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Fibrillated Microfibers

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ECONO-NET

ECONO-NET

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FORTA ECONO-NET is an easy to finish, fully oriented, 100%


virgin homopolymer polypropylene fibrous reinforcement in a collated fibrillated (network) form.
FORTA ECONO-NET is used to reduce plastic and hardened concrete shrinkage, improve
impact strength, increase fatigue resistance and concrete toughness. This medium-duty fiber
offers good-bonding power, long-term durability, and true secondary/temperature control by
incorporating a fibrillated pattern and long length option. Non-corrosive, non-magnetic,
chemically inert, and 100% Alkali Proof!

APPLICATIONS
FORTA ECONO-NET is mainly used in concrete applications such as slab-on-grade,
overlays/toppings, curbs, slope paving, driveways, sidewalks, basement floors, garage floors,
architectural/colored concrete, precast, mortar, grout, water tanks, and sewage treatment
facilities anywhere that superior fiber performance is desired and where the objective is to

control temperature/shrinkage cracking while improving basic durability properties. Requires No


Mix Design or Placement Changes!

INSTALLATION
Recommended dosage rate of FORTA ECONO-NET is 1.5 lbs. per cubic yard (0.9 kg. per
cubic meter) of concrete added directly to the concrete mixing system during, or after, the
batching of the other ingredients and mixed at the time and speed recommended by the mixer
manufacturer (usually four to five minutes).

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
Materials: Virgin Homopolymer Polypropylene
Form: Collated Fibrillated Fiber
Specific Gravity: 0.91
Tensile Strength: 83-96 ksi. (570-660 MPa)
Length: 3/4" (19mm), 1-1/2" (38mm)
Color: White
Acid/Alkali Resistance: Excellent
Absorption: Nil
Compliance: A.S.T.M. C-1116

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FORTA-FERRO

FORTA-FERRO - "Strong as Steel"

FORTA-FERRO represents the next generation of structural


synthetic fiber reinforcements. A blend of high-strength,
copolymer monofilaments and fibrillated polypropylene bundles,
this fiber offers the maximum in toughness and post-crack
behavior, and allows for a much higher replacement level of
conventional steel reinforcement.
+ MORE ABOUT FORTA-FERRO

Pervious Concrete

FRP Fiber Reinforced Pervious

Pervious concrete has been used in many countries for many


years, and is now becoming more than just an oddity in the
United States. The impetus behind this surge in application is a
growing need to take full advantage of shrinking building sites,
and to accommodate storm-water runoff in the process. Inherent
to the air-void nature of pervious, or porous concrete, is the
potential for a lack of durability and toughness, which often
impacts application choices and project volume. Experts in the
art of pervious materials and practice have long sought out ways
to improve the materials durability, and to add to the long-term
comfort level of owners that choose it and architects that specify
it. Synthetic fibers have been tested and used for many years to
add an element of crack control, however these fibers have been
somewhat limited by shape and dosage, and have not offered a

contribution level that could be considered as significant to this


long-term durability goal.
FRP Technical Report
Pervious Project Profiles
FERRO-GREEN Fact Data

Products

Macrofibers
FORTA-FERRO
FERRO-GREEN
Specialty Fibers
STUCCO-BOND
CAST-MASTER
ECONO-CAST
GREEN-NET
FORTA ULTRA-LITE
PE-2

Applications

Septic Tanks
Burial Vaults
Manhole and Catch Basins
Concrete Wall Panels

FAQ's

Literature

Videos

Preferred Contractors

Questions? Chat Live Now!

