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Concrete reinforced with deformed steel fibers,

part I: Bond-slip mechanisms



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University of British Columbia - Vancouver


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Title no. 91-M43

Concrete Reinforced with Deformed Steel Fibers, Part I:

Bond-Slip Mechanisms

by Nemkumar Banthia and Jean-Franois Trottier

Bond-slip characteristics were investigated for three deformed steel fibers ber load. In spite of a belief sometimes held, that no correla-
bonded in concrete matrixes with different strengths. Fibers were aligned at tion exists between the behavior of a fiber in a single fiber
0, 15, 30, 45, and 60 deg with respect to the loading direction, and com- pullout test and its behavior in a real composite,1,2 single fi-
plete load-versus-slip curves were obtained. It was found that the bond-slip ber pullout tests are routinely conducted to optimize fiber
characteristics of fibers aligned with respect to the loading direction were
significantly superior to those for inclined fibers. Inclined fibers supported
and matrix characteristics and understand the mechanisms of
smaller peak pullout loads and absorbed less pullout energy than the fiber reinforcement.
aligned fibers. A high-strength matrix often caused brittle fiber and matrix Pullout characteristics of steel fibers embedded in cemen-
failures, and led to reductions in the energy-absorption capability. The titious matrixes have been studied as a function of several
paper provides interpretations of the bond-slip curves based on various
variables, including the rate of load application,3,4 tempera-
micromechanical processes in the matrix and fiber, and identifies the con-
ditions that lead to a brittle response. The bond-slip information generated
ture of the environment,5 processing variables and matrix
in this study for the various deformed fibers will be correlated to the actual quality,6-8 and other test variables such as fiber inclination,
behavior of fiber reinforced concrete in the second part of this paper. etc.9 In addition, a number of matrix and fiber modifications
have been examined as a way of improving the bond-slip
Keywords: bond-slip; fibers ; pullout tests; reinforced concrete; steel characteristics of fibers in a cementitious matrix. These in-
fibers; toughness. clude matrix modifications like silica fume and polymer
additions10-12 and fiber surface modifications such as coat-
The idea of using discontinuous, ductile fibers to reinforce ings, surface indenting, and notching.13-15
brittle materials is not new, yet interest in reinforcing con- Among the various attempts made to improve the bond-
crete with steel and other fibers has grown steadily within the slip characteristics of steel fibers bonded in cementitious ma-
past 30 years, based on pioneering research done in the trixes, the most effective is mechanical deforming. Steel fi-
1960s. The current uses of steel fibers in concrete or shot- bers have a distinct advantage over other fibers in terms of
crete include shear reinforcement in structural elements, the relative ease with which they can be deformed and in-
blast-resistant structures, precast products and tilt-up con- dented to improve their anchorage in concrete. Mechanical
struction, tunnel linings and slope stabilization works, re- deformations in the form of a hook, cone, or crimp placed at
pairs and rehabilitation, and, perhaps most significantly, the end or along the fiber length to provide positive end-an-
slab-on-grade applications. chorage in concrete have proven to be very effective in im-
As with any other composite, the importance of fiber-ma- proving pullout resistance.16-18 It is not surprising, therefore,
trix bond in fiber reinforced concrete is well recognized. In a that almost all commercially available fibers at present are
cement-based composite under tension or flexure, the brittle mechanically deformed.
matrix is almost always the first to fail by cracking. Fibers, Unfortunately, most of the fiber-matrix bond-slip studies
if well bonded in the matrix, transmit stresses across these to date have investigated straight fibers without any defor-
matrix cracks and preserve the load-carrying capacity of the mations. Our understanding of deformed fibers, therefore, is
section. The resistance of the section to further crack open- limited and largely inadequate. No general theory relating fi-
ing depends largely on the bond-slip characteristics of the
bridging fibers, and a number of possibilities, including
complete fiber pullout to fiber fracture across a crack, exist. ACI Materials Journal , V. 91, No. 5, September-October 1994.
Received May 26, 1993, and reviewed under Institute publication policies. Copy-
The effectiveness of a given fiber as a medium of stress right 1994, American Concrete Institute. All rights reserved, including the making
of copies unless permission is obtained from the copyright proprietors. Pertinent dis-
transfer is often assessed using a single fiber pullout test, cussion will be published in the July-August 1995 ACI Materials Journal if received
where fiber slip is monitored as a function of the applied fi- by Apr. 1, 1995.

