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Fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC) is concrete containing fibrous material which increases its
structural integrity. It contains short discrete fibers that are uniformly distributed and randomly
oriented. Fibers include steel fibers, glass fibers, synthetic fibers and natural fibers each of
which lend varying properties to the concrete. In addition, the character of fiber-reinforced
concrete changes with varying concretes, fiber materials, geometries, distribution, orientation,
and densities.


Fiber reinforced concrete (FRC) is a new structural material which is gaining increasing
importance. Addition of fiber reinforcement in discrete form improves many engineering
properties of concrete. Fibre reinforced concrete (FRC) may be defined as a composite
materials made with Portland cement, aggregate, and incorporating discrete discontinuous
Portland cement concrete is considered to be a relatively brittle material, with a low tensile
strength and a low strain capacity. When subjected to tensile stresses, non-reinforced concrete
will crack and fail.
Since mid-1800's steel reinforcing has been used to overcome this problem. As a composite
system, the reinforcing steel is assumed to carry all tensile loads.
Fibre reinforced concrete (FRC) is Portland cement concrete reinforced with more or less
randomly distributed fibers. In FRC, thousands of small fibers are dispersed and distributed
randomly in the concrete during mixing, and thus improve concrete properties in all directions.
Fibers help to improve the post peak ductility performance,
pre-crack tensile strength, fatigue strength, impact strength and eliminate temperature and
shrinkage cracks. The role of randomly distributes discontinuous fibres is to bridge across the
cracks that develop provides some post- cracking ductility. If the fibres are sufficiently
strong, sufficiently bonded to material, and permit the FRC to carry significant stresses over a
relatively large strain capacity in the post-cracking stage.
The real contribution of the fibres is to increase the toughness of the concrete (defined as some
function of the area under the load vs. deflection curve), under any type of loading. That is, the
fibres tend to increase the strain at peak load, and provide a great deal of energy absorption in
post-peak portion of the load vs. deflection curve. When the fibre reinforcement is in the form
of short discrete fibres, they act effectively as rigid inclusions in the concrete matrix.
they have thus the same order of magnitude as aggregate inclusions; steel fibre reinforcement
cannot therefore be regarded as a direct replacement of longitudinal reinforcement in reinforced
and prestressed structural members. However, because of the inherent material properties of
fibre concrete, the presence of fibres in the body of the concrete or the provision of a tensile
skin of fibre concrete can be expected to improve the resistance of conventionally reinforced
structural members to cracking, deflection and other serviceability conditions.

Figure. The load vs. deflection curve

The fibre reinforcement may be used in the form of three dimensionally randomly distributed
fibres throughout the structural member when the added advantages of the fibre to shear
resistance and crack control can be further utilized.
On the other hand, the fibre concrete may also be used as a tensile skin to cover the steel
reinforcement when a more efficient two
Fibre reinforced concrete (FRC) is concrete containing fibrous material which increases
its structural integrity. Fibres include steel fibres, glass fibres, synthetic fibres and
natural fibres.
Within these different fibres that character of fibre reinforced concrete changes with
varying concretes,
fibre materials, geometries, distribution, orientation and densitiesFibre reinforced is
mainly used in shotcrete, but can also be used in normal concrete.
Fibre-reinforced normal concrete are mostly used for on-ground floors and pavements,
but can be considered for a wide range of construction parts (beams, pliers, foundations
etc) either alone or with hand-tied rebars.

Figure: stiffness, strength, toughness relation



The concept of using fibers as reinforcement is not new. Fibers have been used as
reinforcement. Historically, horsehair was used in mortar and straw in mudbricks. In the
1900s, asbestos fibers were used in concrete.
Fibre Reinforced Concrete (FRC) was invented by French gardener Joseph Monier in
1849 and patented in 1867.
In the 1950s, the concept of composite materials came into being and fiber-reinforced concrete
was one of the topics of interest. Once the health risks associated with asbestos were
discovered, there was a need to find a replacement for the substance in concrete and other
continues today. Fibers have been used for concrete reinforcement since prehistoric times
though technology has improved significantly, as is applicable for other fields. In the early age,
straw and mortar were used for producing mud bricks, and horsehair was used for their
reinforcement as the fiber technology developed, cement was reinforced by asbestos fibers in
the early twentieth century. During the middle of the twentieth century, extensive research was
in progress for the use of composite materials for concrete reinforcement.
Later, the use of asbestos for concrete reinforcement was discouraged due to the detection of
health risks. New materials like steel, glass, and synthetic fibers replaced asbestos for
reinforcement. Active research is still in progress on this important technology.
Fiber Reinforced Concrete is considered to be one of the greatest advancements in the
construction engineering during the twentieth century. The use of fibres to reinforce and
enhance the properties of construction materials goes back at least 3500 years, when straw was
used to reinforce sun-baked bricks in Mesopotamia.
Egyptians also used straw to reinforce mud bricks, but there is evidence that asbestos fiber was
used to reinforce clay posts about 5000 years ago. Cement- bound products have been
reinforced by various types of fibre at least since the beginning of the last century, and steel
and synthetic fibres have been used to improve the properties of concrete for the past 30 or 40
years. Portland cement concrete is considered to be a relatively brittle material.
When subjected to tensile stresses, non-reinforced concrete will crack and fail. Since mid-
1800's steel reinforcing has been used to overcome this problem. As a composite system, the
reinforcing steel is assumed to carry all tensile loads.
The volume expansion produces large tensile stresses in the concrete, which initiates cracks
and results in concrete spalling from the surface. Although some measures are available to
reduce corrosion of steel in concrete such as corrosion inhibitive admixtures and coatings, a
better and permanent solution may be replace the steel with a reinforcement that is less
environmentally sensitive.
More recently micro fibres, such as those used in traditional composite materials have been
introduced into the concrete mixture to increase its toughness, or ability to resist crack growth.
Several different types of fibres, both manmade and natural, have been incorporated into
Use of natural fibres in concrete precedes the advent of conventional reinforced concrete in
historical context. However, the technical aspects of FRC systems remained,
Essentially undeveloped. Since the advent of fibre reinforcing of Concrete in the 1940's, a great
deal of testing has been conducted on the various fibrous materials to determine the actual
characteristics and advantages for each product.
Several different types of fibbers have been used to reinforce the cement-based Matrices. The
choice of fibbers varies from synthetic organic materials such as polypropylene or carbon,
synthetic inorganic such as steel or glass, natural organic such As cellulose or sisal to natural
inorganic asbestos.

