 x 6m @ each two ribs

or, alternatively 15 spiles x 6m @ 100 cm (without ribs)
2 IPN200 @ 075 cm

10 x 6m @ each two ribs

Table 5.16 - Project of the definitive covering in shotcrete reinforced with fibers (*),

The abovementioned numerical structural analyses have been conducted systematically for linings
of tunnels of 10 m net diameter, considering good quality concrete (C32/40), cast-in-place, and
considering three possible thicknesses (30 - 40 - 50 cm). The two already defined possible covering
conditions (low and high) were analysed, and two different geomechanical ground qualities were
simulated (GSI lower than 40 or GSI higher than 40).
Detailed results are reported in the enclosed table that includes, for each of the sixteen simulated
cases, maximum tensile stresses reached in the intrados of the keystone and in the extrados of both
faces of the lining section.
In the inverted vault arch, that is considered as being present in every model with a bending radius
equal to three times the radius of the main arch of the section, tensile stresses in the intrados result
being almost always high. As a consequence, they should be more efficiently absorbed by classical
reinforcement.

(*) For tunnels with approximate width, or equivalent diameter, of 10 metres.

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LININGS IN LOW COVERINGS
More rigid ground

Less rigid ground

CASES

Traction
roof
(Kg/cm2)

Traction
walls
2
(Kg/cm )

Traction
roof
(Kg/cm2)

Traction
walls
2
(Kg/cm )

1
16
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

24.60
12.50
42.20
32.60
16.70
4.80
1.83
46.60
44.95

2.43
0.95
7.40
4.30
2.10
0.57
0.35
11.60
10.80

131.50
34.40
221.00
175.50
53.30
27.50
15.40
276.30
165.30

101.70
11.60
178.10
141.80
12.80
4.30
0.76
250.00
216.70

LINING
Type

RF2-Pc
RF2-Pc
RF2-Pd
RF2-Pd
RF2-Pd
RF2-Pc
RF1
RF2*
RF2-Pd

LININGS IN HIGH COVERINGS
More rigid ground

Less rigid ground

CASES

Traction
roof
(Kg/cm2)

Traction
walls
2
(Kg/cm )

Traction
roof
(Kg/cm2)

Traction
walls
2
(Kg/cm )

9
10
11
12
13
14
15

0.60
1.20
0.29
2.40
0.65
4.20
3.70

0.40
0.70
0.16
4.20
0.31
1.65
2.41

1.52
6.60
0.70
20.50
3.60
55.40
32.70

1.90
0.83
0.75
1.60
0.00
1.80
2.70

LINING
Type

RF1
RF2-Pc
RF1
RF2-Pd
RF2-Pc
RF2*
RF2-Pd

Table 5.17 - Maximum traction strenght in the covering gotten of the numerical analyses.

One of the results obtained through numerical analyses is reported as an example, whereby principal
maximum stresses in the tunnel’s lining section are graphically represented.
Scheme of design loads for the final lining
Gravity effect
Decompression is accompained by the formation
of a unstable zone above the crown which might
eventually colapse
Unstable edge

Rn

– Gravity effect on decompressed zone
Figure 5.6 - Scheme of design loads for the final lining.

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
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Figure 5.7 - Graphical example of principal maximum stresses in the lining.

Finally, the following table summarizes numerical values of maximum tensile stresses obtained in
the vault and in the faces, for each of the three lining thicknesses considered, for the two covering
conditions analyzed, and for the different geomechanical qualities simulated for grounds.

Maximum tensile stresses in the vault and in the faces (MPa)
Low coverings (< Hs)
Linings

Less rigid
ground

High coverings (> Hs)

More rigid
ground

Less rigid
ground

More rigid
ground

RF (30cm)

1.54

0.18

0.19

0.06

RF (40 cm)

22.1

4.49

3.27

0.37

RF (50cm)

27.63

4.66

5.54

0.42

Table 5.18 - Maximum tensile stresses in the vault and in the faces (MPa).

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
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By analysing all the numerical results obtained, the following can be observed:

- For sections of tunnels characterized by ¨low coverings¨, if one refers to geotechnical conditions characterized by grounds having little hardness, and with except for few cases characterized
by very little loads that are a seldom exception for low coverings, tensile stresses generated in the
vault and in the faces result generally being highly incompatible with equivalent tensile strengths on
bending that are achievable in fiber-reinforced concretes, independently from concrete type and also
from dosage of metal fibers to be possibly applied.
If, in contrast, one refers to geotechnical conditions characterised by relatively hard grounds, that
is grounds having high moduli of reaction as well as good geomechanical characteristics (GSI > 40),
tensile stresses generated in the vault and in the faces result being relatively low, thereby being always
lower than 5 MPa, and lower than 3.5 MPa in at least one third of analyzed cases (moreover, in the
faces, they reach maximum values of the order of only 1 MPa).
Although in some of these cases tensile stresses result being quite important, they are still compatible with a fiber-reinforced concrete produced by applying a high quality and high dosages of metal
fibers, both for linings of 40 cm thickness and for linings of 50 cm thickness.
Finally, for exceptionally good geomechanical conditions (GSI > 60), tensile stresses may result negligible, also in the case a lining of only 30 cm thickness is applied.

- For sections of tunnels characterized by ¨high coverings¨, if one refers to geotechnical conditions characterized by relatively hard grounds, that is grounds having high moduli of reaction as well
as good geomechanical and geostatic conditions (GSI > 40 e IC > 0.45), tensile stresses generated in
the vault and in the faces result always being very low, thereby being lower than 0.5 MPa. Thus, as
a consequence, they result being globally compatible with a normal selection of fiber type and fiber
dosage, also for linings of only 30 cm thickness.
If, in contrast, one refers to geotechnical conditions characterised by grounds having little hardness,
although tensile stresses generated in the faces still remain largely within very low limits (lower than
0.5 MPa), stresses generated in the vault are relatively high, with except for few cases characterized
by little loads that are a seldom exception for high coverings. Thus, they oblige differentiating in
function of ground’s geomechanical quality (GSI lower than 40 or GSI higher than 40) and geostatic
conditions of the section (IC lower than 0.20 or IC higher than 0.20):
In the case of ground and tunnel section characterized by good geomechanical and geostatic conditions (GSI > 40 and IC > 0.20), tensile stresses generated in the case a 40 cm thick lining is applied
are only relatively high (slightly higher than 3 MPa). Thus, as a consequence, good compatibility still
exists with equivalent tensile strengths on bending that are achievable with a fiber-reinforced concrete
produced by applying a high quality and high dosages of metal fibers.
In contrast, in the case of ground and tunnel section characterized by poor geomechanical and geostatic
conditions (GSI < 40 and IC < 0.20), tensile stresses generated in the vault, although a 50 cm thick
lining is applied, are very high (higher than 5 MPa). As a consequence, they are practically incompatible with any equivalent tensile strength on bending of any excellent fiber-reinforced concrete.

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.

Finally, in conclusion of this chapter dealing with geostructural design of final linings of tunnels made
of fiber-reinforced both shotcrete and cast-in-place concrete, it is absolutely necessary to highlight that
methodologies indicated and, above all, results summarized in the design tables enclosed, should in
no case be considered completely exhaustive in order to proceed to an executive design of a tunnel.
This is because such results could not take into due account all peculiarities, which might characterize
real circumstances, as these could often become non-usual and possibly critical in function of real
geologic and construction conditions related to a specific tunnel section.
On the contrary, the reported methodologies and results may be very useful in order to proceed to
a correct preliminary design of a tunnel. They may be even efficiently and successfully applied in real
circumstances, in the case of designs characterized by almost coinciding geomechanical, geostatic
and construction conditions, by taking into account the basic assumptions that average representative cases have been considered as far as behavioural models are concerned, for all the analyses
conducted over design conditions presented in this chapter for tunnels’ final linings constructed by
applying traditional excavation methods.

Project of the final covering in fibers reinforced concrete placed in situ
COVERING < Hi

Hi < COVERING < Hs

COVERING > Hs

GSI < 20
RF reinforced
20 < GSI < 40

RF
reinforced

20 < GSI < 40

RF
(50 cm)

0,20 < IC < 0,30

RF
(40 cm)

40 < GSI < 60

RF
(50 cm)

40 < GSI < 60

RF
(40 cm)

0,30 < IC < 0,45

RF
(40 cm)

GSI > 60

RF
(40 cm)

GS > 60

RF
(30 cm)

IC > 0,45

RF
(30 cm)

Characteristics of the concrete fiber reforced placed in situ.
RF reinforced
RF reinforced

feq > = 5 MPa

RF (40 cm)

feq > = 4 MPa

RF (30 cm)

feq > = 2 MPa

Table 5.19 - For tunnels of approximately 10 meters of width or diameter equivalent.

5.5 - Use of fibers for fire resistance of concrete. Description of fiber mixes,
structural and anti-spalling proposal for final linings.
Tunnels’ structures are commonly designed to withstand actions to which they will be exposed to
for their entire life-cycle. Nevertheless, there is an additional phenomenon which must be taken into

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account when designing tunnels’ supporting structures, which is exposure to fire.
The risk of the occurrence of a fire is high in tunnels. Moreover, following recent accidents occurred
in various tunnels all over the world, characterized not only by structural damages but also by loss of
human lives, the design of fire resistant structures has become an absolute priority both for standardizing entities and for designers.

Tunnel
(year)

Concrete
strength

Max
temp

Fire
duration

Length
affected

Affect on segment

Great Belt
(1994)

76 MPa
28 day

800 ºC 1,000 ºC

7 hrs

16 segment rings
(1.65 long)
damaged in crown

Peak of spalling
270 mm

Channel
(1996)

110 MPa
mature

1,000 ºC

9 hrs

500 m with 50 m
severely affected
by spalling

Up to 100% (400 m)
of thickness spalled
showing grout

Mont Blanc
(1999)

Not reported

1,000 ºC

50 hrs

900 m – tunnel
crown most affected

Serious damage
to tunnel structure

Table 5.20 - Summary of structural damages related to recent tunnel fire events.

The fact that tunnels are confined structures and that, in the event of a fire, flames come directly in
contact with the concrete of the structure, makes temperatures reaching very high values. Thus, rapid
degradation of the structure takes place if no protection measure has been taken against fire.
The exposure of construction elements to high temperatures has the consequence that physical and
mechanical characteristics of such elements are altered, with the result that their structural functionality
is thereby reduced. In the specific case of concrete, degradation occurs stepwise with increasing temperature levels. A graphical representation of degradation can be observed in the following figure:

Temperature Increase vs. Concrete Degradation
800

ºC

600
400
200
0

Frontal face collapse
“spalling”

First cracking
appearance

Bearing capacity
half reduction

Graphic 5.3 - Increase in Temperature vs. Concrete Degradation.

The primary function that has to be fulfilled by any type of fire protection instrument in tunnels is to
leave people sufficient escape time, besides assuring sufficient mechanical strength of the structure so
as to enable firefighters to enter the tunnel and extinguish the fire. It becomes therefore clear that it is
principally in the initial phases of a fire that a passive protection measure should come into action.

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As it can be observed in Fig. 5.8, the first phenomenon occurring by an increase in temperature is
crumbling of the surface layer (spalling). As soon as the concrete’s surface temperature increases,
most of the water vapour, that is present in concrete, will migrate towards the inside part, where
lower temperature conditions exist. The consequence to this phenomenon is an increase in internal
pressure of the cement matrix up to the point at which the concrete’s characteristic strength is overcome, and at which spalling (crumbling of the surface layer) takes place.

Load Land
thermal stresses I

Pore pressure P
Spall

y
z
Concrete

x

L + I
Figure 5.8 - Graphical representation of the “spalling” phenomenon.

1,300ºC

Melting starts
Ceramic binding
Total loss of water of hydration

1,200ºC
..
..
800ºC

Dissociation of calcium carbor ate

700ºC

Marked increase in “basic” creep
α β Inversão expansiva do quartzo

600ºC

Concrete structurally not useful

1,400ºC
Concrete melted

400ºC

Start of siliceous concrete
Strength loss

300ºC

Some flint aggregates dehydrate

200ºC

Hidrothermal reactions
Loss of chemically bound water starts
“Hot” permeability increases markedly
Free water lost at 1 atm

100ºC

Explosive spalling
(surface temperature)

500ºC
Calcium hydroxide dissociates
Triple point of water
Thames river gravel breaks up

20ºC

Figure 5.9 - Physico-chemical reactions taking place in the concrete’s structure
with temperature increase.

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
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It is evident that a fire’s intensity will depend from the materials originating the fire. Thus, when
designing a protection against fire for concrete, one should take into account the type of vehicles
passing through the tunnel. Nowadays, different standards propose various heating curves, which
give the designer the opportunity to select the one that is most representing of the specific tunnel
situation.
The European Norm EN1363-1-2/1999 defines two types of curves that can be used:
Standard (for low fire intensity): T = 345 . Log10.(8.t + 1) + 20
Hydrocarbons (for fires of higher intensity): T=1080.(1– 0.325 . e-0.167.t – 0.675 . e-2.5.t) + 20
Where:
t: is the time, in minutes, calculated from the beginning of the test;
T: is the average temperature required in the furnace in ºC.

Furnace temperature (ºC)

1400

1000

600

RWS (NL)
ZTV (D)
Hydocarbon (EC)
Standard ISO or BS 476

200
0

0 5 10

30

60

90
Time (minutes)

120

150

Graphic 5.4 - Example of heating curves following different European codes.

5.5.1 - Objective of passive protection of concrete against fire.
The principle objective that has to be achieved by any passive protection of concrete against fire is to
avoid loss of human lives by acting in such a way that mechanical characteristics of structural elements
are kept stable during the tunnel evacuation process and the intervention of firefighters. Structural
characteristics that should be guaranteed for passive protection are:



a) Preservation of the supporting capacity.
b) Avoided emission of flammable gases in the exposed face.
c) Avoided dissipation of flames or gases.
d) Thermal insulation towards the internal part of the structural element.

Thus, it may be concluded that the whole passive protection of concrete against fire should play an
important role during the first minutes in which it is called to take action, given the fact that it is in
such period of time that evacuation of people would take place and that firefighters would try to
extinguish the fire.

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As it can be observed in degradation of concrete by increasing temperature, the phenomenon which
should be primarily controlled is “spalling”, since this is the principal degradation phenomenon which
concrete would suffer during the initial minutes of a fire.
Before any kind of protection against fire is utilized, it is important to study the behaviour which is
produced by such protection in concrete. Although there is currently no standards to be applied for
tests of fire resistance of concretes to be applied for tunnelling, it is recommended that the European
standard EN 1363 –1 and 2 (2000) is applied, regulating fire resistance tests. Here, procedures for
tests are described.

5.5.2 - Polypropylene and cellulose fibers as passive protection of concrete
against fire.
Recent studies have allowed to conclude that the addition of micro-fibers of polypropylene (monofilament type, with diameters lower than 32 mm) or of cellulose to the matrix, significantly reduces the
occurrence of “spalling” in concrete during a fire. Moreover, those studies have allowed to conclude
that a directly proportional correlation exists between the number of fibers embedded in the matrix
and the improvement of the concrete’s behaviour with respect to fire.
The mechanism following which polypropylene fibers contribute to reduce the “spalling” phenomenon
is rather simple. When the temperature of 160°C is reached, polypropylene fibers melt, thereby reducing their occupied volume. When the temperature of 360°C is reached, polypropylene evaporates,
thereby forming a set of small conduits within the matrix, which arrive up to the surface.
Those small conduits are utilized as well by the gases which are produced due to evaporation of water
within the concrete. In this way, pressure is reduced and crumbling of the surface layers is avoided.

Figure 5.10 - Escape ways of gases within the matrix.

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Various opinions exist referring to the quantity of fibers which should be embedded in the matrix
in order to offer efficient protection. What is evident, however, is that the higher is the number of
fibers, the better will be the results. Currently, recommendations concerning the minimum dosage of
fibers indicate a volume percentage of ≥ 0.2 % (corresponding to 1.82 kg/m3). This evidently depends
from the quality of concrete, since the application of high resistance concretes would imply a higher
requirement for protection, thus higher dosages.
In order to provide a clearer graphical representation of the effect of this material, in the following
section a summary of experiments conducted over specimens exposed to the heating curve as proposed by standard EN 1363-1-2/1999 is presented.

Figure 5.11 - Detail of the evaluated prismatic element, with a reinforced of 30 mm. All dimensions are in mm.

Specimens with three different types of mixtures have been tested:


- Normal concrete mixture without the insertion of fibers.

- Mixture with insertion of polypropylene fibers.

- Mixture with insertion of cellulose fibers.

Photo 5.11 - Example of a specimen in the testing furnace.

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The different behaviours in the different stages of the heating curve proposed by standard EN 13631-2/1999 have been evaluated, and the mass losses of the material have been evaluated during the
same curves. With the insertion of fibers, excellent results have been obtained, and the final objective of maintaining integrity of the element for a period of time that was safely corrected to assure
the possibility to evacuate from structures which are accidentally exposed to a fire, has been thereby
achieved.

Case of cellulose fibers

Photo 5.12 - Specimens evaluated with cellulose fibers.

Water drops on the material surface, produced by the increase in temperature.

Photo 5.13 - Specimens evaluated with cellulose fibers.

Photo 5.14 - Samples of material lost due to superficial “spalling” in specimens with cellulose.

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
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Relatively to the behaviour of specimens prepared with mixture, in which cellulose fibers had been
inserted, a good behaviour has been observed, as only a light “spalling” has been produced after
8 minutes of testing. Moreover, subsequently, and up to the end of the test, no significant loss of
material mass was observed

Case of polypropylene fibers

Photo 5.15 - Specimens of material with use of polypropylene fibers. Specimen after the end of the test.

Photo 5.16 - Specimens with polypropylene fibers. To be observed superficial watering due to the loss of water and
vapour.

In the test of specimens with addition of polypropylene fibers, an adequate behaviour, with a minimum loss of mass produced by the physico-chemical reactions already reported in previous sections,
has been observed during the whole heating curve. Moreover, over these specimens, an almost null
effect of “spalling” has been observed.

Case of specimens without fibers

Photo 5.17 - Example of experimental specimens without use of any type of fibers.

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Photo 5.18 - Samples of material that have detached due to “spalling” during testing of specimens without
fibers.

The degradation degree is evident that can reach a structure without any type of protection. During
the experimental process, a begin of “spalling” has been observed in the initial 3 ÷ 8 minutes of the
test. Thereby, significant additional loss of material has been observed, which can be considered as
being caused by the loss of water or of vapour due to heating of the material.
To summarize, and in order to provide an exemplifying comparison between the loss of mass related
to the three different types of specimens that have been tested, the following graph showing mass
loss is shown:
Time (minutes)
0

0

5

10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90

�2

Pertes de masse (%)

�4
�6
�8
�1 0
�1 2
�1 4
�1 6
�1 8
�2 0
�2 2
�2 4

Fibers CF16 Prisme 1
Fibers PP18-18 Prisme 1
Sans fibers Prisme 1

Fibers CF16 Prisme 2
Fibers PP18-18 Prisme 2
Sans fibers Prisme 2

Graphic 5.5 - Graph showing a comparison between the loss of mass related to the different experimented
specimens.

As a final reference to the present theme related to protection of concrete structures against the
effects of fire, it is fundamental to highlight that the use of fibers provides an effective solution for
new works. This generates that emphasis that is currently given by technicians to this kind of solution
especially in the case of underground work designs, considering the fact that those types of projects
have a highly significant economical, social as well as political importance, and considering the fact
that any kind of failure or accident which might occur would have irreversible consequences.

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What has been hereby presented by means of this document, reports about experiments and considerations related to materials produced by MACCAFERRI. In any case, good technical practices foresee
material suppliers to demonstrate quality adequateness of materials, as well as compliancy of their
behaviour with heating curves foreseen by the project design.
Various options exist as well for protection of existing structures. These proposals may be considered
as well for the type of underground works of which it is reported within this document. Nevertheless, particular attention should be paid to the development of solutions for protection of structures
against fire.

5.6 - Quality control of fiber-reinforced concrete in tunnels.
Quality control of fiber-reinforced concrete in an underground work is fundamental, since concrete is
one of the principal components forming the supporting structure in the case the latter is of primary
type, of final type, or is made of precast elements such as segment rings.
As it has been highlighted in previous chapters, the presence of concrete as fundamental element in
the supporting structure of an underground work is specified by detailed mechanical properties that
must be assured during the whole life cycle of the work. Mechanical properties such as compressive,
and flexo-tensional strength, are the principal mechanical characteristics that must be accurately
evaluated. They will depend from a rigorous composition of the mixture. Quality controls on aggregates, cement, water-cement ratio, additives selection already discussed within chapter 4 of the
present publication, constitute the basis to manage to obtain a mixture that guarantees mechanical
specifications considered in the design of the whole structure.
Available mixtures to be employed for the design of an underground work are:

- Mixture for sprayed concrete. It can be used both as primary lining, and as final lining in an
underground work, primarily depending from the type of work, whether it is underground hydraulic,
for rail or street transport, pedestrian, etc.

