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Backcalculation of residual tensile strength of regular and high

performance ber reinforced concrete from exural tests


Barzin Mobasher
a,
, Mehdi Bakhshi
b
, Christopher Barsby
c
a
School of Sustainable Engineering and Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-5306, United States
b
AECOM, New York, NY 10005, United States
c
PK Associates Structural Engineers, Scottsdale, AZ 85250, United States
h i g h l i g h t s
Closed form equations for measuring tensile constitutive response from exural tests.
Parameters obtained from routine experimental data can be used for design of FRC elements.
Correlation of backcalculated tensile data from exural and direct tension tests.
Comparison of nature of the stress distribution under the two tension and exural tests.
Residual tensile strength, and post crack stiffness correlated with the ber type and content.
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 4 October 2013
Received in revised form 4 July 2014
Accepted 16 July 2014
Keywords:
Concrete
Fiber
Flexural behavior
Momentcurvature response
Postcracking tensile strength
Stressstrain response
a b s t r a c t
The tensile stressstrain response of a ber reinforced concrete dominates the performance under many
loading conditions and applications. To represent this property as an average equivalent response, a
back-calculation process from exural testing is employed. The procedure is performed by model tting
of the three-point and four-point bending load deection data on two types of macro synthetic polymeric
bers, one type of steel ber and one type of Alkali Resistant (AR) glass ber. A strain softening tensile
model is used to simulate the behavior of different FRC types and obtain the experimental exural
response. The stressstrain model for each age, ber type and dosage rate is simulated by means of
the inverse analysis procedure, using closed-form momentcurvature relationship and loaddeection
response of the piecewise-linear material. The method of approach is further applied to one external data
set for High Performance Fiber Reinforced Concrete (HPFRC) with two different types of steel bers and
validated by tensile test results reported. Results of back-calculation of stressstrain responses by
tri-linear tensile model for all mixtures are compared and correlated with the corresponding standard
method parameters used for post crack behavior characterization and a regression analysis for compar-
ative evaluation of test data is presented.
2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Fiber reinforced concrete is widely used in infrastructure
applications because of improved mechanical properties such as
fracture toughness, ductility, durability, and crack-width control
[15]. Steel, glass, natural, and synthetic bers have been used over
40 years in industrial slabs, oors, and pavements to primarily
reduce shrinkage and thermal cracking [611], reduce the required
slab thickness, and increase the allowable joint spacing [1218].
Experimental tests show that bers increase the exural and
ultimate load carrying capacity in proportion to their volume and
aspect ratio [1924]. Fiber reinforced concrete is used in elevated
slabs and water distribution infrastructure. Structural applications
of bers include but are not limited to precast structural elements
[25], tunnel linings [26,27], shotcrete [2832], offshore structures,
seismic applications, thin and thick repairs [33], crash barriers,
footings, and hydraulic structures [34,35]. The bers are also added
to concrete to enhance spalling resistance during exposure to high
temperature [36].
The mechanical properties depend on the characteristics of the
concrete matrix but also on the type and geometry of the bers
that governs their bond mechanism with the matrix [37,38]. Fibers
offer increased abrasion and impact resistance as well [39,40]. The
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2014.07.037
0950-0618/ 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 (480)965 0141; fax: +1 (480)965 0557.