Figure. Steel, glass, synthetic and natural fibres with different lengths and shapes can
be used in concrete
Currently the commercial products are reinforced with steel, glass, polyester and polypropylene

It is used on account of the advantages of increased static and dynamic tensile strength and
better fatigue strength. It has been tried on overlays of air-field, road pavements, industrial
footings, bridge decks, canal lining, explosive resistant structures, refractory linings,etc.
Used for the fabrication of precast products like pipes, boats, beams, stair case steps, wall
panels, roof panels, manhole covers etc.
It is also being tried for the manufacture of prefabricated formwork moulds of U shape for
casting lintels and small beams.

3.1. Fiber reinforced concrete is used for:

Industrial flooring
Sprayed concrete
Slender structures (usually in precast plants)
Fire resistant structures
mortar applications (rehabilitation)
Above listed points Fibrous concrete permits the use of thinner flat and curved structural
elements. Steel fibrous shotcrete is used in the construction of hemispherical domes using the
inflated membrane process. Glass fibre reinforced cement or concrete (GFRC), made by the
spray-up process, have been used to construct wall panels. Steel and ass fibres addition in
concrete pipes and manholes improves strength, reduces thickness, and diminishes handling

Figure: fiber ratio in column

In above picture shown in figure we see that the seepage or cell are concretute by the fiber
reinforcement concrete. Fiber reinforced concrete is a type of concrete that includes fibrous
substances that increase its structural strength and cohesion

Figure: fiber reinforcement use in railways

Fiber reinforced concrete has small distinct fibers that are homogeneously dispersed and
oriented haphazardly. Fibers used are steel fibers, synthetic fibers, glass fibers, and natural
fibers. The characteristics of fiber reinforced concrete are changed by the alteration of certain
factors: type and quantity of fibers, geometric configuration, dispersal, direction, and
4. Types of Fiber-Reinforced Concrete

4.1. Basic types-

The fiber reinforcement concrete are different type we analysis by the material we
mix in concrete
Steel fibre Reinforced Concrete
Polypropylene fibre Reinforced (PFR) cement mortar &concrete
Glass-fibre Reinforced Concrete
Asbestos fibres
Carbon fibres
Organic fibres

4.1.1. Steel Fiber-Reinforced Concrete

Steel fiber-reinforced concrete is basically a cheaper and easier to use form of rebar
reinforced concrete. Rebar reinforced concrete uses steel bars that are laid within the
liquid cement, which requires a great deal of prep work but make for a much stronger
Steel fiber-reinforced concrete uses thin steel wires mixed in with the cement. This
imparts the concrete with greater structural strength, reduces cracking and helps protect
against extreme cold. Steel fiber is often used in conjunction with rebar or one of the
other fiber types.

4.1.2. Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete

Glass fiber-reinforced concrete uses fiberglass, much like you would find in fiberglass
insulation, to reinforce the concrete.
The glass fiber helps insulate the concrete in addition to making it stronger. Glass fiber
also helps prevent the concrete from cracking over time due to mechanical or thermal
In addition, the glass fiber does not interfere with radio signals like the steel fiber
reinforcement does.
4.1.3. Synthetic Fibers
Synthetic fiber-reinforced concrete uses plastic and nylon fibers to improve the
concrete's strength. In addition, the synthetic fibers have a number of benefits over the
other fibers. While they are not as strong as steel, they do help improve the cement
pumpability by keeping it from sticking in the pipes. The synthetic fibers do not expand
in heat or contract in the cold which helps prevent cracking. Finally synthetic fibers
help keep the concrete from spalling during impacts or fires.

4.1.4. Natural Fiber Reinforced Concrete

Historically, fiber-reinforced concrete have used natural fibers, such as hay or hair.
While these fibers help the concrete's strength they can also make it weaker if too much
is used. In addition if the natural fibers are rotting when they are mixed in then the rot
can continue while in the concrete. This eventually leads to the concrete crumbling from
the inside, which is why natural fibers are no longer used in construction.