- Mixture for pumped concrete. Commonly applied in case of final linings, upset archs, and
other structural elements of a final lining. This type of mixture is applied for elements such as ring
segments, that are immediately used as final lining.
All these choices for concrete have been exemplified at the elaboration level within chapter 4. In the
current chapter, technical considerations leading to the need for quality control on the material will
be reported.
The design of a tunnel supporting structure is influenced by the type of mechanical and functional
characterization, as specified below:
Mechanical characterisation: - Structural

- Non-Structural
Functional characterisation: - Temporary

- Permanent

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Combinations of these terms will lead to different analyses having following conditions, ordered by
importance:

- Non-Structural Temporary. Regularly, in excavations of self-supporting systems, where the
lining just provides a function of sealing the surface in order to avoid its degradation due to exchanges
with the atmosphere that may occur between the surface of the fresh rock and its diaclases, or
fractures on the surface of the rock mass. These may be activated by the exchanges with the new
environment, and, as a result, they may generate partial detaching of blocks, which might become
an operational hazard, even if they do not produce a structural disequilibrium in the excavation.
This kind of supports complies with behaviours of type “a” that have been discussed in chapter 5.2
of the present publication, where deformations of the arch are not foreseen. Generally, they are
characterized by very low thicknesses, ranging from 3 cm to 5 cm, they are realized with sprayed
concrete, both by dry or wet systems, and are put in place during the first phase of the excavation
of an underground work.

- Non-Structural – Permanent. This type of lining has the same functional characteristics as
the ones described for the type “Non-Structural – Temporary”, with one difference, that is the fact
that, at the design level, it may be increasingly loaded in order to be considered as a permanent
lining within the work. It is generally realized with sprayed concrete, both using dry or wet systems.
In this case, higher thicknesses are foreseen, that may be in the order of 10 - 15 cm. Occasionally,
it may be combined with the use of dispersed anchorage spiles to be applied in those areas from
which blocks may potentially detach, with the objective of increasing the safety factor of the work
as a whole. Another alternative exists that may be also included within this class, that is final linings
made of concrete that has been pumped on-site in mobile moulds. Though this alternative has a
permanent character as well, in this case, it provides no structural function. Instead, it is only foreseen as finishing for the section of the underground work, whereby all the structural responsibility
for the underground excavation is assigned to the primary lining, which has been properly designed
to fulfil this function. As an example of geomechanical behaviour corresponding to this functional
classification, areas of behaviours type “a” and “a/b”, as reported within chapter 5.2 of the present
publication, may be mentioned for the case of supports made of sprayed concrete.

- Structural – Temporary. This type of linings, generally realized in the first phase of the excavation, correspond to heavier linings when compared to the previous ones, since these are effectively
put in place to withstand loads generated by the rock mass and/or by the layer of ground through
which the underground work passes. Having temporary characteristics, these linings are designed
by considering low safety coefficients, ranging from 1.2 to 1.5, with the objective of providing temporary containment, while the subsequent construction of a final lining is taken into account, which
would take over final responsibility for the whole supporting system of the work, and which would
be characterized by greater safety factors. These linings are generally realized by using a set of supporting elements such as sprayed concrete, anchorage spiles, occasionally metallic profiles known
as centres or ribs, and even piles’ or micro-piles’ systems, jet-grouting when geomechanical zones
are very week, thus requiring an action of this kind. The combination of these elements manages
to stabilize the excavation, and, in this case, thicknesses of sprayed concrete are in the order of 15
cm up to 30 cm. Moreover, they may arrive to 45 cm in the case of particularly unfavourable areas.
Pumped concrete is not applied in this particular case. In order to provide a reference to the type of
lining that may be included in this functional classification, supports of types a”, “b”, “c”, “d” and
“e” are extensively discussed within sub-chapter 5.2 of the present publication.

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- Structural – Permanent. In this functional classification supports previously denominated as
“Structural – Temporary” supports may be included. However, in order to be considered as permanent, these should be designed by considering safety factors higher than the ones reported in the
previous section, and specifically by considering minimum values between 2 and 2.5. This results in
a set of supports having the same structural conception as before, but being evidently characterized
by a higher stress level due to the increase in the safety factors. This is valid for the case of linings
which make use of sprayed concrete. In this functional classification final linings made of pumped
concrete may be included as well. Moreover, also the case of precast elements such as ring segments
that are placed in a tunnel excavation by TBM (Tunnel Boring Machines) or EPB-TBM (Earth Pressure
Balanced - TBM) machines may be included. It should be highlighted, however, that a TBM system
is not only related to the placement of ring segments; currently, other machines are available which
allow the lining being put in place through the use of robots for sprayed concrete, whereby also this
latter use is considered within the functional class “Structural – Permanent”.

Once the functionality of the supporting system has been explained, the presence and the feasibility
of putting in place fiber-reinforced concrete, either sprayed, pumped, or applied by using precast
segments, can be highlighted, as it has been extensively reported in the previous chapters.
The concept of quality control should be directly oriented towards the functionality of the support,
whereby the latter is directly related to the concept of deformability of the supporting structure. This
opens up two possible criteria - about which nowadays it is very much discussed between specialized
consultants of the sector - regarding the configurations of fiber-reinforced concretes for underground
works. They propose to orient control and/or the requirements for fiber-reinforced concrete in the
following way:

- Supports with possible deformability up to the achievement of the stability of the excavation. Following the criterion of functionality that has been set out above, these may be “Temporary
– Non-Structural” or “Temporary Structural”, whereby the criterion of deformation of the support
is allowed with wide tolerances, without leading to collapse of the structure. For this type of supports, quality control is directly oriented towards testing of Absorbed Energy or towards Plates Tests
of types EFNARC and/or ASTM C1550. What is sought by applying this concept, is to guarantee that
the ductility of the material is such that it is compatible with deformations foreseen for this type of
support. It is for this reason, that this type of testing investigates the behaviour of the material for
high deformations in the order of 25 to 40 mm. Currently, a wide discussion exists regarding the
effectiveness of the two abovementioned tests related to the statistic dispersion that is obtained
by them, and regarding the possibility to manage to compensate for this by means of an adequate
performance classification taking this variable into account.

- Structural supports without deformation. Within this concept, functional classifications
defined as “Permanent – Non-Structural”, for the case of pumped final linings, and “Permanent –
Structural”, in all its possibilities, are considered. Since these are the definitive structures of a lining,
the majority of them are conceived so as to avoid generating deformations, as these should be controlled during the excavation of a primary support that should control this effect in a primary phase.
These may be also conceived as primary supports with a high safety factor, having the objective to
mitigate by 100% the possibility of an immediate deformation of the excavation. For this type of
supporting structures, which can be realized by using fiber-reinforced concrete, the equivalent residual post-cracking strength is applied within limits set by the norms on structures. The mechanical

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characterization of the material towards the structural design is made by bending test of types ASTM
C1018, ASTM C1399, UNI 11039, Eurocode EN 14487-1.
An adequate quality control depends on the definition of the support’s function. It is at this point
that the need for bending tests as well as for plates tests is generated. Currently, this theme has been
discussed in the most recent codes for Fiber-reinforced Concrete and its characterization.
The objective of quality control of fiber-reinforced concrete is to guarantee that pre-requisites set
out by the design-engineer for the design of supporting structures are fulfilled. In addition to tests
foreseen for mechanical characterization and characterization of the behaviour of fiber-reinforced
concrete, which can be set out according to the type of support, all currently most complete and
comprehensive codes for characterization of fiber-reinforced concrete, such as UNI 10834, EN 14721,
EN 14488, foresee the execution of field tests to confirm homogeneity of the mixture with respect
to the specified dosage for metal fibers.
Additionally, these codes suggest criteria for approval of the material.
As the most complete reference for quality control of fiber-reinforced concrete norm UNI10834 is to
be found, followed by the recent EN 14487-1 integrating all previously explained concepts for quality control of sprayed concrete.
Standard UNI10834, for what concerns fiber-reinforced concrete, proposes a classification of shotcrete
by responsibility, and by levels of absorbed energy measured by punch testing on plate.

Class

Deformation energy absorbed
up to a point of 25 mm (J)

a

< 500

b

> 500

c

> 700

d

> 1000

Table 5.21 - Table showing the type of fiber-reinforced concrete,
following punch test on plate, UNI10834.

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.
Destination of use

Acronym

Use examples

TN

- Foundations
- Fillings
- Protection of temporary slopes
- Surface protection
- Protection of excavation surfaces in

Structural

TS

- Bypass tunnels
- Piers
- Surface protection
- Protection of excavation surfaces in

Non-structural

PN

- Fillings
- Protection of slopes
- Waterproofing

Structural

PS

- Single-shell structures
- Repairs, restorations and tunnels linings

Non-structural
Temporary

Permanent

Table 5.22 - Table showing the functional classification of fiber-reinforced concrete, as proposed by UNI10834.

After having proposed a classification of the type of concrete following plate testing, quality control of
the mixture is proposed, which begins by determination of the fiber content of the mixture. Testing is
based on separation of the fibers embedded in a representative sample of fresh or of hardened material having a weight not below 5÷6 kg. After washing, the weight ratio is calculated following:

where:
Df : is the fiber dosage.
Mf: is the weight of the fibers contained in the sample expressed in kg.
Mc: is the weight of concrete of the sample.
Pm: is the volumetric mass of concrete expressed in kg over a cubic metre of concrete.
This equation is currently applied by any current standard norm to determine the mass ratio of metallic
fibers contained into a concrete mixture of any type.
In order to provide an example of the process, a sequence of photos dealing with the process is
shown hereinafter:

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Photo 5.19 - Manual addition of fibers to the aggregates which are transported Photo 5.20 - Appearance of the ready mixture in the fresh condition, to be
to the mixing machine at the cement mixing station
noted the presence of fibers without agglomerations or any kind of problem
related to inhomogeneity.

Photo 5.21 - Placement of the fresh mixture in moulds of calibrated weight.

Photo 5.22 - Beginning of the washing operation of the mixture to obtain the
mass of fibers contained in it.

Photo 5.24 - Extraction of the fibers by means of a magnetic element towards their subsequent
weighing and calculation of the mass ratio as proposed by the equation in the norm.
Photo 5.23 - Weighing of the mixture in the mould.

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Norm UNI 10834 foresees quality control of concrete in working conditions, beginning with the
determination of the fiber content, and proposing a first testing sequence following the functional
classification set out before. The case of testing of energy absorption is left open in order to be defined by the responsible of the project. The reference is provided hereinafter:

Test

Temporary
non-structural
Initial (*) At steady
state

Compressive strength
Initial strength
Fiber content (***)
and additives dosage
Thickness

1.000 m3
1/month
(**)

(**)

(**)

(**)

400 m2

400 m2

(**)

Temporary
structural
Initial (*) At steady
state

Permanent
non-structural
Initial (*) At steady
state

400 m3
1/week
200 m3
2/week
400 m3
1/week

1000 m3
1/month
400 m3
1/semana
1000 m3
1/month

400 m3
1/week
(**)

400 m2

400 m2

200 m

Permanent
structural
Initial (*) At steady
state

1.000 m3
1/month
(**)

3

(**)

2

400 m2

400 m
1/week

200 m3
2/week
200 m3
2/week
1000 m3
1/week

400 m3
1/week
400 m3
1/week
400 m3
1/week

400 m2

400 m2

(*) A sample is considered as initial up to 15 samplings.
(**) Upon request.
(***) In fiber-reinforced concrete.
Nota: If it is intended to make reference to the m2 put in place, an conventional thickness of 20 cm should be assumed.
Table 5.23 - Table providing suggested testing sequences as proposed by the code UNI10834.

The standard UNI10834 does not deal with bending tests. For that, the norm UNI 11039 exists, of
which it has been widely discussed within chapter 3, and where material characteristics are defined
by means of results of bending tests. This norm proposes a classification of the material by means
of ductility indexes.
Ductility classes
Ductility indexes
(minimum
characteristic values)

Ds0

Ds1

Ds2

DP

DHo

DH1

D0

1)

>0,5

>0,7

>0,9

>1,1

>1,3

D1

>0,3

>0,5

>0,7

>0,9

>1,1

>1,3

Softening behaviour

Plastic behaviour

DH2
>1,55
2)

>1,552)

Hardening behaviour

1) Values of ductility index D0 < 0,5 are typical of non-reinforced concretes with
steel fibers.
2) Classes DH1 and DH2 of index D1 are characteristic of SFRC of highest
performance, which formulation requires the use of appropriately dosed special
fibrous reinforcements and of ad hoc designed base concretes.
Table 5.24 - Table providing ductility indexes as proposed by code UNI 11039.

Recently, the European standard EN 14487-1 has been approved, which considers control and preparation of sprayed concrete. This is the first complete proposition comprising all the concepts proposed
in previous sections. It proposes in a consecutive way, the following definitions.
As a first instance, it delimitates the characteristics of the material by means of bending tests as well
as plate probes.

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Deformation range

Strength level (minimum strength, MPa)

Deflection
(mm)
0,5–1
0,5–2
0,5–4

D1
D2
D3

S1

S2

S3

S4

1

2

3

4

Table 5.25 - Table providing levels of residual stress for fiber-reinforced concrete obtained by means of bending
tests following EN 14487-1.

Energy absorption class

Energy absorption in J
for deflection up to 25 mm

E500

500

E700

700

E1000

1000

Table 5.26 - Table providing classification of fiber-reinforced concretes following their response to testing
of the absorbed energy on rectangular plate (EFNARC) EN 14487-1

After having defined mechanical requirements for the material, the norm EN 14487-1 defines specifications for the materials composing the mixture.
Component

Use of cement

Requirements and test methods
The type of cement shall be specified, taking into account the influence of
current temperature and heat evaluation on required workability time, the
requirement on strength development and final strength as well as the
current conditions. If required, it shall be checked by means of an
appropriate method.
For permanent structures, the environmental conditions to which the
sprayed concrete is exposed shall be in accordance with EN 206-1, as
well as precautions regarding resistance to alkaki-silica reactions
according to EN 206-1.

Use of aggregates

Precautions regarding resistance to alkaki-silica reactions according to
EN 206-1 shall be applied.

Use of admixtures

Limitations for the use of admixtures set out in EN 934-2 and prEN 934-5
shall not be exceeded.

Use of additions

The use of additions for permanent structures shall conform to EN 206-1.

Chloride content

The chloride content of a sprayed concrete for permanent structure shall
not exceed the values given in EN 206-1, table 10 for the specified class.
For steel fiber reinforced sprayed concrete, values for steel
reinforcement apply.

Water/cement ratio

For permanent structures, the environmental conditions to which the
sprayed concrete is exposed shall be in concordance with EN 206-1.
Where water/cement ratio of a wet mix is specified, it shall be calculated
according to EN 206-1.

For fiber reinforced concrete

Use of fibers

Steel and polymer fibers shall comply to prEN 14889-1 and prEN 148892, other types of fibers shall comply to clause 5.1.1 of this standard.
Fibers shall be added in such a way that a homogeneous distribution is
obtained.

Table 5.27 - Table providing materials specifications for the preparation of the mixture following instructions laid out in EN 14487-1

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After having defined requirements for materials composing the mixture following due specifications,
the norm EN 14487-1 provides recommendations for quality control of the same components in the
fresh mixture, by foreseeing the determination of the fiber content set out in the mixture, as shown
hereinafter:
Property

Requirements and test methods

Density

The density shall be determined in accordance with EN 12350-6

Fiber content

Fiber content shall be determined from a fresh sample according to prEN 14488-7
The sample shall be taken from in situ material unless otherwise specified

Table 5.28 - Table providing recommendations for determination of consistence and density of materials in fresh concrete following EN 14487-1,
determination of fiber content in the mixture.

Once the content of the mixture and its density in the fresh condition have been determined, the
norm EN 14487-1 provides recommendations for control and determination of the mixture properties
in the hardened condition. These foresee the assessment of mechanical characteristics of the material
as set out in the following table:
Property

Requirements and test methods

Early age strength

An estimate of the early compressive strength can be determined in accordance with
prEN 14488-2.

Compressive
strength

The compressive strength of sprayed concrete is expressed and defined according to EN 2061. The strength shall be determined from tests carried out at 28 days in accordance with EN
12504-1 on drilled cores, taken from the sprayed concrete structure according to EN 12504-1,
or from sprayed panels according to prEN 14488-1. Their minimum diameter shall be 50 mm
and the heigth/diameter ratio shall be either 1,0 or 2,0 specimen shall be tested in accordance
with EN 12504-1.
NOTE: The length/diameter ratio should be:
- 2,0 if the strength result is to be compared to cylinder strength
- 1,0 if the strength result is to be compared to cube strength

Density

The density of hardened concrete shall be determined in accordance with 12390-7.

Modulus of elasticity

The modulus of elasticity in compression shall be determined in accordance with ISO 6784,
except in repair application where EN 13412 shall apply.

Flexural strength

The flexural strength shall be determined in accordance with prEN 12390-5 for sprayed
concrete without fibers unless it is to be compared to fiber reinforced sprayed concrete when
prEN 14488-3 shall be used.

Resistance to
water penetration

The resistance to water penetration shall be determined in accordance with EN 12390-8. The
depth of an in situ sample may be reduced where the layer thickness is less than 150 mm. The
depth shall be sufficient to ensure that complete penetration does not occur. In addition the
direction of water penetration and the method of surface preparation shall be specified. The
maximum value of penetration shall be 50 mm.
The test is normally perfomed at 28 days.

Freeze/thaw
resistance

Note: while a European test method is not available, reference should be made to national
standards.

Bond strength
to substrate

The bond strength shall be determined for repair materials in accordance with EN 1542 with
the exception of mould size which shall not be smaller than 500 mm x 500 mm to provide a
border of at least 100 mm in order to exclude defective material in the edges of the specimens.
Surface finish shall either be troweled when wet or ground when hardened otherwise it shall be
on drilled cores in accordance with prEN 14488-4.

For fiber refinforced sprayed concrete
First peak
flexural strength

The first peak flexural strength shall be expressed as the average value of the strength at the
moment of first peak determined in accordance with prEN 14488-3. The test shall normally be
performed at 28 days.

Ultimate flexural
strength

The ultimate flexural strength of fiber reinforced sprayed concrete shall be expressed as f0
when determined according to prEN 14488-3. Unless otherwise required, tests shall normally
be performed at 28 days.

Residual strength

The residual strength class of fiber reinforced concrete shall be determined for a specified
deformation level. The stress-deflection curve shall be determined in accordance with prEN
14488-3. The test is normally done at 28 days.

Fiber content

The fiber content shall be determined from a hardened sample in accordance with prEN
14488-7, when it is not practical to determine it from the fresh sprayed concrete.
The sample shall be taken from in-situ material unless otherwise specified.

Energy absorption
capacity

The energy absorption capacity shall be expressed as the average energy absorption
capacity, determined in accordance to prEN 14488-5. The specified energy absorption
capacity for the required class shall meet the requirements in table 3. The test is normally done
at 28 days.

Table 5.29 - Table for determination of mixture properties in the hardened condition, comprehending the same mechanical properties as set
out in EN 14487-1.

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By interpreting the philosophy of underground works, the norm EN 14487-1 defines test methods
preliminary to construction, in order to verify prerequisites set out in the design of the work following
functionality concepts proposed by the norm itself, which consider what had been explained at the
beginning of this chapter, and what is explained hereinafter as well:
Type of work:

Repair and upgrading

Inspection category

1

2

3

Free standing structures

Strengthening of ground

1

1

2

3

2

3

Property
Consistence for wet mix
Early age strength development
Compressive strength
Modulus of elasticity
Bond to substract
Ultimate flexural strength
First peak flexural strength
Residual strength
Energy absorption capacity
Freeze/thaw resistance
(with or without deicing salts)
Resistance to water penetration
Composition
Fiber content
Maximum chloride content
Table 5.30 - Proposition for determination of the mixture’s properties preliminary to the work following EN 14487-1

In the same norm, procedures for quality controls during the course of the work are proposed.
Material

Inspection/test

Test for density for
liquid admixtures
according to ISO 758

7

8

Additions
Inspection of
bulk powder delivery ticket

9

Inspection of
delivery ticket

10

11

12

Additions in
suspension

Test for density
according to ISO 758

Purpose
For comparison with
manufacturer´s stated
value

To ascertain if the
consignment is as
ordered and from the
correct source
To ascertain if the
consignment is as
ordered and from the
correct source
To ascertain uniformity

Water

Test according to
EN 1008

To ascertain that the water
is free from harmful
constituents

Fibers

Inspection of length,
diameter and shape
according to prEN
14889-1 and prEN
14889-2

To ascertain if the
consignment is as
ordered and from the
correct source

Min sampling frequency
Category1 Category 2 Category 3

In case of doubt

Each delivery

Each delivery

-

Each delivery

-

If the water is not
potable; when
newsource is
used for first time;
and in case of
doubt

Each delivery

a

The delivery ticket or the product data sheet shall also contain information on the maximum chloride content and
should identify classification with respect to alkali silica reaction in accordance with the provisions valid in the place of
use of the concrete. The delivery ticket shall contain or be accompanied by a declaration or certificate of conformity as
required in the relevant standard or specification.
b

It is recommended that samples are taken at each delivery and stored.

Table 5.31 - Proposition for verification of materials received at the construction site following pr ENI 14487.

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Type of test

Inspection/test

Min sampling frequency

Purpose

Category 1 Category 2 Category 3

1

Consistence
when using
wet-mix method

Test according to
EN 12350-2 or
EN 12350-5

To assess conformity with
required class of consistence
and to check possible changes
of water content

At start of production

2

Admixture
content except
accelerator

Record of the
quantity added

To check the content

Optional

Every batch

3

Additions
content

Record of the
quantity added

To check the content

Optional

Every batch

4

Fiber content

Record of the
quantity added

To check the content

Every batch

Table 5.32 - Proposition for determination of in situ mixture’s properties following ENI 14487-1.

Altogether, a routine procedure is indicated setting out test methods for quality control of the work
to comply with its classification.

