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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CIVIL AND STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING

Volume 2, No 1, 2011
Copyright 2010 All rights reserved Integrated Publishing services

ISSN 0976 4399

Research article

Strength and behaviour of Fly Ash based Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete
Composite
Saravana Raja Mohan. K, Parthiban. K
Associate Dean and Assistant Professor,
School of Civil Engineering, SASTRA University, Thanjavur
srm@civil.sastra.edu
doi:10.6088/ijcser.00202010112
ABSTRACT
This experimental investigation is to study the effects of replacement of cement (by weight)
with five percentage of fly ash and the effects of addition of steel fiber composite. A control
mixture of proportions 1:1:49:1.79 with w/c of 0.45 was designed. Cement was replaced
with five percentages (10%, 15%, 20%, 25% & 30%) of Class C fly ash. Four percentages of
steel fibers (0.15%, 0.30%, 0.45% & 0.60%) having 20 mm length were used. This study
reports the feasibility of use of steel fibres and their effect due to variation in fibre length,
fibre content on structural properties such as cube compressive strength, cylinder
compressive strength, split tensile strength, modulus of rupture and modulus of elasticity of
this composite. Tests were conducted on beams with optimum fibre parameters, and the
results compared with those of identical Reinforced Concrete beam.
Keywords: Concrete Composites, fibre, fly ash, mechanical and structural properties
1. Introduction
The infrastructure needs of our country is increasing day by day and with concrete is a main
constituent of construction material in a significant portion of this infra-structural system, it is
necessary to enhance its characteristics by means of strength and durability. It is also
reasonable to compensate concrete in the form of using waste materials and saves in cost by
the use of admixtures such as fly ash, silica fume, etc. as partial replacement of cement. One
of the many ways this could be achieved by developing new concrete composites with the
fibres which are locally available that makes even non-engineered construction can work well
under severe loads like earthquakes or man-induced attacks.
To bring into focus the use of steel fibres in concrete, an experimental programme was
planned to study the material characteristics and structural components like beams. Here in
this paper, work on material properties and structural performance is reported. In this
experimental investigation, the structural properties of the steel fibre reinforced concrete have
been determined.
2. Materials and Method
2.1 Research Significance
The use of fly ash in concrete is abounded with data from mechanical and chemical strengths
(Job Thomas and Syam Prakash, 1993) to assess the material parameters. Studies focusing on
material properties with different percentage replacement of cement with fly ash are
presented (Goplakrishnan et al., 2001) and on structural component with use of fly ash
concrete and fibre concrete composites (Saravanarajamohan et al., 2003). It has been found

Received on September, 2011 Published on November 2011

318

Strength and behaviour of Fly Ash based Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete Composite
Saravana Raja Mohan. K, Parthiban. K

that with high volume of class F fly ash, (Rafat Siddique, 2003) the workability of concrete
has increased and the amount of cube compressive strength, split tensile strength, flexural
strength has been decreased and no significant effect has been noted on impact strength of
plain concrete. The tests results obtained from fibre reinforced concrete (Sekar, 2004)
indicated that the addition of waste fibres obtained from wire winding industries and lathe in
plain concrete enhances the strength markedly, whereas waste fibres from wire drawing
industry reduced the strength of concrete. But studies focusing on application of this type of
composites are very few and hence there is a need to assess the structural properties of fibre
reinforced concrete composites using different locally available natural and artificial fibres
and this need is taken care of in this study.
2.2. Sample preparation
A mix proportion of 1:1.49:1.79 with suitable water cement ratio to get a characteristic
strength of M20 was considered for this study. The exact quantity of materials for each mix
was calculated. The parameters varied were fibre length, fibre content and fly ash percentage.
The constituent of materials used for making the concrete were tested and the results are
furnished in Table1. The cement, fine aggregate, coarse aggregate and fly ash were tested
prior to the experiments and checked for conformity with relevant Indian standards. Steel
fibre and fly ash were also tested to evaluate its tensile strength and compressive strength.
Table 1: Details of Constituent Materials
Material
Cement
Fly Ash & %
Fine Aggregate
Coarse Aggregate
Steel fibre
Fibre length
Mix ratio
w/c ratio

