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Fiber concrete: the concrete with the better properties
Fiber concrete is stable, resilient, durable and much lighter than normal concrete. In contrast to fiber concrete, normal concrete is prone to cracking and has a lower tensile strength. With the help of suitable additives such as carbon fibers, textile fibers, steel fibers or glass fibers, fiber concrete types with greatly improved properties are created.
Fiber concrete: the most important things at a glance
Fiber concrete is the generic term for types of concrete that are mixed with fibers such as glass fibers, carbon fibers, textile fibers, plastic fibers or steel fibers. The added fibers are suitable for different areas of application, depending on the material.
Possible components of fiber concrete and their properties
- Steel fibers improve strength and resilience.
- Fiberglass ensure better watertightness.
- Plastic fibers serve for fire protection.
- Carbon fibers offer enormous dimensional stability as well as impact and breaking strength - ideal for vehicle construction.
If, on the other hand, textile concrete is mentioned, different types of concrete can be processed with different fibers. In addition, even fiberglass mats are classified as "textile". Textile concrete with fiberglass mats opens up new design options for architects because it allows filigree constructions that are resilient and light.
What is fiber concrete?
Fiber concrete is conventional normal concrete that is mixed with specific fibers such as glass fibers, steel fibers, carbon fibers, textile fibers or plastic fibers. The fibers significantly improve the tensile strength and compressive strength of concrete. As the proportion of fibers increases, so does the resistance to tensile stress and pressure. The fibers in the concrete practically take on the role of “micro-reinforcement” that stabilizes a component. However, they do not guarantee the same high level of stability that concrete with conventional reinforcement made of steel mesh provides.
What is fiber concrete made of?
Fiber concrete consists of cement, aggregates, water, additives (concrete admixtures) and fibers made of glass, plastic, carbon or steel. Depending on the fiber added to the concrete, one speaks of textile concrete, steel fiber concrete, glass fiber concrete, plastic fiber concrete or carbon fiber concrete.
More about concrete
Profiles for the different types of fiber concrete
Properties and uses of steel fiber concrete
Steel fibers are added to the concrete to improve the compressive, tensile and bending loads on concrete. The steel fibers bound in the cement are practically not susceptible to rust, as they are enclosed airtight. With steel fibers, normal concrete loses its brittle properties and becomes considerably more resistant. Steel fibers can also be used without completely replacing structural steel reinforcement.
Steel fiber concrete is used in tunnel construction and industrial floors. It is used in road construction and residential construction. There it is used in particular for the floor slab or the basement walls.
Properties and uses of fiberglass concrete
Glass fiber reinforced concrete is a young material. It is available with different fiber proportions that start with an admixture of less than 0.5 percent by volume. When complete fiberglass mats are built into concrete, it is called textile concrete. Loose added glass fibers cannot perform a reinforcement function, but they optimize the waterproofing of concrete. That is why they are mainly found on screed floors. When thin and filigree shapes with a certain degree of stability are required, adding glass fibers is the right choice. Glass fibers do not oxidize and therefore there is no need for a minimum covering as with steel fiber concrete. With fiberglass concrete, very filigree components only a few millimeters thick are possible.
Properties and uses of textile concrete
Textile concrete is a concrete that has an insert made of textile reinforcement. This can be alkali-resistant glass, for example made of interconnected glass fiber mats. This material improves the tensile strength and load-bearing capacity of concrete. The Technical University of Dresden has proven that reinforced concrete parts have a load-bearing capacity that is up to 125 percent better when an additional layer of textile concrete made of glass fiber mats is added. In addition, other fabrics made of continuous fibers can also be added. A disadvantage is the lower tensile strength compared to normal concrete, which can only be compensated for by additional reinforcement. In addition, textile concrete can only be recycled with great effort.
An example of a solid textile concrete component is a
Properties and use of plastic fiber concrete
Plastic fiber reinforced concrete has a limited area of application. The plastic fibers in concrete, mostly polypropylene, are supposed to improve the fire protection properties of reinforced concrete. The fire protection function results from the fact that the plastic in the concrete burns when the temperature rises and leaves small channels in the concrete. In the event of a fire, the water vapor escapes through these channels, so that the component is better protected against excessive and rapid heating. Synthetic fibers have another advantage when they are mixed with fresh concrete: when fresh concrete hardens, significantly fewer cracks occur. For the same reason, plastic fibers are mixed in screed. In terms of compressive or tensile strength, however, the plastic fibers have no effect.
Properties and uses of carbon fibers
Carbon fibers are used in the aerospace, sports equipment and automotive sectors. They ensure a high degree of elasticity and low weight at the same time. Elastic fibers enable extreme shapes and also ensure that the fiber concrete does not break so quickly. The break is heralded by cracks that gradually deepen. The break itself is less drastic than without carbon fibers. The carbon fibers give the concrete a strong strength, so that experts assume that carbon fiber concrete will soon replace reinforced concrete.
Carbon fibers do not rust, are at least as strong as reinforced concrete, significantly more durable and up to 75 percent lighter. The only thing that still stands in the way of the final development step is the excessively high cost factor for carbon.
Because of the many positive properties of carbon concrete
Advantages and disadvantages of the different types of fiber concrete
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