5.1. Benefit of Polypropylene and Nylon fibers can:

Improve mix cohesion, improving pump ability over long distances
Improve freeze-thaw resistance
Improve resistance to explosive spelling in case of a severe fire
Improve impact resistance
Increase resistance to plastic shrinkage during curing

5.2. Benefit of Steel fibers can:

Improve structural strength
Reduce steel reinforcement requirements
Improve ductility
Reduce crack widths and control the crack widths tightly, thus improving durability
Improve impact and abrasionresistance
Improve freeze-thaw resistance
Improve mix cohesion, improving pumpability over long distances
Improve freeze-thaw resistance
Improve resistance to explosive spailing in case of a severe fire
Improve impact resistance and abrasionresistance
Increase resistance to plastic shrinkage during curing
Improve structural strength
Reduce steel reinforcement requirements
Improve ductility.
Reduce crack widths and control the crack widths tightly, thus improving durability

Blends of both steel and polymeric fibers are often used in construction projects in order to
combine the benefits of both products; structural improvements provided by steel fibers and
the resistance to explosive spalling and plastic shrinkage improvements provided by polymeric

In certain specific circumstances, steel fiber or macro synthetic fibers can entirely replace
traditional steel reinforcement bar ("rebar") in reinforced concrete. This is most common in
industrial flooring but also in some other precasting applications. Typically, these are
corroborated with laboratory testing to confirm that performance requirements are met. Care
should be taken to ensure that local design code requirements are also met, which may impose
minimum quantities of steel reinforcement within the concrete. There are increasing numbers
of tunnelling projects using precast lining segments reinforced only with steel fibers.

5.3. Benefit of fibers of fiber reinforced concretes:

1. Improved durability of the structure
2. Increased tensile and flexural strengths
3. Higher resistance to later cracking
4. Improved crack distribution
5. Reduced shrinkage of early age concrete
6. Increased fire resistance of concrete
7. Negative influence on workability
8. Improved homogeneity of fresh concrete

Fibers are usually used in concrete to control cracking due to plastic shrinkage and to drying
shrinkage. They also reduce the permeability of concrete and thus reduce bleeding of water.
Some types of fibers produce greater impact, abrasion, and shatterresistance in concrete.
Generally fibers do not increase the flexural strength of concrete, and so cannot
replace momentresisting or structural steel reinforcement. Indeed, some fibers actually reduce
the strength of concrete.
The amount of fibers added to a concrete mix is expressed as a percentage of the total volume
of the composite (concrete and fibers), termed "volume fraction" (Vf). Vf typically ranges from
0.1 to 3%. The aspect ratio (l/d) is calculated by dividing fiber length (l) by its diameter (d).
Fibers with a non-circular cross section use an equivalent diameter for the calculation of aspect
ratio. If the fiber's modulus of elasticity is higher than the matrix (concrete or mortar binder),
they help to carry the load by increasing the tensile strength of the material. Increasing the
aspect ratio of the fiber usually segments the flexural strength and toughness of the matrix.
However, fibers that are too long tend to "ball" in the mix and create workability problems.
Some recent research indicated that using fibers in concrete has limited effect on the impact
resistance of the materials. This finding is very important since traditionally, people think that
ductility increases when concrete is reinforced with fibers. The results also indicated that the
use of micro fibers offers better impact resistance to that of longer fibers.
The High Speed 1 tunnel linings incorporated concrete containing 1 kg/m of polypropylene
fibers, of diameter 18 & 32 m, giving the benefits noted below.
Fibres are usually used in concrete to control plastic shrinkage cracking and drying shrinkage
cracking. They also lower the permeability of concrete and thus reduce bleeding of water. Some
types of fibres produce greater impact, abrasion and shatter resistance in concrete. Generally
fibres do not increase the flexural strength of concrete, so it cannot replace moment resisting
or structural steel reinforcement. Some fibres reduce the strength of concrete.
The amount of fibres added to a concrete mix is measured as a percentage of the total volume
of the composite (concrete and fibres) termed volume fraction (V f). Vf typically ranges from
0.1 to 3%. Aspect ratio (l/d) is calculated by dividing fibre length (l) by its diameter (d). Fibres
with a non-circular cross section use an equivalent diameter for the calculation of aspect ratio.
If the modulus of elasticity of the fibre is higher than the matrix (concrete or mortar binder),
they help to carry the load by increasing the tensile strength of the material. Increase in the
aspect ratio of the fibre usually segments the flexural strength and toughness of the matrix.
However, fibres which are too long tend to ball in the mix and create workability problems.
It is important to understand the effect of fibers in concrete mechanism. The composite will
carry increasing loads after the first cracking of the matrix if the pull-out resistance of the fibers
at the first crack is greater than the load at first cracking. At the cracked section, the matrix
does not resist any tension and the fibers carry the entire load taken by the composite. With an
increasing load on the composite, the fibers will tend to transfer the additional stress to the
matrix through bond stresses.
This process of multiple cracking will continue until either fibers fail or the accumulated local
deboning will lead to fiber pull-out. Fibres such as graphite and glass have excellent resistance
to creep, while the same is not true for most resins. Therefore, the orientation and volume of
fibres have a significant influence on the creep performance of rebars/tendons. It has been
recognized that the addition of small,
Closely spaced and uniformly dispersed fibres to concrete would act as crack arrester and
would substantially improve its static and dynamic properties. Reinforced concrete itself is a
composite material, where the reinforcement acts as the strengthening fibre and the concrete as
the matrix. It is therefore imperative that the behavior under thermal stresses for the two
materials be similar so that the differential deformations of concrete and the reinforcement are
figure: PCC & FRC

figure: FRC structure


Fibre reinforced concrete is the composite material containing fibres in the cement matrix in
an orderly manner or randomly distributed manner. Its properties would obviously, depends
upon the efficient transfer of stress between matrix and the fibres. The factors are briefly
discussed below:

