Shear transfer across a crack in ordinary and alkali activated concrete reinforced by different fibre types

Abstract

Fibre reinforced concrete (FRC) increases shear capacity mainly by providing post-cracking residual strengths and by improving the aggregate interlock mechanism on the two crack faces. Hence, direct shear tests can be adopted to study the shear transfer mechanisms across a crack. Several researches studied the behaviour of steel fibre reinforced concrete by means of shear tests initially developed for plain concrete (PC). Due to an increased heterogeneity of material (caused by a random fibre distribution) and the need to carry out the test up to a higher crack width (Mode I) and slip (Mode II), tests on FRC are more difficult as compared to PC and the issue related to the rotation of the cracking plane is more likely to develop. In addition, other fibre types or materials different than ordinary concrete have not been studied in depth so far. In this context, the present study firstly evaluates the influence of rigid (steel) and non-rigid (polypropylene) fibres on the direct shear behaviour of ordinary concrete (considering a broad range of FRC toughness). To do this, the modified JSCE SF6 test was improved by avoiding friction and by providing a steel system to control rotations. Secondly, the direct shear behaviour of alkali activated concrete (AAC) reinforced by steel fibres was compared against ordinary FRC in order to underline possible differences. Experimental results showed that, under direct shear tests, the fibre influence on the shear stresses transferred across a crack is only related to FRC toughness and not to fibre type (rigid or non-rigid). AAC also showed to have a shear behaviour comparable to ordinary concrete.

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Abbreviations

A :

Sliding plane area

a g :

Maximum aggregate size

b :

Width of the specimen according to EN 14651

CMOD:

Crack mouth opening displacement

f c :

Mean value of the cylinder compressive concrete strength

f c.cube :

Mean value of the cubic compressive concrete strength

F j :

Load corresponding with CMOD = CMODj

F L :

Load corresponding to the limit of proportionality

f L :

Mean value of limit of proportionality

f R,1 :

Mean value of residual flexural tensile strength corresponding to CMOD = 0.5 mm

f R,2 :

Mean value of residual flexural tensile strength corresponding to CMOD = 1.5 mm

f R,3 :

Mean value of residual flexural tensile strength corresponding to CMOD = 2.5 mm

f R,4 :

Mean value of residual flexural tensile strength corresponding to CMOD = 3.5 mm

f R,j :

Residual flexural tensile strength corresponding to CMOD = CMODj

h sp :

Distance between the tip of the notch and the top of the specimen according to EN 14651

N v :

Average load on vertical bars of the steel system for controlling rotation

N v,0.36 :

Average load on vertical bars of the steel system for controlling rotation at a crack width of 0.36 mm

N v,1.92 :

Average load on vertical bars of the steel system for controlling rotation at a crack width of 1.92 mm

P :

Load

P cracking :

First cracking load

P peak :

Peak load

R 2 :

Coefficient of determination

V f :

Fibre volume fraction

w :

Average crack width

w left :

Crack width on left sliding plane

w right :

Crack width on right sliding plane

δ :

Average shear slip

δ 0.36 :

Average shear slip at a crack width of 0.36 mm

δ 1.92 :

Average shear slip at a crack width of 1.92 mm

δ left :

Shear slip on left sliding plane

δ right :

Shear slip on right sliding plane

θ :

Average rotation

θ 0.36 :

Average rotation at a crack width of 0.36 mm

θ 1.92 :

Average rotation at a crack width of 1.92 mm

θ left :

Rotation on left sliding plane

θ right :

Rotation on right sliding plane

σ c,peak :

Maximum value of the compressive stress under the loading area at Ppeak

τ :

Average shear stress

τ 0.36 :

Average shear stress at a crack width of 0.36 mm

τ 1.92 :

Average shear stress at a crack width of 1.92 mm

τ cracking :

Average shear stress at Pcracking

τ peak :

Average shear strength

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to engineers Sara Guizzetti, Manuel Maggi, Francesco Melloni and to the laboratory technicians Luca Martinelli, Andrea Delbarba, Augusto Botturi and Domenico Caravaggi for their assistance in performing the experimental program.

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Correspondence to Antonio Conforti.

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Cuenca, E., Conforti, A., Monfardini, L. et al. Shear transfer across a crack in ordinary and alkali activated concrete reinforced by different fibre types. Mater Struct 53, 24 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1617/s11527-020-1455-5

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Keywords

  • Alkali activated concrete
  • Direct shear tests
  • Fibre reinforced concrete
  • Steel fibres
  • Polypropylene fibres