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J Mater Sci


High-performance fiber-reinforced concrete: a review

Vahid Afroughsabet1,*, Luigi Biolzi1, and Togay Ozbakkaloglu2

Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia

Received: 3 February 2016 ABSTRACT

Accepted: 19 March 2016 In recent years, an emerging technology termed, ‘‘High-Performance Fiber-Re-
inforced Concrete (HPFRC)’’ has become popular in the construction industry.
Ó Springer Science+Business The materials used in HPFRC depend on the desired characteristics and the
Media New York 2016 availability of suitable local economic alternative materials. Concrete is a com-
mon building material, generally weak in tension, often ridden with cracks due
to plastic and drying shrinkage. The introduction of short discrete fibers into the
concrete can be used to counteract and prevent the propagation of cracks.
Despite an increase in interest to use HPFRC in concrete structures, some doubts
still remain regarding the effect of fibers on the properties of concrete. This
paper presents the most comprehensive review to date on the mechanical,
physical, and durability-related features of concrete. Specifically, this literature
review aims to provide a comprehensive review of the mechanism of crack
formation and propagation, compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, stress–
strain behavior, tensile strength (TS), flexural strength, drying shrinkage, creep,
electrical resistance, and chloride migration resistance of HPFRC. In general, the
addition of fibers in high-performance concrete has been proven to improve the
mechanical properties of concrete, particularly the TS, flexural strength, and
ductility performance. Furthermore, incorporation of fibers in concrete results in
reductions in the shrinkage and creep deformations of concrete. However, it has
been shown that fibers may also have negative effects on some properties of
concrete, such as the workability, which get reduced with the addition of steel
fibers. The addition of fibers, particularly steel fibers, due to their conductivity
leads to a significant reduction in the electrical resistivity of the concrete, and it
also results in some reduction in the chloride penetration resistance of the

Address correspondence to E-mail: vahid.afroughsabet@polimi.it

DOI 10.1007/s10853-016-9917-4
J Mater Sci

Introduction hardened concrete cause the formation of microc-

racks. The inclusion of randomly distributed steel
Concrete is a widely used material throughout the fibers is able to transfer the stress within the con-
world, and large quantities of various types of con- crete microstructure and prevent the propagation of
crete are commonly used. Due to the extensive usage the cracks [52, 53]. Because of this fiber character-
of this material, many researchers are investigating istic, the flexural strength, fracture toughness, ther-
its engineering properties [1–7]. Development of mal shock strength, and resistance under impact
modern civil engineering construction has generated and fatigue loadings properties can be improved
a high demand for new types of concretes which are [54–60]. It was observed that incorporation of steel
required to possess improved qualities including fibers in HPC can reduce the brittleness of concrete
strength, toughness, and durability [8–12]. Some and alter the mode of failure of the concrete struc-
examples of new types of concrete include high- ture [61–64].
strength concrete (HSC), high-performance concrete Fibers are categorized as either metallic, polymeric
(HPC) and high-performance fiber-reinforced con- or natural [65]. Among the various types of fibers,
crete (HPFRC). HPC can be designed to have higher steel fiber (Metallic) is the most commonly used for
workability, higher mechanical properties, and most structural and nonstructural purposes [66]. This
improved durability compared to those of the tradi- is followed by polypropylene (PP), glass and other
tional concrete [13–18]. In addition, supplementary fibers; however, these types of fibers are not com-
cementitious materials such as silica fume (SF), monly used for structural concrete applications [67,
ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS), and fly 68]. The reasons for the greater use of steel fibers
ash (FA) as a part of binders can be used for pro- include economics, manufacturing facilities, rein-
duction of HPC [19, 20]. These additives can be forcing effects, and resistance to harsh environmental
added into the concrete mix, individually or in vari- conditions [69]. The efficiency of the fiber is depen-
ous combinations, to enhance the mechanical, phys- dent upon factors such as properties of the fiber
ical, and durability features of concrete [21–26]. The matrix, volume of fiber inclusion, fiber geometry,
addition of mineral admixtures has many advan- type of fiber, and orientation of fiber in the concrete
tages. One advantage is that their small size allows a mixture [70–74]. Metallic fibers are made of either
better compactness of the cement paste. Another carbon or stainless steel, which have TS in the range
advantage is that the inclusion of mineral admixtures of 200–2600 MPa. Elastic modulus of synthetic fibers
in concrete leads to an increase in the ultimate com- is an important factor affecting the properties of
pressive strength [27–30]. Furthermore, better work- concrete reinforced with these fibers. This results in a
ability and durability can be obtained through the significant change in the properties of HPFRC with
addition of these materials [31–33]. On the other the incorporation of different fibers.
hand, introducing mineral admixtures in concrete Most research studies on HPFRC are focused on
also have negative impacts and results in an increase using steel fibers as either a single inclusion or
in the brittleness of concrete [34]. Cracks generally combined use with other nonmetallic fibers. A sum-
develop over time, impairing the waterproofing mary of review papers in the field of HPFRC, and
properties and exposing the interior of the concrete to their contributions and limitations is shown in
the destructive substances containing moisture, bro- Table 1 [1, 63, 75–79]. In addition, data from around
mine, acid sulfate, etc. [35–39]. 370 recent studies on the field of fiber-reinforced
Fibers can be incorporated into cementitious con- concrete (FRC) have been reviewed to establish the
crete to produce materials with increased tensile important properties of HPFRC for use in the devel-
strength (TS), ductility, toughness and improved opment of design guidelines and codes [80–83]. Even
durability properties [40–46]. HPFRC is introduced though there are some overlap between goals of
as a special type of HPC, characterized by a low previous studies and the present study, the main goal
water–binder ratio, inclusion of pozzolanic materials of this work is to summarize the effects of different
of high-quality, high-TS, and high-durability fea- types and contents of fiber on the mechanical, phys-
tures [47–51]. The most significant contribution from ical, and durability properties of HPFRC. This review
the fibers is the ability to delay crack propagation in paper aims to make a significant contribution toward
the hardened concrete. The internal stresses in the the better understanding of the behavior of HPFRCs
J Mater Sci

Table 1 Summary of previous review papers in the field of fiber-reinforced concrete