E-mail address: barzin@asu.edu (B. Mobasher).
Construction and Building Materials 70 (2014) 243253
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j our nal homepage: www. el sevi er . com/ l ocat e/ conbui l dmat
effectiveness of short, randomly distributed bers may be superior
to other forms of reinforcement such as welded wire mesh, or
rebars since the small diameter of the individual bers ensures a
more uniform dispersion, along with a far superior bond strength.
Moreover, due to the reduced specic spacing, bers strengthen
the composite at the micro level by bridging the microcracks
before they reach the critical aw size [41]. Among all mechanical
parameters, residual tensile strength and toughness are the most
improved parameters which are a direct consequence of macro
ber bridging mechanisms across the crack surfaces [42,43].
Hybrid ber reinforced concrete combining micro- with macro-
bers with an improved resistance against both types of cracks is
also useful for a variety of applications, including thin repairs
and patching [44,45].
Flexural tests are routinely done as a means of quality control
and limited material properties are extracted from their results.
Furthermore, the scatter and variations in these tests due to
notched or un-notched samples, or the choice of control variable
used in experiments, are compounded by the methods used to
report the results especially in the post-peak region. For example,
scatter is much smaller for synthetic bers than steel bers due to
the higher number and more homogeneous distribution across the
fracture surface [42]. Scatter is also lower for samples tested as
round panel specimens tested under ASTM C1550 than ASTM
C1609 beam specimens [46]. Scatter in the case of ASTM C1609
may also be attributed to the degree of rigidity of the support reac-
tions, or frictional sliding at the supports. There is a need to better
utilize the exural test data for realistic materials property.
This paper validates a back-calculation procedure for exural
test results and obtains tension stressstrain response from a
variety of tests conducted on notched and un-notched beams of
different sizes, ber types, shapes, lengths, and dosage rates. The
objective is to correlate the residual strength results with empirical
residual strength methods of ASTM C1609 [46], RILEM TC 162-TDF
[47], and JCI-SF4 [48] which propose calculation of residual
strength using simple engineering bending theory for linear elastic
materials and uncracked section properties. A database used for
analysis containing three internal data sets for tests conducted
on polymeric, AR Glass and steel bers at the Structural Engineer-
ing Laboratory at the Arizona State University, and one external
data set for reported test results of Kim et al. [49] on High
Performance Fiber Reinforced Concretes (HPFRCs). A correlation
is studied between backcalculated residual strengths and various
standard exural parameters. In lieu of empirical correlation val-
ues between these parameters that are currently in use in the
FRC industry, this paper provides a theoretical approach to obtain
such correlation factor.
2. Materials and methods
2.1. Flexural tests
Set one of internal database consisted of two polymeric bers of modied
polypropylene, polyethylene and olen blends, both at a dosage rate of 3 kg/m
3
(5 lb/yd
3
). Set two consisted of AR Glass bers at three different ber lengths, and
Set 3 consisted of one type of steel bers at three different dosage rates. All samples
were tested under exural testing conguration and the load-deformation response
in the post-peak region was measured. Physical and mechanical properties of the
bers used in the test program are presented in Table 1. The analysis section also
discusses results from published work on four different mixtures of HPFRC by
Kim et al. [49]. This was designated as Set 4 and included both tensile and exural
test results.
2.2. Testing program
Proportions of eight different mixtures prepared and tested under three-point
bending conguration are shown in Table 2. The rst letter on the samples labels
refers to the general type of ber used, i.e. P in case of polymeric, G in case of
glass ber and S in case of steel ber. The following number is the dosage of
the ber presented in kg/m
3
. For polymeric and steel bers, the letter following this
number refers to the type of bers shown in Table 1, while for glass bers; the num-
ber following this number is the length of ber. In the results section, a nal num-
ber added at the end of the labels designates the age at testing. In addition to the
samples tested, one set of published HPFRC data by Kim et al. [49] was used with
employed two different types of steel bers, H for hooked bers and designation
T was introduced to refer to longitudinally twisted bers. Subsequently, parame-
ter L refers to large size of specimen with depth, width and span of 150, 150 and
450 mm, respectively, to differentiate the results from results of medium size spec-
imens reported by Kim et al. [49].
Closed loop control exural tests were conducted on pre-notched FRC samples
of polymeric and AR glass bers in accordance with RILEM TC 162-TDF recommen-
dation in order to monitor post-peak response [47]. Dimensions of Set 1 Polymeric-
FRC sample and Set 2 AR glass-FRC samples were 450 mm 100 mm 100 mm
with an initial notch length of 12 mm and test span of 400 mm. Un-notched
steel-FRC samples in Set 3 were tested in accordance with ASTM C1609 under
four-point bending loading conguration using 510 mm 150 mm 150 mm
specimens with a test span of 450 mm. The diameter of steel bers used was
0.3 mm. Test setup, specimen dimensions and instrumentation are shown in Fig. 1.
Tests were performed under closed loop control with Crack Mouth Opening
Deformation (CMOD) as the controlled variable for testing sets one and two, and
load point deection as the controlled variable for testing set three. Both the CMOD
and deection were measured using a Linear Variable Differential Transformer
(LVDT) with a working range of 2.5 mm. In notched specimens, cracks initiated
from the notch and extended up along the depth of the beam. The crack opening
Table 1
Properties of bers used in study.
Fiber type P-type A P-type B Glass (G) Steel (S)
Base Monolament polypropylene/polyethylene blend Modied olen Alkali resistant glass Hooked (H)
Length (mm) 50 50 6, 12, 24 50
Density (g/cm
3
) 0.92 0.92 2.7 7.9
Tensile strength (MPa) 600650 552 1724 2300
Elastic modulus (GPa) 5 10 69 200
Table 2
Mixture proportions and compressive strength of all mixtures.
Set Mix ID Portland
cement (kg/m
3
)
Fly ash
(kg/m
3
)
Silica fume
(kg/m
3
)
Fine aggregate
(kg/m
3
)
Coarse aggregate
(kg/m
3
)
Water
(kg/m
3
)
Fiber type/dosage
(kg/m
3
)
w/c s/c Compressive
strength (MPa)
1 P3-A 475 60 15 1100 450 230 P-A/3 0.42 2 29
P3-B 475 60 15 1100 450 230 P-B/3 0.42 2 34
2 G6-6 796 80 0 578 760 350 G-6 mm/10 0.4 0.66 41
G6-12 796 80 0 578 760 350 G-12 mm/10 0.4 0.66 41