Type of test

Inspection/
test
according to

Minimum sampling frequency
Strengthening of ground

Free standing structures

Reapir and upgrading

Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 1 Category 2 Category 3

Control of fresh concrete
1

2
3

Water/cement
ratio of fresh
concrete when
using wet mix
method
Accelerator

fiber content
in the fresh
concrete

By calculation
or by test
method

From record
of the quantity
added

min 1
According to
prEN 14488-7

Daily

Daily

Daily

Daily

Daily

Daily

1/200 m3 or
1/1 000 m2

1/100 m3 or min 1
1/500 m2

1/500 m2
min 2

1/250 m3 or
min 3

1/200 m3 or
1/1000 m2
or min 1

1/100 m3 or
1/500 m2 or
min 2

1/50 m3 or
1/250 m2
or min 3

1/50 m3 or
1/250 or
min 3

1/500 m3 or
1/2500 m2
or min 1

1/100 m3 or
1/500 or
min 2

1/50 m3 or
1/250 or
min 3

Control of hardened concrete
4

Strength test
of young
sprayed
concrete

1/5000 m2
1
prEN 14488-2 or /2
months

1/2500 m2
or 1/month

1/250 m2 or
2/month

5

Compressive
strength

EN 12504-1

1/1 000 m3
or
1/5 000 m2

1/500 m3 or
1/2500 m2

1/250 m3 or
1/1250 m2

When testing compressive strength

6

Density of
hardened
concrete

EN 12390-7

7

Resistance
to water
penetration

8

Freeze/thaw
resistance

9

Bond
strength

3
1/500 m3 or 1/100 m or
1/500 or
1/2500 m2
min 2
or min 1

When testing compressive strength

When testing compressive strength

EN 12390-8

1/1000 m2
or min 1

1/500 m or
min 2

1/250 m2 or
min 3

1/1000 m2
or min 1

1/500 m2 or
min 2

1/1000 m2
or min 1

1/500 m2 or
min 2

1/250 m or
min 3

2

See note d

1/500 m or
min 2

2

1/500 m2 or
min 2

1/250 m2 or
min 3

prEN 14488-4 a
EN 1542

2

1/2500 m

1/1250 m2

b

1/1000 m
or min 1

2

2

1/1000 m
or min 1

2

1/250 m2 or
min 3
1/250 m2 or
min 3

Control of fiber reinforced sprayed concrete
10 fiber content
of hardened
concrete
11 Residual
strength or
energy
absorption
capacity
12 Ultimate
flexural
strength
13 First peak
flexural
strength

When testing residual strength or energy
When testing residual strength
prEN 14488-7 absorption capacity
1/2000 m or 1/400 m or
prEN 14488-3 1/10000 m2 1/2000 m2
ou
prEN 14488-5
3

3

1/1250 m
1/500 m2

2

Min 1

1/2000 m
or min 2

2

When testing residual strength

1/500 m
or min 3

2

Min 1

1/500 m2
or min 3

prEN 14488-3

When testing residual strength

When testing residual strength

When testing residual strength

prEN 14488-3

When testing residual strength

When testing residual strength

When testing residual strength

Table 5.33 - Proposition for routine tests following the work’s function category as set out in pr EB 14487-1.

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1/2000 m2
or min 2

5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.

Work’s function categories are suggested by the norm EN 14487-1 as indicated in the following
reference tables:
Category

Example of inspection categories

1

Structures with low durability requirements and without risk for users and local residents,
such as:
- Construction in un-urbanized zones and far-off traffic ways
- Temporary repairs in low risk situation

2

Structures and components with moderate durability requirements and with moderate risks
for users and local residents, such as:
- Small buildings, houses
- Sewers in medium sized urban areas

3

Structures and components with high durability requirements and with high risks for users
and local residents, such as:
- Rail or road tunnels with heavy traffic
- Factories classified as high risk, hospitals, schools

Table 5.34 - Functional characteristics of repair works or construction of structures with moderate loading requirements following EN 14487-1.

Category

Examples of inspetion categories

2

Structures and components with normal design complexity regarding risk of instability or
funcional safety and with low risks for users and local residents such as:
- Sewers in small urban zones
- Tunnels, bridges and other structural light traffic circulation
- Permanent stabilisation os slopes

3

Structures and components with special design complexity regarding risk of structural
instability or functional safety as well as high durability requirements and with medium to high
level of risk for users and local residents, such as:
- Rail or road tunnels with medium traffic
- Aqueducts for drinking water
- Small dams, sewers in medium size urban areas, canals
- Hospitals, schools and high occupancy buildings

Table 5.35 - Functional characteristics of works with high loading requirements following EN 14487-1.

Category

Example of inspection categories

1

Constructions with minor degree of risk in design and structural instability as well as low
durability requirements, usually constructions with short design life and low risk of structural
instability, such as:
- Small permanent constructions
- Stabilisation for small or temporary slopes or pits

2

Constructions with normal design complexity regarding risk of structural instability or
functional safety as well as constructions with moderate durability requirements/design life,
such as:
- Permanent stabilisation of slopes
- Temporary sprayed concrete for tunnels and caverns in poor ground

Table 5.36 - Functional characteristics of constructions with high loading requirements for underground works following EN 14487-1.

3

Constructions with special design complexity regarding risk of structural instability or
functional safety as well as constructions with high durability requirements/long design life,
such as:
- Caverns in very poor ground
- Tunnels for traffic

133

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.
Category

Example of inspection categories

1

Constructions with minor degree of risk in design and structural instability as well as low
durability requirements, usually constructions with short design life and low risk of structural
instability, such as:
- Decorative imitation rock
- Surrounding walls

2

Constructions with normal design complexity regarding risk of structural instability or
functional safety as well as constructions with moderate durability requirements and low risks
for users and local residents, such as:
- Open-top arqueducts or canals
- Small swimming pools
- Decorative imitation rock or sculpture

3

Constructions with special design complexity regarding risk of structural instability or
functional safety as well as constructions with high durability requirements and high risks for
users and local residents, such as:
- Small business, houses
- Domes and shells
- Fire protection for steel structures
- Large swimming pool
- Security structures
- High imitation rock receiving public
- High climbling walls

Table 5.37 - Functional characteristics of self-supporting constructions with high loading requirements following EN 14487-1.

It is important to clarify that the norm EN 14487-1 provides classifications not only for the use of
sprayed concretes to be applied for underground works; the norm describes as well other types of
works following their functionality.

5.7 - Current standard situation.
Referring to the normative situation for underground works, it may be concluded that the combination of the complete set of norms already described within chapter 2 concerning classification
of fibers, within chapter 3 concerning characterization of fiber-reinforced concrete, and within the
present chapter concerning quality control of fiber-reinforced concrete for underground works, is
globally sufficient in order to obtain proper specifications for a design integrating the technology of
fiber-reinforced concrete.
In the past years a number of standards have been developed which objective is to clarify that fiberreinforced concrete is a complex theme depending from many factors such as:



- the type of fibers
- the quality of concrete
- the structural responsibility and functionality of the work
- the mechanical characterization of the material

By highlighting that most complete standards laid down up to now which include these concepts,
depart from the selection of materials, their characterization, and the consideration of structural
criteria for the design and control of the work, one can find:

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5. Applications of fiber-reinforced concrete: tunnels, design
of the pre-lining and of the final lining.

EN 14487-1 Sprayed Concrete — Part 1: Definitions, Specifications and Conformity. This norm is
coherent with Eurocodes, managing to cover comprehensively criteria for the selection and quality
control of the material.
Referring to the level of criteria for structural design, one can find:
CNR - 25 - Istruzioni per la Progettazione, l’Esecuzione ed il controllo di Strutture realizzate con
Calcestruzzo Fibrorinforzato. (Instructions for design, execution and control of structures made of
fiber-reinforced concrete) This being the most complete norm concerning the design of structures
made of fiber-reinforced concrete.

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6. Appliances in fiber reinforced
concrete. Floors design.
6.1 - Industrial, harbour, airport, road, and special uses.
The industrial, harbour, airport, road pavements and further ones, are technically considered as
plates resting on the soil subjected to punctual, distributed or constant loads and are traditionally
reinforced to shrinking and temperature, and, moreover, may be reinforced to bending when the
load level needs it. There are cases where the floor design doesn’t provide for any reinforcement, as
for pedestrian floorings and parking areas.
The mechanical behaviour of the plates resting on the soil, through the different kinds of loads to
which they may be subjected, is compatible with the level of resistant strains which may be produced
by fiber reinforced concrete.
The technology of fiber reinforced concrete has reached a very important technical level, as in the
last decade, the methods of analysis and the behaviour of the material have been developed for the
correct modelling of the appliances, causing a substantial increase of the appliances achieved with
this technology, and the development of research and regulations for the design which mark out the
structural responsibility of this new material.
In the following paragraphs of this chapter there will be explained in detail the technical possibilities
offered by the technology of fiber reinforced concrete in comparison with the existing traditional
methodologies.

Photo 6.1 - Example of use in the airports.

Photo 6.2 - Example of use in the parking areas.

Photo 6.3 - Example of use in industrial flooring.

Photo 6.4 - Example of use in the ports.

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6. Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
Floors design.

6.2 - Methodology of conventional design for floors.
Nowadays the normative codes refer to a methodology of calculation for the not reinforced concrete
based on Westergaard theory, in which a rigid plate resting on the soil is considered, and where
it’s determined the thickness of the plate through the modulus of relative rigidity in function of the
bearing capacity of the soil. This methodology has been exposed by ACI 360R – Design of Slabs-onGround, through the following available methods:




- WRI (Wire Reinforced Institute).
- PCA (Portland Cement Association).
- COE (Corp of Engineers).
- PTI (Post Tensioning Institute).
- ACI223 (shrinkage compensating institute).

The resistant capacity to determine the thickness of the plate is just committed to the Bending
resistance or Concrete Modulus of Cracking (MOR). The only exception is the PTI method, which
exploits the post-stretched and pre-stretched technology to increase its load capacity, as this is an
option for plates where soils have a poor and unstable bearing capacity, or for structural solutions.
Consequently there are plates which require bending reinforcement, for load reasons, in which the
design conventional criterium for reinforced concrete is applied.
The basic principle which differentiates the design criterium from the methods previously mentioned,
in which the responsibility to bending is only based on the concrete modulus of cracking, is based
on the applied safety factors.
In all methods it’s applied the concept of state in service of concrete as resistant material, minimizing
its risk, decreasing its capacity through a safety factor which may vary from a minimum of 1.7 up to
a maximum which may fluctuate from 3.9 to 4, according to the following effects:



- Modulus of cracking radium, for the bending strain tension.
- Influence of shrinkage strains.
- Number of loads repetition.
- Material fatigue and impact.

Behavior of the ordinary concrete

Pmax

Load

Minimum FS = 1.7 for
the ordinary concrete

Pmáx Pmáx available for the
calculation of Mr of project,
in the conventional concrete

CTOD0

CTOD

Graphic 6.1 - Exemplification of the minimum service level for design in simple concrete.
Bending test to determine the material MOR.

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Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
Floors design

Classification of plates proposed by ACI 360R – Design of Slabs-on-Ground.
In order to be more precise on the alternative of plates resting on the soil, ACI 360R – Design of
Slabs-on-Ground, mentions the possibility of designing the six following cases:
A. Plates in simple concrete. In this kind of plates the design of thickness is based on simple concrete bending capacity (Modulus of cracking – MOR), where the element is considered not to arrive
at cracking and not to need any reinforcement. The loads and the quality of material have a safety
factor to assure the usable life condition before generating the cracking. They are floors where the
joints spacings are quite narrow.
B. Plates reinforced for shrinkage and for temperature effects. The design conditions are the same as
those arranged for plates without reinforcement, but in this case a reinforcement is added to control
shrinkage and thermic effects; the reinforcement is allocated in the third superior of thickness of the
element, where there is the resultant of the strains triangular diagram. The distance between the
joints may be enlarged according to the equation “Sub Grade Equation”, which will be illustrated
afterwards.
C. Plates in compensated contraction concrete with shrinkage reinforcement. In this case plates are
produced with compensated contraction concrete. The plates are shrinkage reinforced in the third
superior, and the thickness measurement is based totally on concrete bending capacity, as in cases
A and B.
D. Shrinkage post-stretched plates. As it can be inferred by the name, they are plates which will be
post-stretched to face the shrinkage and temperature effect, as it’s possible that large joints spacings
are reached. The thickness premeasurement strictly follows the methodology used in the previous
cases.
E. Plates post-stretched and reinforced with active pre-stretched ropes. They are designed for the
condition of not cracking, where the pre-stretched ropes allow to optimize the plates thickness,
and the post-stretched ones allow to control the shrinkage effects. These plates may be designed as
independent systems of attics, of wide spans, for the case of low capacity soils, where the solution
of resting plate becomes a structural attic, which will convey the loads to a system of deep foundations. The PTI has got all the methodology for the design of these plates which differentiates from
those previously mentioned.
F. Reinforced plates for structural actions. Unlike the cases mentioned above, the design methodology of this kind of plates implies cracking as a mechanism which activates the established strain, and
the design is made real through the conventional methodologies of reinforced concrete, in which
the bending strains to which the plate is subjected require a conventional reinforcement, both in one
and double common bars mesh, and in welded wire mesh.
Nowadays the available design methodologies, provided and described in ACI 360 R and previously
mentioned, are considered valid; here follows a correspondence of provided design methodologies
in function of the typologies of floor plates described:

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6. Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
Floors design.

Project method
Type of construction

PCA

WRI

COE

Type A.
Plates in plain concrete

Type B.

PTI

ACI
223

Type of project action

Thickness design

Related details, joints

Thickness design

Reinforced plates for shrinkage
and temperature effect

Type C.
Plates in concrete for
contraction compensated with
retraction shrinkageo

Type D.

Related details, joints

Thickness design

Related details, joints

Thickness design

Plates prestressed for retraction
Related details, joints
Type E.

Plates prestressed and
reinforced with prestressed
active cables

Tipo F.

Thickness design

Related details, joints

Thickness design

Plates reinforced for
structural actions

Related details, joints

Table 6.1 - Types of design methods in function of the floor type. Reference ACI 360-R.

Characteristics of the foundation.
In the design of plates resting on the soil, a factor of great importance for the design is the condition
of the supporting soil. In all design methods previously commented it’s necessary to propose a stable
condition of the soil, which will have to be guaranteed for the framework usable life.
Most of the bibliography on the subject expresses the condition of the soil with two basic expressions
highly used in geotechnical environment, such as:

- Soil Modulus of Reaction.
- California Bearing Ratio (CBR).

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Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
Floors design

Here is following a correlation between the two expressions:
2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9 10

15

20

26

30

40

50

60

70

80 90

(BCS 314) California Bearing Ration 'CBR' (%)
7.5 15

20

25

35

40

50

55

70

80

95

115

130

135

Standard modulus of soil reaction K (MPa/m) (Placa de 30" = 76 cm)
G = Gravel
S = Sand
M = Silt
C = Clay
W = Well graded
P = Poorly graded
U = Uniformly graded
L = Low to medium compressibility
H = High compressibility
O = Organic
CL
ML

OL
MH

CH
OH

CH
OH

OL

GC

SU
SC

SP

GU

GP

GM

155

165

GW

SW
SM

CL
ML

Legend
Compacted densities
Natural densities

MH

NOTE: The value of k is extracted of the abacus for each type of soil, especially for groups L and H, would have to coincide with the inferior limit of the
interval of corresponding values.

Table 6.2 - Schedule of the types soil in function of CBR and Vertical Reaction Modulus. Reference ACI 360-R.

In all designs the improvement of the foundation which will have to hold the framework is recommended. For this improvement, it’s advisable to use at least a layer of granular selected material well
assorted of about 30 – 40 cm which, in combination with the foundation soil, may reach a modulus
of vertical reaction or CBR, which offers a good safety factor to the framework and minimizes the
risk. There are situations in which the improvement must be more severe, including the removal of
shims of the soil, which have to be replaced by selected material, and cases when reinforcement
geosyntethics are used, always with the aim of generating a stable value of the soil condition which
may be guaranteed during the framework usable life.
Definitions of loads for the design of plates resting on the soil.
The load conditions more commonly used in the design of plates resting on the soil, are the following:






- Vehicular wheels loads: trucks, montacarichi, planes, etc.
- Concentrated loads, such as shelves, equippings supports, etc.
- Equippings line or load strip, assorted goods, etc.
- Uniformly distributed load. Materials resting directly on the floor.
- Load in the structural phase. Support of equippings necessary for the floor manifacture.
- Environment effects (temperature effects) including the case of expansive soils.
- Extraordinary loads. Any special event which may cause a remarkable effect on the plate.

They have to be considered all important and, under the ingegneristico point of view, in every design
it’ll be necessary to start the respective analysis to determine the most unfavourable case, which will
lead in the framework. In consequence of the experience, the concentred loads, shelves, equippings,

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6. Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
Floors design.

vehicular loads, are the most demanding for these frameworks and the area on which they stand
affects substantially the effect that they produce in terms of plate stress.
Here are following as example some valid relations between the contact surfaces and the kinds of
concentred loads.

Type of load
Concentrated loads

Without
base plates

Distributed loads

Posts of storage racks
With
base plates
Vehicle wheels
Pneumatic

Solid

Storage areas
Special
Special loads

Considerations of project
- Concrete bearing
- Punching shear

- Negative moment in
uloaded area
- Joint faulting
- Settement

- Flexural stress under load

2

4

10

20

40 100 200 400 100010

Square inches

20

40 100 200 400
Square feet

Load contact area
(for each tire, post, os single loaded area)
Table 6.3 - Project considerations in function of the type of load.

Safety factors.
The safety factors for the design of plates resting on the soil, as for all frameworks, are defined by
the national technical regulations and, in Europe, by the EuroCodes.
In various Countries, for instance in France and in Italy, there are specific regulations for the design,
construction and testing of industrial floors.
A distinction has to be made between the safety factors on loads and those on the material.
In the case of concrete, in Europe it’s used a safety factor equal to 1 for the control at SLS, and 1,5
for SLU. In the case of loads a distinction between cyclical and static loads has to be made: in every
Country there are different values. In any case, it’s necessary to provide more and more increasing
safety factors for more and more important numbers of load cycles.
The safety factors defined for the design may be of a minimum of 1.4 and may arrive at factors of
3.9 – 4.8 in function of the use.

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ACI 360R suggests safety factors in function of the kind of analysed loads, and doesn’t consider
further factors.

Load type

Commonly used
factors of safety

Occasionally used
factors of safety

Moving wheel loads

1,7 to 2,0

1,4 to 2,0+

Concentrated (rack
and post) loads

1,7 to 2,0

Higher under
special circunstances

Uniforme loads

1,7 to 2,0

1,4 is lower limite

Line and strip loads

1,7

2,0 is a conservative
upper limit*

Constructive loads

1,4 to 2,0

-

Table 6.4 - Minimum safety factors for loads effects recommended by ACI 360-R.

Design methods.
As it has been mentioned before, the available plan methods assume that concrete doesn’t have any
reinforcement and that its capacity resistant to bending (modulus of cracking), to be used for the
framework design. In most methods the use of reinforcement is required only to assure a joints wider
spacing and for checking the effects of shrinkage and thermic variations.
For the thickness measuring of a plate framework resting on the soil there are three of the methods
shown at the beginning of the chapter. There follows a description of some of the important differences between them.
Portland Cement Association Method (PCA).
This method has been developed on the basis of Pickett’s analyses, where there are included variables
such as the stressing tension due to loads, the capacity resistant to concrete bending, the contact area
and the loads spacing, and the modulus of reaction of soil. The method uses abacuses which include
the variables mentioned before for the definition of thicknesses. The work is always done considering
the not cracked condition of concrete. The cases of wheel loads, concentred loads, uniform loads are
considered. Temporary loads are not considered.
To continue there are shown some examples of the graphics used for the different kinds of loads, the
initial condition for all graphics is equivalent to the work strain, which will be determined in function
of the capacity to concrete bending, decreased by a safety factor which will have to be selected by
the designer, according to the regulations in force:

work

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6. Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
Floors design.

where:
swork = work strain;
MR = concrete modulus of cracking;
fs = safety factor.
40

25

40
60
80

20

S

100

11

200

120

15

12

50

10
Effective contact
area (Sq. in.)

9

Wheel spacing
(In.)

10
9
8
7

8

7

6

Slab thickness (In.)

30

Stress per 1000 LB axle load (psi)

13

30

6

5

5

4
3

Figure 6.1 - Graphic example for the measuring of thickness for the case of wheel loads with simple
axes, for different types of soil. PCA Method. Reference ACI 360-R.

0.90

50

Sd

Sd, Dual wheel spacing (In.)

40

35

0.85

S
Sd
Slab thickness
(In.)

0.80

14
12
10
8

0.75
5
0.70

30

25

20

200
100
50

Effective
contact area
(sq. in.)

0.65

F, Equivalent load factor

45

0.60

15

0.55

10

0.50

Figure 6.2 - Graphic example for the measuring of thickness for the case of wheel loads with double
axes, for one type of soil. Several curves for different values of soil capacity exist. PCA Method.
Reference ACI 60-R.

For the case of distributed loads, the method PCA has got an abridgement of load capacities of
plates resting on the soil in function of its bearing capacity, the concrete quality and the provided
thickness of the plate.

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6.

Slab
Subgrade
thickness k(1) (pci)
(In.)

Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
Floors design
(2)

Allowable load (psf )
Concrete flexural strength (psi)
550

600

650

700

5

50
100
200

535
760
1075

585
830
1175

635
900
1270

685
965
1370

6

50
100
200

858
830
1175

640
905
1280

750
1055
1495

750
1055
1495

8

50
100
200

680
960
1355

740
1045
1480

865
1220
1725

865
1220
1725

10

50
100
200

760
1070
1515

830
1170
1655

865
1365
1930

965
1365
1930

12

50
100
200

830
1175
1660

905
1280
1810

1055
1495
2115

1055
1495
2115

14

50
100
200

895
1270
1795

980
1385
1960

1140
1615
2285

1140
1615
2285

Table 6.5 - Abridgement schedule of the PCA Method for strains available
in the plates design for several thickness, for the case of distributed loads.
Reference ACI 360-R.

For the case of concentrated loads, as shelves could be, the machines foundations, or any kind of
element which generates concentrated loads, the method has got some schedules for thickness
measurings, in function of the contact surface, of the support load and of its orthogonal distribution.
These schedules are generated for different levels of soil bearing capacity.
80

14

Stress per 1000 LB post load (PSI)

60

13

50

12

40

60
100
x. In.

30

40

40
60
100
y. In.

11
10
9

20

8

15

7

10
80

Slab thickness (In.)

70

Subgrade K = 50 pci
40

20

10

100 40
60

6
5

Effective contact area
(Sq. In.)
Figure 6.3 - Schedule of abridgement of the method PCA for thickness measuring of plates with concentrated loads.
Reference ACI 360 R.

The method has all the same produced an abridgement for the case of distributed loads, in which
limitations for joints spacing are mentioned.

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Floors design.

Working
Slab
thickness stress
(psi)
(In.)

Critical
aisle
width
(2)
(ft.)

Allowable load (psf)

At other aisle widths
At critical
aisle
6 ft. 8 ft. 10 ft. 12 ft. 14 ft.
width
aisle aisle aisle aisle aisle
Subgrade k = 50 pci (3)

5
6
8
10
12
14

Subgrade k = 100 pci (3)
5
6
8
10
12
14

Subgrade k = 200 pci

(3)

5
6
8
10
12
14
Table 6.6 - Schedule of abridgement of the method PCA for strains available in the design of plates of different thickness.
For distributed loads, it provides for joints spacing. Reference ACI 360R.

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Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
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Method Wire Reinforced Institute: This method, like PCA, assumes as condition concrete without
reinforcement, considering as resistant capacity the concrete modulus of cracking. Very similar to
PCA method, it proposes curves and schedules for the measuring of shims for the cases of loads of
wheel axes, uniformly distributed loads, it doesn’t provide for concentrated loads, nor variable loads
in the constructive phase.
For the case of loads for wheel axes, starting from known conditions, as the concrete bending strength,
which is already reduced for the assumed safety factor, wheel loads and axes separation, concrete
modulus of elasticity and foundation strength, they are applied in consequent graphics that from a
given thickness, determine the “parameter of relative strain”. Once determined such parameter, this
is applied in other graphics, for the determination of the acting moment and, with it, it’s possible to
go on with the final check graphic as, in function of the work bending strength of the material and
of the design moment, the definitive thickness of the plate may be verified.
For the case of distributed loads the process is exactly alike, but, stating from the definition of the
relative strain parameter, there are particular curves for the condition of uniformly distributed loads
where in function of the preliminary joints spacing, the thickness can be determined.
The previously described graphics are shown below:

Figure 6.4 - Relation between plate thickness and relative strain parameter. Method WRI. Reference ACI 360-R.

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Add M = 16 inch (pounds/inch/kip)

Additional unit moment
(lb-In. per In.)

100

420
400

N - 265 inch (pounds/inch/kip)
Unit moment - 1000 lb wheel (lb-In. per In.)

380
360
340

Influence of other
loaded wheel

80
60

200
100
50
20
10
2.5

40
20
0

40 45 50

320

60

70

80

90

100

Distance between centers
of load wheels (In.)

300

110

120

280
260
240

D/k = 3.4

D/k
200
150
100

220
200

50
30
20

180
160

10

140
120

2.5

100
0

5

10

15

20

25

Equivalent loaded diameter (In.)
Diameter = 5,0

30

Figure 6.5 - Graphic of design for wheel loads, in function of the relative strain parameter. Method WRI. Reference ACI
360-R.

300
1.0
500
600
700
800
900
1,000

2.3

Uniform load = 2500 psf = 2,5 ksf
5

D/K
10

1,500
2,000
20
3,000
4,000
5,000

D/K = 3.4

50

6,000
100
7,000
8,000
150
9,000
10,000
11,000
250
12,000
40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200

Aisle width (In.)
Aisle width = 10 ft. = 120”

Uniform load
(ksf)
10
7
5
4
3
2
1.5
1.0
0.7
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.15
0.10
0.07
0.05

Allow tension = 190 psi

10,000
9,000
8,000
7,000
6,000
5,000
4,000

Total slab moment (lb-ft. per ft.)

Total slab moment (lb-ft. per ft.)

400

500 400
300
200

3,000

100
2,000

50

1,500
1,000
900
800
700
600
500
400

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

18

Slab thickness (In.)
H = 8”

Figure 6.6 - Graphic of design in function of the acting moment, definitive thickness measuring. Method WRI. Reference
ACI 360-R.

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300
1.0
500
600
700
800
900
1,000

2.3

D/K = 3.4
Uniform load = 2500 psf = 2,5 ksf

5

Uniform load
(ksf)

D/K

10
7
5
4
3

10
1,500
2,000

2
1.5

20

1.0
0.7
0.5
0.4
0.3

3,000
4,000
50

5,000

6,000
100
7,000
8,000
150
9,000
10,000
11,000
250
12,000
40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200

0.2
0.15
0.10
0.07
0.05

Allow tension = 190 psi

10,000
9,000
8,000
7,000
6,000
5,000
4,000

Total slab moment (lb-ft. per ft.)

Total slab moment (lb-ft. per ft.)

400

500 400
300
200

3,000

100
2,000

50

1,500
1,000
900
800
700
600
500
400

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

18

Slab thickness (In.)
H = 8”

Aisle width (In.)
Aisle width = 10 ft. = 120”

Figure 6.7 - Graphic of design for distributed load, in function of the relative strain parameter and its relative design graphic of the definitive thickness. Method
WRI. Reference ACI 360-R.

Corps of Engineers (COE) Method: This method bases its analyses on the resistant characteristic of
not reinforced concrete, called Modulus of Cracking. The method determines relations for axis load
conditions per wheel, defining “Design indexes” in function of the kind of load.
The method considers the strain produced in the intrados of the concrete section.
There are proposed curves in function of the “Design Index” and of the material bending capacity,
in function of the bearing capacity of the supporting soil.

Category
Capacity (lb)
Design axle load (lb)
No, of tires
Type of tire
Tire contact area (sq. In.)
Effective contact pressure (psi)
Tire width (In.)
Wheel spacing (In.)
Aisle width (In.)
Spacing between dual wheel tires (In.)

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

4000
10000
4
Solid
27.0
125
6
31
90
--

6000
15000
4
Solid
36.1
208
7
33
90
--

10000
25000
6
Pneumatic
62.5
100
8
11.52.11
132
3

16000
36000
6
Pneumatic
100
90
9
13.58.13
144
4

20000
43000
6
Pneumatic
119
90
9
13.58.13
144
4

52000
120000
6
Pneumatic
316
95
16
20.79.20
192
4

Table 6.7 - Schedule of “Design Index” in function of the load for axis types. Method COE, Reference ACI 360-R.

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900

16

Flexural strength (psi)

700

sig

n

in

K = 25 pci

De

200 50
400
300 100
500

100

14

9
8
7
6
5

12

4
3

600

615

10
2

500

Thickness (In.)

de

x

=

10

800

8
1

400

6

300

4

Figure 6.8 - Graphic of the thickness measuring in function of the “Design Index”, soil bearing
capacity and concrete banding strain. Method COE, Reference ACI 360-R.

Post-stretched Plates (PTY) Post-stretched Attics (PTY)
The decision of using post-stretched floorings technology, arises generally from some simple reasons
such as:

- Systems which will be put on soils with very low support capacity and where the solution
turns from solution of plate resting on the soil into a system of attics resting on elements of deep
foundation, where it’s necessary a system of attic having a structural behaviour different from that
of a plate resting on the soil. This system must be designed as a superstructure attic.

- To obtain wide spans without joints. Being this case considered as a plate resting on the soil,
the post-stress of the inferior part of the section has the aim of resisting the effects of shrinkage and
temperature, as the bending design is carried out in the same way as it has already been explained
for the previous methods, using the concrete bending capacity.
As for post-stress methods, this handbook will not go into details. A good treatment can be found
in ACI 360R. As for the design concept, the institution PTY has got in its publications all the options
of design for this kind of elements.
Conventional design in reinforced concrete considering the elastic soil
As last alternative, the flooring plates can be bending designed through the conventional criteria
of reinforced concrete, in which there are frameworks in the inferior part to generate a reinforced
section capable of resisting the stresses caused by loads. The modulus of calculation will be that of
an attic resting on an elastic soil according to the theory of plates. It would be very conservative
to analyse the attic as a rectangular strip with a bending capacity. In order to develop suitably the
calculation, it’s advisable to use programs to the finished elements which allow the plate spatial
moulding and to mean the structural behaviour under basic aspects such as strain, distortions and
breaking mechanisms.

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As example the following cases of loads for plates resting on the soil are shown:

Fibers dosage (kg/m3)

Fibers dosage (kg/m3)

The loading area (mm2)

Figure 6.9 - Example of concentrated loads in a plate resting on the soil.

Figure 6.10 - Example of concentrated load at the centre of supported about
the soil.

Wing landing gear

Body landing gear
Nose landing gear

Figure 6.11 - Example of concentrated loads generated by a plane in a plate
resting on the soil.

Here follow some cases of analysis of plates resting on the soil, with moulding to the finished elements:

Plate
Load

Maximum value:
Minimum value:

Figure 6.12- Example of a plate model FE, case of central load

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Plate
Load

Maximum value:
Minimum value:

Figure 6.13 - Example of a plate model FE, case of central load in an
extremity.

6. Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
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Plate
Load

Plate
Load

Maximum value:
Minimum value:

Maximum value:
Minimum value:

Figure 6.14 - Example of a plate model FE, case of load in the plate corner.

Figure 6.15 - Example of a plate model FE, case of distributed load.

6.3 - Design of joints in floors.

The design of joints in floors is a particularly important subject for the durability of such frameworks.
In various Countries there are Regulations or Recommendations of Good Practice, such as ACI 360R
(USA), TR34 (United Kingdom), NF P 11-213 (France), UNI 11146 (Italy), which classify the different
kinds of joints and establish the criteria for design and manifacture.
Here are listed the kinds of joints:
Shrinkage or control joints.
They are joints prepared for the control of concrete shrinkage, which are made by cutting the hardened
concrete some hours after the flooring casting, normally between 6 and 8 hours after the casting.
Its spacing will depend on the attic thickness and by the possible addition of a reinforcement. The
joints can provide or not elements of interconnection between the plates, that will depend on the
use destination.

Armor

Figure 6.16 - Example of cut control joint.

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Congrol joint

6.

Photo 6.5 - Example of a control joint execution.

Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
Floors design

Photo 6.6 - Example of a control joint.

Insulation joints.
As their name mean, they are joints made to insulate constructive elements which for the different
rigidity may damage the plate. Such joints are provided before concrete casting.

Expanded poliestirene

Joint filling

Form

Figure 6.17 - Example of insulation joint.

Photo 6.7 - Example of insulation joint.

Photo 6.8 - Example of insulation joint already manufactured.

Construction joints.
It’s the joint which delimits the floor plates cast in different phases of the construction. Such elements are to be planned so as to be compatible with the control joints modulation. This kind of
joints provides for the interconnection between plates with mobile elements which allow the sliding
of two adjacent plates.

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Armor

Construction joint

smoot dowel steel bar
Figure 6.18 - Example of construction joint.

Photo 6.9 - Example of a construction joint.

Photo 6.10 - Example of a construction joint already executed and the
connection bars close-up.

Photo 6.11 - Connection bars arrangement in the construction joint.

Photo 6.12 - Crossing between construction and control joints after casting.

Control joints measuring.
For control joints measuring there are several technical positions of different institutions. The control
joint may be designed for two kinds of plates on soil:
Plate without reinforcement Type A (according to ACI 360 R).

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In this kind of plates, already described at the beginning of this chapter, the control joints measuring
is based upon the behaviour of the plate subjected to plastic shrinkage. It’s advisable that the plate,
rectangular or square, has similar dimensions, with ratio Lmax / Lmin ≤ 1.2. The basic rule in measuring
establishes:

where:
L = spacing length;
h = provided height of the plate.
The PCA (Portland Cement Association) recommends a very similar spacing the previous one, considering the maximum dimension of aggregates and the mixture slump.

Slab
thickness ''

Slump 4 to 6 inches
Aeggregat Aggregate
<3/4 ''.
>3/4 ''.
10
12
14
16
18
20

5 ''
6 ''
7 ''
8 ''
9 ''
10 ''

13
15
18
20
23
24

Slump
less
than 4''.
15
18
21
24
27
30

Table 6.8 - PCA recommendation for the control joints spacing for not reinforced
plates. Recommended measures in ft (Feet). References ACI 360-R.

Plates reinforced for shrinkage and temperature.
In order to space further the control joints, or when the temperature conditions to which the plate
is subjected during its usable life are severe, all reference publications and institutions state to add a
reinforcement going from a minimum quantity of 0.015% up to 0.03% of the section area in severe
cases.
This reinforcement must be settled in the superior third of the thickness where there should be the
resultant of the strain triangular diagram due to shrinkage and temperature
Armor

Concrete

soil
Figure 6.19 - Example of plate reinforced for shrinkage and temperature.

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The codes traditionally used for the design of floors on the soil without bending reinforcement, such
as PCA (Portland Cement Association), WRI (Wire Reinforced Institute) and COE (Corp of Engineers),
use, for steel measuring for temperature and shrinkage, the formula “Subgrade drag equation”:

where:
As = Steel area in square inch per linear foot;
fs = Allowable strain of reinforcement steel in psi;
F = Friction factor;
L = Provided distance between joints;
w = Weight of the plate in psf, considering 12.5 psf per inch of thickness.
With this formula it’s possible to verify how much a good spacing without the presence of reinforcement can be exploited.
The dimension of the plate will be subordinated to its feasibility, according to the load levels, being
possible that the applied load can reduce its dimensions.
Compensated shrinkage concretes.
Compensated shrinkage concretes are the solution to the problem of control joints. These kinds of
concretes are described in ACI 223. Their work mechanism is based upon concrete expansion in the
first days, that later on will be compensated by shrinkage. It’s necessary a minimum reinforcement
of 0.15%.
This technology allows to obtain control joints spacings wider than those previously explained.
Nowadays, thanks to this possibility, there’s a trend towards solutions of floors with joints spacing
wider than 15 m.
Curling (or bending) and Warping of the plate resting on the soil.
The phenomenon of bending or curling is common in not reinforced plates and consists of the angular distortion of the angles surface. Normally this phenomenon affects a radium from 2 to 5 feet,
measured from the same edge. The phenomenon is due to the difference of water contents and
temperature between the external and internal surfaces of the plate.
The Warping phenomenon, very similar to curling, coincides with the distortion of the surface in
general, caused by internal strains generated by differences of steam or of temperature between the
framework surfaces
Both phenomena can be controlled with a combination of control and construction joints, and with
a suitable shrinkage reinforcement.

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Zone 2

Zone 1

Zone 2

Zone 2

Zone 1

Zone 2

Figure 6.20 - Examples of bending of plates resting on the soil. Zone Nr.2 value is usually equivalent to a length from 2 to 5 feet.

6.4 - Methods of floors design in fiber reinforced concrete.
Fiber reinforced concrete is used in plates resting on the soil when the strains produced by loads on
the framework are compatible with its mechanical behaviour.
As it has been explained in the chapter on the mechanical characterization of fiber reinforced concrete, for the design of floors on the soil is exploited the bending mechanical property at the material
last state. Having also an improvement of the cutting strength, in a tridimensional analysis of such
frameworks, it’s possible to visualize the correct redistribution of the strains.
Fiber reinforced concrete, being a homogeneous material in its whole volume, offers a continuous
strength in all directions to the actions which may take place and, in the particular case of flooring,
this property can be exploited as much for the bending design, as for the shrinkage and temperature
design.
Basically, the addition of fibers in concrete matrix, causes the change of the behaviour from fragile to
ductile. In particular ductility allows to change the criterium of analysis of the material, passing from
a service condition with safety factors for the material, to work with increased loads and to design at
last state, only possible with ductile materials, getting as result a better possibility of exploiting the
material resistant capacity.

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Wirand Fibers f c,cube=30 MPa

4

Plain concrete
Vf=0.38% (30 kg/m3)

Nominal stress  N (M P a (

3.5
3

2.5

Curves SFRC

2

1.5
1
Plain concrete
curves

0.5
0

0

0.5

1

2

1.5

2.5

3

3.5

CTOD m (mm)

Graphic 6.2 - Example of bending test UNI 11039 to determine the bending capacity of the
concrete.

Plain concret behavior

Pmax

LOAD

Minimum FS=1.7 for
plain concret

Pmax available for the
calculation of the design Mr,
in conventional concrete

CTOD0

CTOD

Graphic 6.3 - Example of minimum service level for a plan concrete design. Bending test to
determine the material resistant moment.

As it can be noticed, on the basis of the norm ACI 360 R, there is a minimum reduction of 42% of
material resistant capacity, being a fragile material.
Using fiber reinforced concrete, it’s exploited the material last resistant characteristic as resistant
capacity and opposing increased loads to it.
The minimum requirement for fiber reinforced concrete structural use consists of a residual strength
≥ 50% of first crack strength. The fiber reinforced concrete, depending on the quantity of reinforcement it has got, will have the possibility of being more exploited at a structural level and offering a
resistant capacity equal or greater than the maximum one reached in service by plain concrete.

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Wirand Fibers f c,cube=30 MPa

4

Plain concrete
Vf=0.38% (30 kg/m3)

Nominal stress  N (M P a (

3.5
3

2.5

Curves SFRC

2

1.5
1
Plain concrete
curves

0.5
0

0

0.5

1

2

1.5

2.5

3

3.5

CTOD m (mm)

Graphic 6.2 - Example of bending test UNI 11039 to determine the bending capacity of the
concrete.

Plain concret behavior

Pmax

LOAD

Minimum FS=1.7 for
plain concret

Pmax available for the
calculation of the design Mr,
in conventional concrete

CTOD0

CTOD

Graphic 6.3 - Example of minimum service level for a plan concrete design. Bending test to
determine the material resistant moment.

As it can be noticed, on the basis of the norm ACI 360 R, there is a minimum reduction of 42% of
material resistant capacity, being a fragile material.
Using fiber reinforced concrete, it’s exploited the material last resistant characteristic as resistant
capacity and opposing increased loads to it.
The minimum requirement for fiber reinforced concrete structural use consists of a residual strength
≥ 50% of first crack strength. The fiber reinforced concrete, depending on the quantity of reinforcement it has got, will have the possibility of being more exploited at a structural level and offering a
resistant capacity equal or greater than the maximum one reached in service by plain concrete.

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In this case the shrinkage control framework is placed in the third superior of the provided section,
letting concrete bear the stresses due to acting loads.
Here’s an example with a typical section.
The initial conditions are:

- Floors with 15.00 cm of thickness in concrete f´c = 25 MPa, Modulus of cracking of 3.2
MPa.

- Minimum steel quantity, for shrinkage and temperature, in welded wire mesh fy = 414 N/
2
mm , bars with diameter 6.00 mm spaced out of 15 cm in both ways.

- Soil modulus of reaction between 0.09 and 0.12 N/mm3.

- Maximum loads: goods lifts with capacity of 6 ton.
Armor

Concrete

soil
Figure 6.21 - Basic project of the concrete with reinforcement for temperature. Floor 15 cm of
thickness.

The aim is to prove that, with the same structural behaviour, fiber reinforced concrete has got for this
case mechanical characteristics equal or superior to those that could be obtained with a traditional
reinforced concrete.
The resistant moment of the reinforced section is equal to:

where:
Mres = Resistant moment;
fy = Steel resistant strain;
d = Usable height.

It’s possibile to replace the traditional framework using fiber reinforced concrete with 20 kg/m3 of
steel fibers FF1 (MACCAFERRI), considering as bending strength of a fiber reinforced element of a
rectangular section:

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Fiber reinforced concret behaviour

f If

Feq> 0.5 fif for a estructural use.

U1

U2

CTOD 0+3 mm

CTOD 0 CTOD 0 +0.6mm

CTOD

Graphic 6.4 - Example of level of minimum performance for the structural use of the concrete reinforced
with fibers.

Wirand FF3-30 - C40/50
9

 N (M P a (

8
7

Nominal stress

6
5
4
3
2
1
0

0.0

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.3

CTODm (mm)

Graphic 6.5 - Example of a concrete reinforced with fibers with elasto-plastic behavior.

Nowadays in the European environment there are normative proposals which underline these concepts:

- DESIGN , PRODUCTION AND CONTROL OF STEEL Fiber REINFORCED STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS - Standard UNI U73041440

- Rilem TC162-TDF “Test and design methods for steel fiber reinforced concrete”.