Authors Year of Contributions Limitations


Zheng and 1995 This paper reviewed the research on the performance This paper was published in1995, and since then the
Feldman of synthetic fiber-reinforced concrete based on effect of the addition of synthetic fibers on the new
[75] polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), acrylics types of concrete such as high-performance
(PAN), polyviny1 alcohol (PVA), polyamides concrete has not beenreviewed. In addition, the
(PA), aramid, polyester (PES) and carbon influence of synthetic fibers on the durability
reinforcements properties of concrete was not considered
Abtahi et al. 2010 This study reviewed methods of sample preparation, This paper mainly discussed application of different
[76] and the history of fiber reinforcement in pavement nonmetallic fibers for producing asphalt-concrete.
engineering. It was also reviewed the effect of Mechanical and durability properties of concrete
different fibers such as: polypropylene, polyester, were not considered in this work
asbestos, cellulose, carbon, glass, and nylon on the
properties of fiber-reinforced asphalt-concrete
Shah and 2011 This paper reviewed recent experimental results, In this review paper, a special attention was drawn to
Ribakov obtained in the field of steel fiber-reinforced high- steel fiber, and the influence of the addition of
[77] strength concrete, and nondestructive testing. It other fibers was not illustrated
also discussed about fresh concrete properties,
hardened concrete properties, durability properties,
and structural behavior of SFHSC elements.
Furthermore, normative rules, application, and
nondestructive methods for testing fiber-reinforced
concrete was presented
Hassanpour 2012 In this paper, the effect of fibers on the workability, The effect of the inclusion of fibers on the physical
et al. [1] density, compressive strength, stress–strain and durability properties of LWAC was not
diagram, modulus of elasticity, splitting tensile discussed
strength, and flexural strength of light weight
aggregate concrete (LWAC) was reviewed
Mechtcherine 2012 The long-term field performances of elements and The focus of this paper was on the long-term
[78] structures made from or strengthened with high- durability and service life of concrete, but
performance fiber-reinforced composites such as mechanical characteristics of composites were not
SHCC or TRC were reviewed reviewed
Ardanuy et al. 2015 This paper reviewed the research done in the last few This work particularly focused on the cellulose
[79] years in the field of cement-based composites fibers, and the use of other types of fiber was not
reinforced with cellulose fibers, focusing on their investigated
composition, preparation methods, mechanical
properties, and strategies to improve fiber–matrix
bonding and composite durability
Soltanzadeh 2015 In this study, an innovative mix design method was The durability characteristics of concrete were not
et al. [63] proposed by authors for the development of high- reviewed. Also, the main focus of this paper was
performance concrete reinforced with a relatively on the properties of fiber-reinforced concrete steels
high dosage of steel fibers. It was reviewed the
effect of fly ash, limestone filler, type of
superplasticizer, and dosage of superplasticizer.
The mechanical properties of designed HPFRC,
such as compressive strength, flexural behavior,
were evaluated, and a FEM model for shear
behavior was provided

through a comprehensive review it provides on the strain behavior, TS, flexural strength, drying shrink-
mechanism of crack formation and propagation, age, creep, electrical resistance, and chloride migra-
compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, stress– tion resistance.
J Mater Sci

Mechanics of crack formation it has been shown that the strength of the concrete
and propagation can be increased by adding fibers with a higher
elastic modulus than that of the matrix [95].
Concrete usually exhibits large numbers of microc-
racks even before it is subjected to any loads [84]. The Post-cracking mechanisms (crack bridging)
aggregate-mortar interface is typically the weakest
link in the composite concrete system [85–87]. During In FRC, the main effect from fibers comes after the
loading, cracks will typically form at interfacial initial cracking of the matrix. The steel fibers are able
transition zone, generally the weakest part of most to bridge the cracks and transfer the stress across the
hardened concrete, and influence the mechanical cracks. The presence of steel fibers is also able to limit
properties of the concrete. Cement-based materials the propagation of the cracks [96, 97]. The TS of the
have a relatively low TS and low tensile strain steel fibers is higher than that of the hardened con-
capacity. Due to its low tensile strain capacity, con- crete. Therefore, the failure of a FRC is mainly due to
crete has a brittle behavior, and cracks are almost the failure of the bonding between the concrete paste
inevitable in any concrete structure [88, 89]. The and the fibers. This pull-out effect of fibers was
applied load surpassing the low TS of the concrete is observed in the failure of FRC tensile tests. The
the primary reason of crack formation [90]. These inclusion of deformed-end fibers (e.g., hook-end steel
cracks propagate under loading and contribute to the fibers) results in a considerable energy dissipation
nonlinear behavior at low stress levels and volumet- that takes place to straighten and plastically deform
ric expansion until failure. The fiber has the ability of the fibers [98–101].
transferring stress between the matrix and tensile There will be also the combined effect of aggregate
strains at rupture [91]. This fiber capability causes and fibers bridging in FRC. Comparing the two types
improvements in the post-cracking behavior and the of bridging effect from the aggregate and steel fibers,
toughness of the concrete [92, 93]. the effect of steel fibers bridging is significantly
greater as shown in Fig. 1. The process from crack
Pre-cracking mechanisms (stress transfer) initiation to failure of the specimen can be broadly
divided into three zones: (1) a zone of microcracking
Concrete is a heterogeneous material with pores and and macrocrack growth, (2) bridging zone, and (3)
microcracks caused by shrinkage and thermal strains, traction-free zone [102]. Depending on the amount of
which have been restrained by coarse aggregates and fibers crossing the crack and on the fiber–matrix
boundary conditions. Hence, during loading, the bonding, the post-crack stress can be larger than the
matrix transfers part of the load to the fibers before cracking load, resulting in a so-called strain harden-
any macrocracks are initiated [94]. As a consequence, ing behavior where multiple cracks occur. However,

Figure 1 Schematic description of the stress-crack opening relationships for the plain concrete and FRC. Reproduced from [102] with
permission from Author.
J Mater Sci