G6-24 796 80 0 578 760 350 G-24 mm/10 0.4 0.66 41
3 S13-HL 380 125 0 1343 1816 242 S-HL/13 0.48 2.66 28
S26-HL 380 125 0 1343 1816 242 S-HL/26 0.48 2.66 28
S39-HL 380 125 0 1343 1816 242 S-HL/39 0.48 2.66 28
244 B. Mobasher et al. / Construction and Building Materials 70 (2014) 243253
was resisted by bridging bers which pulled out under this loading. The presence of
ber signicantly increases the ductility and resulted in a stable crack opening up to
high range of deections. The loaddeection curve is characterized by the maxi-
mum load and its associated deection, elastic stiffness, maximum exural strength
and exural toughness. The post-peak behavior of the samples was also reported as
elastically equivalent residual strengths as measured by three alternative methods
of ASTM C1609 (f
D
150
), JCI-SF4 (r
b
) and RILEM TC 162-TDF (f
eq,3
).
3. Test results
Results of experimental analysis on three- and four-point
bending tests on different macro synthetic, glass and steel bers
are summarized in Table 3. A wide range of responses in the data
such as apparent exural strength and toughness correlate with
the ber type, ber content, loading rate, and age at testing. The
toughness measure is obtained as the area under the load deec-
tion curve and as an age-dependent property correlates with
strength gain. Therefore, toughness after 28 days of curing was
used as the control and results obtained after 14 and 56 days for
steel bers were correlated with the 28 day results.
Effect of curing duration on exural response of polymeric ber
types A and B in Set 1 are shown in Fig. 2a. Average elastic exural
stiffness of P3-A samples increased by 20%. The maximum load
increased by 22%, and the deection associated with the maximum
load level did not change signicantly, while the toughness dou-
bled from 14 to 28 days. The increase in apparent exural strength
from 14 to 28 days was from 1.57 to 1.92 MPa (+22%). In P3-B
samples with 3 kg/m
3
of type B polymeric bers, elastic exural
stiffness increased by 27%. The maximum load increased by 18%
and its associated deection decreased slightly by 13%, while the
toughness increased from 2.2 to 4.3 kN mm (+95%) from 14 to
28 days.
It is clear that the primary parameter that differentiates among
the age of these systems is the toughness which is affected by the
post cracking response. When overall toughness is specied as a
design parameter, standard procedures can be utilized to select
ber type, length, and volume content. Such procedures, however,
are costly and vary for each ber type. It would be ideal to develop
a procedure to back-calculate the tensile response from each ex-
ural test so that the design procedures can utilize these results.
Effect of ber length at 28 days on exural response of AR-glass
bers in Set 2 are shown in Fig. 2b for three different ber lengths
of 6, 12 and 24 mm. Results show that the glass ber length does
not affect the elastic exural stiffness and deections at maximum
exural load; however, exural strength increased by 12% from
5.79 to 6.50 MPa at 28 days as the ber length changes from 12
to 25 mm. The exural toughness is showing a marginal decrease
with increasing ber length.
Comparative evaluation of the mixtures shows that there is no
discerning of the effect of ber type at these loading levels, and as
shown in Fig. 2, minimal changes are observed for all mixes of Set
1, namely P3-A, P3-B, and Set 2 AR-Glass ber mixtures. As far as
exural strength is concerned, little or no effect on the effect of
age or ber length is observed. However, the exural toughness
is clearly affected in the case of polymeric bers. Therefore, it is
concluded that the general increase in the post peak response from
14 to 28 days is the main parameter affected by the curing
duration.
Effect of steel ber dosage rate on samples of testing Set 3 is
shown in Fig. 3. Note that for the low ber contents in the range
of 1326 kg/m
3
, the effect of steel bers is observed in the post
crack response while as the ber content increases, behavior
changes from strain softening to strain hardening. The transition
from strain softening to hardening is best shown by the increase
in the ultimate strength and post crack resistance in terms of
toughness.
4. Analysis
4.1. Strain softening and hardening models
A formulation is presented to back-calculate material properties
by tting experimental data with a closed form relationship of the
load deection using a nonlinear material model [5052]. The
adaptation of this tri-linear model provides a precise correlation
of the exural response to back-calculate material parameters
Fig. 1. Test setup for three-point bend notched exural test.
Table 3
Summary of average experimental analysis for all FRC samples.
Set Sample ID Age (days) Elastic exural
stiffness (kN/mm)
Deection at max
exural load (mm)
Maximum exural
load (kN)
Bending strength,
f
p
(MPa)
Flexural toughness,
T (kN mm)
1 P3-A-14d 14 149 0.067 5.63 1.57 2.06
P3-A-28d 28 180 0.069 6.89 1.92 4.35
P3-B-14d 14 149 0.068 5.17 1.44 2.19
P3-B-28d 28 189 0.059 6.08 1.70 4.28
2 G6-6-28d 28 249 0.050 7.73 5.87 1.33
G6-12-28d 28 249 0.048 7.63 5.79 1.05
G6-25-28d 28 249 0.050 8.56 6.50 0.95
3 S13-HL-28d 28 822 0.043 23.34 3.01 32.27
S13-HL-56d 56 822 0.042 21.18 2.74 31.36
S26-HL-28d 28 822 0.054 26.07 3.10 46.20
S26-HL-56d 56 731 0.052 24.93 3.22 77.98
S39-HL-28d 28 548 0.082 25.07 3.24 122.60
S39-HL-56d 56 548 0.080 22.23 2.87 109.37
B. Mobasher et al. / Construction and Building Materials 70 (2014) 243253 245
and could explain the differences between the tensile and exural
strengths of strain hardening and strain softening composites
[53,54].
Fig. 4 presents the constitutive model for homogenized strain
softening/hardening ber reinforced concrete. The tension model
in Fig. 4a is described by a tri-linear response with an elastic range
E, rst cracking tensile strain (e
cr
) and post cracking modulus
E
cr
= gE , which g is assigned a negative or positive scalar value
in order to simulate either strain softening or hardening materials.
The third region in the tensile response is a constant stress range
dened with stress r
cst
in the post crack region. Two strain mea-
sures dene the rst cracking and transition strains (e
cr
, e
trn
). The
tensile response terminates at the ultimate tensile strain level of
e
tu
. The linear portion of an elastic-perfectly-plastic compressive
stressstrain response with compressive modulus of E
c
terminates
at yield point (e
cy
, r
cy
). The response remains constant at a
compressive yield stress level of r
cy
until reaching the ultimate
compressive strain e
cu
shown in Fig. 4b. To convert this approach
into a closed-form solution of momentcurvature response and
load deection calculation, parameters must be expressed in nor-
malized terms. Two intrinsic material parameters of rst cracking
tensile strain e
cr
and tensile modulus E are used to dene seven
normalized parameters as shown in Fig. 4a and b and Eq. (1):
x
e
cy
e
cr
; a
e
trn
e
cr
; b
tu