Description
Type OPC 43 grade
Class C Ash ( Neyveli Lignite), 10, 15, 20, 25, 30
River sand falling on zone III having a Fineness Modulus of 2.5
20mm nominal size aggregate, Fineness Modulus = 8.75
= 1 mm, Tensile strength = 300 Mpa
20,40,60,80mm Aspect ratio (20), (40), (60), (80)
1:1.49:1.79
0.45

2.3 Material properties


Specimens were fabricated for various parameters to study its effect on the structural
properties of concrete. Table 2 gives the specimens prepared to study the mechanical
properties such as compressive strength, tensile strength, modulus of elasticity and structural
properties, modulus of rupture, according to standard procedure. The test results of the
different fibre reinforced concrete specimens have been compared with plain concrete.
Table 2: Details of Specimens
Properties Tested

Size in mm

7,14,28 Days cube Compressive strength


Cylinder Compressive strength
Split Tensile strength
Modulus of Rupture [Prism]

150x150x150
300x150
300x150
500x100x100

Number of
specimens
3 each
3
3
3

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International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering
Volume 2 Issue 1 2011

Strength and behaviour of Fly Ash based Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete Composite
Saravana Raja Mohan. K, Parthiban. K

Table 3 gives the different designation for various mixes corresponding to fibre length, fibre
content and fly ash percentage used for particular mix reflect the composite control of
concrete. For example S15F0.15 means 15% fly ash and 0.15% of fibre content.
Table 3: Details of Fibre & Fly Ash Parameters Used In Batches
Fibre length
in mm
20
40
60
80
100

Fly ash
% by wt.
10
15
20
25
30

0.00
10/0
15/0
20/0
25/0
30/0

Fibre content in percentage by weight


0.15
0.30
0.45
0.60
10/0.15
10/0.30
10/0.45
10/0.60
15/0.15
15/0.30
15/0.45
15/0.60
20/0.15
20/0.30
20/0.45
20/0.60
25/0.15
25/0.30
25/0.45
25/0.60
30/0.15
30/0.30
30/0.45
30/0.60

2.3.1 Cube Compressive Strength


Compressive strengths of the cubes were tested for 7- days, 14-days and 28-days and the test
results are given in Table 4. The maximum compressive strength was 29.20 MPa, obtained
for S10F0.3 for a mix with a fibre length of 20mm, 10% fly ash and fibre content of 0.30%
by weight and the increase in strength over plain cement concrete was found to be 54.82%.
Table 4: Results of Cube Compressive Strength
Average Cube Compressive Strength in MPa
Designation
SF0/0
S10F0.15
S10F0.30
S10F0.45
S10F0.60
S15F0.15
S15F0.30
S15F0.45
S15F0.60
S20F0.15
S20F0.30
S20F0.45
S20F0.60
S25F0.15
S25F0.30
S25F0.45
S25F0.60
S30F0.15
S30F0.30
S30F0.45
S30F0.60

7 Day
15.05
18.95
18.85
18.56
18.98
18.00
19.65
19.36
18.23
17.98
17.86
17.35
17.56
17.25
16.34
16.21
16.85
15.58
15.25
15.64
15.74

14 Day
17.47
22.75
22.86
22.76
22.54
22.35
21.95
21.66
21.42
20.55
20.34
20.98
21.00
20.25
20.34
20.15
19.96
19.48
19.25
18.54
18.78

28 Day
18.86
28.74
29.20
28.54
28.68
28.95
28.86
28.95
27.54
27.26
27.86
27.00
26.45
26.58
26.35
26.68
26.34
25.45
25.34
25.68
24.98

The variation of 7 day, 14-day and 28 day cube compressive strength with respect to the steel
fibre content and fly ash percentage is given in Figure 1. The 7-day compressive strength of
the flyash-based steel fibre concrete was found to be as high as 18.85MPa, which is 25.24 %
more than the ordinary concrete. As the fibre content increases, the strength of the composite
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International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering
Volume 2 Issue 1 2011

Strength and behaviour of Fly Ash based Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete Composite
Saravana Raja Mohan. K, Parthiban. K

also increases. It is found that the loss in compressive strength due to the addition of fly ash
could be easily counterbalanced through the addition of fibres.