6.1. Relative fibre Matrix Stiffness

The modulus of elasticity of matrix must be much lower than that of fibre for efficient stress
transfer. Low modulus of fibre such as nylons and polypropylene are, therefore, unlikely to
give strength improvement, but the help in the absorbsion of large energy and therefore, impart
greater degree of toughness and resistance to impart. High modulus fibres such as steel, glass
and carbon impart strength and stiffness to the composite.
Interfacial bond between the matrix and the fibre also determine the effectiveness of stress
transfer, from the matrix to the fibre. A good bond is essential for improving tensile strength
of the composite. The interfacial bond could be improved by larger area of contact, improving
the frictional properties and degree of gripping and by treating the steel fibres with sodium
hydroxide or acetone.

Figure. Reinforcement in a concrete matrix

6.2. Volume of Fibres
The strength of the composite largely depends on the quantity of fibres used in it. the increase
in the volume of fibres, increase approximately linearly, the tensile strength and toughness of
the composite. Use of higher percentage of fibre is likely to cause segregation and harshness
of concrete and mortar

Figure. Stress v/s Strain on fibre volume curve

Figure. Effect of volume of fibres Figure. Effect of volume of fibres in tension

6.3. Aspect Ratio of the Fibre
Another important factor which influences the properties and behavior of the composite is the
aspect ratio of the fibre. The Aspect Ratio of a fibre is the ratio of its length to its equivalent
diameter. As long as a fibres basic shape, tensile strength, dosage and anchorage mechanism
remain the same, a higher aspect ratio will result in a steel fibre reinforced concrete element
having a higher post- crack load carrying capacity. This improved performance is due to the
increased fibre count i.e. there are more fibres providing tensile capacity at each cracked
section. The Aspect Ratio of the fibres chosen for a particular application is a function of
economics and performance.
It has been reported that up to aspect ratio of 75, increase on the aspect ratio increases the
ultimate concrete linearly. Beyond 75, relative strength and toughness is reduced. Table 1.1
shows the effect of aspect ratio on strength and toughness.

Table1. Aspect ratio of the fibre

Type of Plain concrete With


Ratio 0 25

Relative 1 1.5

Relative 1 2.0
6.4. Orientation of Fibres
One of the differences between conventional reinforcement and fibre reinforcement is that in
conventional reinforcement, bars are oriented in the direction desired while fibres are randomly
oriented. To see the effect of randomness, mortar specimens reinforced with 0.5% volume of
fibres were tested. In one set specimens, fibres were aligned in the direction of the load, in
another in the direction perpendicular to that of the load, and in the third randomly distributed.
It was observed that the fibres aligned parallel to the applied load offered more tensile strength
and toughness than randomly distributed or perpendicular fibres.

6.5. Workability and Compaction of Concrete

It is well known that the addition of any type of fibers to plain concrete reduces the workability.
Incorporation of steel fibre decreases the workability considerably. This situation adversely
affects the consolidation of fresh mix. Even prolonged external vibration fails to compact the
concrete. The fibre volume at which this situation is reached depends on the length and
diameter of the fibre. Since fibres impart considerable stability to a fresh concrete mass, the
slump cone test is not a good index of workability.
For example, introduction of 1.5 volume percent steel or glass fibres to a concrete with 200
mm of slump is likely to reduce the slum of the mixture to about 25 mm, but the placeability
of the concrete and its compactability under vibration may still be satisfactory.
Therefore, the Vebe test is considered more appropriate for evaluating the workability of fibre-
reinforce concrete mixtures. Another consequence of poor workability is non-uniform
distribution of the fibres. Generally, the workability and compaction standard of the mix is
improved through increased water/ cement ratio or by the use of some kind of water reducing

6.6. Size of Coarse Aggregate

Maximum size of the coarse aggregate should be restricted to 10mm, to avoid appreciable
reduction in strength of the composite. fibres also in effect, act as aggregate. Although they
have a simple geometry, their influence on the properties of fresh concrete is complex. The
inter-particle friction between fibres and between fibres and aggregates controls the orientation
and distribution of the fibres and consequently the properties of the composite. Friction
reducing admixtures and admixtures that improve the cohesiveness of the mix can significantly
improve the mix.
6.7. Mixing
Mixing of fibre reinforced concrete needs careful conditions to avoid balling of fibres,
segregation and in general the difficulty of mixing the materials uniformly. Increase in the
aspect ratio, volume percentage and size and quantity of coarse aggregate intensify the
difficulties and balling tendency. Steel fibre content in excess of 2% by volume and aspect ratio
of more than 100 are difficult to mix.
Mixing of FRC can be accomplished by many methods. The mix should have a uniform
dispersion of the fibres in order to prevent segregation or balling of the fibres during mixing.
Most balling occurs during the fibre addition process. Increase of aspect ratio, volume
percentage of fibre, and size and quantity of coarse aggregate will intensify the balling
tendencies and decrease the workability. To coat the large surface area of the fibres with paste,
experience indicated that a water cement ratio between 0.4 and 0.6, and minimum cement
content of 400 kg/m3 are required. Compared to conventional concrete, fibre reinforced
concrete mixes are generally characterized by higher cement factor, higher fine aggregate
content, and smaller size coarse aggregate.
A fibre mix generally requires more vibration to consolidate the mix. External vibration is
preferable to prevent fibre segregation. Metal trowels, tube floats, and rotating power floats
can be used to finish the surface.It is important that the fibres are dispersed uniformly
throughout the mix; this can be done by the addition of the fibres before the water is added.
When mixing in a laboratory mixer, introducing the fibres through a wire mesh basket will help
even distribution of fibres. For field use, other suitable methods must be adopted.