e
tu
e
cr
; k
cu

e
cu
e
cr
; c
E
c
E
; g
E
cr
E
;
l
r
cst
Ee
cr
1
In a exural test, the moment curvature diagram for a rectangu-
lar cross section with a width b and depth d is derived using the
assumption of plane sections remaining plane. The maximum ten-
sile strain b and maximum compressive strain k are linearly related
to the neutral axis depth ratio, k as presented in Eq. (2). e
ctop
and
e
tbot
are the compressive strain at the top ber and the tensile
strain at the bottom ber, respectively.
b
e
tbot
e
cr
; k
e
ctop
e
cr
;
ke
cr
kd

be
cr
d kd
or k
k
1 k
b 2
Using the normalized parameters dened in Eqs. (1) and (2), the
compressive stress (r
c
), the tensile stress (r
t
) and the toughness
(G
f
) are expressed as:
r
c
k
Ee
cr

ck 0k x
cx x<k k
cu
0 k
cu
<k
8
>
<
>
:
r
t
b
Ee
cr

b 0b1
1g b1 1<ba
l a<bb
tu
0 b
tu
b
8
>
>
>
<
>
>
>
:
3
G
f

1
2
Ee
2
cr
a l1 a 2b
tu
4
By assuming linear strain distribution across the depth and
ignoring shear deformations, stress distribution across the cross
section at three stages of imposed tensile strain: 0 6 b 6 1,
1 < b 6 a and a < b 6 b
tu
are obtained in closed form [53]. Internal
moment is obtained using the force components and their distance
from the neutral axis and the curvature is determined as the ratio
of compressive strain at top ber (e
ctop
= ke
cr
) to the depth of
neutral axis kd. The moment M
i
and curvature /
i
at each stage i
Fig. 2. (a) Effect of curing time on load deection response for polymeric ber type
A and B with ber content of 3 kg/m
3
(Set 1), (b) Effect of ber type on load
deection response for glass with three different lengths at 6 kg/m
3
at age of
28 days (Set 2).
Fig. 3. Effect of ber dosage on load deection response for hooked steel bers with
large sample size at 28 days (Set 3).
Fig. 4. Material models for FRC materials: (a) tension for strain softening
composites, (b) compression.
246 B. Mobasher et al. / Construction and Building Materials 70 (2014) 243253
are then normalized with respect to the values at cracking M
cr
and
/
cr
and presented in Eqs. (5) and (6). The transition from deection
softening to deection hardening is dened by critical normalized
post-peak tensile strength (l
crit
) as dened in Eq. (7).
M
i
M
0
M
cr
; M
cr

1
6
bd
2
Ee
cr
5
/
i
/
0
i
/
cr
; /
cr

2e
cr
d
6
l
crit

x
3x1
7
Calculation of k, M
0
and /
0
for the ve stages of governing strain
is presented in Table 4. During stage 1, the tensile and compressive
zones are both elastic with a linear momentcurvature plot and
the neutral axis at the centroid of the sample. This case continues
until reaching the point of rst cracking. There are two potential
regions when the elastic Stage 1 ends and the tensile cracking as
dened in Stage 2 starts. The compression side may or may
not enter the plastic zone. Elastic compression shown in Fig. 5a
is denoted as Stage 2.1, while tensile cracking, with the
compression in plastic range is dened as Stage 2.2 (tension-plastic
compression).
Two potential regions at the end of Stage 2 depending on
whether the transition takes place form region 2.1 or 2.2 exist.
Stage 3.1 shown in Fig. 5b is an elastic response in compression
while plastic compression is dened as Stage 3.2. It is important
to note that depending on the relationship among material param-
eters, any of the stages 2.1, and 2.2, or 3.1, and 3.2 are potentially
possible in succession.
By applying the moment-area method to the bilinear moment
curvature response, mid-span deection of three-point bending
tests can be derived explicitly [50]. After cracking, the curvature
distribution depends on the normalized post-peak tensile strain.
The maximum deection during the elastic stage of loading is
determined from the curvature at cracking (/
cr
) and Eq. (8). If
l > l
crit
, as the post-crack curvature increases, the moment contin-
ues to increase with the deection determined by Eq. (9). On the
other hand, if l < l
crit
, as the post-crack curvature increases, the
moment either increases or decreases at the levels below the bilin-
ear cracking moment M
cr
, the deection during this stage is deter-
mined by Eq. (10), and the term L
p
represents the length of
localization zone.
d
cr

