Materials and Structures

, 52:70 | Cite as

Uniaxial tensile behavior of aligned steel fibre reinforced cementitious composites

  • Longbang Qing
  • Kelai Yu
  • Ru MuEmail author
  • John P. Forth
Original Article


By applying an external uniform magnetic field to a fresh cement mixture during casting, an aligned steel fibre reinforced cementitious composites (ASFRC) was prepared. This investigation compares the performance of ASFRC with its counterpart—ordinary steel fibre reinforced cementitious composite (SFRC) containing randomly distributed steel fibres. First, the orientation of the steel fibres in ASFRC and SFRC specimens was examined using X-ray computed tomography analysis; this confirmed that the steel fibres were effectively aligned in the ASFRC. Then, uniaxial tensile tests were performed to allow a comparison of the uniaxial tensile stress–strain curves of the ASFRC and SFRC; and to determine the advantages, if any of ASFRC over SFRC in terms of uniaxial tensile strength (fUtu), ultimate strain (εUtu) and energy dissipation (Gf-A). The uniaxial tensile test results were also used to show that, if the tensile strength of ASFRC is equal to that of SFRC (actually slightly exceeding) using the aligned steel fibre technology, the dosage of steel fibres can be reduced at least 40%. It was also found that the alignment of the steel fibres affects the strain-hardening and multiple cracking behavior of the composites during uniaxial tension testing. Finally, the multiple cracking behavior of the composites was analyzed using a digital image correlation method. These results show that ASFRC exhibits a multiple cracking pattern at a much lower fibre content compared to SFRC.


Steel fibre reinforced cementitious composites Aligned steel fibre Uniaxial tensile strength Strain-hardening Multiple cracking 



The work presented in the paper was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51578208, 51878239, 51779069 and 5171101996).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11527_2019_1374_MOESM1_ESM.doc (6.9 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 7088 kb)


