Materials and Structures

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 279–289 | Cite as

Evaluation of toughness of textile concrete

  • S. W. Mumenya
  • R. B. Tait
  • M. G. Alexander
Original Article


High Performance Fibre Reinforced Cementitious Composites (HPFRCC) are characterized by a stress–strain response in tension that exhibits strain-hardening behaviour accompanied by propagation of multiple cracks. This process is often referred to as pseudo-ductility due to multiple cracking with relatively large energy absorption capacity. The cracking characteristics are dependent on matrix strength, fibre/matrix bond, fibre volume fraction and the aspect ratio of the fibre used in the composite. The matrix cracking strength and interfacial bond vary with the degree of hydration of cement in the matrix, which is time and environment dependent. This study analyses the multiple cracking patterns formed in weathered Textile Concrete (TC) samples due to direct tensile testing, and links the cracking patterns to the tensile behaviour. The specimens used for the study were thin laminates which were produced by casting six layers of specially made polypropylene (PP) textile in fine-grained mortar. The samples were cured under controlled laboratory conditions for 28 days, and thereafter exposed to different weathering regimes for different periods. The weathered samples were tested in direct tension in a Universal Testing Machine (UTM) over a range of stresses. For all the samples tested, it was observed that the tensile behaviour was characterised by strain hardening and multiple cracking, which gave high tensile strains in excess of 20% at final failure. It was further found that the cracking patterns varied mainly with age, weathering history and stress levels. Other factors that contributed to the cracking characteristics were moisture state of the specimen and the fibre/matrix bonding strength. A strong bond and dense matrix resulted in wide crack spacings compared with samples with a weaker bond which developed closely spaced cracks. A general trend of increasing crack widths and crack spacings with ageing was observed which was accredited to increased hydration accompanied by an increase in fibre/matrix bond strength.


Tensile behaviour Pseudo-ductility Multiple cracking Microcracking Cracking patterns 


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Construction EngineeringUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa

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