1
12
L
2
/
cr
8
d
u

L
2
24M
2
u
2M
2
u
M
u
M
cr
M
2
cr

/
u
M
2
u
M
u
M
cr

/
cr
h i
l > l
crit
9
d
u

/
u
L
p
8
2L L
p

M
u
/
cr
L
12M
cr
L 2L
p

l < l
crit
10
Similarly, a set of equations for the four-point bending can be
written as
d
cr

23
216
L
2
/
cr
11
d
u

L
2
216M
2
u
23M
2
u
4M
u
M
cr
M
2
cr

/
u
4M
2
u
4M
u
M
cr

/
cr
h i
l>l
crit
12
d
u

5/
u
L
2
72

M
u
L
2
/
cr
27M
cr
l < l
crit
13
Table 4
Governing equations for the calculation of k, M
0
and /
0
for each stage specied by strains at top and bottom bers (c = 1 in the present study).
Stage Parameters k M
0
= M/M
cr
/
0
= ///
cr
1
0 < b < 1
k
1

1
2
for c 1
1

c
p
1c
for c1
(
M
0
1

2b c1 k
3
1
3k
2
1
3k11
1k1
/
0
1

b
2 1k1
2.1
1 < b < a
k
21

D21

D21cb
2
p
D21cb
2
M
0
21

2cb
3
C21 k
3
21
3C21k
2
21
3C21k21C21
1k21
/
0
21

b
2 1k21
0 < k < x
D
21
g b
2
2b 1

2b 1 C
21

2b
3
3b
2
1g3b
2
1
b
2
2.2
1 < b < a k
22

D22
D222xcb
,
M
0
22
3cxb
2
C
22

k
2
22
2C
22
k
22
C
22
,
/
0
22

b
2 1k22
x < k < k
cu
D
22
D
21
cx
2
C
22
C
21

cx
3
b
2
3.1
a < b < b
tu
k
31

D31

D31cb
2
p
D31cb
2
M
0
31

2cb
3
C31 k
3
31
3C31k
2
31
3C31k31C31
1k31
/
0
31

b
2 1k31
0 < k < x D
31
g a
2
2a 1

2l b a 2a 1
C
31

2a
3
3a
2
1g3l a
2
b
2
3a
2
1
b
2
3.2
a < b < b
tu
k
32

D32
D322xcb
,
M
0
32
3cxb
2
C
32

k
2
32
2C
32
k
32
C
32
,
/
0
32

b
2 1k32
x < k < k
cu
D
32
D
31
cx
2
C
32
C
31

cx
3
b
2

ctop cr
=
tbot cr =
1
1
hc1
h
t1
kh
h
1
1
yc1
y
t1
Fc1
y
t2
f
t1
f
c1
2 h
t2

cr
F
t2 2
ft2
F
t1
2.1
(a)

ctop cr
=
tbot cr =
1
1
hc1
h
t1
kh
h
1
1
yc1
y
t1
Fc1
y
t2 f
t1
f
c1
2
h
t2

cr
F
t2
2
f
t2
F
t1
3.1
3 ht3 3 Ft3
y
t3
ft3

trn
(b)
Fig. 5. Strain and stress diagrams at the post crack stage, (a) Stage 2.1 in Table 4; (b)
Stage 3.1 in Table 4.
B. Mobasher et al. / Construction and Building Materials 70 (2014) 243253 247
From the approximate bilinear momentcurvature diagram, the
total load P
i
at a given stage of loading i can be calculated by Eq.
(14) for /
i
through /
u
, where S = L/2 for three point bending tests,
respectively.
P
i