ACI Materials Journal / September-October 1994 435

Nemkumar Banthia is an associate professor of civil engineering in the Department
of Civil Engineering, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Colum-
bia, Canada. He serves on various ACI, RILEM, and CSCE committees and has con-
ducted extensive research on fiber reinforced cement composites.

Jean-Franois Trottier was a graduate student at Laval University, Quebec, when

this work was carried out. Now he is an assistant professor of civil engineering in the
Department of Civil Engineering, the Technical University of Nova Scotia, Halifax,
Nova Scotia, Canada.

Table 1Fibers investigated

Fiber Longitudinal Cross-section Length, Size, mm strength, Weight,
code profile shape mm g

F1 Hooked-end Circular 60 0.8 diameter 1115 0.263

F2 Crimped Circular 40 1.0 diameter 1037 0.280

F3 Twin-cone Circular 62 1.0 diameter 1198 0.403

Table 2Mix proportions

Cement Water, Aggregate Sand, Water-reducing Air-entraining
Mix agent, ml/100 kg agent, ml/kg
Type I, kg/m3 kg/m 3 10 mm, kg/m3 kg/m3 (cement) (cement)
Normal strength 373 168 975 800 200 0.1
concrete I
Midstrength 420 147 975 800 220 0.2
concrete II
High-strength 452 136 1030 780 495 0.1
concrete III

ber geometry to pullout or composite behavior presently ex- be determined and related to the bond-slip observations of
ists and, consequently, all of the commercial geometries are this paper.
only intuitive.
In the case of a deformed fiber, both fiber and matrix are RESEARCH SIGNIFICANCE
severely stressed during pullout, and instances of fiber frac- Significant research has so far been conducted to under-
ture and matrix splitting occur more commonly than in stand the pullout characteristics of straight, undeformed steel
straight fibers.10 With the transfer of stresses not only fibers bonded in cement-based matrixes. Straight, unde-
through elastic or frictional interfacial bond but also through formed fibers, however, are rarely used in practice, and all
anchorage, a number of existing theories developed for commercial fibers available today are deformed in geometry.
straight fibers are of limited usefulness for deformed fibers. Therefore, the need exists to clearly understand the effects of
Further complications arise when fibers are inclined with re- fiber geometry, matrix properties, loading characteristics,
spect to the loading direction, and the stress field in the vi- etc., on the bond-slip characteristics of deformed fibers, and
to correlate these to the actual behavior of steel fiber rein-
cinity of the fiber becomes highly complex, as occurs in an
forced concrete. Bond-slip characteristics of various de-
actual composite. Clearly, material properties like elastic
formed fibers embedded in matrixes with different strengths
modulus, strength, strain capacity, etc., for both fiber and
and inclined at various angles with respect to the loading di-
matrix, are more significant in the case of deformed fibers
rection are investigated here. In the second part of this paper,
than for straight fibers. that bond-slip information will be correlated with the tough-
An attempt is made in this study to clearly understand the ness of fiber reinforced concrete.
influence of various test and material variables on the bond-
slip characteristics of deformed steel fibers. Three deformed EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM
fibers with widely different geometries were chosen. Fibers Three deformed fibers shown in Table 1 were chosen for
were inclined at various angles with respect to the loading di- the pullout tests. Two of these fibers (F1 and F3) were end-
rection, and the effect of inclination on the bond-slip curves deformed and the third (F2) was fully deformed. Fibers F1
was examined. A particular attempt was made to identify the and F3 were investigated as received. Fiber F2, with a com-
factors that prompted a brittle response. In the second part of mercial length of 60 mm, was shortened by chopping its ends
this paper, the toughness characteristics of concretes rein- to a reduced length of 40 mm. This was done to avoid fiber
forced with various volume fractions of deformed fibers will fracture during the pullout test. Fibers had circular sections