These regulations have the aim of determining the mechanical properties of fiber reinforced concrete,
that is the first crack strength and the post-crack residual strengths.
The increase of residual strength may vary from 50% up to more than 100%, depending on the quantity of fibers used, for measurings which may vary from a minimum of 20 kg/m3 up to 60 kg /m3.
Reinforced floorings and floors for shrinkage and temperature.
An applicatory example of fiber reinforced concrete is that of floors reinforced only for shrinkage
and temperature, in which the provided section has been designed according to the criteria stated
in ACI 360 R.

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In order to determine fiber reinforced concrete equivalent strength the results rising from bending
tests according to Norm UNI11039 have been considered; for strength C25 and for measurings of
20 kg/m3 the first crack strength is of 3.2 MPa and the minimum ductility of 50-55%.

Sample
FF150L25
D20A
FF150L25
D20B
FF150L25
D20C
FF150L25
D20D
FF150L25
D20E
FF150L25
D20F
FF150L25
D20G
FF150L25
D20H

Test UNI 11039, Concrete C25/30

V
(kg/m3)

L/d

CTOD0
(mm)

I
(MPa)

eq(0-0,6)
(MPa)

eq(0,6-3,0)
(MPa)

D0

D1

20

50

0,0178

3,208

2,128

1,913

0,663

0,899

20

50

0,0178

2,658

1,161

0,563

0,437

0,485

20

50

0,0178

2,725

2,023

1,667

0,742

0,824

20

50

0,0178

3,505

2,752

2,601

0,785

0,945

20

50

0,0178

3,484

1,694

1,574

0,486

0,929

20

50

0,0178

3,581

2,545

2,382

0,711

0,936

20

50

0,0178

3,114

1,560

1,396

0,501

0,894

20

50

0,0178

3,033

2,032

2,210

0,670

1,088

0,0178

3,164

1,987

1,788

0,624

0,875

Midium value
Table 6.10 - Schedule of UNI 11039 tests results.

Strenghtvs.
vs.
dosage
Resitencia
Dosificación
Concrete C25
Hormigónes
C25

Equivalent
strenght
(MPa)
Resistencia
en MPa

3,50
3,00
2,50
2,00
1,50
1,00
0,50
0,00

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

3
Dosificación
en(kg/m
Kg/m3
Dosage fiber
)

Graphic 6.6 - Curves of equivalent strengths vs. steel fibers measuring.

The determination of fiber reinforced concrete equivalent strength can be obtained also according
to the regulations ASTM, RILEM, EFNARC, European.
The shown methodology is a sufficient subject to prove the equivalence of the technical solutions.
The solution in fiber reinforced concrete, besides being equivalent to the traditional one, offers additional advantages at the level of concrete performances as the better fatigue behaviour and the
better crack control.

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MECHANICS OF THE NOT LINEAR CRACK AS TOOL OF ANALYSIS OF Fiber REINFORCED
­CONCRETE.
The measuring of a flooring based upon the elastic behaviour (Westergaard or FEM) doesn’t allow
to exploit the mechanical properties of fiber reinforced concrete.
One of the alternatives developed in the latest years consists in implementing the not linear crack
mechanics (NLFM).
The crack mechanics applied to the floorings on elastic soil in fiber reinforced concrete has been
valued numerically and experimentally, using the “fictitious crack model”, by Hillerborg, Modeer and
Petterson (1976), Plizzari - Meda (2004).
The experimental research allows to determine the shape of the strain curve vs. crack opening, which
is numerically represented with constitutive laws of various geometry (linear, bilinear, trilinear, exponential or hyperbolical). In case of fiber reinforced concrete it’s used a bilinear law in which the
first phase of the curve is dominated by the post-crack behaviour of the material with a high curve
gradient (mesh of the aggregates) and, afterwards, when the micro-crack turns into macro-crack,
there is the activation of the strength to the fibers unthreading.

Figure 6.23 - Constitutive law. Curve of Strain vs. Stress in phase of pre peak and
strain curves vs. crack aperture in the phase of post peak.

The constitutive connection (or law) has been determined through numerical simulations of UNI
11039 tests in which the connection s-w of the material has been varied until the numerical curve
has turned out to be in good accordance with experimental results. The following characteristics of
the
material are considered:

- Traction strength obtained through direct traction tests;
- Modulus of Elasticity;
- Modulus of Poisson assumed equal to 0.20.

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Shift from ratio s-w to ratio s-e dividing w with the square root of the middle area of the
analysed element.

(a)

(b)
Figure 6.24 - Mathematical description of a bending beam according to UNI11039, (a) Evident crack
model, (b) Spread crack model.

It’s obtained a numerical expression which gauges the numerical behaviour with the experimental
one obtained in tests, adopting this matrix of behaviour as analysis model of different sections. It’s
clear that, as this behaviour depends on the quantity of fibers and quality of concrete, it’s necessary
to check the constitutive law whenever one of the variables changes.

4.5

Wirand FF1-30 - C30/37 - Vf=0.38%

Nominal stress  N (MPa(

4.,0
3.5
3.0
2.5
FEA Diana Smeared
Experimental

2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5
0.0
0.00

0.05

0.10

0.15

0.20

0.25

0.30

CTODm (mm)
Graphic 6.7 - Numeric simulation of tests UNI11039 with Software DINA, the fine curves are experimental and the thick curve
represents the gauged curve in FE.

The University of Brescia has developed mathematical models and carried out experimental tests for
plates resting on the soil, generating matrixes of behaviour for plates for different soil conditions,
loads and concrete classes of strength.

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6.

Photo 6.13 - Springs installation to simulate a Winkler soil.

Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
Floors design

Photo 6.14 - Experimental settlement.

(c)
Photo 6.15 - Steel springs to simulate an elastic foundation.

(d)
Photo 6.16 - Steel springs to simulate an elastic foundation.

The modelling has allowed to analyse the mechanism of cracking of a plate resting on the soil, marked
out by a crack according to the medians, confirming the experimental results.

300

SlabP4
P4 Experimental
Experimental
Slab
SlabP4
P4 NLFM
Analisys
Slab
analysis

250

150

Crack

Load (kN)

Load [kN]

200

100
50
0

0

0.5

1

1.5

2

2.5

Displacement (mm)
Displacement
[mm]

3

3.5

4

Figure 6.25 - Comparison of numerical and experimental results for the plate.

165

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Floors design.

The research program, numerical and experimental, has got as result the generation of abacuses for
the thickness premeasuring of the plates in fiber reinforced concrete under punctual concentrated
loads, different soil carrying capacity conditions, concrete strength classes, type and measurings of
steel fibers.
800

Ultimate load (kN)

Ultimate
Load [kN]
Load Failure
[kN]

700
600
500
400 (1)

(2)

Abacuses in function
of the kind of soil.

300
200
100
0
100

Slab
tickness (mm)
Slab
thickness
[mm]

(3)

150

200

250

300

350

400

Graphic 6.8 - Design abacuses for a plate resting on the soil with a volume fraction Vf = 0.38% of fibers 50/1.0 in a concrete
matrix C25/30.

The sequence of crack, with the help of a software to the finished elements, working in a not linear
environment, allows the modelling of any load condition. What is fundamental, it’s the characterization of the material for mixture strength class, according to its modulus of crack and the specific
measuring, for the determination of the connection s-w and for the characteristic curve of not linear
behaviour, which will become the basis for the analysis to the E.F.

6.5 - Fiber reinforced concrete and the joints design.
Fiber reinforced concrete offers the possibility of increasing the spacing between the control joints in
comparison with what turns out in the traditional formulations previously discussed.
Everything is based on the capacity of a homogeneously reinforced section of resisting the effects
due to temperature and shrinkage in comparison with the traditional solution, which has only got a
steel layer placed in the resultant of the stresses triangular diagram. The basic concept is the transformation of this strains diagram, from a triangular diagram to a rectangular diagram owing to the
material resistant effect in its whole section, as it is shown below:

Armor

Concrete

soil
Figure 6.26 - Diagram of base presented with traditional solution.

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6.

Concrete

Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
Floors design

reinforced with fibers

soil
Figure 6.27 - Diagram of stresses owing to temperature in a fiber reinforced plate.

The addition of fibers may lead to an increase of joints spacing from 30% up to 100% out of the
one originally provided by the present codes.
The possibility of manifacturing plates with greater dimensions is a reality based upon two fundamental bonds:

- Plate thickness;
- Quantity of reinforcement.

ACI 360R, in the “Sub Grade equation”, previously shown, provides for these parameters and allows
to reach spacings wider than 10 metres, up to a maximum of 30 metres.
It turns out evident that the solution will be orientated towards high measurings of fibers, owing to
the necessity of reinforcement, and to remarkable thicknesses, in many cases greater than 18 cm, to
resist the effects of curling and warping.
Here is the description of a couple of examples of increase of joints spacing, one for a standard floor
and one for floors highly reinforced for shrinkage.
Example Nr.1 Attic 15 cm thick, minimum steel and shrinkage.

- Floor thickness 15.00 cm in concrete f´c= 25 MPa;

- Minimum quantity for shrinkage and temperature, in welded wire mesh, fy = 414 N/mm2,
bars diameter 6.00 mm and with spacing of 15 cm in both ways. Placed in the third superior.

- Soil modulus of reaction between 0.09 and 0,12 N/mm3.
Armor

Concrete

soil
Figure 6.28 - Concrete slab with reinforcement for temperature. Floor 15 cm thick.

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6. Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
Floors design.

Proposed fiber reinforced solution:
reinforced with fibers

Concrete

soil
Figure 6.29 - . Slab in fiber reinforced concrete. Floor 15 cm thick.

Calculation of the mechanical equivalence between the two solutions:

Comparison Traditional Reinforcement vs. Fibers
Measure
unit

Characteristics

2

Mesh traction strength

2

Concrete with fibers bending traction strength (21 Mpa)

N/mm
N/mm

2

N/mm
%
mm

55,50
6,00
150,00

Weight of the mesh /m

3

mm

As = mesh resistant area

mm

b = base of concrete section

mm
mm

3

3,20

Ductility of concrete with fibers

3

Nmm

FF1 (1.00x50)

1,76

Weight of the mesh/m2

2

Fibers

Concrete equivalent resistance (per 20 kg/m of fibers)

Section of the mesh

kg/m

6/150

3

2

kg/m

Mesh

414,00

Diameter of the mesh

mm

Thickness = 15 mm

2,96
19,73
188,50
1.000,00

1.000,00

h = concrete theoretical thickness

150,00

138,40

d = section usable thickness

80,00

150,00

M = Mesh Maximum Bending Moment

5.618.676

kg/m

Advised measuring

20

mm

H = Proposed section thickness

150

Nmm

M = Maximum Bending Moment of Concrete with fibers

6.600.000

Table 6.11 - Cálculo da equivalência mecânica entre as duas soluções.

It’s obtained the mechanical equivalence of a fiber reinforced concrete, measured with 20 kg/m3 of
Wirand® FF1 fibers, for the section reinforced in a traditional way.
According to PCA advice on spacing between joints, ACI 360R, the plates must be provided with
joints with maximum distance of 4.95 m in case of floors without reinforcement for shrinkage and
temperature (15 feet).

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6.

Slab
thickness ''
5 ''
6 ''
7 ''
8 ''
9 ''
10 ''

Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
Floors design

Slump 4 to 6 inches
Aeggregat Aggregate
<3/4 ''.
>3/4''.
10
12
14
16
18
20

Slump
less
than 4''.
15
18
21
24
27
30

13
15
18
20
23
24

Table 6.12 - Reinforcement analysis according to ACI 360-R, Design Slabs on Grade.

If the formula “Subgrade drag equation” is applied:

where:
As = Steel area in square inches per linear foot;
fs = Allowable reinforcement steel strain in psi;
F = Factor of friction;
L = Provided distance between joints;
W = Plate weight in psf, considering 12.5 psf per inch of thickness.
That is:
Distance calculation between joints according to ACI 360R
Formula of resistance of the sub-base
(Subgrade Drag Equation)
Mesh 6/150
Unit of measure
Diameter
mm
Spacing2
mm
2
Steel area
Inch /pie linael
fs
psi
Plate thickness
Inch
w
psf
F
Adimensional
Minimum spacing suggested
for contraction joints

Value
6,00
150,00
0,07
30.000,00
5,91
73,82
2
26,72 pés
8,14 m

Table 6.13 - Spacing calculation of between joints, according to ACI 360-R.

On the basis of what explained, by calculating the maximum spacing in case of traditional reinforcement, according to ACI 360 R, and considering the structural equivalence of the provided fiber reinforced section, the reachable maximum spacing can be of 8.00 x 8.00 m for control joints, obtaining
that way an increase of 60% in comparison with the traditional spacing.
Example Nr. 2. Attic 18 cm thick, with strong shrinkage reinforcement.

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- Floor thickness 18.00 cm in concrete f´c = 25 MPa.

- Minimum quantity for shrinkage and temperature, in welded wire mesh, fy=414 N/mm2,
bars with diameter 12.5 mm, spaced out 150 mm in both ways.

- Soil modulus of reaction between 0.09 and 0.12 N/mm3

- Maximum load, unknown.

Armor

Concrete

soil
Figure 6.30 - Basic outline of concrete with temperature reinforcement. Thickness pavement 18 cm.

Proposed fiber reinforced solution:

Concrete

reinforced with fibers

soil
Figure 6.31 - Diagram of base presented with fiber reinforced solution. Floor 15 cm thick

Mechanics equivalence mechanics calculation between both the sections:

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Appliances in fiber reinforced concrete.
Floors design

Comparison Traditional Reinforcement vs. Fibers
Measure
unit
2

Concrete with fibers bending traction strength (21 Mpa)

2

N/mm
%
mm

12,7/150

4,00

Concrete equivalent resistance (per 40 kg/m of fibers)

3,92

Ductility of concrete with fibers

98,00

3

12,40

Diameter of the mesh

mm

150,00

Section of the mesh
2

Weight of the mesh/m

3

Weight of the mesh /m

kg/m
kg/m
2

12,64

2

70,22

3

mm

As = mesh resistant area

mm

b = base of concrete section

mm
mm
Nmm

Fibers
FF1 (1.00x50)

414,00

Mesh traction strength

N/mm

Mesh

Characteristics

2

N/mm

Thickness = 15 mm

805,09
1.000,00

1.000,00

h = concrete theoretical thickness

180,00

179,28

d = section usable thickness

70,00

180,00

20.998.239

M = Mesh Maximum Bending Moment

kg/m

Advised measuring

40

mm

H = Proposed section thickness

180

3

Nmm

21.168.000

M = Maximum Bending Moment of Concrete with fibers

Table 6.14 - Comparison of a rectangular section with traditionally bending reinforcement vs. steel fibers reinforced section.

It’s obtained the mechanical equivalence for a fiber reinforced concrete, measured with 40 Kg/m3 of
Wirand® FF1 fibers, for the traditionally reinforced section.
Reinforcement analysis according to ACI 360 R-Design Slabs on Grade.
Distance calculation between joints according to ACI 360R
Formula of resistance of the sub-base
(Subgrade Drag Equation)
Mesh 12.70/150
Unit of measure
Diameter
mm
Spacing2
mm
2
Steel area
Inch /pie linael
fs
psi
Plate thickness
Inch
w
psf
F
Adimensional
Minimum spacing suggested
for contraction joints

Value
12,70
150,00
0,29
30.000,00
7,09
88,58
2
99,75 pés
30,40 m

Table 6.15 - Distance between joints calculation , according ACI 360 R.

A control joints spacing of 30 m is obtained.
As the quantity of incorporated fibers offers the same resistant capacity of the analysed rectangular
section, it can be inferred that joints spacing might keep this level. It’s necessary to be careful as, for

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Floors design.

the attic minimum thickness of 18 cm, there could arise some phenomena of curling, which could
be avoided only by decreasing the spacing, or with the use of building edge joints such as “Omega”,
or “Diamond Dowels”, in the plate outline. It’s important to underline that, in order to manifacture
floors with widely spaced out joints, it’s necessary to consider some important factors such as an
excellent quality of foundation such as the one recommended, minimum value 0.12 N/mm3 of vertical modulus of reaction, equivalent to a CBR of 40/45%, great care in concrete seasoning, perfect
mixture workability and its continuity during the whole process of the floor laying.
All these conditions make possible this kind of solution, which can’t be put down just to the fact
of adding fibers in concrete. Any lack of control in the work concerning the mixture, workability,
seasoning, etc may generate problems in the aim of obtaining very spaced out joints without crack
troubles.

6.6 - Control of quality in fiber reinforced concrete for floorings.
The control of quality of fiber reinforced concrete for floorings must be carried out according to the
same criteria recommended for materials, so as to verify the mechanical strengths considered in the
design. The design responsible engineer will have to guide the carrying out of these tests, in order
to determine the material bending strength, compression and residual strength.
Besides the control of the material mechanical properties, there are basic recommendations to follow
in the correct design of the mixture to use in floors:

- Limitation of water/cement ratio, recovering the workability through the use of fluidifying
additives;

- The use of prevailing inerti greater than ¾ “ succeeds in reducing the effect of shrinkage in
the mixture, as to incorporate inerti of greater dimension affects the water demand;

- It’s advisable to use cements Type II, in comparison with Type I and Type III, as these, normally, increase the use of water in the mixture;

- To use slumps or lowering cones at a level between 4” and 6”, in function of the kind of
laying (mechanized or manual);

- As for the solutions of increased distance joints it’s advisable to carry out an increase of the
resistant section at the plate ends which substantially may help to resist the curling effects;

- It’s fundamental to control the material seasoning process to assure the homogeneity of
the hardened material.

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Floors design

6.7 - Current standard situation.
Besides the regulations mentioned in the previous chapters concerning the control of quality of fiber
reinforced concrete, here are the following codes of floors design:

- ACI 360R – Design of Slab-on-ground;

- TR-34 – Third Edition – Concrete Industrial Ground Floors;

- UNI 11146 – Concrete floors for industrial use;

- NF P11-213 – Dallages – Conception, calcul et execution;

- UNI 11146 – Pavimenti industriali;

- NF P11-213 – French code.

- TR-34 – Concrete Industrial Ground Floors;

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced
concrete: prefabricated elements.
7.1 - The use of fiber reinforcement in prefabricated/pre-cast concrete.
The reinforcement of concrete with steel fibers is a common practice as it succeeds in reducing the
phenomenon of cracking, improves the durability of the concrete, and in some cases can replace
completely the standard steel reinforcing bars.
The pre-cast concrete industry has shown a particular interest in the application of SFRC. Reinforcing
with fibers allows to industrialize the process and to improve the material properties of the concrete.
In some cases, while it may not be possible to completely replace the traditional reinforcement, there
may be the potential to reduce the thickness of the element and review the minimum cover thickness required.
The use of fiber reinforcement in structural elements is becoming more common, especially in the
pre-cast concrete industry, where exhaustive quality control testing is required by national codes. A
high degree of quality control during the production process allows the designer to rely upon the
mechanical properties of the material. In the case of fiber reinforced concrete, it is important to ensure
a good distribution of fibers in the matrix in order to achieve the desired material properties.
One of the most recent and meaningful applications in which fibers are used as structural reinforcement is in underground works. It is used in conjunction with some methods of tunnel excavation
through which prefabricated elements are used as final covering where fibers replace, at least partially,
the traditional reinforcement.
Some examples of prefabricated elements where the steel fibers reinforcement has been successfully
used are:
a) Non-structural elements where the main function of the steel reinforcement is the supply
of ductility and the limitation of crack phenomenon.
b) Pre-cast concrete pressure pipes, when there is no danger of life for people.
c) Sleepers on which trains rails are resting, in which the main problem consists in fatigue
phenomena due to cyclical loads. It has to be specified that fibers have a function complementary to the main reinforcement.
d) Pre-cast structural panels used in the construction of industrial building.
Apart from the possible applications previously mentioned, there are many other cases where steel
reinforcement can be beneficial. Structures designed for different types of impact loading may be
another possible application.
Although there are many applications in which fibers are used, in practice, the potential advantages
they can offer must still be exploited. This is due to the lack of regulations for the use of fibers as
concrete reinforcement. In fact, the existing regulations would fit with difficulty to Fiber Reinforced
Concrete (FRC) as, to design with this kind of material, it is necessary to consider the material plastic
phase, as fibers start working after concrete crack initiation, while with the traditional steel bar reinforcement, the material behaves in a linear manner. (Fig. 7.1)

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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Figure 7.1 - Bending test. Typical response of beams reinforced with steel fibers (a) and with traditional steel (b).

7.1.1 - Final remarks.
There is increasing interest in the use of fiber reinforced technology in pre-cast/prefabricated concrete
structures. It has been recognized that steel fibers can be used to replace traditional steel (totally or
partially), improve concrete performance, and reduce production costs and production cycle times.
There are many advantages to incorporating fibers into the concrete mixture, primarily due to the
reliable mobilization and utilization of residual strains.
At this time, no formal design codes have been developed specifically for steel fiber reinforced concrete,
making it difficult to promote the use of this technology. Design recommendations and guidelines
(RILEM - TC162-TDF) have been prepared by some national agencies and industry associations, but
there has been no formal acknowledgement of this material into building codes. Clear and simple rules
are required by designers who are prepared to take the responsibility of working with this material.
A recent example of a step in this direction is the latest recommendation of the organization charged
with drawing up the Italian standard UNI U73041440, Design, Carrying out and Control of Structural
Elements Reinforced with Steel Fibers. This standard covers the main criteria to allow for the insertion
of steel fibers in order to replace, totally or partially, traditional steel in structural elements.

7.2 - Design of precast segment in fiber reinforced concrete.
One of the possible and, at the same time, most promising structural applications of fiber reinforced
concrete, is certainly the one which refers to the manufacturing of rings for prefabricated panels (ring
segments) for the use as tunnel liners in projects excavated with the use of Tunnel Boring Machines
(TBM).