Figure. Adding fiber in concrete


Following are the different type of fibres generally used in the construction industries. Into this
chapter we include the different types of fiber and its composition and after and we defined the
its dfference to each other.

7.1. Steel fibre Reinforced Concrete

A number of steel fibre types are available as reinforcement. Round steel fibre the commonly
used type are produced by cutting round wire in to short length. The typical diameter lies in the
range of 0.25 to 0.75mm. Steel fibres having a rectangular c/s are produced by silting the sheets
about 0.25mm thick. Fibre made from mild steel drawn wire. Conforming to IS: 280-1976 with
the diameter of wire varying from 0.3 to 0.5mm have been practically used in India.
Round steel fibres are produced by cutting or chopping the wire, flat sheet fibres having a
typical c/s ranging from 0.15 to 0.41mm in thickness and 0.25 to 0.90mm in width are produced
by silting flat sheets. Deformed fibre, which are loosely bounded with water-soluble glue in
the form of a bundle are also available. Since individual fibres tend to cluster together, their
uniform distribution in the matrix is often difficult. This may be avoided by adding fibres
bundles, which separate during the mixing process. The steel fibre reinforcement not only
improves the toughness of the material, the impact and the fatigue resistance of concrete, but
it also increases the material resistance to cracking and, hence to water and chloride ingress
with significant improvement in durability of concrete structures. Therefore, the use of SFRC
in tunnel structures represents an attractive technical solution with respect to the conventional
steel reinforcement, because it reduces both the labour costs (e.g. due to the placement of the
conventional steel bars) and the construction costs (e.g. forming and storage of classical
reinforcement frames, risks of spalling during transportation and laying). For beams containing
both fibres and continuous reinforcing bars, the situation is complex, since the fibres act in two
They permit the tensile strength of the SFRC to be used in design, because the matrix will no
longer lose its load-carrying capacity at first crack.
They improve the bond between the matrix and the reinforcing bars by inhibiting the growth
of cracks emanating form the deformations (lugs) on the bars.
Figure. Different type of steel fibre

Structural use of SFRC As recommended by ACI Committee 544, when used in structural
applications, steel fibre reinforced concrete should only be used in a supplementary role to
inhibit cracking, to improve resistance to impact or dynamic loading, and to resist material
disintegration. In structural members where flexural or tensile loads will occur the reinforcing
steel must be capable of supporting the total tensile load. Thus, while there are a number of
techniques for predicting the strength of beams reinforced only with steel fibres, there are no
predictive equations for large SFRC beams, since these would be expected to contain
conventional reinforcing bars as well.
However, it is the improved tensile strength of SFRC that is mostly considered in the beam
analysis, since the improvements in bond strength are much more difficult to quantify. Steel
fibres have been shown to increase the ultimate moment and ultimate deflection of
conventionally reinforced beams; the higher the tensile stress due to the fibres, the higher the
ultimate moment.

7.2. Polypropylene Fibre Reinforced (PFR) cement

Polypropylene fibre reinforced concrete or mortar is an additive to concrete and mixes which
considerably reduces the risk of drying cracks. The plastic fibres consist of polypropylene
fibres which are resistant in alkaline environments and the length and dosage of which can vary
depending on what properties are required.
Polypropylene fibre was first used to reinforce concrete in the 1960s. Polypropylene is a
synthetic hydrocarbon polymer, the fibre of which is made using extrusion processes by hot-
drawing the material through a die. Polypropylene fibres are produced as continuous mono-
filaments, with circular cross section that can be chopped to required lengths, or fibrillated
films or tapes of rectangular cross section. Polypropylene fibres are hydrophobic and therefore
have the disadvantages of poor bond characteristics with cement matrix, a low melting point,
high combustibility and a relatively low modulus of elasticity. Long polypropylene fibres can
prove difficult to mix due to their flexibility and tendency to wrap around the leading edges of
mixer blades.Polypropylene fibres are tough but have low tensile strength and modulus of
elasticity; they have a plastic stress-strain characteristic.
Polypropylene is one of the cheapest & abundantly available polymers polypropylene fibres
are resistant to most chemical & it would be cementitious matrix which would deteriorate first
under aggressive chemical attack. Its melting point is high (about 165 degrees centigrade). So
that a working temp. As (100 degree centigrade) may be sustained for short periods without
detriment to fibre properties.
Polypropylene fibres being hydrophobic can be easily mixed as they do not need lengthy
contact during mixing and only need to be evenly distressed in the mix.
Polypropylene short fibres in small volume fractions between 0.5 to 15 commercially used in
Polypropylene fibre reinforced concrete or mortars are used for:
Considerably reducing the risk that drying cracks will arise during dry, windy and hot weather.