436 ACI Materials Journal / September-October 1994

Table 3Properties of fresh concrete
Mix Slump, mm Air, percent Initial slump,
Time, sec
Normal strength 165 4.0 4.25 3.6
Midstrength 170 5.5 5.0 4.5
High-strength 205 4.5 7.0 3.4

Table 4Properties of hardened concrete

Compressive Modulus of Modulus of
strength, MPa elasticity, GPa rupture, MPa
Normal strength 40 39 5.19
Midstrength 52 38 7.19
High-strength 85 46 10.16

Fig. 1Photograph of pullout test in


but different diameters. They also had different tensile

Three concrete mixtures, shown in Table 2, were investi-
gated as matrixes. Cement Type I and a maximum aggregate
size of 10 mm were employed. The fresh concrete properties
of these normal strength, midstrength, and high-strength
mixes are given in Table 3. In Table 3, the air contents and
slump values are also reported, along with the Vebe time val-
ues for the three mixes. All mixes were adequately workable
and had normal air contents.
The compressive strength and modulus of elasticity for the
three mixes were determined at 28 days using 100 x 200-mm
cylinders per ASTM C 39 and C 469. Beams (100 x 100 x
350 mm) were also cast and tested per ASTM C 78 for mod-
ulus of rupture. Averaged results for six specimens are given
in Table 4. Normal strength, midstrength, and high-strength
mixes had developed average compressive strengths of 40,
52, and 85 MPa, respectively, on the 28th day. These mixes
also had widely different moduli of elasticity and rupture.
The pullout tests were performed using the specimens
shown in Fig. 1 with the dimension shown in Fig. 2. The
specimens were cast in two parts. The lower part was cast
first, with the fiber embedded in it, and allowed to cure for Fig. 2Schematic of pullout test (1 in. = 25.4 mm)
24 hr. Once hardened, concrete was poured in the upper part
and the assembly was further cured for a period of 28 days
until tested. Pullout tests were performed in a 150-kN floor- The load and slip data were digitally recorded using a 16-bit
mounted testing machine, as shown in Fig. 1. Load was ap- data acquisition system operating at a frequency of 10 Hz.
plied at a cross-arm travel rate of 0.5 mm/min and the ap- Fibers were inclined in the specimens with respect to the
plied load-versus-fiber slip curves were recorded. Fiber slips direction of loading at 0, 15, 30, 45, and 60 deg (angle in
were measured by two LVDT transducers (one coarse with a Fig. 2). Six specimens were tested in each category, giving a
total travel of 25 mm and the other fine with a total travel of total of 270 specimens (6 specimens x 3 mixes x 3 fiber ge-
1 mm). The fine LVDT facilitated accurate measurements in ometries x 5 inclinations).
the initial elastic portion of the load-versus-slip curve, where As part of the larger program, fiber reinforced concrete
the expected slips were only a small fraction of a millimeter. beams were also cast and toughness tests were performed per
ACI Materials Journal / September-October 1994 437
Fig. 3Prepeak bond-slip curves for aligned fibers F1, F2, and F3 in normal and high-
strength matrixes (1 kip = 4.448 kN; 1 in. = 25.4 mm)

Fig. 4Bond-slip curves for hooked-end fiber F1 in normal strength matrix at various
inclination angles (1 kip = 4.448 kN; 1 in. = 25.4 mm)

ASTM C 1018 and JSCE SF-4. Results from the toughness batch variations in the initial slope values were observed to
tests will be discussed in light of the pullout test data in the be smaller than those normally reported for smooth fibers.16
second part of this paper. Assuming that the load at the BOP corresponds to the break-
age of the elastic fiber-matrix bond, average interfacial bond
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION strength values between 2 and 8 MPa were calculated; the
Prepeak bond-slip characteristics higher values corresponded to highly deformed fibers pull-
Representative prepeak bond-slip curves for the three fi-
bers are shown in Fig. 3 for normal and high-strength matrix- ing out of high-strength matrixes. In the case of a highly de-
es. The pullout curves had a distinct linear initial portion formed fiber like F2, one may expect a much bigger core of
terminating in a bend over point (BOP) at which nonlinear concrete surrounding the fiber to take part in the process of
behavior began. stress transfer, giving higher values of the apparent average
Results indicate that the initial slopes of the bond-slip bond strength. In other words, a bearing component is also
curves for the three fibers are not the same. The slope of the included in the load at the BOP, such that higher values of
curve tends to increase with an increase in the strength of the apparent average bond strengths accrue. With a bigger core
matrix and the extent to which the fiber is deformed; Fiber of concrete taking part in the transfer of load, the effect of
F2 has a greater initial slope than Fibers F1 and F3. Within matrix strength also became more important in the case of
438 ACI Materials Journal / September-October 1994
Fig. 5Bond-slip curves for hooked-end fiber F1 in midstrength matrix at various inclina-
tion angles (1 kip = 4.448 kN; 1 in. = 25.4 mm)

