Crack/fiber interaction and crack growth resistance behavior in microfiber reinforced mortar specimens
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Performance enhancement due to microfibers is well known. However, fracture processes that lead to strain hardening behavior in microfiber reinforced composites are not well understood. Crack growth resistance behavior of mortar reinforced with steel microfibers and polypropylene microfibers was investigated in-situ during load application. The polypropylene fibers were inter-ground in the cement mill to enhance the fiber/matrix interfacial frictional stress. A more homogeneous fiber distribution was observed in the inter-ground polypropylene composites compared to the steel microfiber reinforced composites. In steel microfiber reinforced composites the dominant toughening mechanisms were multiple microcracking and successive debonding along the fiber/matrix interface. Fiber pullout, the dominant mechanism in conventional macrofiber reinforced composites was rarely observed. In-situ observation of crack/fiber interaction in the inter-ground polymer fibers also revealed multiple microcracking along the length of the fibers followed by fiber pullout.
KeywordsMicrofibers Toughening mechanisms Cement-based materials Crack growth resistance behavior Multiple cracking Intergrinding of fibers
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