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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 5, Number 2, April 2013 , pages 87-97

Braided composite rods: Innovative fibrous materials for geotechnical applications
Raul Fangueiro, Sohel Rana and A. Gomes Correia

    In this paper, a novel fibrous material known as axially reinforced braided composite rods (BCRs) have been developed for reinforcement of soils. These innovative materials consist of an axial reinforcement system, comprised of longitudinally oriented core fibres, which is responsible for mechanical performance and, a braided cover, which gives a ribbed surface texture for better interfacial interactions with soils. BCRs were produced using both thermosetting (unsaturated polyester) and thermoplastic (polypropylene) matrices and synthetic (carbon, glass, HT polyethylene), as well as natural (sisal) core fibres. BCRs were characterized for tensile properties and the influence of core fibres was studied. Moreover, BCRs containing carbon fibre in the core composition were characterized for piezoresistivity and strain sensing properties under flexural deformation. According to the experimental results, the developed braided composites showed tailorable and wide range of mechanical properties, depending on the core fibres and exhibited very good strain sensing behavior.
Key Words
    fibrous materials; braided rods; mechanical properties; sensing behaviour; soil reinforcement
Raul Fangueiro, Sohel Rana and A. Gomes Correia: Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimaraes, Portugal; A. Gomes Correia: CTAC - Territory, Environment and Construction Research Centre, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimaraes, Portugal; Raul Fangueiro: Center for Textile Science and Technology, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimaraes, Portugal

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