Fig. 6Bond-slip curves for hooked-end fiber F1 in high-strength matrix at various incli-
nation angles

Fiber F2. For the moderately deformed Fiber F1, where the forced concrete at first crack is, however, not so apparent.
core remained relatively small, no clear influence of matrix Although, these curves relate to the behavior of bridging fi-
strength on the load at BOP became apparent. bers only after the matrix is cracked, some minor matrix
In the case of a smooth, undeformed fiber, a sudden drop cracking may be expected to occur even before a macrome-
in the load at the occurrence of the BOP is expected.10,16 chanical crack in the composite appears. In other words, fi-
However, in the case of a deformed fiber, fiber-matrix an- ber bridging may become active even before the first
chorage allows the pullout to continue at about the same or a perceived macromechanical crack appears in the composite.
Experience has indicated, however,19 that fiber geometry
higher load than that at the BOP. After the BOP, the shape of
usually has no influence on the load at first crack for fiber re-
the curve will depend not only on the geometry of the fiber
inforced concrete. The preceding trends are therefore rele-
itself but also on the constitutive and metallurgical character-
vant only after the occurrence of first crack.
istics of the steel employed, and in some cases (Fiber F3), be-
cause of the extreme anchorage conditions at the ends, fiber Bond-slip characteristics at peak pullout load
fracture may also occur. Representative pullout load-versus-fiber slip curves for
Relating these findings to the load supported by fiber rein- the various fibers at various inclinations are shown in Fig. 4

ACI Materials Journal / September-October 1994 439

Fig. 7Bond-slip curves for crimped fiber F2 in normal strength matrix at various incli-
nation angles (1 kip = 4.448 kN; 1 in. = 25.4 mm)

Fig. 8Bond-slip curves for crimped fiber F2 in midstrength matrix at various inclination
angles (1 kip = 4.448 kN; 1 in. = 25.4 mm)

through 12. Fig. 4, 5, and 6 represent hooked-end fiber F1 (and sometimes Fiber F1) fractured below their ultimate ten-
pulling out of a normal strength, midstrength, and high- sile strengths.
strength concrete matrix, respectively. The curves for Pullout curves were further analyzed for the peak values of
crimped fiber F2 are shown in Fig. 7 through 9 for the vari- load, corresponding slips at the peak loads, absorbed pullout
ous matrixes, and those for twin-cone fiber F3 are shown in energies at slips of 1 and 3 mm, and total pullout energies.
Fig. 10 through 12. Also indicated in Fig. 4 through 12 are These quantities are reported in Tables 5, 6, and 7 for Fibers
the ultimate tensile strengths (UTS) for the various fibers. F1, F2, and F3, respectively.
Except for one or two isolated cases, the loads in the case of The ultimate load supported by the fiber in the process of
Fiber F1 (Fig. 4 through 6) remained far below the ultimate pullout (regardless of the accompanying slip) represents the
tensile strength, and as such, fiber fracture did not occur. The maximum resistance the fiber can offer to crack-widening.
same applied to Fiber F2 (Fig. 7 through 9), where the loads Peak loads supported by Fibers F1, F2, and F3 in the three
came close to the ultimate tensile strength but fracture was matrixes are plotted as a function of the fiber inclination an-
prevented. In the case of Fiber F3 (Fig. 10 through 12), how- gle in Fig. 13. Note that, except for Fiber F1, the peak loads
ever, extreme anchorage at the ends led to fiber fracture in all decreased as the inclination angle was increased; in the case
cases. It is interesting to note that, when inclined, Fiber F3 of Fiber F1, the loads remained nearly unchanged. The lack
440 ACI Materials Journal / September-October 1994
Fig. 9Bond-slip curves for crimped fiber F2 in high-strength matrix at various inclina-
tion angles (1 kip = 4.448 kN; 1 in. = 25.4 mm)