Figure 1: Effect of Flyash and Fibre content on Compressive Strength


However, at the age of 28 days, the increase in pozzolonic activity of the fly ash was
sufficient to contribute to the compressive strength. Thus the efficiency of the fly ash to act as
cementitious material has increased substantially at the age of 28 days.
2.3.2 Cylinder Compressive Strength
The properties such as Cylinder Compressive strength, Split tensile strength, Modulus of
rupture and the Modulus of elasticity were determined for 28-days and the test results are
given in Table 5. The variation of cylinder compressive strength with respect to the fly ash
percentage, fibre length and fibre content is given in Figure 2. The maximum cylinder
compressive strength is 25.45MPa, which is 45.85% more than the ordinary concrete. It is
observed that the variation of cylinder compressive strength is very much similar to the cube
compressive strength.
Table 5: Results of Modulus of Elasticity

Designation
SF0/0
S10F0.15
S10F0.30
S10F0.45
S10F0.60
S15F0.15
S15F0.30

28 day Cylinder
Compressive
Strength
MPa
17.45
25.45
24.56
23.32
23.5
22.95
22.98

Split Tensile
Strength
in
MPa
2.60
3.25
3.65
3.75
4.00
3.50
3.75

Modulus of
Rupture
in
MPa
2.89
4.50
4.50
4.50
4.56
4.50
4.50

Modulus of
Elasticity
in
MPa x104
2.17
2.52
2.47
2.43
2.76
2.65
2.89

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Strength and behaviour of Fly Ash based Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete Composite
Saravana Raja Mohan. K, Parthiban. K

S15F0.45
S15F0.60
S20F0.15
S20F0.30
S20F0.45
S20F0.60
S25F0.15
S25F0.30
S25F0.45
S25F0.60
S30F0.15
S30F0.30
S30F0.45
S30F0.60

22.52
22.35
21.24
21.57
21.48
21.74
21.34
20.94
20.58
20.65
20.14
19.98
19.76
19.62

3.50
3.25
3.70
3.00
3.25
3.00
2.75
2.70
2.50
2.50
2.40
2.40
2.50
2.50

4.50
4.50
4.25
4.00
4.25
4.00
3.75
3.75
3.75
3.75
3.50
3.50
3.50
3.50

2.82
2.78
2.64
2.64
2.58
2.43
2.35
2.52
2.37
2.28
2.16
2.18
2.25
2.24

Figure 2: Effect of Flyash and Fibre content on Compressive Strength


2.3.3 Split-Tensile Strength
In each mix, three standard cylinder specimens were tested to determine the splitting tensile
strength. The variation of the splitting tensile strength with respect to fly ash percentage, fibre
length and fibre content is given in Figure 3.

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International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering
Volume 2 Issue 1 2011

Strength and behaviour of Fly Ash based Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete Composite
Saravana Raja Mohan. K, Parthiban. K

Figure 3: Effect of Flyash and Fibre content on Split Tensile Strength


The maximum value of splitting tensile strength obtained is 4.0 MPa, which is about 53.84 %
more than ordinary concrete. The maximum strength was obtained for a mix (S10F0.60) with
fibre length 20 mm, fibre content 0.60 % by weight and 10 % fly ash replacement of cement.
2.3.4 Modulus of Rupture
The variation of flexural strength values with respect to fly ash percentage, fibre length and
fibre content is shown in Figure 4. The maximum Flexural strength obtained for Steel Fibre
Reinforced Concrete was 4.56 MPa and that for Plain Cement Concrete was 2.80 MPa. The
corresponding strength improvement is 57.78%. It is observed during testing that the plain
concrete specimens failed without any warning, whereas Fibre Reinforced Concrete
specimens showed a ductile failure, giving ample warning.