Macrofibers

Fibrillated Microfibers

Monofilament Microfibers

Specialty Fibers

Fiber Transport Systems

Flowable Fill

Macrofibers

FORTAFERRO

FERRROGREEN

Specialty Fibers

All Products
Fibrillated
Microfibers

ECONOCAST

GREENNET

PE-2

Fiber Transport
Systems

ULTRANET

SUPERNET

ECONONET

STUCCO- Monofilament
BOND Microfibers
CASTMASTER

Applications

MIGHTYMONO

NYLOMONO

ECONOMONO

The Big
Shot

Septic
Tanks

Slab on
Grade

VM Fiber
Feeder

Burial
Vaults

Slab on
Metal Deck

Manhole
and Catch
Basins

Tunneling
and Mining

Decorative
Concrete

Pervious
Concrete

Flowable Fill

GoldenAir

Concrete
Wall
Panels

FORTA Corporation 100 FORTA Drive Grove City, PA 16127-6399


Toll-Free: 1-800-245-0306 Phone: 1-724-458-5221 Fax: 1-724-458-8331 Email: info@fortacorp.com
Copyright 2014 FORTA Corporation

Polypropylene Fiber Reinforced Concrete : An Overview


The capability of durable structure to resist weathering action, chemical attack,
abrasion and other degradation processes during its service life with the minimal
maintenance is equally important as the capacity of a structure to resist the loads
applied on it. Although concrete offers many advantages regarding mechanical
characteristics and economic aspects of the construction, the brittle behavior of the
material remains a larger handicap for the seismic and other applications where
flexible behaviour is essentially required. Recently, however the development of
polypropylene fiber-reinforced concrete (PFRC) has provided a technical basis for
improving these deficiencies. This paper presents an overview of the effect of
polypropylene (PP) fibers on various properties of concrete in fresh and hardened
state such as compressive strength, tensile strength, flexural strength, workability,
bond strength, fracture properties, creep strain, impact and chloride penetration.
The role of fibers in crack prevention has also been discussed.
S. K. Singh, Scientist, Structural Engineering Division, Central Building Research
Institute, Roorkee & Honorary Secretary Institute of Engineers, Roorkee
Introduction
Ceramics were the first engineering materials known to mankind and they still
constitute the most used materials in terms of weight [1, 2]. Hydraulic cements and
cement-based

composites

including

concretes

are

the

main

ceramic-based

materials. Concrete offers many advantages in the application due to its improved
mechanical characteristics, low permeability and higher resistance against chemical
and mechanical attacks. Although concrete behavior is governed significantly by its
compressive strength, the tensile strength is important with respect to the
appearance and durability of concrete. The tensile strength of concrete is relatively

much lower. Therefore, fibers are generally introduced to enhance its flexural tensile
strength, crack arresting system and post cracking ductile behaviour of basic
matrix.
Concrete modification by using polymeric materials has been studied for the past
four decades [3]. In general, the reinforcement of brittle building materials with
fibers has been known from ancient period such as putting straw into the mud for
housing walls or reinforcing mortar using animal hair etc. Many materials like jute,
bamboo, coconut, rice husk, cane bagasse, and sawdust as well as synthetic
materials such as polyvinyl alcohol, polypropylene (PP), polyethylene, polyamides
etc. have also been used for reinforcing the concrete [4,5,6,7,8]. Research and
development into new fiber reinforced concrete is going on today as well.
Polypropylene fibers were first suggested as an admixture to concrete in 1965 for
the construction of blast resistant buildings for the US Corps of Engineers. The fiber
has subsequently been improved further and at present it is used either as short
discontinuous fibrillated material for production of fiber reinforced concrete or a
continuous mat for production of thin sheet components. Since then the use of
these fibers has increased tremendously in construction of structures because
addition of fibers in concrete improves the toughness, flexural strength, tensile
strength and impact strength as well as failure mode of concrete. Polypropylene
twine is cheap, abundantly available, and like all manmade fibers of a consistent
quality.
Properties of Polypropylene Fibers
The raw material of polypropylene is derived from monomeric C3H6 which is purely
hydrocarbon. Its mode of polymerization, its high molecular weight and the way it
is processed into fibers combine to give polypropylene fibers very useful properties
as explained below [9]:

There is a sterically regular atomic arrangement in the polymer molecule and


high

crystallinity.

Due

to

regular

structure,

it

is

known

as

isotactic

polypropylene.

Chemical inertness makes the fibers resistant to most chemicals. Any


chemical that will not attack the concrete constituents will have no effect on the
fiber either. On contact with more aggressive chemicals, the concrete will
always deteriorate first.