  1. 1.
    Mangat P (1976) Tensile strength of steel fiber reinforced concrete. Cem Concr Res 6(2):245–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Caggiano A, Cremona M, Faella C (2012) Fracture behavior of concrete beams reinforced with mixed long/short steel fibers. Constr Build Mater 37(3):832–840CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jin L, Zhang R, Tian Y, Dou G, Du X (2018) Experimental investigation on static and dynamic mechanical properties of steel fiber reinforced ultra-high-strength concretes. Constr Build Mater 178:102–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bischoff PH (2003) Tension stiffening and cracking of steel fiber-reinforced concrete. J Mater Civ Eng 15(2):174–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Xu Z, Hao H, Li HN (2012) Experimental study of dynamic compressive properties of fibre reinforced concrete material with different fibres. Mater Des 33(1):42–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Germano F, Tiberti G, Plizzari G (2015) Post-peak fatigue performance of steel fiber reinforced concrete under flexure. Mater Struct 49(10):4229–4245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tran TK, Kim DJ (2013) Investigating direct tensile behavior of high performance fiber reinforced cementitious composites at high strain rates. Cem Concr Res 50:62–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sun X, Zhao K, Li Y et al (2018) A study of strain-rate effect and fiber reinforcement effect on dynamic behavior of steel fiber-reinforced concrete. Constr Build Mater 158:657–669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Soroushian P, Lee C-D (1990) Distribution and orientation of fibers in steel fiber reinforced concrete. Mater J 87(5):433–439Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fu SY, Lauke B (1996) Effects of fiber length and fiber orientation distributions on the tensile strength of short-fiber-reinforced polymers. Compos Sci Technol 56(10):1179–1190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Brandt AM (1985) On the optimal direction of short metal fibres in brittle matrix composites. J Mater Sci 20(11):3831–3841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    de Oliveira FL (2010) Design-oriented constitutive model for steel fiber reinforced concrete. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Segura-Castillo L, Cavalaro SHP, Goodier C et al (2018) Fibre distribution and tensile response anisotropy in sprayed fibre reinforced concrete. Mater Struct 51(1):29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rotondo PL, Weiner KH (1986) Aligned steel fibers in concrete poles. Concr Int 8(12):22–27Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Xu XM (1993) A new type of steel fiber reinforced concrete. Arch Technol 20(4):240–241Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Duque LFM, Graybeal B (2017) Fiber orientation distribution and tensile mechanical response in UHPFRC. Mater Struct 50:55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Abrishambaf A, Barros JA, Cunha VM, Cunha F (2012) Assessment of fibre orientation and distribution in steel fibre reinforced self-compacting concrete panels. In: 8th RILEM international symposium on fibre reinforced concrete: challenges and opportunities, pp 1–12Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Abrishambaf A, Barros JAO, Cunha VMCF (2013) Relation between fibre distribution and post-cracking behaviour in steel fibre reinforced self-compacting concrete panels. Cem Concr Res 51:57–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nunes S, Pimentel M, Carvalho A (2016) Non-destructive assessment of fibre content and orientation in UHPFRC layers based on a magnetic method. Cem Concr Compos 72:66–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nunes S, Pimentel M, Carvalho A (2017) Estimation of the tensile strength of UHPFRC layers based on non-destructive assessment of the fibre content and orientation. Cem Concr Compos 83:222–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pimentel M, Nunes S (2016) Determination of the tensile response of UHPFRC layers using a non-destructive method for assessing the fibre content and orientation. In: Saouma V, Bolander J, Landis E (eds) 9th International conference on fracture mechanics of concrete and concrete structures, FraMCoS-9, California, USAGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Abrishambaf A, Pimentel M, Nunes S (2017) Influence of fibre orientation on the tensile correspond of ultra-high performance fibre reinforced cementitious composites. Cem Concr Res 97:28–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Michels J, Gams M (2016) Preliminary study on the influence of fibre orientation in fibre reinforced mortars. Gradevinar 68(8):645–655Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mu R, Li H, Qing L, Lin J, Zhao Q (2017) Aligning steel fibers in cement mortar using electro-magnetic field. Constr Build Mater 131:309–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mu R, Wang Z, Wang X, Qing L, Li H (2018) Experimental study on shear properties of aligned steel fiber reinforced cement-based composites. Constr Build Mater 184:27–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wijffels MJH, Wolfs RJM, Suiker ASJ, Salet TAM (2017) Magnetic orientation of steel fibres in self-compacting concrete beams: effect on failure behaviour. Cem Concr Compos 80:342–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Gopalaratnam VS, Shah SP (1987) Tensile failure of steel fiber-reinforced mortar. J Eng Mech 113(5):635–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Yoo D-Y, Yoon Y-S, Banthia N (2015) Flexural response of steel-fiber-reinforced concrete beams: effects of strength, fiber content, and strain-rate. Cem Concr Compos 64:84–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Olivito RS, Zuccarello FA (2010) An experimental study on the tensile strength of steel fiber reinforced concrete. Compos B 41(3):246–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ding YN, Yan YC (2011) Experimental investigation on uniaxial tensile properties of steel fiber reinforced concrete. Appl Mech Mater 94:731–735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Hassan AMT, Jones SW, Mahmud GH (2012) Experimental test methods to determine the uniaxial tensile and compressive behaviour of ultra high performance fibre reinforced concrete (UHPFRC). Constr Build Mater 37:874–882CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Fantilli AP, Mihashi H, Vallini P (2009) Multiple cracking and strain hardening in fiber-reinforced concrete under uniaxial tension. Cem Concr Res 39(12):1217–1229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Park SH, Kim DJ, Ryu GS, Koh KT (2012) Tensile behavior of ultra high performance hybrid fiber reinforced concrete. Cem Concr Compos 34(2):172–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Graybeal BA, Baby F (2013) Development of direct tension test method for ultra-high-performance fibre-reinforced concrete. ACI Mater J 110(2):177–186Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Pyo S, Wille K, El-Tawil S, Naaman AE (2015) Strain rate dependent properties of ultra high performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHP-FRC) under tension. Cem Concr Compos 56:15–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Naaman AE (2003) Engineered steel fibers with optimal properties for reinforcement of cement composites. J Adv Concr Technol 1(3):241–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Dupont D, Vandewalle L (2005) Distribution of steel fibres in rectangular sections. Cem Concr Compos 27(3):391–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Stroeven P, Hu J (2006) Effectiveness near boundaries of fibre reinforcement in concrete. Mater Struct 39(10):1001–1013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Hamrat M, Boulekbache B, Chemrouk M, Amziane S (2016) Flexural cracking behavior of normal strength, high strength and high strength fiber concrete beams, using digital image correlation technique. Constr Build Mater 106:678–692CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Mu R, Xing P, Yu J, Wei L, Zhao Q, Qing L, Zhou J, Tian W, Gao S, Zhao X, Wang X (2019) Investigation on reinforcement of aligned steel fiber on flexural behavior of cement-based composites using acoustic emission signal analysis. Constr Build Mater 201:42–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Maalej M, Quek ST, Zhang J (2005) Behavior of hybrid-fiber engineered cementitious composites subjected to dynamic tensile loading and projectile impact. J Mater Civ Eng 17(2):143–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Richardson A, Coventry K (2015) Dovetailed and hybrid synthetic fibre concrete–impact, toughness and strength performance. Constr Build Mater 78:439–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Tran NT, Tran TK, Jeon JK, Park JK, Kim DJ (2016) Fracture energy of ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete at high strain rates. Cem Concr Res 79:169–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Wille K, El-Tawil S, Naaman AE (2014) Properties of strain hardening ultra high performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHP-FRC) under direct tensile loading. Cem Concr Compos 48:53–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Rinaldi Z, Grimaldi A (2006) Influence of high performance fiber reinforced concrete on the ductility of beam elements. In: International Rilem workshop on high performance fiber reinforced cementitious composites (HPFRCC) in structural applications. Rilem Publications SARL, BagneuxGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Wille K, Kim DJ, Naaman AE (2011) Strain-hardening UHP-FRC with low fiber contents. Mater Struct 44(3):583–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© RILEM 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Longbang Qing
    • 1
  • Kelai Yu
    • 1
  • Ru Mu
    • 1
    Email author
  • John P. Forth
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Civil and Transportation EngineeringHebei University of TechnologyTianjinChina
  2. 2.School of Civil EngineeringUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

Personalised recommendations