for normal fiber content (\1 %) the concrete exhibits to the fact that fibers were aligned more horizontally
strain softening behavior, which the damage localizes in the specimens taken vertically, and consequently
immediately after initiation of the first crack. they arrested the propagation of vertical cracks cre-
ated during compression. This is in agreement with
the findings of Bonzel and Schmidth [132]. Barnett
Fiber orientation and its effect et al. [108] studied the effect of fiber orientation on
on the mechanical properties of FRC the flexural strength of ultra-HPFRC by assessing the
effect of flow direction to evaluate the influence of
Efficiency of fibers in enhancing mechanical proper- fiber orientation on the results. It was found that the
ties is significantly influenced by their orientation fibers tended to incline perpendicularly to the flow of
with respect to the cracks formed in concrete [103, concrete. It was also shown that panels poured from
104]. The positive effect of fibers on the performance the center had the highest strength compared to those
of FRC is maximized when the fibers are aligned poured randomly or at several locations around the
perpendicular to the crack openings in the direction perimeter of the panel. Edgington and Hannant [133]
of stress [105, 106]. Mechanical property results of reported that the flexural strength of specimens that
FRC show scatter as a result of variations in the fiber were cast horizontally increased by 75 % over that of
orientation in different specimens [107–111]. The the specimens cast vertically. In another study,
orientation of fibers is generally characterized Ponikiewski et al. [129] investigated the effect of fiber
through the so-called orientation number, gh, which orientation on the flexural strength of beams that
varies from 0.0 to 1.0, denoting fibers parallel and were cut from a wall with dimensions of
orthogonal to the analyzed cross section, respectively 1200 9 1200 9 150 mm. In this study, the concrete
[112]. The parameters that affect the fiber orientation was pumped from the upper middle section of the
in composites include the fresh-state properties, formwork to fill the structure. It was shown that the
casting method, vibration, flow direction, and form- specimens taken from the bottom part of the wall
work geometry [113–116]. Among these, the wall-ef- exhibited the best post-cracking behavior, which was
fects produced by the formwork and the fresh-state also verified by the better dispersion and alignment
characteristics of SFRC are recognized as most of fibers seen in the X-ray computed tomography
influential [117, 118]. results. As evident from the summary presented in
There are different techniques to measure the this section, the fiber alignment has a considerable
alignment of steel fibers in concrete, which can be influence on the mechanical properties of FRC, and it
classified as destructive and nondestructive methods. should be taken into consideration in the design of
Researchers have studied the fiber orientation in the different structural elements manufactured with
composites by using different techniques, such as the FRC.
manual counting [119, 120], image analysis [121, 122],
electrical AC-Impedance measurement [117, 123–
125], electrical resistivity [108, 126, 127], and X-ray Mechanical properties of FRC
computed tomography [109, 128–130]. The last of
these techniques is a nondestructive method that It has been shown that different parameters of fibers
investigates the internal structure of materials. This such as type, content, aspect ratio, and length
technique has recently become popular among affecting the properties of FRC. Therefore, it is quite
researchers owing to its advantages such as higher essential to consider the influence of each factor on
accuracy and simplicity over the other techniques the concrete mix design. This review paper was
[128]. aimed at making a significant contribution toward
Lin [131] investigated the effect of fiber orientation the understanding of the effect of these important
on the compressive strength of specimens were dril- factors on the properties of FRC. In this paper, special
led from a concrete block with dimensions of focus is drawn on the steel FRC as their applications
1060 9 1060 9 300 mm. It was found that the sam- are widespread. However, the influences of the other
ples taken vertically from the concrete block had a fiber types and fiber hybridization on the properties
larger compressive strength compared to that of the of concrete containing different fibers are also pre-
specimens taken horizontally. This can be attributed sented to make a comprehensive conclusion.
J Mater Sci

According to the importance of other parameters In another study, the effect of inclusion of mineral
such as temperature and aggregate type on the fea- admixtures and steel fiber content on the behavior of
tures of HPFRC, an overview is made to demonstrate HPC was investigated [134]. Two varieties of mineral
their effects on the properties of concrete. admixtures such as silica fume and blast-furnace slag
were used for 10 and 20 % by weights of cement,
Compressive strength respectively. In addition, a commercial corrugated
steel fiber (L = 55 mm and L/D = 69) was added
In general, HPFRC exhibits higher compressive into the mix. It was reported that the presence of steel
strength than concrete without fiber [26, 62, 134, 135]; fiber had a significant effect on the compressive
however, there are instances where conflicting results strength of HPC. The addition of 2 % steel fiber
on the compressive strength of HPFRC are reported content caused an increase of about 30 % on the
in literature [136]. compressive strength of the mix with 20 % slag. In
addition, the aspect ratio of fibers is another impor-
Steel FRC tant factor that influences on the properties of con-
crete. Yazici et al. [55] showed that the compressive
Song and Hwang [16] studied the effect of steel fiber strength of SFRCs increased from 4 to 19 % as a result
on the compressive strength of HSC at various fiber of addition of steel fiber. Furthermore, SFRCs with
contents including 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 % by volume fiber contents of 1.5, 1.0, and 0.5 % were observed to
of concrete. The maximum compressive strength have the highest compressive strength for aspect
was obtained with the inclusion of 1.5 % fiber in ratios of 45, 65, and 80, respectively. Chen and Carson
which the compressive strength was measured to be [140] have also reported that for a given fiber content,
15.3 % higher than that of the HSC without fiber. In the concrete mix with shorter fiber had higher com-
another study by Ding et al. [137], it was reported pressive strength than that of with longer fiber.
that steel fiber had no significant influence on the
compressive strength of hardened concrete. In their Hybrid FRC
study, they introduced hooked-end steel fiber
(L = 35 mm and D = 0.55 mm) at the dosages of 25 Some researchers studied the influence of fibers
and 50 kg/m3. It has been shown that the com- hybridization on the properties of concrete. The basic
pressive strength of HPFRC was almost equal to that purpose in using hybrid fibers is to control cracks at
of plain concrete. Eren and Çelik [138] pointed out different size levels, in different zones of concrete, at
that the content and aspect ratio of fibers are pri- various curing ages, and at multiple loading stages.
mary factors governing the compressive strength of The large and strong fibers control large cracks, while
concrete. In this study, it was observed that the use the small and soft fibers control crack initiation and
of steel fiber with higher content and aspect ratio led propagation of small cracks [141]. For example,
to a higher increase in the compressive strength. Mohammadi et al. [56] studied the effects of addi-
Köksal et al. [139] also studied the influence of steel tions of corrugated steel fiber with two aspect ratios
fiber on the compressive strength of FRC containing of 40 (fiber size 0.6 9 2.0 9 50 mm) and 20 (fiber size
silica fume. To investigate the effect of silica fume, 0.6 9 2.0 9 25 mm) on the compressive strength of
three different percentages including 5, 10, and 15 % concrete. The longer and shorter steel fibers were
were used. In addition, steel fiber was used with used in weight proportions of 100–0 %, 65–35 %,
aspect ratios of 65 and 80 at two fiber contents of 0.5 50–50 %, 35–65 %, and 0–100 %, respectively, at dif-
and 1.0 %. It was reported that the compressive ferent fiber contents of 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 %. It was
strength values of concretes having aspect ratio of 80 pointed out that, in general, the increase in the
were higher than that of concretes with aspect ratio compressive strength varied from 3 to 26 % upon the
of 65 for the same silica fume and steel fiber content. addition of fiber into concrete. The best performance
The addition of 1 % steel fiber content with aspect was attained by the mix with 2 % fiber content con-
ratios of 80 and 65 resulted in increases up to 117.6 taining 100 % short fiber, which its compressive
and 113.8 %, respectively, in the compressive strength was increased by 26 % compared to that of
strengths of steel FRCs having 15 % silica fume the plain concrete. The maximum increase in the
compared to that of control specimen. compressive strength for other mixes was observed at
J Mater Sci