2M
i
S
14
When a exural specimen is loaded well into the post peak
region, two distinct zones develop and the deformation localizes
in the cracking region, while the remainder of the specimen under-
goes general unloading. To correlate the stress-crack width rela-
tionship into the stressstrain approach, localization is treated as
an average response within the cracking region. Results are used
as a smeared crack in conjunction with the momentcurvature
diagram to obtain load deformation behavior as presented by
Soranakom and Mobasher, and Bakhshi et al. [53,55].
4.2. Prediction of loaddeection response of FRC
The back-calculation procedure computes the tensile material
properties from experimental three- and four-point bending
loaddeection data. Results of back-calculation of stressstrain
responses by trilinear tensile model for all mixtures are shown in
Table 5. Fig. 6 represent the effect of curing time on the back cal-
culated tensile stressstain response and exural loaddeection
response of type A and B macro synthetic bers. The initial
response is linear elastic up to the rst crack stage at about
2 MPa for 14 day and increased to 2.32.6 MPa for 28 day samples.
After cracking, load is transferred to the bers bridging the cracks
resulting in the signicant drop in the sample stiffness and increas-
ing the crack width. Back-calculated tensile stressstrain responses
show that after an average strain level of about 0.0030.004 mm/
mm, the residual strength of the macro synthetic ber composites
reaches a constant value and that strain is maintained until 34%
level. The post-crack residual strength at this plateau zone
increased from about 0.4 to 0.7 MPa between 14 to 28 days.
The load versus deection response based on the simulated t
of the data matches the experimental response as shown in
Fig. 6b. The overall predictions are well established. Representative
properties for the simulation of upper and lower bound values
obtained from these samples indicate E = 1821 GPa, a = 3040,
l = 0.210.3, g = 0.020.026 and e
cr
= 107125 lstr. In all these ts,
the parameters for the ratio of compressive to tensile stiffness and
strength were held constants at c = 1, and x = 10. The limits of the
modeling were set at b
tu
= 267406 and k
cu
= 70.
Back-calculated tensile stressstrain response and experimen-
tal and simulated loaddeection response for AR-glass bers are
shown in Fig. 7a and b, respectively. The tensile strength of the
glass ber campsites are affected only marginally by the ber
length as the tensile strength increased from about 2.92 to
3.6 MPa by increasing the ber length from 6 to 24 mm. The
back-calculated tensile strength for parameter l in this case is
0.11, 0.05 and 0.06, representing the effect of ber length from 6
to 12 and 24 mm and corresponds to residual tensile strength at
the plateau zone for glass ber reinforced samples in the range
of 0.20.3 MPa. Representative properties for the simulation of
Table 5
Average back calculated tensile parameters.
Sample ID Youngs
modulus
First crack
tensile strain
First crack
tensile strength
Post crack
modulus
Post crack
tensile strength
Transitional tensile strain Ultimate tensile strain Tensile toughness
E, GPa e
cr
, lstr r
cr
MPa g l a e
trn
, lstr e
tu
, mm/mm b
tu
G
f
, MPa
P3-A-14d 19 107 2.07 0.020 0.21 40 4280 0.029 267 0.016
P3-A-28d 21 125 2.63 0.026 0.26 30 3750 0.045 359 0.034
P3-B-14d 18 107 1.88 0.020 0.23 40 4280 0.031 292 0.016
P3-B-28d 20 115 2.3 0.024 0.3 30 3450 0.047 406 0.035
G6-6-28d 32 90 2.92 0.026 0.11 35 3150 0.025 286 0.012
G6-12-28d 32 98 3.18 0.023 0.05 42 4116 0.033 340 0.011
G6-24-28d 33 110 3.64 0.049 0.06 20 2200 0.018 160 0.008
S13-HL-28d 31 61 1.89 0.126 0.12 8 488 0.033 545 0.008
S13-HL-56d 31 54 1.68 0.106 0.15 9 486 0.029 543 0.008
S26-HL-28d 31 63 1.95 0.074 0.33 10 630 0.032 509 0.021
S26-HL-56d 28 72 1.99 0.111 0.22 8 576 0.043 597 0.019
S39-HL-28d 21 89 1.84 0.064 0.42 10 890 0.038 431 0.030
S39-HL-56d 21 76 2.09 0.049 0.41 13 988 0.041 542 0.036
Fig. 6. (a) Effect of curing time on back calculated tensile stress strain response. (b)
Effect of curing time on experimental and simulated load deection response for
polymeric bers. (Set 1).
248 B. Mobasher et al. / Construction and Building Materials 70 (2014) 243253
upper and lower bound values obtained from these samples indi-
cate E = 3233 GPa, a = 2042, l = 0.060.11, g = 0.0230.049,
e
cr
= 90110 lstr. The simulated loaddeection responses show
good agreements with experimental data and the descending part
of loaddeection response is tted quite well.
Effect of steel ber was evaluated using different dosages of 13,
26 and 39 kg/m
3
using data from Set 3. Hooked-end steel bers
designated as type H ber were used in the concrete mixes poured
into samples specied as type L specimens (450 mm 150 mm
150 mm). At 28 days, the steel ber reinforced samples showed
increases in exural toughness as ber dosage increased. This is
evidenced by the calculation of the area under loaddeection dia-
gram shown in Fig. 8b. Flexural toughness increased by 43% and
165% by increasing steel ber dosages from 13 kg/m
3
to 26 kg/m
3
and 39 kg/m
3
, respectively. The residual exural loads increased
proportionally with the ber dosage. While this improvement is
clearly evident in the measured toughness (l = 0.120.15 to
0.220.33 and to 0.42 for the 13, 26 and 39 kg/m
3
dosages, respec-
tively), rst crack tensile strength is not largely affected by the
ber dosage and is stable at around 1.89, 1.95 and 1.84 MPa with
increasing ber content. Simulations presented in Fig. 8b are
reasonable ts for the 13 and 26 kg/m
3
dosage curves, but fail to
capture the almost linear unloading in the post cracking region
of the 39 kg/m
3
. This may be attributed to uneven distribution of
bers in the mix or larger concentrations of steel in the tensile
region. Representative properties for the simulation of upper and
lower bound values obtained from these samples indicate E = 21
31 GPa , a = 813, g = 0.0490.126, e
cr
= 5489 lstr. The choice of
the model used in the back calculation procedure may be altered
using parameters, a and, g to change from a strain softening to
strain hardening model to properly capture both the peak and
residual strength values. It is noted that there is a clear and consis-
tent post crack residual strength measure that is similar to metal
plasticity as the yielding behavior extends to deections in excess
of 4 mm.
4.3. Model extension to HPFRC
Kim et al. [49] performed an experimental study on the effect of
Hooked (H) and twisted (T) steel bers on exural and tensile
responses of high strength cementitious matrix (84 MPa) with a
ber content of 79 kg/m
3
. Flexural tests were performed on three
different geometries of specimens, S (small) for 50 mm
25 mm 300 mm specimens, M (medium) for 100 mm 100 mm
300 mm and L (large) for 150 mm 150 mm 450 mm. Proper-
ties of hooked bers in this study are very similar to the ones pre-
sented in the previous section, with the exception of length of
bers and diameter of the hooked bers which are 30 mm, and
0.38 mm in Kims study, respectively. The ratio of water to cemen-
titious materials was 0.26, and other details of mix design can be
found in the reference paper [49].
Present method of approach is validated by comparing results
of back calculated stressstrain responses with experimental
tensile results. As shown in Fig. 9, the present approach predicts
the experimental results quite well. The results of exural tests
on HPFRC are also shown in Fig. 10b which represents the compar-
ison of two steel ber types of hooked (H) and twisted (T) at two
Fig. 7. a) Effect of ber length on back calculated tensile stress strain response, b)
Effect of ber length on experimental and simulated load deection response for
glass bers. (Set 2).
Fig. 8. (a) Effect of steel ber dosage on back calculated stress strain response. (b)
Effect of steel ber dosage on experimental and simulated load deection response.
(Set 3).
B. Mobasher et al. / Construction and Building Materials 70 (2014) 243253 249
different specimen sizes. The ber content in all mixtures is 79 kg/
m
3
. The HPFRC showed very clear delineations between sample
size (M or L) and ber deformation type (H or T). The twisted bers
in both the M and L sample sizes showed increases in exural
toughness, (+116%) and hooked bers (+190%).
Peak tensile strength of about 5 MPa and peak exural strength
in the range of 1214 MPa are observed in these samples and do
not seem to be inuenced by sample size and ber distributions.
The maximum loads are 40, 57, 87 and 98 kN for the HM, TM, HL
and TL samples respectively. The larger (L) samples show a slightly
higher deection capacity with 6 mm total deection compared to
the medium (M) samples at 4 mm deection. This additional duc-
tility could be from the combined effect of length and high dosage
rate of steel bers which deform and yield as the load increases.
Back-calculated tensile stressstrain responses resulted in sim-
ulated loaddeection responses for HPFRC mixtures with steel
bers are shown in Fig. 10a and b for the Twisted bers with the
exural simulation which compare the twisted and hooked bers
and show an excellent t for the experimental data through sample
failure. Parameters related to this simulation are summarized in
Table 6. As shown in this table and Fig. 10a, back calculated
stressstrain responses for hooked bers for both medium and
large size specimens are very similar. Back calculated stressstrain
responses for twisted bers however differ from medium to large
size samples. The rst crack tensile strength of the twisted bers
in medium specimens are 30% higher than large specimens which
may be attributed to a more uniform ber distribution in large
samples. The back-calculated tensile strength parameter l in cases
of both bers are also as much as 35% higher for medium size
specimens. Similar to residual stress parameter, transitional tensile
strains are 20 + 25% more in favor of medium size samples, but
ultimate tensile strains are almost identical for all samples. None-
theless, the difference between exural test results of different
sizes are much more signicant than predicted stressstrain
responses using this method of approach.
4.4. Residual strength comparison with ASTM C1609 (f
D
150
), RILEM, and
JCI-SF4 (r
b
)
Flexural FRC beams results are also analyzed using the data
reduction approach according to ASTM C1609 [46]. Load and net
deection are recorded up to an end-point deection of L/150.
Residual strength (f
D
150
) is calculated using an elastically equivalent
approach:
f
D
150