Fig. 10Bond-slip curves for twin-cone fiber F3 in normal strength matrix at various
inclination angles

of dependence of the peak pullout load on fiber inclination For a deformed fiber under pullout load, the region past
for Fiber F1 is in accordance with the findings of Naaman the BOP (Fig. 3), but before the peak load, is where fiber de-
and Shah,9 who reported that for a straight fiber, the peak velops its full anchorage. It is also in this region that steel in
pullout load at an angle is at least as high as that for an the fiber slowly approaches yield conditions and, depending
aligned fiber. It appears that the mildly deformed hooked- on the properties of the steel employed, some strain harden-
end fiber F1 behaves more or less like a straight fiber in this ing may also occur. In either case, after BOP, the fiber slow-
regard. For the other, more deformed, fibers, like F2 and F3, ly develops full anchorage and approaches ultimate
a 0-deg inclination is seen to be the optimal pullout direction. conditions up to the occurrence of the peak pullout load. The
These findings differ from those of Morton and Groves,20 ultimate condition can either be fiber fracture, as in the case
who reported the maximum pullout load to occur at a fiber of Fiber F3, or yield and complete pullout, as in the case of
inclination of 45 deg. This also conflicts with the findings for Fibers F1 and F2.
synthetic fibers,21 where an increase in the peak pullout load At the atomic level, yield is the result of intercrystal slip
with inclination is credited to the bending of the fiber and within the metal as a result of dislocation movements that be-
presence of complementary frictional snubbing force, where come progressively difficult as the material strain-hardens. It
fiber enters the matrix. is well known that this process of intercrystal slippage and

ACI Materials Journal / September-October 1994 441

Fig. 11Bond-slip curves for twin-cone fiber F3 in midstrength matrix at various inclina-
tion angles

Fig. 12Bond-slip curves for twin-cone fiber F3 in high-strength matrix at various incli-
nation angles (1 kip = 4.448 kN; 1 in. = 25.4 mm)

yield is aided considerably by the presence of accompanying matrix, a place where large additional shear stresses are im-
shear stresses on the material. In the case of inclined fibers, posed.
additional shear stresses are imposed on the fiber where fiber The average slips measured at the occurrence of peak pull-
enters the matrix. These additional stresses will aid the pro- out loads for Fibers F1, F2, and F3 as a function of fiber in-
cess of slippage within the crystal system in steel, and lower clination are plotted in Fig. 14. In general, the slip at peak
both the yield and ultimate strength of the material.22 Fiber load increases as the inclination angle increases. These large
will, therefore, attain the ultimate conditions prematurely at slips also occurred at lower values of the applied loads (see
lower values of the applied external load; hence, the lower Fig. 13). These increases in the slip values and correspond-
peak pullout loads for the inclined fibers. These additional ing reductions in the loads supported can be explained on the
shear stresses do not affect Fiber F1, since they occur remote basis of the following:
from the hook, where yielding actually occurs, such that fi- 1. The existence of additional shear stresses in the case of
ber inclination does not affect the peak pullout load. For Fi- inclined fibers, where fiber enters the matrix, will provide
ber F3, which is also an end-deformed fiber, inclination mechanisms favoring slip between crystals, and thus lower
affects the peak pullout load, since the failure eventually oc- both yield and ultimate strengths of steel; hence, the reduc-
curs not at the cone but at the location where fiber enters the tion in the observed loads. Further, under such conditions,