the fiber content of 1.5 %. Similar findings were fibers did not significantly affect the modulus of
reported by Komlos et al. [142], Qian and Stroeven elasticity of the concrete, and in the most cases, a
[143], Glavind and Aarre [144], and Kim et al. [145]. slight reduction in the modulus of elasticity was
A reduction in the compressive strength through observed compared to that of the control concrete.
the addition of fibers was also observed [58, 138, Köksal et al. [139] investigated the effect of steel fiber
146, 147]. Eren and Celik [138] showed that intro- aspect ratio on the HSC containing different per-
ducing 2 % content by volume of steel fiber centages of silica fume. It has been shown that at the
(L = 60 mm and D = 0.8 mm) into a high-strength same silica fume content, the modulus of elasticity of
concrete with a 28-day compressive strength of the concretes was decreased with an increase in the
56 MPa, resulted in a reduction up to 41 % in the steel fiber content for all the aspect ratios. The mod-
strength of concrete. In addition, Hossain et al. [148] ulus of elasticity of the steel FRC with an aspect ratio
illustrated that the addition of polyvinyl alcohol of 80 was observed to be greater than that of the
(PVA) fiber did not improve the compressive concrete with aspect ratio of 65. This was in agree-
strength of concrete. In most cases, the reason for ment with the finding of Gul et al. [167]. Atiş and
decrease in the compressive strength is likely that Karahan [58] pointed out that elastic modulus of
the dispersion of fibers, specifically in the concrete concretes with 0.25 and 0.5 % steel fiber content was
with high fiber content is very difficult and conse- slightly higher than that of the concrete without fiber.
quently causes poor workability and incomplete In general, the addition of steel fibers did not
consolidation [149–153]. In general, it can be con- improve the values of modulus of elasticity but rather
cluded that the compressive strength of FRC is rel- this resulted in a reduction in the modulus of elas-
atively less affected by the presence of fibers ticity with an increase in the fiber content.
compared to the strengths of concrete under the In another study performed by Suhaendi and
tension and flexural load [154]. Horiguchi [168], it was reported that the incorpora-
tion of polypropylene fiber led to a reduction in the
Modulus of elasticity modulus of elasticity. However, introducing steel
fiber in concrete resulted in an increase up to 7 and
In homogeneous materials, a direct relationship exists 22 % in the modulus of elasticity of concrete with
between density and modulus of elasticity. In 0.25 and 0.5 % fiber content, respectively, compared
heterogeneous, multiphase materials such as con- to that of the control specimen. Aulia [169] studied
crete, the density, the modulus of elasticity of the the effect of addition PP fiber at the content of 0.2 %
principal constituents, and the characteristics of the on the elastic modulus of concretes with different
transition zone determine the elastic modulus types of aggregate. He showed that the inclusion of
behavior of the composite [67]. The experimental test polypropylene fiber in concrete did not significantly
results indicate that the use of fibers has no signifi- affect the modulus of elasticity of the HSC. The
cant influence on the modulus of elasticity of con- average increase in the modulus of elasticity of
crete, particularly at a low fiber’s content [155, 156]. It concrete with different aggregates containing
was reported by some researchers [157–161] that polypropylene fiber was up to 6 % and the average
introducing fibers, and specifically steel fibers caused decrease amounted up to 5 %. This indicates that
an increase in the modulus of elasticity of concrete, the use of 0.2 % polypropylene fiber resulted in a
whereas other researchers could not comply with it low influence on the modulus of elasticity of con-
[162–165]. crete rather than the influences contributed by the
other compositions of the concrete. The effect of
Influences of fiber type, fiber aspect ratio, and fiber content addition fibers on the modulus of elasticity of con-
crete at different ages is investigated by Aslani and
Beigi et al. [166] studied the influence of fiber types Nejadi [170]. They reported that the incorporation of
on the properties of self-consolidating concrete. Steel 30 kg/m3 steel fiber content led to a reduction on
fiber at the content of 0.2, 0.3, and 0.5 %, the elastic modulus of concrete at the ages of 3, 7,
polypropylene fiber at the content of 0.1, 0.15, and and 14 days; however, this resulted in an increase
0.2 % and glass fiber at the content of 0.15, 0.2, and on the modulus of elasticity at the ages of 28, 56,
0.3 % were used. It was reported that the inclusion of and 91 days compared to that of the plain concrete.
J Mater Sci

Furthermore, the effect of use 5 kg/m3 PP fiber on Influences of fiber type, fiber aspect ratio, and fiber content
the modulus of elasticity of concrete was negligible.
An increase in the modulus of elasticity was Marar et al. [181] indicated that increases in the
observed, through the combined used of fibers. content and aspect ratio of fiber led to an increase in
the compression toughness of concrete. It was
Hybrid FRC reported that the use of 2 % steel fiber content with
aspect ratios of 60, 75, and 83 caused the compression
An experimental study was conducted by Dawood toughness energy of concrete to increase by 5.4, 7.0,
and Ramli [171] on the high-strength mortar (HSM) and 7.6 times, respectively, compared to that of the
reinforced with steel fiber and hybrid fibers consist- plain HSC. As shown in Fig. 2, the slope of the
ing of steel, palm, and synthetic fibers (Barchip). It descending part decreased as the fiber content
was reported that the use of 2 % steel fiber by volume increased, which resulted in an increase in the
of concrete led to an increase up to 36 % on the static toughness. An increase in the fiber content led to an
modulus of elasticity. This can be explained by the improvement in the post-peak ductility and energy
fact that steel fibers have a higher stiffness compared absorption capacity of the HSFRC. In addition, the
to nonmetallic fibers, which resulting in a higher strain at the peak compressive stress was also
modulus of elasticity in HSM [172, 173]. The com- increased with an increase in the volume of fiber.
bined use of 0.25 % palm fiber, or 0.5 % palm fiber This finding was in agreement with the results of
and synthetic fiber with steel fiber (total fiber content Ünal et al. [182], Ezeldin et al. [183], Panzera et al.
of 2 %), was found to be very effective in improving [184] and Nataraja et al. [174]. Lu and Hsu [185]
the elastic modulus of concrete. These combinations investigated the effect of steel fiber on the stress–
of fibers caused increase of 44 and 52 %, respectively, strain curve of high-strength concrete. It was pointed
in the static modulus of elasticity of concrete. This is out that introducing 1 % hooked-end steel fiber
likely due to the optimization of fiber content to (L = 30 mm and D = 0.5 mm) in HSC caused the
develop a higher bond strength behavior and thus compressive strength to increase from 67 to 69 MPa.
providing a higher modulus of elasticity [173, 174]. In addition, the axial and lateral strains at peak stress
were also increased. As they indicated, the ascending
Stress–strain curve parts of HSC and SFHSC followed the same trends
even though FRCs were more ductile on the
Typically, the stress–strain curves of most normal
strength concretes are roughly linear to about one-
third to one-half of the concrete’s ultimate strength
[175]. In the case of high-strength concrete, it has
been found to be straight up to 85 % or more of the
peak stress [176]. Such a high linearity of the stress–
strain relationship can be attributed to the absence of
microcracks at low load levels [67, 177], which causes
sudden failure and high brittleness behavior of con-
crete. It was reported that the addition of steel fibers
into concrete has little-to-no effect on the ascending
part of the stress–strain relationship, while it has a
significant effect on the descending branch of the
curve [146, 178–180]. However, Ding and Kusterle
[95] found that at early age, fiber reinforcement has a
significant effect on the ascending portion of the
stress–strain curve. In addition, it has been shown
that the descending part of the stress–strain curve is Figure 2 Typical stress–strain relationship for HSC containing
an essential key element in the nonlinear analysis and steel fiber with aspect ratio of 83 at fiber volume content of 0.5,
1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 %. Reproduced from [181] with permission from
design of reinforced concrete members under com-
pression loads.
J Mater Sci