P
D
150
L
bd
2
15
where L is the span length, P
D
150
is the residual load at net deection
of L/150, b and d are the average width and depth. ASTM C 1609
method uses an elastically equivalent elastic measure and overesti-
mates the residual uniaxial tensile strength lEe
cr
obtained based on
the present approach by almost three times. Therefore, it is imper-
ative to note that the f
D
150
parameter is not even an equivalently elas-
tic stress and can not to be associated with the post crack tensile
strength parameter r
cst
in Fig. 4a.
Fig. 9. (a) Simulation of exural responses of HPFRC materials with hooked-end
bers, (b) comparing back calculated tensile stressstrain responses with experi-
mental tensile stressstrain response for data set of Kim et al. [45]. (Set 4).
Fig. 10. (a) Effect of sample size and steel ber deformation on back calculated
stress strain response (H or T represents hooked or twisted and M or L represents
Medium or Large), (b) Effect of sample size and steel ber content on experimental
and simulated load deection responses for data set of Kim et al. [45]. (Set 4).
250 B. Mobasher et al. / Construction and Building Materials 70 (2014) 243253
Similar to ASTM C 1609, JCI-SF recommends testing ber rein-
forced concrete by third-point loading and measuring the net
deection by Linear Variable Differential Transformers (LVDTs).
Equivalent exural strength (r
b
) is calculated by Eq. (16) [48].
r
b

T
b
d
tb
:
L
bd
2
16
where r
b
is the equivalent exural strength (N/mm
2
), T
b
is the ex-
ural toughness (N mm), L is the span length (mm), d
tb
is the deec-
tion of 1/150 of span (mm), b is the width of failed cross-section
(mm) and d is the height of failed cross-section (mm).
According to RILEM TC 162-TDF [47] bending test method can
be used for the determination of residual exural tensile strength
as well. The tensile behavior is obtained by the loaddeection
curve of a simply supported notched beam of 150 150 mm cross
section and 500 mm loaded under three-point bending arrange-
ment tested using CMOD (Crack Mouth Opening Displacement)
control. The residual exural tensile strength (f
eq,3
) is dened with
respect to d
3
, dened as:
d
3
d
L
2:65 mmmm 17
where d
L
is the deection at the limit of proportionality (mm).
The energy absorption capacity, D
Bz,3
is measured as the area
under the loaddeection curve up to a deection d
3
and consists
of two parts. The part that includes the inuence of steel bers (D
f
-
BZ,3
) is used for calculation of the equivalent exural tensile
strength, f
eq,3
, by means of the following equation.
f
eq;3

