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Computers and Concrete
  Volume 14, Number 5, November 2014 , pages 527-546

Study on fracture behavior of polypropylene fiber reinforced concrete with bending beam test and digital speckle method
Peng Cao, Decheng Feng, Changjun Zhou and Wenxin Zuo

    Portland cement concrete, which has higher strength and stiffness than asphalt concrete, has been widely applied on pavements. However, the brittle fracture characteristic of cement concrete restricts its application in highway pavement construction. Since the polypropylene fiber can improve the fracture toughness of cement concrete, Polypropylene Fiber-Reinforced Concrete (PFRC) is attracting more and more attention in civil engineering. In order to study the effect of polypropylene fiber on the generation and evolution process of the local deformation band in concrete, a series of three-point bending tests were performed using the new technology of the digital speckle correlation method for FRC notched beams with different volumetric contents of polypropylene fiber. The modified Double-K model was utilized for the first time to calculate the stress intensity factors of instability and crack initiation of fiber-reinforced concrete beams. The results indicate that the polypropylene fiber can enhance the fracture toughness. Based on the modified Double-K fracture theory, the maximum fracture energy of concrete with 3.2% fiber (in volume) is 47 times higher than the plain concrete. No effort of fiber content on the strength of the concrete was found. Meanwhile to balance the strength and resistant fracture toughness, concrete with 1.6% fiber is recommended to be applied in pavement construction.
Key Words
    concrete; polypropylene fiber; three-point bending beam; pressure-cracking mouth opening displacement (P-CMOD); fracture
Peng Cao: Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University,Beijing, 100084, China

Changjun Zhou and Decheng Feng: School of Transportation Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Tehcnology, 73 Huagnhe Street, Harbin, 150090, China

Wenxin Zuo: School of Civil Engineering, University of Birmingham, UK, B15 2TT

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