Effect of polypropylene fibers on the fracture behavior of heated ultra-high performance concrete

  • J. D. Ríos
  • H. CifuentesEmail author
  • C. Leiva
  • M. P. Ariza
  • M. Ortiz
Original Paper


In this work we assess the effect of the addition of polypropylene (PP) fibers in a heated ultra-high-performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHPFRC). To this end, three sets of specimens with identical cementitious materials were manufactured: plain concrete, a concrete reinforced exclusively with steel fibers and a concrete reinforced with steel and polypropylene fibers. The mechanical and fracture properties of each concrete at temperatures ranging from room temperature to \(300\,^\circ \)C were determined. A thorough appraisal of the thermal effect on the microstructure was also carried out by means of an X-ray scan analysis. Based on the testing data, the relation between the macroscopic response, including mechanical and fracture behavior, and the microscopic structure, i.e., size and number of pores and their distribution, is ascertained. The results show that the addition of PP fibers significantly increases the maximum pore size and slightly increases the total porosity. Furthermore, the partial melting of polypropylene fibers at \(300\,^\circ \)C, in combination with the rise in porosity, reduces thermal damage and results in similar behavior at low and high temperatures, room temperature and \(300\,^\circ \)C, respectively.


Ultra-high-performance concrete Polypropylene fibers Steel fibers Thermal damage Fracture behavior X-ray computed tomography Porosity 



This research has been funded by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain under grant numbers BIA2016-75431-R and DPI2015-66534-R.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Escuela Técnica Superior de IngenieríaUniversidad de SevillaSevillaSpain
  2. 2.Division of Engineering and Applied ScienceCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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