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F:IBER REINF'ORCE~J\ENT
Fibers are an ideal ingredient for concrete and mortar. Fibers improve these materials where they
can otherwise have weaknesses . Primarily they increase performance in energy absorption and fire
res istance, whilst also reducing shrinkage crack f o-mat ion and crac k widths . Thi s produces a con-
crete which needs significantly less reinforcing stEe tlan a conventional reinforced concrete , but
which is stil l very durable, or even more durable. Tl e idea of using fiber reinforcement in building
materials goes back hundreds if not thousands of ye-c -s and yet is also more useful than ever with
modern technologies . Concrete has developed con:;ijErably over recent decades and fiber technology
has evolved rapidly with it. Concrete applications with fibers have expanded and new fiber materials
are also increasingly capab le of replacing traditional f ibers such as steel and glass . Si kaF iber 0
Technology is in the vanguard of these developmer1 t s.
FIBERS IMPROVE YOUR CONCRETE
AND YOUR STRUCTURE

FIBER REINFORCED CONCRETE IS concrete -:::o IAhich fibers have been added during
production to improve its cracking and fractu r ng Jehavior. After many years of research
and development, fiber reinforced concrete is -loll\ fully established in the market for its
important adva ntages .

The fibers are embedded in the cement matri x and have nc cracking; then with increasing age and hardness, stress cracks
significant effect until during the hardening process they can occur from loading. If cracking occurs in the concrete then
inhibit the emergence of cracks through their tensile strength t heE-modulus of the fibers is crucia l, as this defines there-
and exte nsibility. Where there is greater strain they prever: sistance of the fibers to counteract their elastic deformation .
larger cracks by causing them to dissipate into more nume r- Because fibers are also easy to handle and dose for mixing
ous , but very fine and generally harmless ones . Crac ks can : c- and they have a good bond in the matrix, they are ideal for
cur at different times in the concrete : in the beginning duri1g imprcving the performance of concrete and mortar for many
the hardening process, where it is mainly early-age shrinka~e applications.

The add ition of suitable fibers can provide significant impro ve rrents in the properties of your concrete, including:

• Less cracking due to early-age shrinkage • Increased abrasion resistance


• Better cohesion in the fresh concrete • Protection against freeze-thaw attack
• Higher flexural and shear strengths • Increased fire resistance
• Improved load capacity and ductility

EN 14651 Residual Strength Test

3.5

2.5

"'
Q_

6
'"
"'
1.5

Reference (without fibers)


0.5
3 kg/m' SikaFiber Force fi bers

6 kg/m' SikaFiber Force


0 I
0 0.5 1.; 2.5 8 kg/m' SikaFiber Force

Displacement [mm] 25 kg/m ' Steel Fibers

With this graphic you can see that the steel fiber concrete u- The polypropylene fibers however show a load drop after the
hibits the higher elastic modulus and the largest stress cap 3c- first crack (peak load), but with increasing displacement , the
ity after the first crack . Due to the shorter steel fiber lengtil fibers then take over the loads and the stress capacity of the
(35 mm) this stress level decreases with increasing deflecti: •n Lnit actually increases significantly.

CONCRETE
SikaFiber$ TECHNO LOGY 3
TYPICAL APPLICATIONS FOR FIBER
REINFORCED CONCRETE

FIBERS CAN ENHANCE AND IMPROVE CONCRETE !\NO MORTAR for many
different applications . Fibers can improve the duct il t~· of sprayed concrete linin gs
and increase the fire resistance of the final lining colcretes in tunnel construction,
they can reduce cracking in roads and bridge deckc:: or -=1oor screeds , plus they can
increase the impact resistance and reduce damage to precast concrete units.

SP~AYED CONCRETE

-h e addition of fibers increases the ductility of sp rayed con-


cret e. For instance, if the sprayed concrete lining of an exca-
vated tunnel support is cracked due to high flexural stresses ,
th:: fibers can accommodate the tensile forces and act as an
excellent yielding support. This interaction between sprayed
corcrete and fibers, therefore also inc reases the mechanical
ca ~ acity of the lining. The reinforcement can then be reduced
or 6ght reinforcement can be omitted completely. The result is
qutker and cheaper tunnel excavation supports .