The hydrophobic surface not being wet by cement paste helps to prevent
chopped fibers from balling effect during mixing like other fibers.

The water demand is nil for polypropylene fibers.

The orientation leaves the film weak in the lateral direction which facilitates
fibrillations. The cement matrix can therefore penetrate in the mesh structure
between the individual fibrils and create a mechanical bond between matrix and
fiber.

Figure 1: monofilament

Figure 2: Fibrillated

fiber

fiber

The fibers are manufactured either by the pulling wire procedure with circular cross
section or by extruding the plastic film with rectangular cross-section. They appear
either as fibrillated bundles, mono filament or microfilaments as shown in Fig. 1 &
2. The properties of these three types of PP fibers are given in Table 1 [10]. The
fibrillated polypropylene fibers are formed by expansion of a plastic film, which is
separated into strips and then slit. The fiber bundles are cut into specified lengths
and fibrillated. In monofilament fibers, the addition of buttons at the ends of the
fiber increases the pull out load. Further, the maximum load and stress transfer
could also be achieved by twisting fibers [11].
Role of Fibers
Cracks play an important role as they change concrete structures into permeable
elements and consequently with a high risk of corrosion. Cracks not only reduce the
quality of concrete and make it aesthetically unacceptable but also make structures
out of service. If these cracks do not exceed a certain width, they are neither
harmful to a structure nor to its serviceability. Therefore, it is important to reduce
the crack width and this can be achieved by adding polypropylene fibers to concrete
[13]. The bridging of cracks by the addition of PP fibers has been shown in Fig 3.
Thus addition of fibers in cement concrete matrix bridges these cracks and restrains
them from further opening. In order to achieve more deflection in the beam,
additional forces and energies are required to pull out or fracture the fibres. This

process, apart from preserving the integrity of concrete, improves the load-carrying
capacity of structural member beyond cracking. This improvement creates a long
post-peak descending portion in the load deflection curve as shown in Fig 4 [12].
Reinforcing steel bars in concrete have the same beneficial effect because they act
as long continuous fibres. Short discontinuous fibres have the advantage, however,
of

being

uniformly

mixed

and

dispersed

throughout

the

concrete.

The major reasons for crack formation are Plastic shrinkage, Plastic settlement,
Freeze

thaw

damage,

Fire

damage

etc.

Plastic shrinkage: It occurs when surface water evaporates before the bleed
water reaches the surface. Polypropylene fibers reduce the plastic shrinkage crack
area due to their flexibility and ability to conform to form. The addition of 0.1% by
volume of fibers is found effective in reducing the extent of cracking by a factor of
5-10. The extent of crack reduction is proportional to the fiber content in the
concrete.
Table 1: Properties of various types of polypropylene fibers
Fiber type
monofilamen
t
microfilamen
t
Fibrillated

Length Diameter

Tensile

Modulus of

Specific

strength

elasticity

surface

(MPa)

(GPa)

(m2/kg)

Density

(mm)

(mm)

(kg/cm3)

30-50

0.30-0.35

547-658

3.50-7.50

91

0.9

12-20

0.05-0.20

330-414

3.70-5.50

225

0.91

19-40

0.20-0.30

500-750

5.00-10.00

58

0.95

Figure 3: Bridging of crack using Polypropylene fibers

Figure 4: Typical load-elongation response in tension of FRC.

Plastic settlement: High rate of bleeding and settlement combined with restraint
to settlement (e.g. by reinforcing bars) leads to settlement cracking. In case of
PFRC, fibers are uniformly distributed. Fibers are flexible so they cause negligible
restraint

to

settlement

of

aggregates.

Freeze thaw damage: Small addition of polypropylene fibers in concrete reduces


the flow of water through the concrete matrix by preventing the transmission of
water through the normal modes of ingress, e.g. capillaries, pore structure, etc. The
implications of these qualities in concrete with polypropylene fiber additions are
that cement hydration will be improved, separation of aggregate will be reduced
and the flow of water through concrete that causes deterioration from freeze/ thaw
action and rebar corrosion will be reduced, creating an environment in which
enhanced durability may take place.