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The use of metal fibers as a partial or total substitute of traditional steel reinforcement in this application is especially advantageous when:

- The typical conditions of saturated cohesionless soils make difficult the predictions of the
stresses which operate in the tunnel cross and axial sections and, consequently, many of the hypotheses put forward in the design of the covering of tunnels built with integral excavation machines
(TBM) must be accepted although they have an important negative impact on the carrying out or on
the economical aspects.

Under this point of view, to be able to rely on the stiffness characteristics of a material as
concrete reinforced with steel fibers, is of fundamental importance as the combination of bending
moments and of the normal forces applied in tangential direction is particularly favourable for the
use of this material as substitute (at least partial) of the traditional reinforcement;

- SFRC offers a good ductility in relation with the splitting crack and good impact resistance;

- SFRC allows in general a better control of the possible local collapses of the covering portions.
Schnütgen (2003) has investigated different kinds of load for the ring segments of the subway system
in Essen, Germany (Fig. 7.2) and has experimentally verified the positive contribution of steel fibers in
relation with splitting crack as, after the crack has come about, the applied load has kept increasing
until it has doubled the first crack one. The same author has verified the behaviour of key ring segments
and has proposed some design formulae based upon the RILEM TC 162-TDF (2000, 2002) work.
Further studies have been produced by Mashimo and others (2002) Kooiman and Walraven
(1999).

Bending test
(transportation state)

Hidraulic jacs
Plastic deformable
supporting pads

Test of in plane actions
(placing situation)

Shear test

Splitting test

Hidraulic
jacs

Figure 7.2 - Conditions of analysed loads (Schnütgen, 2003).

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Plastic deformable
supporting pads

7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
prefabricated elements.

The study of prefabricated ring segments in SFRC can be completed through numerical analyses with
programme to the finished elements in which the main load conditions to which they will be subjected
are studied. This section will present a methodology that can be used for this numerical study.
In order to carry out a study with a programme to the finished elements, it is necessary to define in
advance the framework detailed structure, the specific loads and the bonds, so as the equivalent
traction strength for fiber reinforced concrete bending besides its curve of behaviour.
As example, and to understand better the methodology to follow, here are described the analyses
achieved with the programme Abaqus 6.4.1 (2003) for one of the segments used in the liner rings
of the Barcelona underground.
Fig. 7.3 shows the geometrical characteristics of a typical ring segment for the Barcelona project. Fig
7.4 shows the typical loading conditions corresponding to the critical phase of thrust (TBM thrust); the
TBM must be able to push off against the last completed segment ring in order to move forward.

Support plates

Frontal view
Scale

Support plates e = 2mm

Scale

Figure 7.3 - Cross section and plan view of a ring segment.

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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Analyzed segmented
ring panel A1

Jacking
application region
Fixed considered
ring lengthwise

Jacking
thrust

Direction of
the excavation

Soil thrust

Lateral friccion
TBM shield
Analyzed segmented ring A1

Figure 7.4 - Load scheme during TBM thrust .

Fig. 7.5 shows a typical situation of voids in the annular space around the ring segments. This
situation will subject the ring segments to bending loads. This situation has been experimentally
modelled at the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña (UPC) with laboratory bending tests (Gettu et
al., 2003; Photo 7.1).
Inadequate
filling
Soil/rock

Tunnel
Segments
ring

Injected
filling

Figure 7.5 - Bending on the segment due to the insufficient filling of the annular space (overdigging)between
the covering ring and the digging perimeter (Gettu et al., 2004).

Photo 7.1 - Configuration of plain bending test (Gettu et al., 2004).

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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Graphic 7.1 shows the experimental results (upper and lower limits) concerning the load as a function
of the displacement of the fiber reinforced ring segment and of the fiber reinforced ring segment
with traditional reinforcement (mixed reinforcement). A slightly declining behaviour of the segment
with just the fibers was observed. Hardening behaviour of the ashlar with mixed reinforcement was
also observed.

Load (kN)

In order to verify the ABAQUS 6.4.1 (2003) model, the experimental results have been afterwards
simulated with analyses to the finished elements, based on the crack mechanics, achieved with such
programme; obtaining a good approximation (Graphic 7.1), there has been a confirmation of the
used numerical model.

Deflection (mm)
Graphic 7.1 - Comparison between the experimental and numerical Load-Arrow curves.

Further numerical analyses have been carried out with the aim of considering the stresses that are
produced when there are especially meaningful situations of load that affect transitory phases, during
ashlars manipulation and during ring assembling.
In particular the critical phases analysed with simulation to the finished elements, have been the two
following:
1) Thrust on the arch central ashlar during TBM advancing;
2) Load on the ring segment that supports 6 other segments during storage.
In the thrust phase, the TBM hydraulic jacks apply loads on specific areas of the cross section of the
previously assembled ring, that are large enough to cause the concrete to crack, as the ring itself is
the “contrast” necessary to allow the extension of hydraulic jacks that provide the thrust to propel
the TBM forward during the excavation.
In the particular case of the Barcelona Underground, there are 4 hydraulic jacks for each ring segment and 2 for the key segment, for a total of 30 (7 x 4 + 2) jacks operating on the ring. The thrust
from each jack varies as a function of the soil characteristics and of the tunnel depth, reaching 3 MN
when the tunnel axis is placed at a depth of about 25 m.

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For the central segment of the inverted arch, the numerical model has been worked out with a mesh
of 3D elements of medium dimension equal to about 90 mm. The following situations have been
considered in the analyses (shown in Fig. 7.6):

Figura 7.6 - Schemes of loads and bonds of the ring segment subjected to the jacking thrust.

- The last completed ring receives the jacking stresses prior to completion of the filling of
the annular space between the ring and the soil (grouting), while at the same time, the filling of the
space between the immediately front ring and the soil has yet to solidify. The void corresponding to
the front ring has already been filled and the filling has set, therefore it can be considered as a rigid
support in the direction of the tunnel axis;

- The ring support is considered uniform as along there are polyethylene panels (pad) at the
contact locations between the rings. It is considered elastically capable of being deformed as it’s
necessary to contemplate the front ring axial changeability which in addition represents an unilateral
bond which doesn’t resist to traction;

- The unilateral rigidity of the springs which simulate the changeability of the ring support, that
is the front rings changeability, has been suitably gauged through imposed displacements analyses;

- The interaction of the segment with the adjacent segments of the same ring is, too, always
unilateral, as the ring segments are simply in contact and assembled with pins;

- The lateral friction which can be generated between such lateral surfaces of the adjacent ring
segments is not considered and there are positioned springs which operate in compression normally
to surfaces. Also the rigidity of these springs has been suitably gauged to simulate the changeability
of the adjacent ashlars;

- The four jacks operate on the segment through metallic plates which can be considered
rigid, distributing the load uniformly on the respective contact areas.
Fig. 7.7 show the typical numerical results obtained by the simulation of the behaviour of a ring
segment with 45 kg/m3 of Wirand FF1fibers.

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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From Graphic 7.2, both the presence of splitting cracks corresponding to the service load, and the
load increase (after the crack) made possible by fibers can be observed.
Fig. 7.7 shows the distribution of the radial strains in the four load zones (the four jacking plates)
corresponding to the service loads.
Graphic 7.3 show the distribution of radial stresses (sr) during the depth of the ring segment in
direction (z) of the tunnel axis, as a function of the service load.
It may be observed, under the load zone, a behaviour of the ring segment similar to that of a plate
subjected to concentrated loads of great intensity: as a matter of fact, after a tract of about 100 mm,
in which there are strains of compression, there show tractions along about 300-400 mm and these
tend to disappear to come back again later on the opposite side of the ashlar.
The fact that the traction radial stresses show also in the bottom of the ashlar is simply due to the
presence in that zone of the longitudinal springs (which simulate the axial changeability of the ring
already built on which the ring object of the analysis is resting) which, being uniformly distributed
on the whole rear cross section of the ashlar, generate compression longitudinal strains much more
limited and modest local radial tractions.

Maximum load

Splitting behavior:
First Crack

Load (kN)

Service Load

Second crack

Second
crack

Deflection (mm)
Graphic 7.2 - Load applied in function of the horizontal displacement.

Figure 7.7 - Radial strains sr in correspondence of the exercise load.

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:

MPa

prefabricated elements.

Service load

Distance (mm)
Graphic 7.3 - Radial strains sr along the ring segment axis.

In order to analyse the solicitationswhich are caused by ring segments during the storage, it is
necessary to consider that, generally after the extraction of the form, the ring segments are placed
in groups of three after the first day and on the seventh day the stacks are completed with the
remaining segments of the ring (in total 7 + 1 key), always using wooden blocking as shown in Fig.
7.8.

Figure 7.8 - Arrangement of the stacked wedges with the critical segment highlighted.

The ring segment at the base of the stack is positioned on wooden support blocking consisting
of two wide surfaces of about 300 mm each, formed by great wooden supports that follow the
curvature of the segment placed with a wheelbase of about 2,80 m connected below by struts in
order to hold the blocking in position. The next segments are placed on small wooden beams, with
an approximate section of 100 mm x 100 mm and length equal to the one of the segments, that
will have to be positioned with a wheelbase of 2,80 m so as to remain lined up with the inferior
supports in order to remove or at least minimize the bending effects on the segments. In practice,
the blocking is typically out of location, resulting in loading eccentricities that may induce strong
bending strains in the segment.
In order to analyse in suitable way this phase of load, there have been considered especially
unfavourable arrangements of the segments small beams of support and one of these is the one
represented in Fig. 7.8, referred to the second segment (Gettu et al., 2004) which rests on some
small beams placed with a wheelbase of 2,80 m + 2ee (meaning with ee the external eccentricity),

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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while the superior segment is arranged with small beams at a distance of 2,80 m – 2ei (meaning
with ei the internal eccentricity). In this situation the weight of the segments, above the critical load,
operates at a distance from the supports equal to ee + ei. Once the stack is completed, the second
segment will turn out loaded for the total weight of 5 segments + 1 key. 438 kN correspond to
the weight of 6 whole ashlars. The numerical analyses have been developed by adopting for the
eccentricity the values (Gettu et aL., 2004), quoted in the same Fig. 7.9.

ei = ee = 250 mm

ei = ee = 500 mm

Figure 7.9 - Geometrical configurations of supports and loads.

For the modelling with the programme to the finites elements Abaqus 6.4.1, the minimum 3D
elements of the thrust phase have been adopted, but with a medium dimension near to 90 mm.
The load zones correspond to those of the small beams support surfaces (about 100 x 1800 mm)
and on such surfaces there has been applied a uniform pressure in vertical direction with the aim
of simulating the weight of superior ashlars (Fig. 7.10). The lateral supports are modelled as rigid
supports operating in the vertical direction, arranged along the whole depth of the segment.

Figure 7.10 - Mesh bonds and loads for the analysis of the maximum weight of stacking.

The aim of the analyses carried out has been that of calculating how many ashlars can be stacked
without causing crack or collapse phenomena of the most stressed ashlars, as the crack control is
an aspect of basic importance for the covering ashlars of tunnels for which it’s necessary to assure
a perfect watertight seal being therefore essential to avoid the production of cracks also in the
transitory phases as for instance the storage one.
The numerical elaborations have been achieved under the hypothesis of presence of eccentricity and
letting progressively grow the load operating on the ashlar up to the forming of the first crack. The

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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crack is discovered for the presence of plastic distortions, as code Abaqus is based on a spread crack
model.
In the condition of simulated load, after the crack forming there takes place also the collapse of the
segment being the framework of isostatic kind and the material is represented as homogeneous
along the depth of the segment (the crack forms immediately along the whole depth of the segment),
which prevents the redistribution of the internal actions.
The analyses have been carried out referring to the concrete mechanical characteristics after two
different periods of hardening, equal to 4 days and 28 days respectively. The first condition has the
aim of verifying the behaviour in conditions very similar to the real ones and, as the fresh concrete
characteristics after 4 days can’t be directly determined, these are calculated on the basis of those
corresponding to concrete after 28 of hardening, using for this purpose the correlative expressions
provided by the Eurocodes. The second condition has the aim of obtaining numerical results by using
the characteristics of the material experimentally determined.

Tunnel segments: non linear analyses,
stacking teste,
SFRC (28 days) Numerical

Load

SFRC (4 days): Numerical

Service load

Load)

Graphic 7.4 - Applied-Arrow load in the second ashlar with eccentricity of 250 mm.

In Fig. 7.4 there are represented diagrams in terms of applied load and of arrow valued in the half of
the second ashlar with ee = ei = 250 mm. It may be observed that, already with 4 days of hardening,
the second ashlar is in condition of supporting the exercise load of 6 superior ashlars. After 28 days
of hardening, the segment shows naturally a rigidity and a last load superior and is in condition of
supporting the weight of almost 10 ashlars stacked one on another.
In the end, the segment achieved with Wirand FF1 fibers, with measuring of 45 kg/m3, allows, in
presence of not excessive eccentricities and anyway within a limit of 250 mm, to stack the 6 ashlars
necessary for the forming of a ring.

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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CONCLUSIONS
From the numerical analysis carried out for the ring segments of the Barcelona Underground, it is
possible to conclude that for these types of structures, it is possible to partially replace the traditional
steel bar reinforcement with steel fibers.
Given the high stresses which can be reached in the thrusting phase of the jacking operation around
the perimeter of the precast segments (the first 400 mm), and the guarantee that in the intermediate
part of the precast segment the reinforcement with fibers is in conditions of facing the strains which
can be reached, it can be concluded that the segment need only be reinforced with traditional bars
at the perimeter of the segment.

TRF
RCO

TR

Figure 7.11 - Traditional reinforcement + Fibers (a). Traditional reinforcement (b).

7.3 - Examples of applications. Padding panels, prestressed beams, non-structural
prefabricated elements.
7.3.1 - Closing panels.
Testing on prefabricated concrete panels reinforced with both with traditional reinforcing steel and
with steel fibers has been carried out.
This testing was done in order to provide a framework to conduct research into the methods to
optimize the structure of the panel considering the static stresses, the production process and the
reduction of weight.
The main focus of the research has been the replacement of the traditional steel welded wire mesh,
typically positioned near the external front face of the panel, with steel fibers.
The primary goal of the research was the development a load model that would represent the loads
that the wind could generate on the panel. The panels vertically placed are subjected to cross loads
owing to the effect of the wind and to a limited axial load, caused by their own weight. It is necessary to combine the bending strains due to the self weight of the panel with those derived from the
wind loads. (Fig. 7.12 and Photo 7.2).

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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10

20
Photo 7.2 - Horizontally placed panels.

Polystyrene

3 2

5

Concret

Concret
Finishing gravel

Figure 7.12 - Cross Section of the Traditional Panel.

The tests have been carried out on full scale panels (dimensions of 11.2 m by 2.5 m (L x H)). The
results of these tests show that in the panel reinforced with steel fibers it’s obtained a ultimed load
similar to the panel reinforced with welded wire mesh and moreover it’s possible to control in a more
effective way the generated cracks.

Photo 7.3 - Test on horizontally placed panels.

7.3.2 - Double T covering prestressed beams.
The steel fibers can be used in double T prestressed elements. In such frameworks there are no
­problems and need only be reinforced with longitudinal steel. The double T section elements are commonly reinforced on the flanges with a steel mesh in order to obtain better behaviour to concentrated
loads, shear and torsion strength, especially at the last limit state where it’s considered that torsions
represent the most critical stresses.
The research carried out to date proves that if the cross steel (Φ 5/25) is replaced by moulded steel
fibers on the ends (50 kg/m3), and the rest of steel is not modified (Fig. 7.13), then there are no
modifications in the bending longitudinal behaviour of the elements (Fig. 7.14).

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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Load (kN)

(b)

FRC

(a)

(c)

Deflection (mm)

Figura 7.13 - Double T prestressed beam simply leaned and subjected to distributed load. Load-Displacement Curve in an element reinforced with traditional
steel (a), distribution of cracks in the element reinforced with traditional steel (b) and with steel fibers (c).

Strands

Head web-reinforcement
stirrups

Prestressing
strands

Current web-reinforcement
stirrups

Detail of the web
reinforcement

Head web-reinforcement
stirrups

Prestressing
strands

Figura 7.14 - Double T section element. Cross section (a), traditional reinforcement (b) and reinforcement with fibers (c) on supports.

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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(c)
(a)

(d)

(b)

Deflection (mm)

(e)

Figura 7.15 - Cutting test. Load model (a); Load-Cutting Behaviour (b); crack mode with not reinforced concrete (c); with traditional steel (d)
and with steel fibers (e).

Besides studying which would be the distributed loads to which the framework will be subjected, it
has been studied the way of simulating them in laboratory. Some tests have also been carried out
on the element without any kind of framework (in the matrix there have been inserted no fibers or
welded wire mesh).
The comparison shows the interaction of various kinds of loads, besides those which generally are
considered (punctual loads, cross bending strains, distributed loads).
In this way the ductile behaviour to the framework cutting has been assured when the framework
corners have given way.
Due to the dynamic parameters selected , on the other hand, expressed by the results that refer
toed the vertical displacements, they were obtained fragile results, except for the concrete element
without armor that was broken before, due to inflection.

7.3.3 - Structures for flat coverings.
This kind of framework marks itself out for its great slenderness (ratio depth/longitude up to 35),
a thin section in the compression zone to allow the drainage of water and the stresses laterally
distributed, which generates meaningful cross bending moments.
Once studied the critical loads to which the framework will have to be subjected during its usable life,
the corresponding tests have been carried out in the University of Brescia (Italy) laboratories. The test
has been carried out with four loads points, which are described in Fig. 7.18a. An electromechanical
sensor has been positioned in the half of the framework supported with ring nuts with two metal
bars welded to a metal beam.

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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The tests have been carried out on three different models with the same structure: the former two
models have been reinforced with steel fibers, one with low carbon contents fibers with 30 mm of
length and 0.7 mm of diameter, the other with high carbon contents fibers with 30 mm of length
and 0.4 mm of diameter, while the third one has been reinforced in traditional way with welded
wire mesh (1F5/25/20).
The elements reinforced with steel fibers have shown a greater ductility and a greater service last
load in comparison with the model reinforced with traditional steel (Fig. 7.18a). The breaking, in any
case, has been caused by longitudinal bending moments with cracks on the framework flanges (Fig.
7.18b, c, d).
It can be inferred, after the tests carried out, that steel fibers represent a reinforcement homogeneously
distributed in the matrix which can compete with the traditional steel mesh, and moreover allow to
reinforce in effective way frameworks of complex sections which have stresses both in two and in
three directions.
The behaviour of the frameworks of prefabricated flat coverings in concrete reinforced with metal
fibers is comparable with the one of frameworks reinforced with welded wire mesh and, as the
results obtained show, with an increase of ductility.

Strands

(b)

(a)
Figura 7.16 - Cross section (a), displacement of the structural element (b).

Load

(a)

(d)

(b)

Displacement (mm)

(c)

Figure 7.17 - Bending behaviour of the structural element (a); Load-displacement curve of the element under distributed loads
(b): Horizontal attic (c); flange inclination (d).

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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(a)

(c)

(b)

(d)

Figure 7.18 - Test in real scale: system of loads (a); simulation of loads (b); measurement equipment (c); behaviour of cracks in the element (d).

(a)

Figure 7.19 - Test of the framework reinforced with steel fibers. Symmetrical (a) and asymmetrical (b) section.

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(b)

7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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Comparison - Section C

Load (kN)

Load - Total displacement

First cracks
Elastic limit

Total displacement (mm)

(b)

(c)

(a)

(d)

Figura 7.20 - Global behaviour in real scale of the structural element. Last load Vs Deflection (a); Crisis of the structural element reinforced with traditional
steel and with steel fibers (b, c, d).

7.3.4 - Pre-casted stretched beams
The possibility of replacing the minimum cross reinforcement (hangers) with steel fibers in prefabricated beams may lead to important improvements in the framework performances.
The shear behaviour of prefabricated elements with the minimum cross reinforcement has been
studied with tests on full scale beams. The tests simulate the behaviour of the beams close to the
supports, where hangers are normally designed according to the building regulations in those places
where only a minimum steel is required. The tests have been carried out on beams with no kind of
traditional reinforcement (beam 1), with traditional cross reinforcement (Beam 2) and beams reinforced with steel fibers (beams 3 and 4).
The experimental results prove that the shear behaviour of beams reinforced with steel fibers (Vf =
0.64%) is similar, or better, to those reinforced with the minimum traditional cross steel required by
Eurocode 2. Fig. 7.21b shows the cutting-displacement curve of the tests carried out on beams with
minimum reinforcement. In any case the crack has started to show (final of the elastic part) when
reached a stress to cutting of 450 kN. The behaviour of the concrete beams reinforced both with
traditional steel and with steel fibers has produced similar results. It has been possible to notice that,
in beams reinforced with steel fibers, the cracks thicknesses have been thinner than those of the
beam reinforced with traditional steel.

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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Shear (kN)

Model

Ultimate shear

Beam 1

Ultimate design shear

Beam 2

Sericeability shear

Beam 3
Beam 4

Displacement (mm)
Ultimate shear

Figura 7.21 - Cutting test. Test in laboratory (a); load-displacement curve in beams reinforced with minimum cross steel (b).

