Using synthetic fibres in concrete to control drying shrinkage cracking in concrete slabs-on-grade

Van der Westhuizen, Daniel Erasmus (2013-12)

Thesis (MScEng)-- Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Macro synthetic fibre reinforced concrete (SynFRC) is a relatively new concrete for the purpose of being used in structural elements which only require minimum reinforcement and are supported continuously by sub-layers. One structural element that is of particular interest is slabs-on-grade which is supported by a subgrade/sub-base and requires minimum reinforcement to control the shrinkage strains which may result in cracking. The aim of this project is to investigate the potential use of macro SynFRC in the application of controlling drying shrinkage cracking (DSC) in concrete slabs-on-grade. The focus is on the use of concrete slabs-on-grade that is intended for industrial floors. The SynFRC material parameters of interest were characterised first with the aid of various experimental tests. These are: flexural tests, compression tests, friction tests between the SynFRC and wooden surfaces used for full scale testing, and the shrinkage of the concrete. Next the post-cracking tensile behaviour of the SynFRC was determined by way of an inverse analysis. These tensile responses were subsequently used to perform a series of different finite element analyses. These analyses were performed on specific slabs-on-grade to determine the effects of the added tensile behaviour of the SynFRC on the DSC. The results obtained concerned: the spacing of cracks, the maximum and average crack width, and the difference in crack width between the normal concrete (NC) and the SynFRC. These changes take place in accordance to the concrete age. From the analyses it was determined that the addition of fibres gives the concrete a ductility that allows the concrete to crack more than NC, yet does not allow the cracks to propagate. This applies to low fibre contents of less than 0.4% by volume and a slab thickness of 200mm, as well as to fibre contents that have Re,3 values of 0.51 and higher. Moreover, it results in improvements seen when adding fibres if the friction is sticky, meaning when the maximum friction between the slab and the subgrade is reached with a very small amount of movement. With a stickier friction though smaller crack widths occur within both the NC and the SynFRC.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Makro sintetiese vesel versterkte beton (SynFRC) is 'n relatiewe nuwe beton. Dit het ten doel om gebruik te word in strukturele elemente wat minimale versterking benodig en wat deurlopend deur sublae ondersteun word. Een spesifieke strukturele element van belang is grondvloere wat deur 'n sublaag ondersteun word en wat minimale ondersteuning benodig om die krimping vervorming te beheer wat moontlike krake kan veroorsaak. Die doel van die projek was om die potensiële gebruik van makro sintetiese vesels te ondersoek tydens die beheer van die uitdroog krimp kraking van 'n beton grondvloer. Die fokus was op die gebruik van betonvloere vir fabrieksdoeleindes. Die eienskappe van SynFRC materiale is vooraf vasgestel vir die doel van verskeie eksperimentele toetse. Hierdie toetse sluit in buigbaarheidstoetse, druktoetse, krimping van beton en toets van wrywing tussen die SynFRC en hout oppervlaktes wat gebruik is vir volskaalse toets. Die trek gedrag van SynFRC na kraking is vasgestel deur inverse analise. Hierdie trek gedrag is dan gebruik om 'n reeks eindige element analises uit te voer. Hierdie analises is uitgevoer op spesifieke grondvloere om die effek te bepaal van verhoogde trek gedrag van SynFRC op die uitdroog krimp kraking. Volgens die uitslae sodoende verkry was die kraakspasiëring, die maksimum en gemiddelde kraakwydte en die verskil in die kraakwydte tussen normale beton en die SynFRC as ‘n funksie van beton oudedom. Vanuit die analises het dit duidelik geblyk dat die byvoeging van vesels die beton se smeebaarheid verhoog het en dit het tot gevolg gehad dat die beton meer krake vorm, maar dat die krake nie vergroot nie. Dit is waargeneem by 'n lae vesel inhoud van minder as 0.4% per volume en 'n betonblad met 'n dikte van 200mm. Dit is ook waargeneem by 'n hoër vesel volume wat Re,3 waardes van 0.51 en hoër het. Kleiner kraakwydte is waargeneem waar vesel volume verhoog is indien die wrywing hoër is, bedoelende dat die maksimum wrywing tussen die betonblad en die sublaag bereik is met baie min beweging. Daar het wel kleiner kraakwydtes in beide die normale beton en die SynFRC voorgekom waar daar hoër wrywing was.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85696
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