FIF.E PROTECTION

Sy11thetic microfibe rs ma ke concrete very much more fire


re si stant. The fibers are added to the concrete mix during its
prcduction . If a fire breaks out. e.g . in a tunnel , the synt hetic
fit ~ rs melt within the concrete and this creates a capil-
l;cH"' system through which the water vapor pressure can be
releved. Concrete spalling is prevented or very significa ntly
reOJced, as are any necessary repairs, whilst increasing the
du ~ability, stabi lity and safety of the structure.

SLABS I RUNWAYS I ROADS

Fit:ers in concrete floor slabs and runways very significa ntly


re[]]Jce early-age shrinkage cracks and help to stabilize the
mi: . The fibers also result in better fle xural behavior and
gr5ater impact resi sta nce. As a consequence, the reinforce-
mSlt can be reduced and the joint spacing increased . The fi-
ber:s also help to prevent the joints and other perimeter edges
shEaring . The durability of floor slabs and runways produced
with fibers is therefore substantially increased .

CONCRETE
4 SikaFiber0 TECHNOLOGY
FLOOR SCREE OS

Fibers are used in many types of floor screeds to improve the


workability of the fresh mortar, additionally they improve the
quality and durability of the hardened screed by controlled
crack distribution and shrinkage reduction . In the hardening
phase , separate large cracks are not formed , instead there are
split into many smaller fine cracks with greatly reduced po-
tent ial for damage. This fiber reinforcing also greatly improves
the impact resistance and fracture toughness of the mortar.

PRECAST CONCRETE

The use of fibers in precast concrete results in lighter and more


economic units because the possible reduction in steel rein-
forcement saves weight and reduces production time . The ho-
mogeneous distribution of the fibers throughout the concrete
cross-section also gives high impact resistance right to the
edges and corners . This allows secure installation on site with-
out damage and with the use of synthetic fibers there is no hid-
den ri sk of injury to workers during production or installation.

REFURBISHMENT

Repair mortars formulated and produced with fibers have


great=r durability with improved crack distribution, plus an
increased working capacity due to their crack bridging abil -
ity. Their improved internal cohesion also allows spray applied
layers of greater thickness to be applied , which therefore also
increases the application rate and reduces the overall cost .

HIGH STRENGTH CONCRETE (HSC)


AND ULTRA HIGH PERFORMANCE CONCRETE (UHPC)

High structural stability (load bearing capacity and service-


ability) under extreme conditions (e .g. earthquakes) and very
slender components require the use of HSC or UHPC. With the
use of thin, short fibers with a high E-modulus, untensioned
reinfcrcement can be reduced; alternatively, very high energy
absorption capabilities can be achieved in structures or ele-
ment; by their combination with untensioned reinforcement.

CONCRETE
Si kaFiber 0 TECHNOLOG Y 5
FIBER TYPES

DEPENDENT ON THE PERFORMANCE REQUIRED, diifferent fibers are added to the concrete
or mortar. Short, thin synthetic fibers are used forfire protection and crack reduction , whilst
long synthetic or steel fibers generally come into p_l ay :o increase energy absorption . Special
requirements demand special fiber materials and stlap2s. For example Ultra High Performance
Concrete (UHPC) requires short fibers with a high E-TIJdulus . Sika provides all of these and
other special types and blends of fibers .

SYNTHETIC MACRO-FIBERS STEEL FIBERS SYNTHETIC MICRO-FIBERS

Synthetic macro-fibers have a lower Steel fibers are char c:= ctertz ed by high Synthetic micro-fibers have an even
E-modulus than steel fibers (5 -15 GPa) . E-modulus (200 GPa 1and high tensile lower E-modulus (3- 5 GPa) than syn-
Unlike steel fibers , synthetic macro - strength (2500 MPa:. ThE:y prevent thetic macro-fibers. They are mainly
fibers cannot take extremely high loads , creep of the concretE but :do not coun- used to reduce early-age shrinkage
but they work extremely effect ively in ter- act early shrinka5e. C::mosion does crac king and also to improve fire resis-
the early phases of hardening to prevent not cause spalling of1re concrete, just a tance due to their low melting point
and/or reduce the size of cracks devel- change of color on the cor crete surface . (150 •c). Again these synthetic micro-
oping in the concrete. They are corrosion Protruding steel fibe- s cal pose a risk fibers are non-corrosive .
resistant and give the concrete greater of injury or damage b waterproofing
ductility. membranes .