442 ACI Materials Journal / September-October 1994

Table 5Average* pullout results for Fiber F1
Fiber inclination, Energy at 1-mm Energy at 3-mm Total pullout
Fiber type Matrix strength Peak load, N Slip at peak, mm
deg slip, N.m slip, N.m energy, N.m
0 272.9 1.55 0.094 0.498 4.444
15 297.2 2.20 0.103 0.579 4.346
Normal strength
30 283.4 2.73 0.118 0.606 3.037
45 255.7 3.13 0.094 0.461 3.589
60 256.3 4.62 0.048 0.404 2.926
0 287.2 0.98 0.320 0.752 3.476
15 288.3 1.27 0.280 0.716 3.518
F1, hooked-end 30 331.4 1.75 0.210 0.795 4.466
45 301.8 3.54 0.070 0.522 2.996
60 284.7 5.99 0.050 0.291 3.466
0 296.5 1.19 0.200 0.668 4.047
15 427.6 1.44 0.290 0.954 4.765
High-strength 30 396.4 2.83 0.140 0.824 4.487
45 418.7 4.69 0.140 0.518 1.911
60 385.7 5.08 0.050 0.389 1.251
* Average of six specimens.

Table 6Average* pullout results for Fiber F2

Fiber inclination, Energy at 1-mm Energy at 3-mm Total pullout
Fiber type Matrix strength Peak load, N Slip at peak, mm
deg slip, N.m slip, N.m energy, N.m
0 676.5 2.56 0.535 1.720 6.627
15 648.7 1.92 0.367 1.582 5.939
Normal strength
30 563.0 2.90 0.145 1.082 4.331
45 443.9 3.95 0.117 0.665 2.590
60 270.3 5.95 0.025 0.172 0.709
0 680.0 2.44 0.290 1.654 6.265
15 669.8 3.11 0.250 1.503 5.995
F2, crimped 30 618.1 3.66 0.200 1.030 5.784
45 516.7 3.00 0.140 0.707 4.423
60 390.8 7.20 0.070 0.294 2.904
0 670.9 2.09 0.310 1.566 5.398
15 705.2 2.46 0.430 1.523 1.880
High-strength 30 652.1 4.01 0.170 0.959 5.996
45 503.8 3.18 0.120 0.621 4.002
60 408.6 7.65 0.080 0.186 1.711
* Average of six specimens.

Table 7Average* pullout results for Fiber F3

Fiber inclination, Energy at 1-mm Energy at 3-mm Total pullout
Fiber type Matrix strength Peak load, N Slip at peak, mm
deg slip, N.m slip, N.m energy, N.m
0 969.6 2.39 0.410 1.820 1.825
15 882.7 2.80 0.200 1.441 1.690
Normal strength 30 809.3 5.10 0.170 0.718 2.763
45 784.3 5.58 0.110 0.543 2.244
60 644.2 7.94 0.060 0.275 2.432
0 984.4 3.08 0.340 2.080 2.416
15 894.6 4.68 0.350 1.640 2.619
F3, twin-cone 30 813.2 3.09 0.290 1.598 1.856
45 739.2 3.91 0.300 1.382 2.028
60 657.3 6.41 0.080 0.350 2.009
0 930.6 2.06 0.390 1.405 1.405
15 854.7 0.82 0.550 0.571 0.571
30 798.5 0.42 0.200 0.211 0.211
45 751.7 0.67 0.300 0.300 0.300
60 662.2 1.18 0.310 0.411 0.411
* Average of six specimens.

ACI Materials Journal / September-October 1994 443

Fig. 13Peak pullout loads supported by various fibers as a function of inclination angle.
Note decrease in peak pullout load for Fibers F2 and F3 as inclination angle is increased
(1 kip = 4.448 kN; 1 in. = 25.4 mm)

Fig. 14Measured slips at occurrence of peak pullout loads for various fibers as function of
inclination angle (1 kip = 4.448 kN)

steel will exhibit better apparent ductility21 and contribute to formations and crack openings depend on a specific applica-
increases in the measured slip values. tion. Given a certain value of the allowable crack opening,
2. More important, perhaps, is the crushing of the matrix the energy absorbed by the fiber to that particular value of
that takes place in inclined fibers at the corner where fiber slip alone is relevant while assessing the toughness of the
enters the matrix. This crushing leads to fiber-straightening, material. On the basis of allowable crack openings, one may
which increases the measured slip. arbitrarily classify the possible FRC applications as follows:
For Fiber F3 in a high-strength matrix, a reduction in slip 1. Small to moderate crack openings in structural concrete,
occurred, as seen in Fig. 14. While the exact reasons for this in slab-on-grade applications.
are not clear, it is possible that reduced matrix-crushing oc- 2. Large crack openings in tunnel linings and defense shel-
curred in this case. ters.
3. Very large crack openings in blast-resistant structures,
Energy absorption structures under seismic loading, etc. The structure may be
In the case of fiber reinforced concrete, the allowable de- rendered unusable after the event.

