Mechanical Properties and Water Permeability of Textile-Reinforced Reactive Powder Concrete with Lightweight Aggregate

Materials (Basel). 2023 Dec 12;16(24):7619. doi: 10.3390/ma16247619.


This paper focuses on the development of thin-walled panels with specific properties for applications such as water-tight structures. The authors propose the use of textile-reinforced concrete (TRC) as a composite material and highlight its advantages, which include high tensile strength, improved crack resistance, and design flexibility. The study presents a novel approach which combines TRC with reactive powder concrete (RPC) as a matrix and a lightweight aggregate. RPC, known for its brittle behaviour, is reinforced with glass fibres and a textile fabric to increase its flexural strength. The research includes a comprehensive analysis of the physical and mechanical properties of both the unreinforced RPC matrix and the TRC composite. In particular, the lightweight aggregate RPC matrix has a porosity of 41%, and its mechanical properties, such as flexural and compressive strength, are discussed. The TRC composites, produced in thicknesses ranging from 1 mm to 4 mm, are subjected to flexural tests to evaluate their behaviour under load. The thicker elements show typical damage phases, while the thinner elements show greater flexibility and elasticity. SEM observations confirm good adhesion between the glass fibres and the RPC matrix. Water permeability tests show that the TRC composite, despite its highly porous structure, achieves a water permeability two orders of magnitude higher than that of a reference material, highlighting the roles of both the porous aggregate and the matrix hydration. The paper concludes with a proof of concept-a canoe called the PKanoe, which is constructed from the developed TRC composite. The design of the canoe is supported by numerical analysis to ensure its optimal shape and structural integrity under load. The research contributes to the exploration of innovative materials for sustainable civil engineering applications and addresses both structural and environmental considerations.

Keywords: RPC; TRC; cement composites; fibre reinforcement; modelling; textile reinforcement; thin-wall structures.