BEST USE OF THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FIBERS

State of concrete or mortar Effect I property improvement Recommended fiber type


Fresh Homogeneity improvement Micro-PP fibers
Until about 12 hours Early-age cracking reduction Micro-PP fibers
1-2 days Reduction of cracks induc'?d by re ~ tra iri: or temperature Micro & Macro-PP fibers
28 days hardening or more Transmission of external forces Macro-PP & Steel fibers
28 days hardening or more Improvement of fire-resistance Micro-PP fibers

CONCRETE
6 SikaFiber• TECHNOLOGY
INCREASED CONCRETE
PERFORMANCE V\IITH FIBERS

SPECIFIC CONCRETE CHARACTERISTICS are obt3int=d by using different fiber types , or


mi xtures of different fibers , according to th e ch arc:cteristics and performance required . For
example longer fibers with a high E-modulus and §D OC anchorage properties are used for high
energy absorption and smaller low modulus fibers 3re 3dded for crack reduction . Additionally
longer low modulus fibers are used for incre2sed ductiri ty and crack reduction , plus small fibers
with a low melting point provide increased fire res ~ taQce. Therefore there are also many
different applications whe re different combinati ors and quantities of different fibers can be
used to meet combinations of these different reqLirenents simultaneously.

STRUCTI...RAL BEHAVIOUR

Concrete is ge 11 era lly good in compression but weak in tension.


If concrete fractures due to high bending stress, when no rein-
forcem=n: is p-esent the system collapses without warning. As
with conv=nt i:nal steel reinforcem ent, high forces can also be
transferrEd anj distributed within the concrete using suitable
fibers. Crccclc -b-idging fibers not only improve post-cracking
bEhavior bu: a so reduce further propagation of macro-cracks.
The fiber ~ tha1 cross the crac k and are anchored in the matrix
on both stdEs, :=ffectively "sew" its two sides together and
prevent it wid Ening . Fiber reinforced concrete , therefore , has
increas2d duct lity and is capable of absorbing higher energy in
the are3 Lnde r load vs deflection .

CRACK DISTR ~BUTION

The shrin t age :;tresses in the hardening phase of cement


be: sed bin j ers =requently lead to concrete cracking that is vis-
ible to thE n3k ~ d eye and are perceived as damage. With the
incorpora- ion cf fibers , the stresses are split and distributed so
that maco -crc: cks are prevented from forming , as the shrink-
a5e vol urre is m mpensated by micro-crack formation . Micro-
cracks do 1ct ~ignificantly reduce strengths, improve the
surface a ~ pec t and can also allow autogenous healing. Thus,
the ad diti Jn of fibers leads to higher durability.

CONCRETE
8 Si kaFiber• TE CHNOLOGY
FIRE PROTECTION

The problem with traditional concrete in a fire is that the


physically and chemically bound water evaporates in a very
sho·t time due to the rapid rise in temperature. This transi-
tion to the gaseous state causes a thousand-fold increase in
the volume of the water: the denser the concrete matri x and
the higher the moisture content of the concrete, the higher
the developing vapor pressure will become. If the vapor
pressure cannot be reduced (or not quickly enough) , explo-
sive concrete spalling will result. This occurs after only a few
minutes and immediately causes extensive and deep-reach-
ing damage to the structures . If the reinforcement is then
exposed , it has no protection from the fire and its structura l
function is soon lost . However, the addition of polypropylene
fibers gives a considerable or even total reduction in such
exp losive concrete spalling , due to their relatively low melting
poi nt of 16DT This means the fibers will start to progres-
sively melt almost immediately after a fire starts to create a
capillary system through which the evaporating water canes -
cape, without any significant destructive pressure build-up .

, MECHANICAL RESISTANCE

The impact and shock resistance, notched bar impact strength


and edge strength can all be increased significantly by add-
ing specific fibers . Synthetic fibers and most steel fibers are
suitable. A combination of fibers with a high and lowE - mod-
ulus and high elongation at break has proved beneficial. An
improvement in impact strength has been observed by adding
a "' steel fibers and also polypropylene fibers in quantities of only

-
0.1% by vo lume . The impact strength also improves consider-
~ ably as this quantity of fibers is increased.
~

CONCRETE
SikaFibe r• TECHNOLOGY 9
HANDLING HOW TO USE FIBERS

TO ACHIEVE THE OPTIMUM EFFECT and the desi -ed : haracter-


istics or performance of the concrete , then in additjon :o good
concrete practice, all of the potentially influencing =act ors for the
use of fibers have to be considered . The most cri t ica l f actors are
usually selection of the right fiber type or combina-:ion (material
and size); how the concrete mix design is adapted , ncluding the
fiber dosing system and timing ; together with the Jve -all mixing
procedure . An appropriate concrete placing and finishirg method
must also be used either in the precast factory or en site.