Spalling of homogenous structure of Concrete due to insufficient

Developed explosion channels due to melting

capillary pores

of PP fibers

Figure 5: Flowing out of steam pressure through the melted PP fibers in the case of fire

Fire damage: Heat penetrates the concrete resulting in desorption of moisture in


outer layer. Moisture vapors flow back towards the cold interior and are reabsorbed
into voids. Water and vapor accumulate in the interior thereby increasing the vapor
pressure rapidly causing cracks and spalling in the concrete. In case of PFRC, the
fibers melt at 160oC creating voids in the concrete. The vapor pressure is released
in newly formed voids and explosive spalling is significantly reduced as shown in fig
5[14].
Properties of PP Fiber Reinforced Concrete

Before mixing the concrete, the fiber length, amount and design mix variables are
adjusted to prevent the fibers from balling. Good FRC mixes usually contain a high
mortar volume as compared to conventional concrete mixes. The aspect ratio for
the fibers are usually restricted between 100 and 200 since fibers which are too
long tend to "ball" in the mix and create workability problems. As a rule, fibers are
generally randomly distributed in the concrete; however, placing of concrete should
be in such a manner that the fibers become aligned in the direction of applied
stress which will result in even greater tensile and flexural strengths. There should
be sufficient compaction so that the fresh concrete flows satisfactorily and the PP
fibers are uniformly dispersed in the mixture. The fibers should not float to the
surface nor sink to the bottom in the fresh concrete. Chemical admixtures are
added to fiber-reinforced concrete mixes primarily to increase the workability of the
mix. Air-entraining agents and water-reducing admixtu- res are usually added to
mixes with a fine aggregate content of 50% or more. Superplasticizers, when added
to fiber-reinforced concrete, can lower water: cement ratios, and improve the
strength, volumetric stability and handling characteristics of the wet mix. The
properties of PFRC with various fiber volume % are shown in Table 2.
Table 2 Mechanical Properties of Polypropylene Fiber Reinforced Concrete

Concrete mix

Vf

Fibers

N
o
w/
c

1.

Cement
)

390

(OPC)

FA

Specim

(kg/m3 (kg/m (kg/m Admixture

0.4

2. 0.4

CA
3)

3)

(10mm

640

plasticizer
(Fosroc
430)

647

Type

shape
Super

1000

en

Cylinder
, Cubes
& Prism

Prism

& 0.29mm

1100

Micro

(OPC)

(20mm

filament

fs

(MP (MP (MP


a)

a)

a)

Slu
mp Re
(mm f.
)

d
0
0.1 17.2 1.08 4.5
69

14.1 1.72 2.5

0.3 12.6 1.34 3.0

dia)

360

ft

l/

Fibrillated
(20mm long

fcu

100

120

[1
5]

0
39

--

2.24 4.01

--

[1

6 0.0

2.33 3.76

0]

(19mm long

45

2.40 4.01

& 0.048mm

0.0

dia)

82
0.1

2.43 4.22

28
Mono
3.

0.4

360

(OPC)

1100
(20mm

filament
647

Prism

1.0

(30mm long 55 1.2


& 0.55 mm

1.4

--

2.50 5.36

2.68 5.47

2.70 5.51

[1
0]

dia)
35.0

4.

0.4

418

(OPC)

724
(25mm

998

Cylinder

Mono
filament

0
56 1.0
1.5

3
35.4
2
30.7

2.23
3.21 - - 3.21

102
38
7

[1
6]

5.

0.4 372 OPC


0

+ 28 SF

56.1

1140
(20mm

750

Superplasticizer

Prism

Mono
filament

20

4.10 5.21

0 0.5 56.1 4.40 5.61

100

[2

80

9]

0
35.2
3

6.

0.5

383

(PPC)

1162
(20mm

Cylinder
572

, Cubes
& Prism

Graded

39.5 3.54 5.23

Fibrillated

N 0.1

(12mm ~

R 0.2 41.0 4.88 5.65

24mm)

0.3

0
0

4.42 5.47
4.95 6.35

--

[2
5]

48.0
0
41.2
2

7.

