The aim of this study is to develop a process to produce high-performance cement-based composites reinforced with flax nonwoven fabrics, analyzing the influence of the fabric structure-thickness and entanglement-on mechanical behavior under flexural and tensile loadings. For this purpose, composite with flax nonwoven fabrics with different thicknesses were first prepared and their cement infiltration was evaluated with backscattered electron (BSE) images. The nonwoven fabrics with the optimized thickness were then subjected to a water treatment to improve their stability to humid environments and the fiber-matrix adhesion. For a fixed thickness, the effect of the nonwoven entanglement on the mechanical behavior was evaluated under flexural and direct tension tests. The obtained results indicate that the flax nonwoven fabric reinforcement leads to cement composites with substantial enhancement of ductility.
Keywords: cement composites; mechanical behavior; nonwoven fabrics; tensile properties.