7.3.5 - Different elements.
There are numerous cases in which fibers can effectively replace the traditional reinforcing steel,
improving the quality of the element and allowing a degree of optimization to the production
process. The cases in which the traditional reinforcement can be replaced with metal fibers are
those in which mechanical stresses are limited and when the reinforcement steel will have secondary
functions such: crack control, increase of strength to abrasion and impact, improvement of strength
to thermal variations.
Examples where the traditional reinforcement has been replaced with metal fibers, can be observed
in the following images.

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

193

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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(e)

(f)

Figura 7.22 - Example of different prefabricated elements reinforced with steel fibers.

7.4 - SFRC special applications.
7.4.1 - Foundation systems.
Generality
Unlike industrial floor slabs, which are plates resting on elastic soil, foundations are load bearing
structures. Their design and construction must be in accordance with the local design and building
codes. Fiber reinforced concrete (SFRC) is not regulated in many countries and, consequently, special
permission may be required for use in many applications. In Germany, for the application of steel
fibers in buildings in which the structural stability must be proved, official permission from the
German Institute of the Technics of Civil Building (DIBT) of Berlin must be obtained. Such permission
may not be required in relation to floorings and buildings where steel fibers are used only for the
analysis of the exercise limit state (SLS). These applications may be of secondary importance as there
is no risk for life in case of damages or collapse.
Concrete foundation slabs
In the last 5 years, a new application in building construction has been developed. The concrete
foundation slabs for residential buildings may be constructed using SFRC. The weight of the walls
can be easily supported by the concrete slabs in SFRC, provided the structure is built on competent
soil. The principles of design are the same as industrial floors.

Photo 7.4 - Foundation Slabs SFRC for residential building foundations (private houses), Germany.

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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Nevertheless, it is possible to introduce project for the general approval of such systems. In Germany,
for example, the general approval can be asked to the German Institute of Technique of the
Construction (DIBT) in Berlim.

Photo 7.5 - Concrete foundation slab (diameter: 39 m) for an agricultural silo with combined reinforcement (mesh reinforcement + steel fibers + PP fibers),
Germany, 2005.

Foundations for mesh framework of aerial electrical lines
Using SFRC, the foundations for aerial utility services (trams, railway lines, etc.) can be redesigned in
order to remove much of the conventional steel reinforcement. The main function of these foundations
is to ensure their stability through their own weight (dead weight). The steel fibers work as minimum
framework for crack control. Consequently a structural analysis at SLS must be carried out. This
control has been achieved through a strut-and-tie system. Conventional reinforcement remains in
the upper part of the foundation, typically for anchor bolts and flanges. As these foundations are
generally quite large they are typically cast on site.
.
Base of elements
with conventional reinforcement.

Vertical armor.

Anchorage length

Fundation.

Self weight.

Horizontal armor.
Figure 7.23 - Cross section of foundations in SFRC for aerial electricity posts (left) and strut-and-tie model for the analysis of internal stability (right).

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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The advantage of steel fibers over conventional reinforcement is the decreased installation time and
the ease of installation of ancillary services (cable ducts, etc.).

7.4.2 - New potential applications.
Drilled concrete caissons
Steel fibers can improve the construction of drilled concrete caissons. In this application, the steel
fibers may be able to replace the minimum reinforcement steel, usually consisting of a prefabricated
steel reinforcement cage. These cages are inserted into the fresh concrete, a process that can be
cumbersome and time consuming. Fresh concrete with steel fiber reinforcement would substantially
reduce the process of setting up, while time of building would be remarkably reduced.
Currently, there are no standards allowing the replacement of a conventional reinforcement in such
applications, as that concerns the support of frameworks in elevation.

Photo 7.6 - Field with concrete posts drilled and set up.

Photo 7.7 - Drilling plant.

7.4.2.1 - Structures exposed to earthquakes.
Some of the strongest earthquakes in the latest years have proved that new materials and building
techniques are needed. The collapse of many structures, together with the death of many people,
proves that the kinds of buildings used can’t support the impact of the high dynamic strength which
takes place in the strongest earthquakes, due to insufficient capacity of absorption.
Starting in the 1970’s, research has been conducted into the beneficial effect of steel fibers on
the behaviour of concrete and reinforced concrete structures subjected to dynamic load. The main
interests at that time were the potential safety and the resistance of the nuclear plants and of the
military structures of protection:
- Steel fibers improve in meaningful way the deforming behaviour and the ductility.

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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- The concrete softening capacity of concrete can be improved in meaningful way with the
development of new building materials.

- The attenuation of reinforced concrete frequency can be increased up to 10 times with the
addition of steel fibers.

- The capacity of dissipation under impact and the stationary cyclical load can be clearly increased.

- The strength to impact can be increased up to 2000% with steel fibers.

These beneficial effects of steel fibers on softening and deterioration can improve in meaningful way
the stability of the framework subjected to dynamic loads during earthquakes.
A research to measure the ductility in Column-Beam union has proved that the ACI method of calculation together with SFRC, can increase ductility and the union (column-beam) performance, which
gives the opportunity of revaluing the global ductility of the framework.

Joint # 6
Conventional

Joint # 1
SRFC 6-in (15.2 cm)
spacing

Joint # 4
SFRC 8-in (20.3 cm)
spacing

Foto 7.8 - Of steel fiber reinforced concrete in beam-column unions. Thesis presented at the Faculty of the San Diego State University, by Michael Gebman.
Year 2002.

7.4.3 - Flooring covering with metal shaped sheets or precast – metal deck.
The fiber reinforced concrete application can be technically justified in case of covering, both the
metallic one to cover the collaborating formwork, and that of prefabricated attics systems. In both
cases the welded wire mesh is commonly used.
Here follows the technical argument which exemplifies that the fiber reinforced solution at the
minimum succeeds in equalling and improving the alternative mechanical conditions, which is
provided to be reinforced just to check effects of thermal shrinkage.

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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These are the initial conditions presented in the original design:

- Usable floor medium thickness 8 cm (5 cm of covering on the Steel Deck crest), in concrete
fck = 21 MPa.

- Reinforcement steel in rods of 5.00 mm of diameter, fy = 414 MPa, spaced every 15 cm in
both directions, located 4.0 cm below the floor surface, according to the recommendations of the
manufacturers (source www.alcor.com.ar) or similar.

Both direction

Concrete C21

Figure 7.24 - Traditional section of reinforcement for Steel Deck.

Figure 7.25 - Steel Deck perspective.

Concrete thickness
over the crest

Specification of
the mesh

Ast. of the specified
2
section (cm /m)

Minimum ast.
2
(cm /m)

5-6 cm

15 x 15 - Ø4,2

0.92

0.91

8-10 cm

15 x 15 - Ø6

1.88

1.52

12 cm

15 x 15 - Ø6

1.88

1.82

Table 7.1 - Recommendation of reinforcement for Steel Deck shrinkage (Source www.alcor.com.ar).

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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Analysis for alternative in fiber reinforced concrete:

3

Fiber reinforced concrete (C21) Dosage 25 kg/m

Figure 7.26 - Fiber reinforced section of Steel Deck.

Initially the resistant maximum characteristic in the simply reinforced traditional section is obtained
with the following:

Where:
Mres = Resistant moment.
fy = Steel resistant strain.
d = Usable height.
By using the bending strength conventional equivalence of the section traditionally considered by the
regulations which include the use of fiber reinforced concrete, it’s obtained the total replacement
of the reinforcement provided for 20 kg/m3 of FF1 steel fibers, in which it’s considered as fiber
reinforced element bending resistance of a rectangular section:

Mr = Resistant moment.
Req = Fiber reinforced concrete equivalent strength, considered that the section is homogeneously
distributed and reinforced.
Sx = b.h2 = Modulus of strength of the provided rectangular section.
6
Here follows the comparison:

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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Comparison Traditional Reinforcement vs. Fibers
Measure
unit

Characteristics

Thickness = 80 mm
Mesh

Fibers

12,7/150

FF1 (1.00x50)

414,00

2

Mesh traction strength

2

Concrete with fibers bending traction strength (21 Mpa)

3,00

2

N/mm

Concrete equivalent resistance (per 25 kg/m of fibers)

1,85

%

Ductility of concrete with fibers

61,50

mm

Diameter of the mesh

mm

Section of the mesh

kg/m2

Weight of the mesh/m2

2,06

kg/m3

Weight of the mesh /m3

25,69

mm2

As = mesh resistant area

130,90

mm

b = base of concrete section

mm

N/mm
N/mm

3

5,00
150,00

1.000,00

1.000,00

h = concrete theoretical thickness

80,00

79,65

mm

d = section usable thickness

40,00

80,00

Nmm

M = Mesh Maximum Bending Moment

kg/m3

Advised measuring

25

mm

H = Proposed section thickness

80

Nmm

M = Maximum Bending Moment of Concrete with fibers

1.950.929

1.968.000

Table 7.2 - Mechanical comparison between rectangular section with traditional armor vs. rectangular section reinforced with fibers.

To determine the equivalent resistance of fiber reinforced concrete there have been considered
the results deriving from the Norm UNI11039, having as results of concrete characterization for
resistance C25 and measurings 25 kg/m3 the parameters shown in the schedule above. Using as
suggested value for a concrete C21, a first crack strength of 3,00 MPa, and maintaining a minimum
of ductility of 61.5% for this measuring of fibers, being these data based on the characterizations
of concretes according to RILEM.

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7. Applications of fiber reinforced concrete:
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Equivalent resistance

.

Equivalent resistance vs. Fibers measuring
(Concrete f´ck = 21 MPa)

.

Fibers measuring
Graphic 7.5 - Residual resistence vs. fibers measuring for concrete f´ck = 21 MPa.

The methodology previously shown, being based on the equivalence of resistant moments, would
be a sufficient argument to prove the equivalence of the soultions, succeeding this way to obtain
the ratification of the design.

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8 - Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers.
8.1 - Equipments for the introduction of fibers into concrete.
At present fibers are provided in different package formats, which can be chosen by the user, on the
basis of the introduction system which can be applied under way.
MACCAFERRI offers two formats which cover in a flexible manner the different ways of introducing
fibers into concrete. These formats are:
Format Cardboard BOX. The box can hold 20 kg of material. Its dimension and weight are designed
to be handled by the workers, as much in the warehouse as in the yard. This format can be used for
the manual introduction of fibers, or for batcher machines like.

Photo 8.1 - Box front view.

Photo 8.2 - Box back view.

Photo 8.3 - EBox packaging in pallets with 1200 kg of material.

Photo 8.4 - Loose fibers box content.

Format BIG BAGS or Sacks. Big Bags are big sacks which can weigh between 500 and 1000 kg, depending on the product used. This format is of exclusive use for circular batchers like SF-500, DOSO
1.6 or DOSO 2.0, which have a maximum capacity of 1600 kg. This kind of equipment is used in
fixed concrete mixing installations, where the time per cycle of concrete preparation is very strict and
demands a greater autonomy.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers

Photo 8.5 - Big Bag example.

Photo 8.6 - Big Bags in pallet in a concrete plant.

Photo 8.7 - Big Bags mobilization example.

Photo 8.8 - Big Bags double packing format.

Equipments for fibers measuring.
In function of the different formats of material package, MACCAFERRI offers, as service, measuring
equipments able to fit to concrete levels of production. The machines performances are variable in
function of the fiber used.
DOSO BOX. Light, portable equipment, designed for works where fibers in box are used. This machine
works with a pressure air system which conveys fibers through a pipe, up to the truck mixer mouth,
in a fast and safe way. Its efficiency can reach 40-80 kg/min.

Photo 8.9 - Doso Box at the job site.

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Photo 8.10 - Doso Box assembly.

8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers

Photo 8.11 - Doso Box assembly.

Photo 8.12 - Doso Box in operation, dosing the fibers in the mixing
truck.

SF500; DOSO 1.6; DOSO 2.0. They are fixed equipments for concrete mixing plants, they have a
maximum capacity of 1600 kg. They are of exclusive use for BIG BAGS. They offer an efficiency up
to 200 kg/min and can batch fibers in different ways:
- Directly to the mixing truck. In this case it’s necessary the construction of a framework to place the
batcher at the height suitable for the unloading. This framework must be protected with a small roof
under which it’s placed a stock of big bags to feed the equipment. The framework may be equipped
with an electric or manual crane to lift the Big Bags and fill the batcher. In this case the equipment
can be released by the concrete mixing plant, as the measuring will be carried out in the truck mixer
after the other ingredients of the mixture.
- Unloading on aggregates conveyer belt. In this case the equipment is inside the concrete mixing
plant and is placed so as to unload fibers on the conveyer belt of the aggregates of the plant. In this
case, too, it’s necessary to protect the machine from bad weather and to equip it with lifting devices
for Big Bags.
- Unloading on the hopper for mixer feeding (prefabricated). In this case the equipment is placed in
the hopper load zone of the aggregates, which is at the end of the installation, so allowing to unload
fibers together with aggregates. In this case, having light measuring, for volumes from 1 to 2 m3,
other reserve equipments are used to guarantee the precision and homogeneity of the unloading.
For the protection and lifting of big bags are valid the remarks previously expressed.

Figure 8.1 - Schematic example of Doso Box ready to load mixing trucks.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers

Figure 8.2 - Schematic example of Doso Box ready to load in aggregates conveyer belt.

Figure 8.3 - Schematic example of Doso Box ready to load in the hopper for mixer feeding
(precast).

Photo 8.13 - Dosage machine DOSO 2.0.

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Photo 8.14 - Dosage machine DOSO 1.6.

8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers

Photo 8.15 - Dosage machine DOSO SF-500

Photo 8.16 - Dosage machine DOSO SF-500 with crane for Big Bags shipment.

8.2 - Measuring systems of fibers for shot concrete.
The fibers measuring for shot concrete preparation can be carried out in different ways, from manual
measuring up to industrialized one. The fibers commonly used in this kind of mixture are of loose
format with a slimness ratio > 40 and with a length of about 30 – 35 mm.
Later on some examples of the different alternatives will be shown.
Manual alternative. Where boxes are emptied directly on the prepared mixture, both in truck mixers and
in containers for conveyance, and on the aggregates conveyer belt in case of mixer installations.

Photo 8.17 - Concrete production in the mixing truck.

Photo 8.18 - Slump verification before the fibers placement.

Photo 8.19 - Fibers placement in the mixing truck.

Photo 8.20 - Fibers manual incorporation in aggregate conveyer belt.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers

Photo 8.21 - Homogeneity mix verification after few minutes in the
mixing truck.

Photo 8.22 - Slump verification after the fibers incorporation.

Photo 8.23 - Mixing truck during the discharge of the mix in the
concrete bomb.

Photo 8.24 - During the shot concrete procedure.

Industrial alternative. In this case, depending on the investment available for the work, all machines
offered by MACCAFERRI will be usable and the choice of the equipment will depend on the effective
advantage of the customer. In this case it’s possible the use both of DOSO BOX and of the equipments DOSO 1.6 / DOSO 2.0 and SF-500.

Photo 8.25 - Mixing truck in approach of Doso, after the mix slump
verification without fibers.

Photo 8.26 - Mixing truck in approach of Doso, after the slump mix
verification without fibers.

Photo 8.27 - Fibers load in the mixing truck.

Photo 8.28 - Slump mix verification with fibers. The mix is ready in
few minutes of rotation in high speed by the mixing truck after the
fibers incorporation.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers

Photo 8.29 -In any cases is necessary the measure of temperature
when it is working on places with high temperatures.

Photo 8.30 - Discharge of the mix about the equipment for shot
concrete.

Photo 8.31 - Mixing trucks supplying the equipment for shot
concrete.

Photo 8.32 - Automated equipment of shot concrete in conclusion
phase of work.

8.3 - Measuring systems of fibers for the production of ashlars.
The measuring of fibers in the preparation of concrete for ashlars premanufacturing of ashlars, is a
very particular case, in which the mechanized measuring is necessary for a strict control of the quantity
introduced in the mixture.
Concretes for ashlars premanufacturing have got a very low workability and quantity of mixture
between 1 e 2 m3.
The fibers measuring for one piece may vary between a minimum of 25 kg/m3 up to a maximum of
60 kg/m3. The fibers used in this kind of mixture have a ratio of aspect > 50 and length 50 mm, being
mixtures with aggregates with maximum characteristic diameter of about 1” (25 mm).
The process of mixing is very fast, as it’s necessary to reach the optimal productivity in the premanufacturing of such elements.
MACCAFERRI has designed a special system for ashlars premanufacturing installations, which is connected with the computer of the concrete mixing plant, so as to obtain a centralized control of the
fibers measuring.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers
The concrete mixing plant adjusts the measuring of the various components of the mixture (cement,
fibers, aggregates) which are poured into a hopper. The whole is introduced in the premixer, where
water is added; the mixture is finally poured in the formwork. The accelerated seasoning process
allows to obtain in 12 hours a piece ready to be conveyed and stocked.
The equipment is formed by:
- A batcher like SF 500 / DOSO 1,6 / DOSO 2.0.
- Second weighing machine (ex. Defibrator).
- A control system.
In the production process, the fibers are unloaded simultaneously to the aggregates into the reception
hopper. The quantity of introduced fiber is preloaded and weighed on the second weighing machine
which, in its turn, is fed by the circular batcher.
Here follows the description of the equipment used and the productive cycle:

Figure 8.4 - System general outline.

Photo 8.33 - System general view.

Photo 8.34 - Doso and vibrator during the load of fibers in the
conveyer belt.

Photo 8.35 - System general view, material discharge visualization at
the conveyer belt

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers

Photo 8.44 - Precast segment after the curing, ready to be extracted
of the form.

Photo 8.45 - Precast segment being turned in the position to be
stored.

Photo 8.46 - Precast segment transported in the storage patio.

Photo 8.47 - Precast segment in the storage patio.

8.4 - Measuring systems of fibers for floorings concrete.
In the measuring of fibers for floorings concretes, it’s possible to proceed in manual way or in industrialized way. In particular, in this kind of works, in case of industrialized production, the most applied
measuring system is the use of DOSO BOX.
The technical remarks are identical to those of the previous cases.
In this case the mixtures are fluider than in premanufacturing. The fibers, depending on the kind of
mixture will have a long or short format, in function of the chosen aggregates.
Here follows the example of a production process of concrete for flooring:

Photo 8.48 - Doso Box ready to supply the mixing truck.

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Photo 8.49 - Exit of the Doso Box feeder tube placed in the entrance
of the mixing truck.

8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers

Photo 8.50 - Doso Box ready to supply the mixing truck.

Photo 8.51 - Worker introducing the fibers in the Doso Box.

Photo 8.52 - Fibers loading in the Doso Box entrance.

Photo 8.53 - Fibers loading in the Doso Box entrance of where will
be blower until the mixing truck.

Photo 8.54 - Mix aspect ready for application.

Photo 8.55 - Concrete placement over the floor surface.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers

Photo 8.56 - Concrete placement.

Photo 8.57 - Final finishing of the surface.

8.5 - Measuring systems of organic and polymeric fibers.
The introduction of organic or polymeric fibers into any concrete mixture, is normally carried out in
manual way. The typical measuring for this kind of fibers go from 0.6 kg/m3 to 1.5 kg/m3.
This material is supplied in water-soluble bags which are directly thrown into the mixture; the package will be melted by the water contained in the mixture. Its contents will spread in the mixture after
a couple of minutes of mixing.
Here follows an example on the addition of these fibers:

Photo 8.58 - Format of the water-soluble packing of 0.6 kg.

Photo 8.59 - Worker introducing the water-soluble bags in the mixing
truck.

Information techniques detailed on equipment and systems of dosage displayed here could be found
to follow.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers
8.6 - Circular batchers.
8.6.1 - Description of the machine.
The machine consists of, in its superior part, a cylindrical hopper and, in its inferior part, the framework
including a fixed part of support and a mobile part provided with vibrant motors.
The inferior part is connected to the mobile one through antivibrant rubbers, inside the frame there
are the load cells for obtaining the weigh of the fibers in the hopper.
The hopper has got inside a helical track; the track comes out, in the upper part, forming a pipe with
rectangular section.
To complete the batcher described above (1), there is the electric board (2) and the control instrument (3).

8.6.2 - Aim.
The batcher helps to feed, in automatic way, with a flow of Wirand fibers, other machines or equipments, for instance the aggregates belt, batching a prearranged quantity of it measured in kg.
The batcher is connected and handled by the concrete mixing plant automizing the production of
fiber reinforced concrete

8.6.3 - Typology.
There are three available models of circular batchers which are essentially distinguishable for the
hopper diameter; moreover there may be different performances in relation to the motovibrators
equipment:
Name
DOSO 1.6
SF500-S
DOSO 2.0

Nominal diameter (mm)
1600
1800
2000

8.6.4 - Principle of working.
A great quantity of fibers is received, during the machine load phase, in the central hopper space;
this one, owing to the action of eccentric masses motovibrators, is put on vibration.
During the vibration the fibers arrange themselves in a uniform way on the hopper bottom, taking
up also the lower part of the helical track.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers
The flow capacity can be adjusted operating on the recording of motovibrators eccentric masses.
During the work phase (machine on vibration), the batcher controls the quantity (weight) of fibers
come out through the load cells.
The batcher is provided with electric/electronic equipments which allow the control, the planning
and the monitoring of the main operations of work.