descending branches compared to those of the con- that of the control specimen was increased by more
crete without fiber. than two times. Furthermore, it has been shown that
the addition of fiber into concrete led to an increase in
Influences of high temperature and aggregate type the compressive strain at the peak stress of concrete
[146, 179].
There are several studies that investigated the behav- In a recent study, Carneiro et al. [187] studied the
ior of FRCs subjected to elevated temperature. Poon influence of steel fiber on the recycled aggregate
et al. [62] studied the impact of steel and polypropy- concrete obtained from construction and demolition
lene fibers on the stress–strain behavior of HPC. Con- waste (CDW). Hooked-end steel fiber (L = 35 mm
crete mixtures were prepared with 1 % steel fiber and L/D = 65) was used as a reinforcement at the
(L = 25 mm and L/D = 60), 0.11 and 0.22 % PP fiber fiber content of 0.75 % by volume of concrete. It was
(L = 19 mm and L/D = 360), and a combination of observed that the addition of steel fiber and recycled
1 % steel fiber and 0.22 % PP fiber by volume of con- aggregate resulted in an increase in all the mechani-
crete. As can be seen in Fig. 3, the addition of steel fiber cal properties of the CDW-concrete, and also caused a
caused the toughness of the unheated concrete to better performance in term of fracture process. The
increase by approximately two times. Steel FRCs also addition of fiber was particularly useful to increase
exhibited the highest toughness values after the high- the post-cracking resistance of the recycled concrete
temperature exposure. In the case of unheated con- mixtures. It was observed that the addition of steel
cretes, the inclusion of PP fiber in concrete resulted in a fiber resulted in an increase in the area under
slight increase in the toughness of concrete. However, descending part of stress–strain curves, and led to a
introducing polypropylene fiber led to a quicker loss of similar behavior to that of the FRC with natural
the compressive strength and toughness of the con- aggregate.
crete after exposure to the elevated temperature com-
pared to the mix reinforced with steel fiber. The
The effect of loading rate on the stress–strain curve
combined use of PP fiber with steel fiber caused in a
slight increase in the toughness compared to the dis- The behavior of concrete structures subjected to high
crete use of steel fiber. Taerwe [186] indicated that the strain rate loadings is different from that of concrete
addition of fiber in HSC resulted in an improvement in under static loading conditions due to the strain rate
the toughness. The toughness index, which defined as effect. Wang et al. [164] reported that the loading rate
the ratio of the specific toughness (the ratio of the has an influence on the stress–strain behavior of high-
toughness to the compressive strength) of the FRCs to strength FRC. They studied HSC without fiber, con-
crete with 0.5 % straight steel fiber (L = 13 mm and
L/D = 81) (SF-HSC), concrete with 0.5 % poly-
ethylene fiber (PE-HSC), and concrete with combi-
nation of 0.5 % steel and 0.5 % PE fibers (HY-HSC)
subjected to loading rates varying from 40 to 300 s-1.
It was reported that an increase in the strain rate
caused an increase in the toughness of concrete based
on the area under full stress–strain curve. It has been
shown that there was no significant difference
between the toughnesses of SF-HSC and HY-HSC.
Considering the cost and effect on workability, add-
ing 0.5 % steel fiber alone appeared to be a better
choice than using the same amount of PE fiber or a
Figure 3 Typical stress–strain relationships for HPC containing combined use of these fibers.
10 % silica fume and fibers of different contents (Note SF-0, SF-1,
SF-2, SF-3, and SF-4 indicate concrete without fiber, with 1 % Splitting tensile strength
steel fiber, 0.11 % PP fiber, 0.22 % PP fiber, and hybrid-reinforced
concrete containing 1 % steel and 0.22 % PP fiber, respectively). The TS of concrete is much lower than the compres-
Reproduced from [62] with permission from Elsevier. sive strength, which is normally assumed to be equal
J Mater Sci

to zero and is not considered directly in design [188, and 1.5 % by volume of concrete were used. It was
189]. This is demonstrated that under tensile loading, pointed out that the use of fiber resulted in an
cracks propagate rapidly at much lower stress levels increase in the splitting TSs of SFRC varied from 11 to
than compared to compressive stress levels, which 54 % compared to that of the control mixture. This
cause brittle failure in the concrete [190]. Even for increase in the splitting TS can be explained by the
reinforced concrete structural members, due to the fibers ability to restrain the extension of cracks,
low TS of concrete, the concrete cover is likely to be reduce the extent of stress concentration at the tip of
cracked under load. Dewar [191] studied the rela- cracks, bridging macrocracks, and anchoring mech-
tionship between the indirect TS (cylinder splitting anism created by their hooked-ends. An increase in
strength) and the compressive strength of concretes the aspect ratio of fiber led to an increase in the
having compressive strengths of up to 85 MPa at splitting TS of SFRC. Particularly, the utilization of
28 days. It has been shown that at low strengths, the 1.5 % steel fiber was more effective in enhancement
indirect TS may be as high as 10 % of the compressive of the splitting TS. Similarly, splitting TSs was raised
strength, but at higher strengths it appears to reduce with an increase in the fiber content. Wafa and
to 5 %. It was observed that the splitting TS was Ashour [180] demonstrated that the addition of 1.5 %
about 8 % higher for crushed-rock-aggregate concrete hooked-end steel fiber resulted in an increase up to
than that of the gravel-aggregate concrete. 159.8 % in the splitting TS of concrete compared to
that of the unreinforced concrete. Eren and Çelik
Influences of fiber type, fiber aspect ratio, and fiber content [138] reported that the TS was increased up to
129.9 % for the concrete manufactured with 2 % steel
In the case of steel fibers, reports [192–194] showed fiber and with an aspect ratio of 60, which included
that incorporation of steel fibers into the concrete can 10 % silica fume. It was observed that silica fume in
change the mode of failure. Lu and Hsu [185] addition to improving the characteristics of interfacial
reported that HSC experienced a brittle splitting layer of aggregate-paste, increased the bonding
tensile failure when the lateral deformation exceeded between fibers and cement matrix, which conse-
its tensile capacity, while the SFHSC exhibited more quently caused an increase in the TS of concrete [201].
ductility without a sudden breakage of the cylinder, The effectiveness of simultaneous using of steel fiber
which could be attributed to the reinforcement effect and pozzolanic materials, was also recommended by
of steel fiber. Previous researchers [26, 55, 70, 139, Tsai et al. [202].
195–199] have shown that the addition of steel fibers
in very low contents (Vf B 0.5 %) in concrete resulted Synthetic FRC
in a maximum increase in the splitting TS ranged
from 9 to 50 % compared to the concrete without Some other studies investigated the influence of
fiber. For low contents (0.5 % \ Vf B 1 %) and higher synthetic fibers on the splitting TS of concrete. For
contents (1 % \ Vf B 2 %) of fibers, improvements instance, Song et al. [203] pointed out that the inclu-
were observed in the splitting TS values that varied sions of 0.6 kg/m3 nylon and polypropylene fiber in
from 15 to 121 % and 40 to 143 %, respectively. concrete resulted in increases of up to 17.1 % and
According to the results of Song and Hwang [16], an 9.7 % in the splitting TS, respectively, compared to
increase in the steel fiber volume fraction up to 2 % that of the control concrete. Noushini et al. [153] also
resulted in an increase in the splitting TS. It was studied the effect of PVA fiber with the length of 6-
reported that the increase in the splitting TS ranged and 12-mm, at different contents on the strength of
from 19.0 to 98.3 %, depending on the fiber content concrete. It was reported that the 28-day splitting TS
compared to that of the control concrete. An increase of the plain concrete was significantly increased by
up to 92.5 % was also shown with the addition of introducing PVA fiber into the mix. It has been
2.0 % steel fiber (L = 32 mm and L/D = 50) in light shown that the increase in the TS caused by the
weight aggregate concrete [200]. addition of PVA fiber ranged from 11 to 32.5 %,
Yazici et al. [55] investigated the effect of aspect depending on the fiber length and fiber content. The
ratio and fiber volume fraction on the splitting TS of best performing mix was attained by the one with
SFRC. Hooked-end bundled steel fiber at three aspect 0.25 % shorter length PVA fiber. It was observed that
ratios of 45, 65, and 80 and three dosages of 0.5, 1.0, the incorporation of fiber at content higher than
J Mater Sci

