Effect of Steel Fibre Reinforcement on Flexural Fatigue Behaviour of Notched Structural Concrete

Materials (Basel). 2021 Oct 6;14(19):5854. doi: 10.3390/ma14195854.

Abstract

One of the biggest challenges in facilitating the installation of concrete is the development of fibre-reinforced concrete. Although nowadays fibre reinforced concrete is relatively common, it is still necessary to deepen in the study on its behaviour, especially regarding its fatigue behaviour. This paper proposes a new methodology to analyse the bending fatigue behaviour of notched test specimens. From these tests, it was possible to verify that, despite carrying out the tests with load control, the presence of fibres extends the fatigue life of the concrete after cracking. This effect is of great importance since during the extra lifetime with the cracked concrete, the damage to the concrete will be evident and the corresponding maintenance measures can be carried out. Regarding the analysis of the results, in addition to obtaining a traditional S-N curve, two new criteria have been applied, namely energy and notch growth. From these two new approaches, it was possible to determine critical energy values that can be used as predictive indicators of the collapse of the element. Moreover, from the notch growth analysis, it was possible to determine crack growth rate as a function of the stress conditions for the concrete and the specific geometry. From the comparison among the results obtained from the different tests, a limit cracking index of 0.05 mm can be defined.

Keywords: S-N curve; Wöhler curve; bending fatigue; concrete damage; fibre-reinforced concrete.