0.4

430

(PPC)

1154
(20mm

Cylinder
540

, Cubes
& Prism

Graded

49.7 3.72 5.35

Fibrillated

N 0.1

12mm ~

R 0.2 50.2 4.67 6.12

24mm)

0.3

8
2

4.53 5.99
4.75 6.29

--

[2
5]

52.0
0
8. 0.3
9

498

1136

(PPC)

503

NIL

Cylinder

Graded

(20mm

, Cubes

Fibrillated

& Prism

12mm ~
24mm)

--

[2

4.88 5.70

5]

0.2 50.6 5.09 6. 40

R 0.1
0.3

46.1 3.89 5.56


5
7

5.52

55.3
3

6.84

57.1
1

Superplastic
9.

0.3

567

(OPC)

630

1050

izer
(Paric

Fibrillated
Cylinder

FP300U)

0. 0

567
(OPC)

630

1050

izer
(Paric

1 0.3
1. 6

1 0.4
2. 0

1268

+56 Fly (20mm


ash

713

Super
plasticizer

(20mm

Cylinder

mm long&
0.06mm di)

Cylinder
, Cubes
& Prism

Mono
filament
Mesh Type

0.2
5
0.5
0

740

Cubes &
Cylinder

Fibrillated

81.6
0
60.8
0
60.0

4.40
4.10
4.30

--

400- [2
600

3]

0.2 71.9
50

5.40

0 0.5 59.4 4.70


0
-

70 0.1
0

15 0.1
0

0
0

1120
415

& 0.06 mm

Fibrillated(30

FP300U)

314OPC

(6 mm long 10
dia)

Superplastic
1 0.3

--

400- [2
600

3]

0
38.2
0
37.6
0
37.2

4.80

73

5.10

55

5.40

45

[3
0]

0
38.0 4.00

12 0.1 34.5 4.40


6 0.2 42.0 5.00
0.3 41.4 5.15

--

20
20

[2

15

8]

10

Where: Vf - volume fraction of fiber; f cu - compressive strength; ft - tensile strength and f s - flexural
strength, SF- Silica fume

Polypropylene fibers are used in two different ways to reinforce cementitious


matrices. One application is in thin sheet components in which polypropylene
provides the primary reinforcement. Its volume content is relatively high exceeding
5%, in order to obtain both strengthening and toughening. In other application the
volume content of the polypropylene is low, less than 0.3% by volume, and it is
intended to act mainly as secondary reinforcement for crack control, but not for
structural load bearing applications [11]. The performance and influence of the
polypropylene fibers in the fresh and hardened concrete is different and therefore
these two topics are treated separately.

Effects

on

Fresh

Concrete

The main parameter, which is often used to determine the workability of fresh
concrete, is the slump test. The slump value depends mainly on the water
absorption and porosity of the aggregates, water content in the mixture, amount of
the aggregate and fine material in the mixture, shape of the aggregates and
surface characteristics of the constituents in the mixture. The slump values
decrease significantly with the addition of polypropylene fibers as shown in Table 3.
The concrete mixture becomes rather clingy resulting in increasing of the adhesion
and cohesiveness of fresh concrete. During mixing the movement of aggregates
shears the fibrillated fibers apart, so that they open into a network of linked fiber
filaments and individual fibers. These fibers anchor mechanically to the cement
paste because of their large specific surface area. The concrete mixture with
polypropylene fibers results in the fewer rate of bleeding and segregation as
compared to plain concrete. This is because the fibers hold the concrete together
and thus slow down the settlement of aggregates. Due to its high tensile and pullout strength, the PP fibers even reduce the early plastic shrinkage cracking by
enhancing the tensile capacity of fresh concrete to resist the tensile stresses caused
by the typical volume changes. The fibers also distribute these tensile stresses
more evenly throughout the concrete. As the plastic shrinkage cracking decreases,
the number of cracks in the concrete under loading is reduced, due to decrease in
cracks from the existing shrinkage cracks. If shrinkage cracks are still formed, the
fibers bridge these cracks, reducing at the same time their length and width.
Moreover, as the rate of bleeding decreases, the use of polypropylene fibers may
accelerate the time to initial and final set of the concrete as this led to a slower rate
of drying in the concrete [14].
Table 3: Effect of polypropylene fibers on concrete slump [18]
(mm)