0.25 % or with longer length (12-mm compared to remarkably higher than that of either using carbon or
6-mm) did not lead to a higher splitting TS. However, steel fibers individually. Similarly, the benefit of
it resulted in an increase in the ductility of the con- combined use of fibers in concrete was also reported
crete by improving its post-cracking resistance. Pre- by other researchers [209–214].
vious studies [204, 205], reported that the influence of
addition fibers in concrete is more in the nature of Flexural strength
energy absorption and crack control than in increas-
ing the maximum load-bearing capacity. Fibers are It has been reported that the inclusion of fibers in
helpful in increasing the concrete’s volumetric strain HPC resulted in an increase in the flexural strength of
capacity after cracking by bridging cracks and, concrete [215–220]. The reason for this increase is that
thereby, improving the post-peak behavior of FRC after matrix cracking, the fibers will carry the load
[206–208]. that the concrete sustained until cracking by the
interfacial bond between the fibers and the matrix.
Hybrid FRC Therefore, the fibers resist the propagation of cracks
and tend to reduce the sudden failure of specimen,
Mohammadi et al. [56] conducted an experiment to which causes an increase in the load carrying
study the behavior of hybrid FRC. As can be seen in capacity of concrete [221, 222].
Fig. 4, a maximum increase up to 59 % was observed
in the splitting TS of the concrete with 65 % long fiber Influences of fiber type, fiber aspect ratio, and fiber content
(L = 50 mm and L/D = 40) and 35 % short fiber
(L = 25 mm and L/D = 20) at a fiber volume fraction Song and Hwang [16] showed that the addition of
of 2 % with respect to control specimen. Furthermore, steel fiber up to 2 % led to an increase in the modulus
the effect of three different fibers at low fiber volume of rupture (MOR). It was reported that the increase in
fraction was investigated by Yao et al. [199]. It was the MOR ranged from 28.1 to 126.6 %, depending on
reported that when fibers are introduced individually the fiber content compared to that of the plain con-
into concrete, the additions of carbon and steel fibers crete. Balaguru et al. [223] investigated the influence
resulted in an increase in the TS, whereas the addi- of fiber type, content, and length on the flexural
tion of PP fibers led to a reduction in the strength. In behavior of HSC. It has been shown that the use of
addition, carbon fiber (CF) led to the highest splitting hooked-end steel fiber in concrete was very effective
TS, while PP fiber caused the lowest strength. In in increasing the toughness compared to other types
hybrid FRCs, hybridization of carbon with steel fibers of fiber. It was also pointed out that the fiber content
resulted in the highest splitting TS, which was in the range of 30–60 kg/m3 was sufficient to obtain a
ductile behavior. However, it was shown that for
corrugated and deformed-end fibers, a higher fiber
volume fraction is needed to obtain the same amount
of the toughness. Furthermore, in case of hooked-end
steel fiber, the lengths of the fiber generally did not
significantly affect the toughness of concrete.
Soroushian and Bayasi [206] studied the effect of
steel fiber type on the flexural performance of HPC. It
was pointed out that for an aspect ratio of about 60
and 75, and for a given fiber content of 2 %, hooked-
end steel fiber generated flexural strength and energy
absorption capacities which are higher than those of
concrete with straight and crimped steel fibers.
According to the results of Yazici et al. [55], the aspect
Figure 4 Typical splitting tensile strength of fiber-reinforced ratio of steel fiber had a considerable effect on the
concretes with mixed aspect ratios of fibers at different fiber improvement of the flexural strength of concrete. It
volume fractions. Reproduced from [56] with permission from was shown that the control concrete was attained a
Elsevier. flexural strength of 5.94 MPa. However, for aspect
J Mater Sci