7.2.1. Improving the cohesion between fresh concrete batches.

Improving the ability to pump through pipes and hoses of smaller dimensions and through
greater pumping distances.
Improving workability while pouring.

7.2.2. Areas of application

Used in concrete and mortar where there is a risk of dry cracking. Drying cracks are most often
formed in the case of concrete pouring that is carried out without protection during weather
that is dry, windy or hot. Casting of slabs, beams and cast on structures that are particularly
vulnerable. It can be difficult to protect concrete or mortar against dry cracking immediately
after pouring has been completed.
In such situations, the plastic fibre reinforcement is a simple and effective aid, until the surface
can be protected by using conventional methods such as water, well- functioning curing
membranes or coverings. Mixing in plastic fibre reinforcement does not replace normal curing
Figure. Polypropylene fibre reinforced cement-mortar & concrete

7.3. Glass-fibre Reinforced Concrete

Glass fibre is made up from 200-400 individual filaments which are lightly bonded to make up
a stand. These stands can be chopped into various lengths, or combined to make cloth mat or
tape. Using the conventional mixing techniques for normal concrete it is not possible to mix
more than about 2% (by volume) of fibres of a length of 25mm.
The test results showed that alkali reactivity between the E-glass fibres and the cement-paste
reduced the strength of the concrete. Continued research resulted in alkali-resistant glass fibres
(AR-glass), that improved long-term durability, but sources of other strength-loss trends were
observed. One acknowledged source was fibre embrittlement stemming from infiltration of
calcium hydroxide particles, by-products of cement hydration, into fibre bundles. The major
appliance of glass fibre has been in reinforcing the cement or mortar matrices used in the
production of thin-sheet products. The commonly used verities of glass fibres are e-glass used.
In the reinforced of plastics & AR glass E-glass has inadequate resistance to alkalis present in
Portland cement where AR-glass has improved alkali resistant characteristics. Sometimes
polymers are also added in the mixes to improve some physical properties such as moisture

Figure. Glass-fibre reinforced concrete

7.4. Asbestos fibres
The naturally available inexpensive mineral fibre, asbestos, has been successfully combined
with Portland cement paste to form a widely used product called asbestos cement. Asbestos
fibres here thermal mechanical & chemical resistance making
them suitable for sheet product pipes, tiles and corrugated roofing elements Asbestos cement
board is approximately two or four times that of unreinforced matrix. However, due to
relatively short length (10mm) the fibre have low impact strength.

Figure. Asbestos fibre

7.5. Carbon fibres

Carbon fibres are manufactured by carbonizing suitable organic materials in fibrous forms at
high temperatures and then aligning the resultant graphite crystallites by hot-stretching. The
fibres are manufactured as either Type I (high modulus) or Type II (high strength) and are
dependent upon material source and extent of hot stretching for their physical properties.
Carbon fibres are available in a variety of forms and have a febrile structure similar to that of
Carbon fibre made from petroleum and coal pitch is less expensive than the conventional
carbon fibre made from fibrous materials. The Type I and II carbon fibres produced by
carbonizing suitable organic materials other than petroleum-based materials are 20 to 40 times
stronger and have a modulus of elasticity up to 100 times greater than the pitch-based carbon
fibre. Carbon fibres from the most recent & probability the most spectacular addition to the
range of fibre available for commercial use. Carbon fibre comes under the very high modulus
of elasticity and flexural strength. These are expansive.
Their strength & stiffness characteristics have been found to be superior even to those of steel.
But they are more vulnerable to damage than even glass fibre, and hence are generally treated
with resign coating. Tensile creep is reduced slightly, but flexural creep can be substantially
reduced when very stiff carbon fibres are used

Figure. Carbon fibres

Carbon fibre cement-matrix composites are structural materials that are gaining in importance
quite rapidly due to the decrease in carbon fibre cost and the increasing demand of superior
structural and functional properties. These composites contain short carbon fibres, typically 5
mm in length, as the short fibres can be used as an admixture in concrete (whereas continuous
fibres cannot be simply added to the concrete mix) and short fibres are less expensive than
continuous fibres..(The air void content increases with fibre content and air voids tend to have
a negative effect on many properties, such as the compressive strength.) Effective use of the
carbon fibres in concrete requires dispersion of the fibres in the mix. The dispersion is enhanced
by using silica fume (a fine particulate) as an admixture.
A typical silica fume content is 15% by weight of cement. The silica fume is typically used
along with a small amount (0.4% by weight of cement) of methylcellulose for helping the
dispersion of the fibres and the workability of the mix. Latex (typically 15 20% by weight of
cement) is much less effective than silica fume for helping the fibre dispersion, but it enhances
the workability, Flexural strength, Flexural toughness, impact resistance, frost resistance and
acid resistance. The ease of dispersion increases with decreasing fibre length.The improved
structural properties rendered by carbon fibre addition pertain to the increased tensile and
flexible strengths, the increased tensile ductility and flexural toughness, the enhanced impact
resistance, the reduced drying shrinkage and the improved freeze thaw durability.
Figure. Figure of Carbon Fibre

7.6. Organic fibres

Organic fibre such as polypropylene or natural fibre may be chemically more inert than either
steel or glass fibres. They are also cheaper, especially if natural. A large volume of vegetable
fibre may be used to obtain a multiple cracking composite. The problem of mixing and uniform
dispersion may be solved by adding a super plasticizer.