Effects

Initial slump

Final slump

Fiber length

(mm)

(mm)

(mm)

90

76

51

130

70

51

170

120

30

127

48

51

1245

53

51

114

64

19

on

Hardened

Concrete

The addition of polypropylene fibres in the concrete did not significantly affect the
compressive strength and the modulus of elasticity but they do increase the tensile
strength. Splitting tensile strength of PFRC approx ranges from 9% to 13% of its
compressive strength. Addition of PP fibers in concrete increases the splitting
tensile

strength

by

approx

20%

to

50%

[16].

Compressive strength: The compression strength of concrete is a vital parameter


as it decides the other parameters like tension, flexure etc. The effect of
polypropylene fiber on the compressive strength of concrete has been discussed in
many literatures and observed that polypropylene fiber either decreases or
increases the compressive strength of concrete, but overall effect is negligible in
many cases. In fact, the effect of a low volume of polypropylene fiber on the
compressive strength of concrete may be concealed by the experimental error.
Flexural tensile strength: The flexural tensile strength increases with increase in
volume fraction of fiber. It is also observed that there was increase in strength for
with the increase in aspect ratio of fibre.

Figure 6: Fracture shape Figure 7: Fracture shape


of plain concrete

of PFR concrete

Bond strength: It is necessary that there should be a good bond between the fiber
and the matrix. If the critical fiber volume for strengthening has been reached then
it is possible to achieve multiple cracking. This is a desirable situation because it
changes a basically brittle material with a single fracture surface to fracture into a
pseudo ductile material which can absorb transient minor overload and shocks with

little visible damage. So the aim is to produce large number of multiple cracks at as
close spacing as possible so that the crack widths are very small, almost invisible to
naked eye so that the rate at which aggressive materials can penetrate the matrix
is reduced. High bond strength helps to give close crack spacing but it is also
essential that the fibers should give sufficient ductility to absorb impacts. But in
terms of physiochemical adhesion there is no bond between the fiber and the
cement gel. The use of chopped and twisted fibrillated polypropylene fibers with
their open structure has partially remedied the lack of interfacial adhesion by
making use of wedge action at the slightly open fiber ends and also by mechanical
bonding through fibrillation. The general pull out loads of twisted fibrillated fibers
[20, 21] may range from 300-500N for commonly used staples but the accurate
calculation of bond strength is complicated by a lack of knowledge of the surface
area of fiber in contact with the paste. It is observed that in damaged products and
in broken specimens, usually fiber breaks instead of fiber pull out [9].
Fracture

Properties:

The

failure

behaviour

of

high-strength

concretes

is

effectively improved by the use of fibers. The typical shear bond rupture due to
strain localization could be avoided (fig. 6). Instead of this, a large number of the
longitudinal cracking, which was predominantly oriented in the direction parallel or
sub-parallel to the external compressive stresses, was formed at the entire concrete
specimens

as

shown

in

fig7.

Creep and shrinkage properties of concrete: Fibers reduce creep strain, which is
defined as the time-dependent deformation of concrete under a constant stress.
Compressive creep values, however, may be only 10 to 20% of those for normal
concrete. Shrinkage of concrete, which is caused by the withdrawal of water from
concrete during drying, is also reduced by fibers. The shrinkage, creep and total
time dependent deformation of various PFRC mixes along with non fibrous concrete
mix are presented in fig 8[15]. The reduction in shrinkage due to the presence of
fibers is expected from number of viewpoints. First, the fibers do not exhibit any
shrinkage, thus reducing overall shrinkage of the mix. In addition the fibers have a
role in retaining the water in the concrete mix upto a certain limit which helps to
delay the shrinkage. Therefore addition of fibers to the concrete mixes is always
advantageous in reducing shrinkage deformation.