ratios of 45, 65, and 80 the minimum and maximum flexural performance of specimens reinforced at the
flexural strength values at the fiber content of 0.5, 1.0 fiber content ranged from 0.4 to 0.95 %. It was
and 1.5 % were 6.14, 6.24, and 6.42 MPa and 7.75, reported that the inclusion of large hooked-end steel
9.33, and 10.76 MPa, respectively. The efficiency of fiber SF1 (L = 40 mm and D = 0.3 mm) and the use
fiber content in increasing the flexural strength of of PP fiber with the length of 12-mm significantly
concrete was also reported by Balaguru and Najm influenced the load-bearing capacity of hybrid FRC in
[222]. It was pointed out that an increase in the fiber the small displacement range. Furthermore, intro-
volume fraction up to 3.75 % led to an approximately ducing small plain steel fiber SF3 (L = 6 mm and
100 % increase in the material toughness compared to D = 18 lm) in concrete also exerted a certain con-
that of the conventional concrete. Among different tribution toward the improvement of the flexural
fibers that were considered in their study, the use of strength. It has been shown that among three differ-
hooked-end steel fiber in concrete caused the highest ent types of steel fibers considered in that study, SF1
toughness compared to that of the concrete with exhibited the best performance. The reason was that
straight steel fiber or polypropylene macrofiber. the SF1 fiber owing to its particular shape compared
Mehta and Monteiro [67] indicated that the greatest to the plain SF3, and higher aspect ratio compared to
advantage in the fiber reinforcement of concrete is the SF2 (L = 30 mm and D = 0.3), had a remarkable
improvement of the flexural toughness. It was shown influence on the flexural strength of concrete.
that the inclusion of 1.25 % steel fiber content caused Mohammadi et al. [56] reported that the inclusion of
the flexural strength and toughness of concrete to 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 % steel fiber content led to an increase
increase by about 2 and 20 times, respectively. This in the flexural strength of concrete varied from 28 to
clearly shows that the efficiency of fibers in increas- 61 %, 45 to 95 % and 43 to 167 %, respectively,
ing the toughness of concrete is significantly higher depending on the weight of long and short steel
than that in the improvement of the flexural strength. fibers in the concrete. The maximum load was
attained by the mix that manufactured with 100 %
Synthetic FRC long fiber.
The test results reported by Banthia and Sap-
Toutanji [37] studied the effect of PP fiber at different pakittipakorn [226] are shown in Fig. 5. Although
fiber volume fractions on the flexural strength of con- hybridization appears to be a promising concept,
crete. It has been shown that an increase in the fiber FRC with hybridization of large and small diameter
volume fraction resulted in an increase in the post- crimped fibers failed to reach the toughness levels
peak flexural resistance of concrete. A pronounced demonstrated by FRC with small diameter fiber
increase in the flexural strength was noted upon
increasing the fiber volume fraction from 0.1 % to
0.3 %, and a relatively smaller increase was observed
as a result of the addition 0.5 fiber content. The effect of
fiber length on the flexibility of the composites was
investigated by Shao and Shah [224], and Ye et al. [225].
It was pointed out that the composite with shorter PVA
fiber length (L = 4 mm) had smaller deflection at the
peak load compared to that of the mix with longer fiber
length (L = 6 mm). In addition, it has been reported
that the ratio of the MOR to the TS for fiber composites
varied between 3 and 4, whereas for the plain concrete,
the ratio of MOR to TS was about 1.6, which is typical of
brittle material.

Hybrid FRC Figure 5 Typical flexural load–deflection curves for single and
hybrid steel fibers with diameters of 0.80 and 0.40 mm at a
Qian and Stroeven [143] investigated the effect of the volume fraction of 0.75 %. Reproduced from [226] with permis-
addition different steel fibers and PP fiber on the sion from Elsevier.
J Mater Sci

address their contribution on the physical and dura-

bility behaviors of FRC.

Drying shrinkage

Drying shrinkage has a serious impact on the struc-

tural and durability performance of the concrete.
Shrinkage cracking in concrete structures may accel-
erate other forms of damage in concrete such as
corrosion, freeze/thaw damage, and subsequently
shorten the service life of structures [228, 229].
Shrinkage of concrete due to loss of water is closely
linked to the properties of cement paste, in which
pore structure, specifically pore size is principal fac-
Figure 6 Typical flexural load–displacement curves of single tor. The shrinkage of concrete is also affected by
fiber and hybrid fiber proportions at the same total fiber content. many different parameters such as composition of the
The HyFRC is a concrete mixture, while the single-fiber concrete, method of curing, ambient temperature,
composites are mortar mixtures (Note S1 and S2 indicate and humidity condition [230].
hooked-end steel fiber with the lengths and diameters of 30 and
0.55, and 60 and 0.92 mm, respectively. PA indicates polyvinyl Influence of mineral admixtures on the shrinkage of FRC
alcohol fiber with 8-mm length). Reproduced from [227] with
permission from ACI Materials Journal. In one of their studies Cheung and Leung [231]
studied the effectiveness of sulfoaluminate cement
alone. Sivakumar and Santhanam [70] reported that (SAC) and shrinkage-reducing admixture (SRA) on
the combined use of polypropylene, glass or polye- the shrinkage of high-strength fiber-reinforced
ster fibers with steel fiber led to an increase in the cementititous composites (HSFRCCs) with various
pre-peak and post-peak performance of FRC com- water–binder ratios. HSFRCC were manufactured
pared to those of the concrete without fiber. Blunt with water–binder ratios of 0.19, 0.3, and 0.4 when
and Ostertag [227] also showed that the use of hybrid ordinary Portland cement was used. Concretes with
fibers was very effective in improving the flexural SAC were developed at water–binder ratios of 0.21,
behavior of concrete compared to that of the com- 0.3, and 0.4. Microsteel fiber (L = 13 mm and
posite with single fiber. As can be seen from Fig. 6, D = 0.16 mm) was used at the volume fraction of 2 %
the mixture with 1.5 % total fiber content (0.8 % in all mixes. It was reported that SAC was more
S2 ? 0.5 % S1 ? 0.2 % PVA) showed a significant effective in reducing the shrinkage of HSFRCC with
increase in the post-cracking resistance of the con- higher water–binder ratios (0.3 and 0.4), whereas
crete compared to that of the concrete with monotype SRA indicated better performance in a lower water–
fiber. It has been shown that the use of fiber binder ratio. The combined use of SAC and SRA led
hybridization resulted in an increase up to 196 % in to a very significant reduction in the shrinkage of
the maximum flexural strength relative to the control concrete. Drying shrinkage was decreased by over
concrete. 80 % when the water–binder ratio was around 0.2,
while the reduction was over 70 % for mixes with
water–binder ratios of 0.3 and 0.4. Other researches
Physical and durability properties also indicated that the use of SRA in concrete caused
of FRC a reduction in the shrinkage of cementitious materials
[232–235]. It has been shown that introducing SRA in
In this section, the influence of different parameters concrete can lead to a reduction up to 50 % in the
such as fiber type, fiber content and fiber aspect ratio drying shrinkage of concrete [236, 237]. It was also
on the properties of FRC is discussed. Considering pointed out that the inclusion of silica fume can
the important effect of mineral admixtures on the reduce the drying shrinkage of concrete [238]. This
properties of concrete, this paper was aimed to desirable effect can be explained by the ability of
J Mater Sci