Figure 4: Effect of Flyash and Fibre content on Modulus of Rupture


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International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering
Volume 2 Issue 1 2011

Strength and behaviour of Fly Ash based Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete Composite
Saravana Raja Mohan. K, Parthiban. K

2.3.5 Modulus of Elasticity


Modulus of elasticity was computed from the load deformation characteristics of the cylinder
specimens of size 300mm height and 150mm diameter. The variation of the modulus of
elasticity value with respect to fly ash percentage, fibre length and fibre content is shown in
Figure 5.

Figure 5: Effect of Flyash and Fibre content on Modulus of Elasticity


3. Variation of Fibre Content
Normalized cube strength variations with steel fibre are given in Figure 6. The 28 day cube
strength is in increasing order.

Figure 6: Normalised cube strength variation with steel fibre

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International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering
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Strength and behaviour of Fly Ash based Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete Composite
Saravana Raja Mohan. K, Parthiban. K

The experimental results were translated into stress-strain curves for comparison with
concrete with the strain at 0.002 for yield and 0.0035 for failure, as specified in the codes.
The curve for the SFRC composites with 15% fly ash and 0.15% fibre volume are shown in
Figure 7.

Figure 7: Stress strain variation of composites


It may be seen that there is considerable increase in yield stress at 0.002 strain and the
significant point is the considerable increase in failure strain which goes as high as 0.007.
This feature helps one to utilize these composites advantageously for resisting seismic loads.
3. Structural Performance
Based on material strength characteristics it was decided to test beams with 15% fly ash and
0.3% fibre content. To bring into focus the role of fly ash concrete composites, it was decided
to use the composites in three different levels to evaluate the effectiveness of the composites
in resisting bending loads which are given in Table 6.
Table 6: Designation of different beams tested
Type of Fibre
Steel Fibre

Designation
SQDB
SHDB
SFDB

Types of Beam
Steel Fibre Quarter depth composite beams
Steel Fibre Half depth composite beams
Steel Fibre Full depth composite beams

To study the structural performance of SFRC, three SFRC beams of size 1600 x 100 x100mm
were cast with three fibre parameters, one prototype beam of the same size was also cast and
were tested in servo controlled loading frame as shown in Figure 8. Deflection of the
prototype beams was measured at mid span using Linear Variable Differential Transformers
(LVDTs).

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International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering
Volume 2 Issue 1 2011

Strength and behaviour of Fly Ash based Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete Composite
Saravana Raja Mohan. K, Parthiban. K

Figure 8: Loading setup


Beams of different types of fibre parameters were tested under two point loading upto failure
and a typical result for SFRC is given in Table 7. This procedure is repeated for all the
specimens for SQDB, SHDB and SFDB for steel fibres. All these results relate to 15% flyash
and 0.3% fibre content and these values are chosen based on material strength characteristics.
Table 7: Peak loads and mid span deflections for beams
Test Series
RCC
SQDB
SHDB
SFDB

Peak load in kN
35
72
67
65

Displacement at peak load (mm)


4.24
12.5
7.20
5.15

Based on these results load-deflection curves are drawn and this is shown in Figure 9. Loaddeflection behavior is dependent on the loading conditions and true material behavior will
only be reflected in terms of the method and rate of loading, specimen geometry and the
nature of the test fixtures. The fixtures used here were taken to be infinitely rigid compared
to the test specimens. The load deflection is also very sensitive to the crack location and as
cracks seek the weakest section within the constant moment region rupture occurs.