3
2
D
f
BZ;3
2:5
!
:
L
bh
2
sp
18
where L is the span length (mm), b is the width of the specimen
(mm), and h
sp
is the distance between tip of the notch and top of
cross section (mm).
As shown in Fig. 11, direct correlation of JCI residual strength
and the present method indicate JCI-SF4 method overestimates
the residual uniaxial tensile strength lEe
cr
by as much as 3.22
times. The exact correction factor for the JCI method is 1/(3.22).
A plot of corresponding values from two tests reects the relation-
ship between the two residual strength measures. It is imperative
to note that the f
D
150
parameter can be used as a tensile stress mea-
sure associated with the post crack tensile strength parameter r
cst
in Fig. 4a, so long as this parameter is corrected by a scale factor of
1/(2.94). Correction factors for presented standard parameters are
as follows:
f
D
150
2:94lr
cr
f
eq;3
3:10lr
cr
r
b
3:22lr
cr
19
Similar to other test methods, direct correlation of RILEM resid-
ual strength and the present method indicates that RILEM method
overestimates the residual uniaxial tensile strength lEe
cr
by as
much as three times. Alternatively, standard residual exural
strength parameters can be correlated to the tensile strength by
a coefcient factor of 1/3. This value is in accordance with the draft
of ACI 544.3R report based on the stress coefcients values adopted
by Barros 2004 [56] who presented a linear relationship between
tensile stress at large strains and exural strength using a coef-
cient factor of 0.27.
r
3
0:27f
R 4
20
It is noted that in the proposed methods for design by FIB [57], a
correction factor of 1/3 is used for scaling the parameter f
R3
from
exural tests to obtain f
Ftu
as the ultimate residual strength. This
correction factor can be justied by calibration of various specimen
sizes, and various ber types and dosages. The proposed value and
the present calculation therefore correlate quite well. The present
approach can be used as theoretical justication for the empirical
values obtained and used in the FIB model code.
Since the inherent assumption of the available standard method
assumes that the neutral axis is still at the centroid of the speci-
men, and the stress distribution is linear throughout. This leads
to very high nominal exural stress levels in tension ber which
are far more than tensile strength. Extreme caution must be
exercised in application of the ASTM 1609, JCI-SF4 and RILEM TC
162-TDF methods in design and analysis of ber reinforced con-
crete sections, as the results show overestimation of the residual
parameter by as much as 2.943.22 times. These results are very
similar to the results of previous study on toughness parameters
of early age ber reinforced concrete materials [58].
5. Conclusions
Characterization of tensile-exural strain softening of ber
cement composites with alternative ber types, ber content and
lengths shows that the presence of ber signicantly increases
Table 6
Average 28-day back calculated tensile parameters of HPFRC (Kim et al. [45]).
Sample ID Youngs
modulus
First crack
tensile strain
First crack
tensile strength
Post crack
modulus
Post crack
tensile strength
Transitional tensile strain Ultimate tensile strain Tensile toughness
E, GPa e
cr
, lstr r
cr
MPa g l a e
trn
, lstr e
tu
, mm/mm b
tu
G
f
, MPa
S79-HM-28d 20 260 5.2 0.006 0.2 140 0.0364 0.061 235 0.0532
S79-TM-28d 20 380 7.6 0.007 0.2 110 0.0418 0.062 163 0.0916
S79-HL-28d 20 260 5.2 0.008 0.13 105 0.0273 0.061 235 0.0378
S79-TL-28d 20 290 5.8 0.008 0.13 115 0.0334 0.062 214 0.0439
cr
cr
eq, 3 cr
2
b
2
cr
2
Fig. 11. Comparison of residual strength (lr
cr
) with JCI-SF4, RILEM and ASTM
C1609 residual parameters (Sets 1,2, 3, 4).
B. Mobasher et al. / Construction and Building Materials 70 (2014) 243253 251
the ductility of the material. Based on the results of experiments
and analyses in this study, following conclusions may be drawn:
1. By applying the load deection back-calculation technique one
can generate tensile constitutive data with a higher degree of
accuracy than the current standard methods.
2. Using a closed form set of governing parameters and variables
applied through each stage of material response, the stress dis-
tribution that considers a shifting neutral axis also provide a
more accurate representation of the residual strength and
toughness of FRC.
3. The inherent assumption of the available standard method
assumes that the neutral axis is still at the centroid of the
cracked specimen, and the stress distribution is linear through-
out. This leads to very high nominal exural stress levels in ten-
sion ber which are far more than residual tensile strength.
4. Caution must be exercised in application of the ASTM C1609,
JCI-SF4 and RILEM TC 162-TDF methods in design and analysis
of ber reinforced concrete sections, as the results show overes-
timation of the residual parameter by as much as 2.943.22
times. Strength parameters provided by these standards must
be scaled by as much as 0.310.34 before designing FRC ele-
ments for bending loadings.
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