MIX DESIGN

FIBER DOSING QUANTITIES A wel l-balanced mix design is the key factor for the
optimum fiber performance. Fibers add a large sur-
Reason for use - Objective Fiber type l;luantity
face area and so the mi x design must be adjusted
High loading capacity Synthetic macro fiber 4 -8 kg to ensure adequate workability and optimum bond
Steel macro fiber 2 0-40 kg with the cement matrix. This involves; the right
Extremely high loading capacity Steel micro fib::r 50- 100 kg choice of binder and water content , the right ag-
Reduced early-age shrinkage cracks Synthetic micro fibe r D.S- 1 kg gregate grading curve , optimum fiber quantity,
(plastic shrinkage) and any other addit ives and admi xtures . A well-
developed mix design positively influences all steps
Increased fire resistance Synthetic micro fibe r 2-3 kg
--- of fiber reinforced concrete production , placing and
Increased impact strength Synthetic micro fibe r D.S -lkg performance :

Production • Good pumpability


• No fiber balling • High cylinder fill grade
• Good fiber distribu- • Low pump pressure
tion • Good sprayability
• Low mixer resistance • Less rebound
• Shorter mixing time
Performance
Placing-Pouring • Good fiber-cement
• Easy hopper grill bonding
pass ing • LowW/C

CONCRETE
10 SikaFiber 0 TECHNOLOGY
8_0 ,~"

DOSING METHOD DELIVERY & PLACING FIBER TYPE MIXING PROCESS

The fiber dosing and mix- The concrete placing system can The requirem=nt usually effec- An unsuitable or inadequate
ing method has a great influence the fiber distribution t'JE iy defines the fiber type and mixing process can result in non-
influence on their optimum and content . plus their align- t1 e·e~ore macro- or micro- fibers homogeneous distribution of the
distribution in the concrete . ment in the matri x. Some fiber ae sr::ec ified according to their fibers in the concrete. or damage
Macro-fibers are normally types also cause far greater nate nial type . geometry and to the fibers. The quantity to be
formed into bundles . which machine wear. wh ilst others gen- sila'JE. The pErformance is also added and the mixing time must
can only disperse during the erate pumping problems at high c=ffec1ed by th e concrete produc- therefore also be specified and
wet-mixing process to ensure dosages. Therefore the delivery t or p~ ocess. its surface treat- followed.
they are distributed homoge- and plac ing process must also be nent :and finishing etc.. whic h
neously. Water soluble bags taken into consideration during nust 31so be specified.
are used for dosing smaller the fiber type evaluation and
quantities of fibers to pre- selection process .
vent balling.

CONCRETE
SikaFibers TECHNOLOGY 11
CONCRETE PRODUCTION
SIMPLIFIED WITH FIBERS

FIBERS IN CONCRETE CAN SIMPLIFY THE PRODUCTION PROCESS in both precast-


ing and for work flows on site. This is because steel rEinforcement can be reduced at
many points or even eliminated completely. Thi s tinE saved on steel fixing delays can
also save costs. With regards to increasing the fire re=.istance, fibers have again made
the construction process much simpler, as there is no 1eed to overdesign concrete
cross-sections, or post-apply fire protection systems '"V hen synthetic fibers are used.

TUNNELING AND MINING DECK CONSTRUCTION UTILITY BASEMENTS

By using fiber reinforced sprayed con- In addition to reducilg t r e steel rein- Synthetic micro-fibers added to the
crete , conventional reinforcement can forcement, the use of filErs can signifi- concrete prevent or very significantly re-
be dispensed with , given moderate rock cantly increase the jJint ~ pacing ' s . Also , duce concrete spalling in the event of a
pressures . The time -consuming steel fi x- as a blind ing layer cc:n be partially om it- fire . Structural concrete elements there-
ing operations which interrupt the work ted, the layer thic k n=s>E ~ of the slabs fore do not need to be overdesigned and
flow are then eliminated . By eliminating can also be r2duced. O,J ti-num distribu- additional fire protection treatment is
the reinforcement, the sprayed concrete tion of the fibers riglt ir ~ o the corners not necessary. The use of fiber fire pro-
is also applied without 'spray shadows ' also provides increa : ed ejge protec- tection within the concrete generates
and rebound is reduced . Theresu~isop­ tion. All of these factors lave a pos itive significant time savings and ma ximizes
timization of the application process and impact on the ins;:al atic n and increase the available space .
improved quality of the structure . construction efficier.cy.

