Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 882–897 | Cite as

Tensile characterisation of thick sections of Engineered Cement Composite (ECC) materials

  • S. Boughanem
  • D. A. Jesson
  • M. J. Mulheron
  • P. A. Smith
  • C. Eddie
  • S. Psomas
  • M. Rimes
Original Paper


Engineered Cement Composite (ECC) materials have the potential to be used in applications where a level of pseudo-ductility under tensile stress is required. Most previous work has focussed on comparatively thin specimens. For future civil engineering applications, however, it is imperative that the behaviour of thicker specimens is understood. In the present work, specimens containing cement powder, water, polymeric fibres and admixtures were manufactured following two different processes and tested in tension. Multiple matrix cracking was observed during tensile testing, leading to a pseudo-ductile behaviour. Complementary measurements of sample density and porosity suggest that a high porosity could be linked with an enhanced tensile strain-to-failure whereas high density is associated with a high maximum stress. The fibre dispersion, assessed by scanning electron microscopy, indicated that mechanical performance was enhanced with increasing proportion of fibres aligned along the tensile test axis, and this orientation can be linked to the manufacturing process.


Mechanical Performance Fibre Orientation Crack Width Cementitious Matrix Engineer Cement Composite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to acknowledge funding for this research from the EPSRC (through the MiNMaT Industrial Doctoral Centre, University of Surrey, EPSRC Grant No. EP/G037388/1) and Morgan Sindall Underground Professional Services Ltd. The help of our colleagues, Mr David Fisher, Mr Daniel North and Mr David Renard of Morgan Sindall; and Mr Chris Burt, Mr Peter Haynes and Mr Nigel Mobbs from the University of Surrey, is much appreciated.


  1. 1.
    Li VC (2003) On engineered cementitious composites (ECC)—a review of the material and its applications. J Adv Concr Technol 1(3):215–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Li VC (2002) Advances in ECC research. ACI Spec Publ Concr 206:373–400. (appears in collection: Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE)) Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Li VC, Weiman MB (2003) Hygral behaviour of Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC). Int J Restor Build Monum 9(5):513–534Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Li VC, Wang S, Cynthia Wu (2001) Tensile strain-hardening behaviour of polyvinyl alcohol engineered cementitious composite (PVA-ECC). ACI Mater J 98(6):483–492Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Concrete Society (2007) Guidance for the design of steel-fibre-reinforced concrete—Technical Report No. 63, ISBN 1 904482 32 5Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Concrete Society (2007) Guidance on the use of macro-synthetic-fibre-reinforced concrete—Technical Report No. 65, ISBN 1 904482 34 1Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Van Zijl GPAG (2005) Optimisation of the composition and fabrication methods, applications for precast concrete members, highly ductile concrete with short fibre—Hochductile Betone mit Kurzfaserbewehrung—Entwicklung Pruefung, Anwendung, ed. V. Mechtcherine: 37–54Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Van Zijl GPAG, Wittman FH, Oh BH, Kabele P, Toledo Filho RD, Fairbairn EMR, Slowik V, Ogawa A, Hoshiro H, Mechtcherine V, Altmann F, Lepech MD (2012) Durability of strain-hardening cement-based composites (SHCC). J Mater Struct. 45(10):1447–1463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wang S, Li VC (2004) Tailoring of pre-existing flaws in ECC matrix for saturated strain hardening, Proceedings of FRAMCOS-5: 1005–1012Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Japanese Society of Civil Engineers (2008) Recommendations for design and construction of high performance fibre reinforced cement composites with multiple fine cracks (HPFRCC), Concrete Engineering Series. The Japanese Society of Civil Engineers, JapanGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kim J-K, Kim J-S, Ha GJ, Kim YY (2007) Tensile and fibre dispersion performance of ECC (engineered cementitious composites) produced with ground granulated blast furnace slag. Cem Concr Res 37:1096–1105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kanakubo T (2006) Tensile characteristics evaluation method for ductile fibre-reinforced cementitious composites. J Adv Concr Technol. 4(1):3–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Neville AM (2000) Properties of Concrete, Fourth and Final Edition. Pearson Education Limited, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    British Standard Institution (1999) BS EN 1015-3: 1999 Method of test for mortar for masonry—Part 3: Determination of consistence of fresh mortar (by flow table). BSI, LondonGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Takashima H, Miyagai K, Hashida T, Li VC (2003) A design approach for the mechanical properties of polypropylene discontinuous fibre reinforced cementitious composites by extrusion molding. Eng Fract Mech 70:853–870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Li VC, Wu C, Wang S, Ogawa A, Saito T (2002) Interface tailoring for strain-hardening Polyvinyl-Alcohol-Engineered Cementitious Composite (PVA-ECC). ACI Mater J 99(5):463–472Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Li VC (2002) Reflections on the research and development of engineered cementitious composites (ECC), Proceedings of the JCI International Workshop on Ductile Fibre Reinforced Cementitious Composites (DRFCC)—Application and EvaluationGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Redon C, Li VC, ASCE F, Wu C, Hoshiro H, Saito T, Ogawa A (2001) Measuring and modifying Interface properties of PVA fibres in ECC Matrix. J Mater Civ Eng 13(6):399–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    British Standard Institution (2009) BS EN 12390-7: 2009 Testing hardened concrete—Part 7: Density of hardened concrete. BSI, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Md Safiuddin, Hearn N (2005) Comparison of ASTM saturation techniques for measuring the permeable porosity of concrete. Cem Concr Res 35:1008–1013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lee BY, Kim JK, Kim JS, Kim YY (2009) Quantitative evaluation technique of Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) fibre dispersion in engineered cementitious composites. Cem Concr Compos 31:408–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kjellsen KO, Monsoy A, Isachsen K, Detwiler RJ (2003) Preparation of flat-polished specimens for SEM-backscattered electron imaging and X-ray microanalysis—importance of epoxy impregnation. Cem Concr Res 33:611–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kaddour AS, Hinton MJ, Smith PA, Li S (2013) A comparison between the predictive capability of matrix cracking, damage and failure criteria for fibre reinforced composite laminates: Part A of the third world-wide failure exercise. J Compos Mater 47:2749–2779CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Li VC, Leung CKY (1992) Steady-state and multiple cracking of short random fibre composites. J Eng Mech 118:2246–2264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Cox HL (1952) The elasticity and strength of paper and other fibrous material. Br J Appl Phys 3:72–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Krenchel H (1964) Fibre reinforcement. Akademisk Forlag, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Boughanem
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • D. A. Jesson
    • 1
  • M. J. Mulheron
    • 1
  • P. A. Smith
    • 1
  • C. Eddie
    • 2
  • S. Psomas
    • 2
  • M. Rimes
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and Physical SciencesUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK
  2. 2.Morgan Sindall Underground Professional Services LtdRugbyUK
  3. 3.Faculty of Engineering and Physical SciencesUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK

Personalised recommendations