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International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering
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Strength and behaviour of Fly Ash based Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete Composite
Saravana Raja Mohan. K, Parthiban. K

Figure 9: Load Deflection Variations for SFRC Beams


It may be seen that in general the ductility or deflection increase as compared to normal
concrete is higher and correspondingly the loads show more increments for steel fibre quarter
depth beam as compared the other two. It is observed that the cracks were formed between
the loading points as shown in Figure 10. Generally the decay in stiffness load deflections
is observed in all cases with the possibility of sustaining the loads at longer deformations
significantly in steel fibre quarter depth composites.
It may clearly be observed that the beams with quarter depth and half depth fibre composites
showing better performance over the full depth beams. This indicates the effective
redistribution capacity of SFRC beams.
4. Conclusion / Suggestions/ Findings
Based on experimental test, it is found that fly ash can serve as a good substitute for cement
in reasonable proportions by volume and whatever deficiencies that may result can be easily
overcome by use of steel fibres. Properties of the resulting composites show better
performance than plain concrete both in terms of mechanical and structural strengths. In
addition, the stress-strain curves show reasonable amount of energy absorption capabilities
with good ductility. Based on these test results it is now possible to find out enhancements in
strengths for different fly ash contents and fibre percentages by weight. An ideal choice
would be 15% fly ash with 0.15% of fibre gives an increase of 5% to 31 % increase in cube
strength at the end of seven days and 12% to 55% at the end of 28 days. Similar
enhancements in tensile strength and modulus of rupture are observed making these
composites an efficient material over concrete with the use of local materials and technology.
In general steel fibre composites show better performance upto 20% fly ash and 0.3% fibre
content. Optimum could be 0.15% fibre content at 10 or 15% fly ash giving a range of 12 to
54.82 % increase.
Acknowledgement
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International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering
Volume 2 Issue 1 2011

Strength and behaviour of Fly Ash based Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete Composite
Saravana Raja Mohan. K, Parthiban. K

The authors would like thank to Prof. R. Sethuraman, Vice Chancellor, SASTRA University,
Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India for the financial support and Dr. N. Lakshmanan, Former
Director, Structural Engineering Research Centre (SERC), Taramani, Chennai for the
guidance and permission to do the testing work at SERC, Chennai.
5. References
1. ACI Committee 544 (1973), State-of-the-Art Report on Fibre Reinforced
Concrete, ACI Journal, 70(11), pp 729-742.
2. Swamy R.N (1974), Fibre-reinforced Concrete: Mechanics, Properties and
Applications, Indian Concrete Journal, 48(1), pp 7-16.
3. Ghosh, S, Bhattacharya, C and Ray, S.P (1989), Tensile Strength of Steel Fibre
Reinforced Concrete, IE (I) Journal CI, 69, pp 222-227.
4. Job Thomas and Syam Prakash, V (1999), Strength and Behaviour of Plastic Fibre
Reinforced Concrete, Journal of Sructural Engineering (SERC), 26(3), pp 187-192.
5. IS-456: 2000, Code of Practice for Plain and Reinforced Concrete (Fourth Revision),
Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi, India.
6. Goplakrishnan, S., Rajamane, N.P., Neelamegam, M., Peter, J.A. and Dattatreya, J.K
(2001), Effect of Partial Replacement of Cement with Fly ash on the Strength and
Durability of HPC, Indian. Concrete Journal, 75(5), pp 335-341.
7. Rafat Siddique (2003), Properties of concrete incorporating high volumes of class F
flyash and san fibres, Concrete & Research journal, 34(1), pp 37-42
8. Saravanarajamohan K, Jayabalan, P, and Rajaraman, A (2003), Studies on fly ash
concrete composites, Proceeding of International Conference on Innovative World
of Concrete, pp 102-105.
9. Saravanarajamohan K, Jayabalan, P, and Rajaraman, A (2003), Performance
enhancement in concrete composites using local materials, Proceeding of 28th
International conference on Our World of Concrete and Structures, Singapore, pp
413-420.
10. Sekar.T, (2004), Fibre Reinforced Concrete from Industrial waste fibres a
feasibility study, IE(I) journal CE, pp 287 290
11. Saravanarajamohan K, Jayabalan P, Rajaraman A and Lakshmiprabha T, (2004),
Role of Fly ash Concrete Composites in Resisting Seismic Damage, Proceeding of
International conference on Structural and Foundation Failures, ISFF, August,
Singapore.

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International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering
Volume 2 Issue 1 2011

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