444 ACI Materials Journal / September-October 1994

Fig. 15Some bond-slip curves in high-strength matrix, illustrating possible brittle failure
modes (1 kip = 4.448 kN; 1 inch = 25.4 mm)

The energies absorbed by the different fibers were com- Fiber F3 fractured in all cases. Its overall energy-absorp-
puted by integrating the load-slip curves to slip values of 1 tion capability, therefore, is inferior to that of the other fibers
and 3 mm. The total energies absorbed to full separation by that underwent a complete pullout. On the other hand, Fiber
the various fibers were also calculated. These quantities are F3 also developed its full load and anchorage at small values
given in Tables 5, 6, and 7 for Fibers F1, F2, and F3, respec- of slip and therefore absorbed greater amounts of energy at
tively. smaller slips. At slips of 1 and 3 mm, Fiber F3 often ab-
In general, as the fiber inclination angle with respect to the sorbed more energy than the other fibers. For applications
loading direction was increased, the energy absorbed to a
where the allowable crack openings are small, Fiber F3 will
given slip decreased. This is readily apparent from the bond-
have a distinct advantage over Fibers F1 and F2.
slip curves of Fig. 4 through 12. Apart from registering the
highest peak pullout load (Fig. 13), a fiber aligned in the di- The unfavorable effects of matrix strength and fiber incli-
rection of load is also the most effective when the energy to nation on energy absorption were more pronounced for Fiber
a certain slip is considered. This is inconsistent with the find- F3 than for other fibers (Fig. 10 through 12 and 15). This
ings of Brandt,23 who has shown that the pullout energy to a may be directly related to the failure of this fiber entirely by
certain slip can be maximized only at a nonzero fiber incli- fracture and never by complete pullout, like the other fibers.
nation. A general reduction in the absorbed energy with an
increase in the strength of the matrix may also be noted. This CONCLUSIONS
is expected, given the brittle nature of a high-strength matrix. 1. For the deformed fibers studied here, the peak loads
In those cases where no change in the energy absorption is supported by fibers that are aligned in the direction of load-
reported in going from a lower value of slip to a higher value, ing are higher than those supported by fibers inclined with
a premature fiber failure at or prior to the lower slip value respect to the loading direction. The peak loads for the
may be inferred.
aligned fibers also occur at smaller slips than the inclined fi-
Some bond-slip curves in a high-strength matrix, where
the conditions of premature fiber or matrix failures are high-
lighted, are assembled in Fig. 15. Fiber F1 failed predomi- 2. Even from an energy-absorption viewpoint, a fiber
nantly under complete pullout, but when inclined at 45 deg aligned with respect to the loading direction absorbs greater
in the high-strength matrix, instances of fiber fracture oc- amounts of energy at a certain slip than one that is inclined.
curred. These fractures were granular and brittle. A zero-deg inclination with respect to the loading direction
In Fiber F2 (Fig. 15), instances of matrix failure occurred is, therefore, the optimal inclination.
for some fibers when pulling out at an angle. Fiber F2, given 3. Matrixes with higher strengths, in general, lead to pre-
its crimped geometry, involves a large core of surrounding mature failure conditions in the form of matrix splitting or fi-
concrete in the process of stress transfer. When pulling at an ber fractures, and thus incite a brittle response.
angle, this fiber places additional concrete under stress,
which increases the possibilities of a premature matrix split. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
In particular, if the matrix has a low strain capacity, as in the The continued financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering
case of high-strength concrete, splitting of the matrix be- Research Council of Canada is greatly appreciated. Thanks are also due to
comes probable. Ms. Isabelle Genois and Mr. Marcel Langlois for laboratory assistance.

ACI Materials Journal / September-October 1994 445

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446 ACI Materials Journal / September-October 1994

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