CO NCRETE
12 Si kaFiber$ TECHNOLO GY
STANDARDS &TESTING

THE MANY DIFFERENT APPLICATIONS AND USES of fiber reinforced concrete


require test methods tailored to these applicatio ns, so that the specific perfor-
mance and functionality required can be tested and confirmed so that it can
safely be used in future specifications . Generall y, -:he se test methods are now
fully standardized internationall y through the EurJpe 3n Standards (EN) and the
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) for example.

FIBER REINFORCED CONCRETE AND MORTAR STANDARDS AWD T=STING

Test Method Standard Description

Energy absorption ASTM C1550 Round panel test


EN 14488-5 Square panel test

Residual strength EN 14551 Beam test

Fire resistance RWS Ma x. 1350 ·c, 2 hours


ISO 834 Starts at low temp , but continuously increasing

HC modified Max. 1200 ·c. 4 hours


-----------------------------
Shrinkage cracking ASTM C 1581-04 Test method for determining restrained shrinkage
Impact resistance Various local stan oards Impact energy tests

Round panel test: ASTM (1550 Square panel t est : E~J 1~ 488- ; Beam test : EN 14651

CONCR ETE
14 SikaFiber0 TEC HNOLOGY
CASE STUDIES

FIBER REINFORCED CONCRETES HAVE MU_TIPLE ADVANTAGES and are now widely used for
many different functions and requirements al arcund the world. This is particularly the case in
tunneling and mining, precast construction , flooring and all types of projects requiring excellent fire
resistance. Sika 's technical expertise and exte l siVE practical experience in the design , selection and
installation of all of these different fiber reinfcrced concretes and mortars is evident and on display
in many successful projects on every continen:.

ELOISE COPPER MINE, AUSTRALIA CALDEARENAS ROAD TUNNEL, SPAIN

In this mining project SikaFiber° Force synthetic macro-fib :: r~ SikaFiber° Force synthetic macro-fibers were added to the
were used for the sprayed concrete, mainly as the excavation oprayed concrete to increase the ductility of the concrete lin-
support. Their selection and use ensured an efficient, cost- ilg. Fiber reinforced sprayed concrete of this kind produce a
effective and safe work flow as driving advanced more efficient and cost effective excavation support.

OIL TERMINAL, GERMANY SUBWAY TUNNEL SEGMENTS, USA

SikaFiber° Force synthetic macro-fibers were used in comb - In the San Francisco Central Subway Project, SikaFiber 0 synthetic
nation with the German 'White-topping' method for repairi1g micro-fibers were used at a dosage of1.2 kg/m 3 of concrete to
the slabs in an oil harbor in Stuttgart. The fibers were used to prevent explosive spalling of concrete in the event of fire in the
improve the fatigue behavior of the new concrete topping. tunnel.

CONCRETE
SikaFiber 0 TECHNOLOGY 15
GLOBAL BUT LOCAL PARTNERSHIP

FOR MORE CONCRETE INFORMATION·

WHO WEARE
Si ka AG , Switzerland , is a globally active specialty chemicals company.
Sika supplies the building and construction industry as well as manu-
facturing industries (automotive , bus , truck , rail. solar and wind power
plants , facades) . Sika is a leader in process ing materials used in sea ing ,
bonding , damping , reinforcing and protect ing loadbearing structures .
Sika 's product lines feature highquality concrete adm ixtures , specialty
mortars , sealants and adhesives . damping and reinforcing materials ,
structural strengthening systems , industrial flooring as well as roofing
and waterproofing systems .

Our most current General Sales Conditions shall apply Please consult
the most current local Product Data Sheet prior to any use

9 <9®
SIKA SERVICES AG Contact
Tueffenwies 16 Phone +41 58 436 40 40
CH-8048 Zurich Fax +41 58 436 41 so
Switzerland www.sika .com BUILDING TRUST