Figure 8: Time dependent deformation of

Figure10: Effect of polypropylene fibers on impact resistance

polypropylene fibers

of concrete

Flexural impact properties: The number of blows required to develop the first
visible crack on the beams lower surface is defined as the initial-crack impact
number (Ncr). Failure impact number Nf is defined as the number at which one main
macro-crack develops from bottom to top of the beam. Impact ductility index is
defined as the ratio of failure impact number to initial crack impact number, which
can

be

used

to

present

J=Nf

the

flexural

impact

ductility.

Ncr

where J is impact ductility index, which for plain concrete is 1. The flexural impact
test results are shown in table 6 by researcher[10]. The impact resistance for
concretes with various volume fractions of fibrillated polypropylene fibers has been
shown in figure 10. The results indicate that significant improvement in impact
resistance of concrete can be achieved with relatively low volume fraction of
polypropylene fibers.
Table 6: Impact properties of fiber reinforced concrete
Type of mix Vf % Average Impact number
Control

0
0.05

Microfilament

0.09
5
0.14

Average failure
Impact number

Impact ductility index

25.8

26.8

1.04

34.7

46.5

1.34

28.6

30.4

1.06

38.1

40.1

1.05

68.9

224.2

3.26

Monofilament 1.2

70.7

712.7

10.08

1.4

62.8

831

13.23

Chloride penetration: Besides improved mechanical properties due to inclusion of


fiber, chloride penetration is also reduced substantially by the presence of fibers
depending upon its orientation. Antoni [17] studied the effect of chloride
penetration and found that the effect is insignificant for shorter fiber due to the
random orientation of short fibers as compare to long fibers. Further, the chloride
movement into concrete is reduced significantly by the presence of fiber as the
interfacial transition zone in the direction perpendicular to the chloride penetration
whereas fiber provides easier path for the chloride to migrate in direction along the
fiber.
Obstacles in Use of PFRC
Although PP fibers are gaining wide applications in many fields, there is still need
for improvement in some properties. A major fire will leave the concrete with
additional porosity equal to the volume of fibers incorporated in the concrete
usually in the order of 0.3 to 1.5% by volumetric fraction. In respect of
monofilament fibers, the poor bond between fiber and matrix results in a low pull
out strength. The PP fibers are also attacked by sunlight and oxygen, however
surrounding concrete in PFRC protects the fibers so well that this shortcoming is not
significant. Further, sometimes the fibers function as initiator of the micro cracking
because of their low modulus of elasticity as compared to the cement matrix. Thus
mechanical bond with the cement matrix is also low. The fibers cause the
enhancement of the pores volume of concrete by creating more micro-defects in
the cement matrix.
Conclusion
Innovations in engineering design and construction, which often call for new
building materials, have made polypropylene fiber-reinforced concrete applications.
In the past several years, an increasing number of constructions have been taken
place with concrete containing polypropylene fibres such as foundation piles,
prestressed piles, piers, highways, industrial floors, bridge decks, facing panels,
flotation units for walkways, heavyweight coatings for underwater pipe etc. This has
also

been

used

for

controlling

shrinkage

&

temperature

cracking.

Due to enhance performances and effective cost-benefit ratio, the use of


polypropylene fibers is often recommended for concrete structures recently. PFRC is

easy to place, compact, finish, pump and it reduces the rebound effect in sprayed
concrete applications by increasing cohesiveness of wet concrete. Being wholly
synthetic there is no corrosion risk. PFRC shows improved impact resistance as
compared to conventionally reinforced brittle concrete. The use of PFRC provides a
safer working environment and improves abrasion resistance in concrete floors by
controlling the bleeding while the concrete is in plastic stage. The possibility of
increased tensile strength and impact resistance offers potential reductions in the
weight and thickness of structural components and should also reduce the damage
resulting

from

shipping

and

handling.

Acknowledgment
The author wishes to express his sincere thanks to Ms Sonal Dhanvijay & Ms
Vedanti Ganwir of Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur for their
valuable help in preparing this paper.