8.6.5 - Principle of use.
The operations can be divided as follows:
Load operation
With this operation great quantities of fibers are introduced inside the batcher.
The supply takes place by using some Big Bags the handling of which is carried out by tackles or
suitable equipments.
The fibers big bags, from 500 to 1000 kg, are placed on the batcher; later on, cutting their bottom,
the fibers are let falling into the hopper central zone. The load phase may also be carried out by
empting boxes of 20 kg of fibers inside the batcher.
The load process takes place with the machine not running, and must be carried out with such a
frequency that the batcher isn’t too full or too empty.
To open the big bags bottom it’s necessary to keep at a certain safety distance not to be struck by
the fibers; usually it’s necessary a raised platform around the batcher which may make easier this
operation.
Planning operation
The plant operator must set up the recipe for the fibers measuring.
The recipe consists of the quantity of fibers which must be taken out of the batcher.
Machine work phase
During this phase the machine is put on vibration; it can be activated by the operator in manual
procedure, otherwise the concrete mixing plant will synchronize this phase with the other machines
(ex. aggregates belt).
The length and the deactivation of this phase is handled by the batcher itself in function of the planned
recipe or of possible further signals concerning the procedure of extracting fibers (ex. emergency
stops, aggregates belt stop, etc.).

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers
8.6.6 - Technical data and main dimensions.
DOSO 1.6
1600

Nominal diameter

SF500-S
1800

Standard Rotated

Overall height
Overall dimension
Overall dimension
Weight
Pipe inferior height
Pipe protrusion
Pipe height
Pipe width
Pipe wheelbase
Track external diameter
Track internal diameter
Track width
Feet wheelbase diameter
Approximate maximum load
Strain
Frequency
Installed power
Total current

H
A
B
(Kg)
C
Sc
Hc
Lc
Ic
Dep
Dip
Lp
DP

2050
2300 2300 2300
1850
2000-1700 1750
2350
2450-2500 2300
2200 2200
1400
2065 2065
1737-1787
1410 1410
1400
235 235
235
245
370 370
370
375
675 675
675
810
1600 1600
1800
1100
- 1000
1100
- 1100
1000 - 1000 1200
250
- 300
250
- 300
250 - 300
250
1360 1360
1840
(1000
Kg)Kg)
* * Kg) * (1000 Kg) *
(1000
(1000
400
400 V
V 400 V
400 V
50
50 Hz
Hz 50 Hz
50 Hz
6,75
6,75Kw
Kw
6,75 Kw
13,8
13,8AA 13,8 A
10 A

DOSO 2.0
2000
Standard

Rotated

2335 2335 2300
2400- 2100 2700
2700- 3000 2700
2800 2200
2100 2065
1410
1500-1600
235 235
375 370
890 675
2000 1600
1100 - 1000
1500 - 1400
250 - 300250 - 300
1770 1360
Kg) *
(1000 Kg)(1000
*
400 V 400 V
50 Hz 50 Hz
6,75 Kw 6,75 Kw
13,8 A 13,8 A

NOTICE: All dimensional values are expressed in mm.
(*) Weight varies in function of the kind of fiber used.

The pipe may be in a position mismatched of 45° to make easier the conveyance or the positioning
in positions which otherwise wouldn’t be possible with the standard version.
The total bulks may then vary in function of the kind chosen.
The positioning of the standard batcher inside a container may take place in two different ways
obtaining therefore different bulks.

8.6.7 - Moving/conveyance.
Before moving the batcher, it’s necessary to block the weighing devices.
Before using the batcher, it’s necessary to unblock the weighing devices.
For the details on blocking and unblocking operations see the machines use and maintenance handbooks

8.6.8 - Necessary electric arrangement.
To use the batcher it’s necessary to arrange an electric connection with the requirements listed below.
The machine is provided with some extensions which make easier the positioning of the machine
itself and of its control instrument (STANDARD supply).

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers
In case it’s necessary the cutting off of the machine electric board there’s available as OPTIONAL ON
DEMAND a further extension to interpose between electric board and machine (20mt), in this case
the extension supplied for instrument ED231 will be 20m long.
For the optional on demand or for personalized uses or configurations as for example the interaction
with other machines it’s necessary to apply to the technical department in charge to get modalities,
times and possible additional costs.
POWER SUPPLY



1 - Strain: 400 V
2 - Frequency: 50 Hz
3 - Installed power: 6,75 kW
4 - Total current: 13,8 A

MATERIAL SUPPLIED WITH THE MACHINE (STANDARD SUPPLY)


- Extension cable 30 m for supply.
- Extension cable 30 m for control instrument ED231.
- N°4 rings for the safety fixing of the support feet.

MATERIAL SUPPLIED WITH THE MACHINE (OPTIONAL ON DEMAND)



- Extension cable 30 m for supply.
- Extension cable 2 m for control instrument ED231.
- Extension cable 20 m for electric board.
- N°4 rings for the safety fixing of the support feet.

8.6.9 - Tools and implements necessary to the installation.
Here below is listed the minimum necessary equipping to carry out the normal operations of machine
installation and of performances adjusting through adjusting the eccentric masses

N.
2
2
1
1
1
1
-

Denomination
Open spanner
Open spanner
Open spanner
Open spanner
Hexagonal male spanner
*Hexagonal male torquemetrical spanner
Edge/Cruciform Screwdrivers

Measure
32
30
17
13
8
10
-

Use
Hangers removal and feet adjusting
Feet adjusting
Electric board removal
Control board removal
Motovibrators lids removal
Motovibrators masses adjusting
-

* Torquemetrical spanner calibration = 130 N.m (see schedule of the specific MOTOVIBRATORS handbook container in the section enclosures of the USE
and MAINTENANCE handbook).

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers
Different operations and their necessary equipping will have to be carried out according to the USE
AND MAINTENANCE HANDBOOK which is provided with the machine.

8.6.10 - Positioning.
The batcher is normally placed near the aggregates belt of the concrete mixing plant, so that the
protruding pipe of the machine from which fibers come out is placed above the belt, possibly in a
central position.
It’s better to have a certain vertical distance between the pipe and the point of the belt where fibers
will fall (1m.); considering that the pipe is at about 2m from the plane of support of the batcher itself,
the considered point of the belt must be at about 1m. from the plane of support itself.
Often in the yard such position of the belt isn’t available, in these cases it’s advisable the building
of frameworks in reinforced cement (plinths) or raised platforms, which can house the batcher. The
exact position of the machine is then variable on the basis of the real yard configuration.
The batcher location is chosen by the person responsible of the plant, he will have also to arrange
the building of possible platforms, necessary to the machine load operations, respecting all the safety
regulations in force.
The machine must work under cover: then it’s also necessary to build roofing, if not present, to protect the batcher from bad weather

8.6.11 - Feet fixing.
The batcher has got 4 rings which must be fixed to the framework on which it has been placed.
The rings have just the function of avoiding that the batcher may move too much in case of bad
operation or of unstableness due to the vibration itself.
The rings must be placed around the machine feet and be fixed through welding or mechanical fixing
using their fins. In the picture the kind of fixing is red highlighted.
Here follows schematically the use of plinths in reinforced cement.
The iron plates must be integral part of the plinths framework, on these plates the batcher feet will
rest.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers
On these plates it will also be possible to fix the 4 rings which will block the batcher feet.

8.6.12 - Eccentric masses adjustment.
The capacity of fibers flow can be varied within certain limits operating on the adjustment of motovibrators masses.
The procedure of adjustment and the control of the masses way of rotation must be carried out
respecting all the instructions of the USE AND MAINTENANCE HANDBOOK.

8.6.13 - Welding operations.
THE BATCHERS DON’T PROVIDE FOR WELDING OPERATIONS ON THE FIXED FRAMEWORK OR ON
THE VIBRANT HOPPER.
If in case of necessity, maintenance, crack or something else had to be necessary a welding operation
of electric kind on the machine it’s important to disconnect the 4 ground cables and the conveyance
hangers which connect the hopper to the fixed framework.
If this doesn’t happen the electric welding operation will cause the crack of the weighing cells contained in the inferior part of the framework.

8.6.14 - Fibers storage.
The fibers storage or warehousing (big bags or boxes) is of basic importance for fibers workability.
If this doesn’t happen correctly some rust might form and consequently there would be agglomerates
of fibers difficult to disentangle.
It’s advisable:

- That fibers pallets are kept protected by bad weather; it’s suggested the warehousing in
suitable covered structures and the use of waterproof lengths of cloth, moreover it’s better to protect
fibers boxes from the moisture of the soil using wooden beds or something similar.

- To arrange pallets so that the fibers that have been in the yard for the longest time are used,
following then the same chronological order of their delivery. This would avoid that fibers are used
after a long time, with consequent protracted exposure to bad weather.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers
8.6.15 - Information to gather for the correct configuration of the
installation.
1 - Can the concrete mixing plant receive the batcher in a correct position?
2 - Can the plant staff build the necessary frameworks for the use of the batcher?
3 - Is it necessary to provide for material and configurations different from the standard ones, further
extensions, different electric connections?
4 - Is the plant electric installation compatible with that of the machine?
5 - Shall the batcher be used in manual or automatic modality?
6 - Which batching settings is it preferable to prepare the batcher with?
7 - Is it necessary to train the plant staff on the use of the machine?
8 - Is the plant staff provided with the equipping for the moving, installation and maintenance of
the machine?
9 - Is the plant arranged to receive in a suitable zone the fibers in big bags or boxes?
10 - Will the installation take place autonomously or is our service required?
If possible, it’s better to gather some photographic documents and a report on the plant and on the
installation operation which have taken place.

8.7 - Pneumatic batchers.
8.7.1 - Aim.
The pneumatic batchers help to introduce Wirand® fibers directly in the truck mixer, the quantity of
fiber must be calculated previously using a number of pre-measured boxes (normally 20 kg each) in
function of the required measuring and of the quantity of mixture in the mixer.
The machine simplifies the operations inside the yard; the operation of fibers batching may take place
in manual or automatic way.
In the automatic way the batcher is connected and handled by the concrete mixing plant, further
simplifying and automizing the production of fiber reinforced concrete.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers
8.7.2 - Typology.
There are two available models of pneumatic batchers, they can be substantially distinguished depending on the principle of working of the first phase of disentangling, besides on the safety and
practical ness level.
Name
DOSOBOX
SC99/2

8.7.3 - Principle of working.
A great quantity of fiber is received, during the machine load phase, in the vibrant hopper space for
DOSOBOX or in the revolving drum for SC99/2; these devices allow to adjust the flow of fiber which
will pass through the automatic circuit.
After this phase the fiber is shot along the pipe inside the suitably positioned mixer.

8.7.4 - Principle of use.
The use of the machine is easy: after positioning the machine inserting the pipe into the mixer hopper, the load cycle starts; after a minimum starting time, the vibrant board or the drum begin to work
allowing the operator to empty the boxes inside them.
It’s better to lead the mixer rotation to the maximum of turns to make easier the mixing of fibers
during their insertion.

8.7.5 - DOSOBOX.
DOSOBOX conveys the fibers inside the mixer through pneumatic conveyance; the disentangling
takes place through a vibrant pipe.
By increasing with a provided number of fibers boxes the required measuring will be obtained.
The superior safety level of the machine implies a minor velocity of installation and use in comparison
with SC99.
Technical data
Conveyance bulk dimension:
1600 x 1200 x 1500 (h) mm.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers

Bulk dimension with assembled pipe:
5000 x 1200 x 5300 (h) mm.
Weight: 1200 kg.
Use strain: 380 V.
Frequency: 50 Hz.
Installed nominal power: 10 kW.

8.7.6 - SC99/2.
The machine SC 99 too uses pneumatic conveyance to convey fibers inside the mixer; unlike DOSOBOX, the disentangling takes place through a revolving drum.
The minor safety level of the machine implies a greater velocity of installation and use in comparison
with DOSOBOX.
Technical data
Conveyance bulk dimension:
2300 x 1100 x 1400 (h) mm.
Bulk dimension with assembled pipe:
8000 x 1000 x 5000 (h) mm.
Weight: 750 kg.
Use strain: 400 V.
Frequency: 50 Hz.
Installed nominal power: 8 kW.

8.7.7 - Special machines.
Defibrator
The defibrator is normally used together with circular batchers; its function is that of “disentangling”
the fibers which come out of the batcher and discharging them on a aggregates belt or into a hopper
of the mixing plant. It’s then used for fibers with high aspect ratio, superior to 67.
There is a different appliance which considers it as second weighing phase in plants for ashlars.
The installation of the defibrator must be carried out just by specialized personnel, checking the correct positioning and according to the safety regulations.
Owing to the presence of high risks and to the fact that its incorrect installation and use might generate dangers for workers and damage other plant machines, it’s preferable not to use it.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers
COMBINATION FOR DOUBLE WEIGHING (ex. ASHLARS)
In some plants it’s necessary to introduce small quantities of fibers in little time with high precision.
These requirements are typical of ashlars manufacturing plants and wherever, anyway, the measuring
required for each mixture is quantitatively limited. To satisfy these needs it’s necessary to combine
and modify some of the standard machines; for instance a combination already used in several yards
is arranged like that:
DOSO 2.0 with closing Kit
DEFIBRATOR with cells and weighing instrument
The combination of these two modified machines allows to check the weight with some pre-load
cycles, the quantity of pre-load fiber can be handled by the mixing plant or by the connected with
the defibrator.
The concept is that of weighing in a static way a limited quantity of fiber inside the defibrator.
DOSO 2.0 feeds then the defibrator during the pre-load cycle; when it reaches the provided weight
the defibrator drives the closing of the door assembled on the circular batcher preventing the not
controlled fall of further fibers.
In a second phase the defibrator will feed the belt or the mobile hopper (skip) on which aggregates
are conveyed, having already a fairly good mixing.
After this phase the cycle of pre-load will start.
For this kind of installations it’s necessary to know well all the features of the mixing plant, the cycle
times and the quantities involved for concrete manufacturing.

8.8 - Personalized machine.
In some plants it’s necessary to study particular and personalized machines to be able to obtain the
introduction of the fiber in an optimal way.
Obviously the building of these machines is STRONGLY UNADVISED as it generates very high costs
and log times of achievement.
The manufacturing of machines according to CE and to the consequent handbooks weighs heavily
on the single machine causing high costs and times of starting up longer than usual.
Special machines are meant as vibrant pipes with or without weighing systems, conveyer belts or
particular hoppers, here are some of the manufactured examples:
MONODIRECTIONAL PIPE WITH LOAD CELLS
With this machine it’s possible to feed the aggregates belt with a prearranged pre-load of fibers.

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8. Measuring equipments for Wirand® fibers

The pipe carries out the weighing of the pre-load statically and, differently from the defibrator, doesn’t
carry out the further disentangling during the cycle of fiber introduction.
BIDIRECTIONAL PIPE WITH LOAD CELLS
With this machine it’s possible to feed with a prearranged pre-load two different points of fibers
introduction.
The superior pipe carried out the pre-load weighing and during the introduction of fiber the switch
and the inferior pipe will activate or not in order to feed the load mouth in which it’s necessary to
convey the fibers in function of the controls set up in the control cab.

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9. Authors

ANTONIO GALLOVICH SARZALEJO
Structural civil engineer graduated by the Central University of Venezuela (1992). It acted as promotion
and technical manager in structural projects and seismicresistant rehabilitation, for the Maccaferri of
Brazil (1999) was commercial end technical manager for the Maccaferri of Venezuela (2001). In the
fibres for reinforcement sector of the concrete (2005) it worked as technical consulting for the Officine
Maccaferri S.p.A. (Italy) e, currently, works as technical manager of product, fibres for reinforcement
of the concrete, for the North America, Maccaferri Inc. (U.S.A.).
BRUNO ROSSI
Structural civil engineer graduated by the University of Bologna, Italy (1992). For the company Officine
Maccaferri S.p.A. it acted in the areas of in reinforced structures, of gravity retaining structures and
hydraulic works (1996). It co-ordinated the research applied to the sector of active defense of the
rock fall and currently he is the technical responsable and the research and development coordinator
of fibers for concrete reinforcement in Officine Maccaferri S.p.A., Italy.
GIANFRANCO PERRI
Mining Engineering Doctor, acts as professor in the geomechanical, soil and rocks mechanical, geostatistical and roads geotécnical areas since 1974; Head of the department of Mining Engineering in
the Central Universidad of Venezuela, works with the Projects of Tunnels and Slopes (2007). It also
exercise the functions of consulting and designing engineer, developing ample activity in the several
geotechnical areas.
RALF WINTERBERG
Civil engineer and doctor by the Ruhr-University of Bochum, Germany, with specialization in Structural
Engineering and Durability (1992-98); complementary studies in the Essen Management Academy
“Specialist Engineer for Project Management” (1999). It acted as technical manager responsable for
the Research and Development, Technology and Engineering, Quality control, Marketing and Support
Marketing in the Fibco GmbH (2003). Currently it develops the technician consultant function of Officine Maccaferri S.p.A., Bologna, Italy; responsable for the fibres for the concrete reinforcement.
ROBERT EDUARDO PERRI ARISTEGUIETA
Civil engineer graduated by Metropolitan University of Caracas, Venezuela (2004); master in Direction
of Construction and Real Estate Companies in the ETSAM of the Polytechnical Universidad of Madrid,
Spain (2005); MBA Executive in the European School Business-oriented of Madrid, Spain (2006). Currently it works as technical responsable of the fibres for concrete reinforcement department of the
company A.Bianchini Ingeniero S.A., Barcelona, Spain.

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10 - References.

- Abaqus v. 6.4.1 (2003), “Theory manual”, Hibbitt, Karlsson e Sorensen, Pawtucket, Rhode Island
(USA).
- ACI Committee 440. 1996. State-of-the-Art Report on Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) for Concrete
Structures (ACI 440R). ACI Manual of Concrete Practice, Part 5, American Concrete Institute, Detroit,
MI, 68 pp.
- ACI Committee 544. 1982. State-of-the-Art Report on Fiber Reinforced Concrete (ACI 544.1R-82).
Concrete International, May, Vol. 4, No. 5, pp. 9-30.
- ACI Committee 544. 1988. Design Considerations for Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete(ACI 544.4R88). Manual of Concrete Practice, Part 5, American Concrete Institute, Detroit, MI, 18 pp.
- ACI Committee 544. 1990. State-of-the-Art Report on Fiber Reinforced Concrete. ACI Manual of
Concrete Practice, Part 5, American Concrete Institute, Detroit, MI, 22 pp.
- ACI Committee 544. 1993. Guide for Specifying, Proportioning, Mixing, Placing, and Finishing Steel
Fiber Reinforced Concrete. ACI Materials Journal, Jan-Feb, Vol. 90, No. 1, pp. 94-101.
- ACI SP 182 (1988), “Structural Applications of Fiber Reinforced Concrete,” American Concrete
Institute, Farmington Hills.
- Ahmad S., Di Prisco M., Meyer C., Plizzari G.A. e Shah S.P. Eds (2004), “Fiber Reinforced Concrete:
From theory to practice”, Proceedings of the International Workshop, Bergamo, 24-25 Settembre
2004, Starrylink, 222 pp.
- Al-Tayyib A. H. J. and Al-Zahrani M. M.. 1990. Use of Polypropylene Fibers to Enhance Deterioration
Resistance of Concrete Surface Skin Subjected to Cyclic wet/Dry Sea Water Exposure. ACI Materials
Journal, Jul-Aug, Vol. 87, No.4, pp. 363-370.
- Altoubat Salah A., Lange David A., - Early age Shrinkage and Creep of Fiber Reinforced Concrete
for Airfield Pavement-Aircraft/Pavement Tecnology (229-243)
- Alwahab T. and Soroushian P.. 1987. Characterization of Fiber Force Collated Fibrillated Polypropylene
Fibers and Their Application to Concrete. Research Report, Department of Civil and Environmental
engineering, Michigan State University, 60 pp.
- Anderson W. E.. 1978. Proposed Testing of Steel-Fibre Concrete to Minimize Unexpected Service
Failures. Testing and Test Methods of Fibre Cement Composites. RILEM Symposium, The Construction
Press, Lancaster, England, pp. 223-232.
- Ashour S. A. and Wafa F. F.. 1993. Flexural Behavior of High Strength Fiber Reinforced Concrete
Beams. ACI Structural Journal, May-Jun, Vol. 90, No. 3, pp. 279-287.

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10. References.

- Aufmuth, R.E. , Naus, D.J. & Williamson, G.R., Effect of aggressive environments on steel fiber
reinforced concrete. Letter Report M-113, US Army Corps of Engineers, Construction Engineering
Research Laboratory, Champaign, Illinois, 1974
- Balaguru P. N. and Ramakrishnan V.. 1986. Freeze-Thaw Durability of Fiber Reinforced Concrete.
ACI Journal, May-Jun, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 374-382.
- Balaguru P. N. and Ramakrishnan V.. 1988. Properties of Fiber Reinforced Concrete: Workability,
Behavior Under Long-Term Loading, Air-Void Characteristics. ACI Materials Journal, May-Jun, Vol.
85, No. 3, pp. 189-196.
- Balaguru P. N. and Shah S. P.. 1992. Fiber Reinforced Cement Composites. McGraw-Hill, New York,
1992, xii, 530 pp.
- Balaguru P. N., Narahari R., and Patel M.. 1992. Flexural Toughness of Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete. ACI Materials Journal, Nov-Dec, Vol. 89, No. 6, pp. 541-546.
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Authors:
Eng. Antonio Gallovich Sarzalejo
Eng. Bruno Rossi
Eng. Gianfranco Perri
Eng. Ralf Winterberg
Eng. Roberto Eduardo Perri Aristeguieta
Co-authors:
Eng. Bruno Marson
Eng. Gerardo Fracassi
Eng. Ivan Masiero

© Maccaferri do Brasil Ltda.

Fibers as Structural Element for the
R e i n f o r c e m e n t o f C o n c r e t e . Te c h n i c a l M a n u a l

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