Figure. Organic fibre


There is a new generation of high performance fiber-reinforced composites. In many of these

materials the strength, toughness, and durability are significantly improved which were not
easily achieved by normal fibre reinforced concrete. Here some new type of fibre reinforced
concrete discussed

Compact Reinforced Composites

Reactive Powder Concrete
Slurry-Infiltrated-fibred concrete
Engineered Cementitious Composite (EEC)

8.1. Compact Reinforced Composites (CRC)

Compact Reinforced Composites is a material consisting of an extremely strong, dense cement
matrix, 20-30% silica fumes by weight of cement, 10-20% by volume off conventional
reinforcement and 5-10% of fine fibres of 6 mm long and 0.15 mm diameter. While such a
material is extremely expensive.
it exhibits a flexural strength up to 260 MPa and compressive strength about 200 MPa.
Advantage is that it can be moulded and fabricated at site.
Researchers in Denmark created Compact Reinforced Composites using metal fibres, 6 mm
long and 0.15 mm in diameter, and volume fractions in the range of 5 to 10 %.
High frequency vibration is needed to obtain adequate compaction. These short fibres increase
the tensile strength and toughness of the material.
The increase of strength is greater than the increase in ductility; therefore the structural design
of large beams and slabs requires that a higher amount of reinforcing bars be used to take
advantage of the composite.
The short fibres are an efficient mechanism of crack control around the reinforcing bars.
the final cost of the structure will be much higher than if the structure would be made by
traditional methods, therefore the use of compact reinforced composites is mainly justified
when the structure requires special behaviour, such as high impact resistance or very high
mechanical properties.
8.2. Reactive Powder Concrete (RPC)
Investigators in France by adding metal fibres, 13 mm long and 0.15 mm in diameter, with a
maximum volume fraction of 2.5%.
This composite uses fibres that are twice as long as the compact reinforced composites
therefore, because of workability limitations, cannot incorporate the same volume fraction of

8.3. Slurry-Infiltrated-fibred concrete (SIFCON)

The processing of this composite consists in placing the fibres in a formwork and then
infiltrating a high w/c ratio mortar slurry to coat the fibres.
Compressive and tensile strengths up to 120 MPa and 40 MPa, respectively have been obtained.
Modulus of rupture up 90 MPa and shear strength up to 28 MPa has been also reported.
In direct tension along the direction of the fibres, the material shows a very ductile response.
This composite has been used in pavements slabs, and repair. SIFCON can be used blast
resistant structures and burglar proof safe vaults in bank and residential buildings.

8.4. Engineered Cementitious Composite (ECC)

The ultra high-ductility of this composite, 3-7% was obtained by optimizing the interactions
between fiber, matrix and its interface. Mathematical models were developed so that a small
volume fraction of 2% was able to provide the large ductility. The material has a very high
stain capacity and toughness and controlled crack propagation. The manufacturing of ECC can
be done by normal casting or by extrusion. By using an optimum amount of super plasticizer
and non-ionic polymer with steric action,

Addition of fibres to concrete influences its mechanical properties which significantly depend
on the type and percentage of fibre. Fibres with end anchorage and high aspect ratio were found
to have improved effectiveness.
It was shown that for the same length and diameter, crimped-end fibres can achieve the same
properties as straight fibres using 40 percent less fibres. In determining the mechanical
properties of FRC, the same equipment and procedure as used for conventional concrete can
also be used.
Below are cited some properties of FRC determined by different researchers.

9.1. Compressive Strength

The presence of fibres may alter the failure mode of cylinders, but the fibre effect will be minor
on the improvement of compressive strength values (0 to 15 percent). Fibres do little to enhance
the static compressive strength of concrete, with increases in strength ranging from essentially
nil to perhaps 15%. Even in members who contain conventional reinforcement in addition to
the steel fibres, the fibres have little effect on compressive strength. However, the fibres do
substantially increase the post-cracking ductility, or energy absorption of the material.

9.2. Modulus of Elasticity

Modulus of elasticity of FRC increases slightly with an increase in the fibres content.
It was found that for each 1 percent increase in fibre content by volume there is an increase of
3 percent in the modulus of elasticity.

9.3. Flexure
The flexural strength was reported to be increased by 2.5 times using 4 percent fibres. Steel
fibres are generally found to have aggregate much greater effect on the flexural strength of
SFRC than on either the compressive or tensile strength, with increases of more than 100%
having been reported. The increase in flexural strength is particularly sensitive, not only to the
fibre volume, but also to the aspect ratio of the fibres, with higher aspect ratio leading to larger
strength increases.
9.4. Toughness
For FRC, toughness is about 10 to 40 times that of plain concrete. The toughness index of FRC
is increased up to 20 folds (for 1.5 percent hooked fibre content) indicating excellent energy
absorbing capacity.
Splitting Tensile Strength The presence of 3 percent fibre by volume was reported to increase
the splitting tensile strength of mortar about 2.5 times that of the unreinforced one.

