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News

Delft researcher makes concrete stronger

Delft University Of Technology : 28 November, 2006  (Technical Article)
Concrete is highly resistant to compressive stress but is considerably weaker when subjected to tensile stress. DUT researcher Ivan Marković has developed an innovative type of fibre concrete which overcomes this problem by using steel fibres of various lengths.
Concrete has one big disadvantage: it has a very low resistance to tensile stress. This problem, which is reflected in a low tensile strength and a low ductility (or toughness), is solved by the use of reinforcement in concrete constructions.

Ivan Marković has developed a different solution in his work in the Concrete Constructions Section and at the Micromechanical Laboratory. He has created an innovative type of concrete: hybrid fibre concrete, in which both the tensile strength and the ductility are considerably improved. The new feature is that both short (13 mm) and long (60 mm) steel fibres are used together in one concrete mixture. As Marković explains: “The long fibres ensure a high ductility and the short fibres ensure a higher tensile strength.” In the concrete the steel fibres account for a volume percentage of between 1.5 and 2 percent.

The slightly higher production costs of hybrid fibre concrete are more than compensated by the fact that less concrete can be used. The resulting lower weight translates, among other things, into lower transport costs, an important cost factor.

Marković does not see any major obstacles to the practical application of high-quality hybrid fibre concrete. “However, we need more research into the durability of this type of concrete. Quality controls also need to be adjusted and increased.” Marković expects that hybrid fibre concrete will be put to first practical use within three to five years. Most potential applications are in the prefab industry, both for commercial and industrial buildings and in hydraulic engineering construction.
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