9.5. Fatigue Strength

The addition of fibres increases fatigue strength of about 90 percent and 70 percent of the static
strength at 2 x 106 cycles for non-reverse and full reversal of loading, respectively.

9.6. Impact Resistance

The impact strength for fibrous concrete is generally 5 to 10 times that of plain concrete
depending on the volume of fibre used.

9.7. Corrosion of Steel Fibres

When well compacted and cured concretes containing steel fibers seem to possess excellent
durability as long as fibers remain protected by the cement paste. In most environments,
especially those containing chloride, surface rusting is inevitable but the fibers in the interior
usually remain uncorded.
An l0-year exposure of steel fibrous mortar to outdoor weathering in an industrial atmosphere
showed no adverse effect on the strength properties Steel fibrous mortar continuously immerse
in seawater for 10 years exhibited a 15 percent loss compared to 40 percent strength decrease
of plain mortar.
9.8. Cracking and Deflection
Tests have shown that fibre reinforcement effectively controls cracking and de- flection, in
addition to strength improvement. In conventionally reinforced concrete beams, fibre addition
increases stiffness, and reduces deflection.

Figure: cracking and deflection graph


The uniform dispersion of fibres throughout the concrete mix provides isotropic properties not
common to conventionally reinforced concrete. The applications of fibres in concrete industries
depend on the designer and builder in taking advantage of the static and dynamic characteristics
of this new material. The main area of FRC applications are

10.1. Runway, Aircraft Parking, and Pavements

For the same wheel load FRC slabs could be about one half the thickness of plain concrete slab.
Compared to a 375mm thickness' of conventionally reinforced concrete slab, a 150mm thick
crimped-end FRC slab was used to overlay an existing asphaltic paved aircraft parking area.
FRC pavements are now in service in severe and mild environments.

10.2. Tunnel Lining and Slope Stabilization

Steel fibre reinforced shotcrete (SFRS) are being used to line underground openings and rock
slope stabilization. It eliminates the need for mesh reinforcement and scaffolding.

10.3. Blast Resistant Structures

When plain concrete slabs are reinforced conventionally, tests showed that there is no reduction
of fragment velocities or number of fragments under blast and shock waves. Similarly,
reinforced slabs of fibrous concrete, however, showed 20 percent reduction in velocities, and
over 80 percent in fragmentations.

10.4. Thin Shell, Walls, Pipes, and Manholes

Fibrous concrete permits the use of thinner flat and curved structural elements. Steel fibrous
shotcrete is used in the construction of hemispherical domes using the inflated membrane
process. Glass fibre reinforced cement or concrete (GFRC), made by the spray-up process,
have been used to construct wall panels. Steel and glass fibres addition in concrete pipes and
manholes improves strength, reduces thickness, and diminishes handling damages
Figure. Segments

10.5. Dam sand Hydraulic Structure

FRC is being used for the construction and repair of dams and other hydraulic structures to
provide resistance to cavitation and severe erosion caused by the impact of large water born

10.6. Other Applications

These include machine tool frames, lighting poles, water and oil tanks and concrete repairs.
11. Some developments in fiber-reinforced concrete

An FRC sub-category named High-Performance Fiber Reinforced Concrete (HPFRC) claims

500 times more resistance to cracking and 40 percent lighter than traditional concrete. HPFRC
claims it can sustain strain-hardening up to several percent strain, resulting in a
material ductility of at least two orders of magnitude higher when compared to normal concrete
or standard fiber-reinforced concrete. HPFRC also claims a unique cracking behavior. When
loaded to beyond the elastic range,
HPFRC maintains crack width to below 100 m, even when deformed to several percent
tensile strains. Field results with HPFRC and The Michigan Department of Transportation
resulted in early-age cracking.
Recent studies performed on a high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete in a bridge deck
found that adding fibers provided residual strength and controlled cracking. There were fewer
and narrower cracks in the FRC even though the FRC had more shrinkage than the control.
Residual strength is directly proportional to the fiber content.
Some studies were performed using waste carpet fibers in concrete as an environmentally
friendly use of recycled carpet waste. A carpet typically consists of two layers of backing
(usually fabric from polypropylene tape yarns)
joined by CaCO3 filled styrene-butadiene latex rubber (SBR), and face fibers (majority being
nylon 6 and nylon 66 textured yarns). Such nylon and polypropylene fibers can be used for
concrete reinforcement. Other ideas are emerging to use recycled materials as fibers:
recycled Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fiber, for example.

Figure: FRC used ornamental structure


The efficient utilization of fibrous concrete involves improved static and dynamic properties
like tensile strength, energy absorbing characteristics, Impact strength and fatigue strength.
Also provides a isotropic strength properties not common in the conventional concrete.
It will, however be wrong to say that fibrous concrete will provide a universal solution to the
problems associated with plain concrete. Hence it is not likely to replace the conventional
structural concrete in total.
Superior crack resistance and greater ductility with distinct post cracking behaviour are some
of the important static properties of FRC. The enormous increase in impact resistance and
fatigue resistance allow the new material to be used in some specified applications where
conventional concrete is at a disadvantage.
A new approach in design and in the utilization of this material, to account for both increase in
performance and economics is therefore, needed.