silica fume to decrease the pore size and connectivity on the reduction of drying shrinkage. Also, Bywalski
of the voids in addition to the prestressing influence et al. [251] reported that the 28-day total shrinkage of
that result in a reduction in the shrinkage. mix with 3 % straight steel fiber (L = 13 mm and
D = 0.2 mm) reduced by 32 % compared to that of the
Influences of fiber type and fiber content plain concrete. Furthermore, a reduction up to 84 % in
the drying shrinkage strain of concrete containing
Though researchers have been studying the effect of 0.19 % short CF (L = 5 mm and D = 0.01 mm) with
fibers on the drying shrinking of concrete for dec- 15 % silica fume was also observed by Chen and
ades, their results really explored contradictory con- Chung [255].
clusions [239–241]. Some studies showed that fibers
had an insignificant effect on the shrinkage [242–244], The effect of aggregate type on the shrinkage of FRC
while others indicated a real contribution of fibers in
reducing the shrinkage of FRC [245–248]. A reduction Since light weight aggregate can significantly affect
up to 8 % [249], 24 % [250], 32 % [251], 50 % [252], the drying shrinkage of concrete, there are a
and 65 % [253] have also been reported by numerous studies that deal with this topic. Kayali
researchers. et al. [256] investigated the effects of polypropylene
Kaı̈kea et al. [134] studied the effects of mineral and steel fibers (L = 18 mm and L/D = 37.5) on the
admixtures and steel fiber content on the drying drying shrinkage of fiber-reinforced lightweight
shrinkage of HPC. In this study, the cement weight aggregate concretes (LWAC) containing 10 % silica
was replaced by 10 % or 20 % of silica fume or slag, fume and 25 % FA. Polypropylene fiber was used at
respectively, as supplementary cementitious materi- the content of 0.28, 0.56, and 1.0 %, and steel fiber
als. Corrugated steel fiber (L = 55 mm and was added at the contents of 0.56, 1.13, and 1.7 %. It
D = 0.8 mm) was added into concrete at fiber volume has been shown that introducing lightweight
fraction of 1 and 2 %. The water to binder ratio was aggregate in concrete caused the long-term shrink-
equal to 0.27. Figure 7 indicates that an increase in the age of concrete to increase by two times compared
fiber content resulted in a significant reduction in the to that of the normal weight concrete with approx-
shrinkage strain of concrete, particularly at 28-day. imately similar strength. In addition, the shrinkage
Specimens with the fiber content of 1 % (HPCB1% and of normal weight concrete stabilized after 400 days,
HPCS1%) showed a reduction in the shrinkage of while the shrinkage of lightweight aggregate con-
concrete varied from 4 to 9 % compared to that of the crete did not appear to stabilize after a similar per-
corresponding plain concrete specimens. Introducing iod of continuous drying. It was also reported that
2 % fiber content (HPCB2% and HPCS2%) in concrete the use of PP fiber in concrete had no significant
led to a reduction in the shrinkage ranged from 15 to influence on the drying shrinkage, while the inclu-
24 %. This is in agreement with the results of Mangat sion of steel fiber led to a reduction in the drying
and Azari [254] that demonstrate an increase in the shrinkage of concrete. Furthermore, Güneyisi et al.
steel fiber volume fraction has a significant influence [249] studied the effect of hooked-end steel fiber

Figure 7 Typical free shrinkage of high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete: a include silica fume, b include blast-furnace slag.
Reproduced from [134] with permission from Elsevier.
J Mater Sci

(L = 30 mm and D = 0.75 mm) on the shrinkage concrete [260–262]. Sun et al. [253] produced different
deformation of lightweight aggregate concrete. It HPCs containing expansive agent and reinforced
was pointed out that introducing steel fiber at the with different fibers. Steel fiber with different lengths
contents of 0.25, 0.75, and 1.25 % by volume of of 5, 10, and 25 mm, PVA fiber, and polypropylene
concrete caused a reduction up to 8 % in the drying fiber (PP) were added to concrete at different com-
shrinkage of concrete. It was also reported that the binations. The water–binder ratio of 0.32 and total
shrinkage of concrete was unaffected with an fiber content of 1.5 % were used in their study. It was
increase in the content of steel fiber. pointed out that at a given fiber content, the effec-
tiveness of fibers was dependent on the elastic
Synthetic FRC modulus of fibers other than their size and volume
fraction. For the concrete reinforced with hybrid steel
Among several types of nonmetallic fibers, the fibers, the shrinkage strain was lower than that of the
effects of polypropylene, PVA, polyester, glass, concrete with discrete use of larger size steel fiber. It
nylon, and cellulose fibers on the drying shrinkage was observed that the combined use of steel fibers
of concrete were investigated [36, 252, 257–259]. In caused a reduction in the 28-day shrinkage strain of
general, the drying shrinkage of specimens was the concrete, which varied from 10 to 34 % and 45 to
reduced by the incorporation of fibers in concrete. 65 %, respectively, compared to that of the specimen
For example, as shown in Fig. 8 [252], the addition with 1.5 % large steel fiber (25 mm) and plain
of 0.2 % nylon fiber with 12-mm length led to a concrete.
remarkable reduction in the shrinkage strain of
concrete, and specimen attained a very small strain Creep
rate of less than -100 9 10-6. The plain specimen
experienced a strain of about -400 9 10-6 at Concrete due to its poor strain capacity and low TS is
56 days. This decrease in the drying shrinkage can a brittle material and highly sensitive to cracking. In
be attributed to the higher TS of nylon fiber com- most cases, cracks can significantly reduce the life-
pared to that of other types of fiber, and was likely time of a structure by allowing aggressive agents to
an outcome of better dispersion of the fiber through move into the cracked areas [263]. The evolution of
the concrete mass. strains and crack openings through time is funda-
mental for the durability of concrete structures.
Hybrid FRC Therefore, time-dependent phenomena such as
shrinkage and creep must be taken into account along
Hybridization of fibers with different sizes and types with instantaneous strains and cracking [264, 265].
is very helpful in reducing the drying shrinkage of Concrete is known to deform considerably under
constant loading and normal service conditions.
Compressive creep strain in conventional concrete
can be 1.30–4.15 times higher than the initial elastic
strain under standard conditions [266, 267]. Rossi
et al. [268] conducted a study to compare the creep of
concrete in tension and compression. It was pointed
out that the basic creep was more important in
compression than that of in tension, while the tensile
creep and compressive creep in drying conditions
were equivalent. It was also reported that there was a
greater difference between the basic creep in tension
and in compression when the concrete was younger.
Less information can be found in literature about
Figure 8 Typical free shrinkage of high-performance fiber-rein-
the creep deformation of fiber-reinforced high-
forced concrete containing different types of fiber at volume
fraction of 0.2 % (Note NY, PP, PV, and ST indicate nylon,
strength concrete. Another problem is the high
polypropylene, polyvinyl alcohol, and steel fibers, respectively). deviation of experimental results, which makes it
Reproduced from [252] with permission from Elsevier. difficult to draw clear conclusions about the effect of
J Mater Sci

fibers on the creep deformation of FRC [269]. Some affected by the consolidation of the concrete mixture.
studies reported that fibers had a little impact on the This conclusion may be applied in the assumption for
creep behavior of concrete [267, 270], while others estimating the bending rigidity of structural ele-
indicated that fibers are effective in reducing the ments, assuming for the purpose of calculations, the
creep of FRC [265, 271–273]. Furthermore, there are creep deformation identical as in the case of HSC
studies that have shown introducing fibers resulted without fiber.
in an increase in the creep deformation of concrete Mangat and Motamedi Azari [277] also studied the
[274, 275]. creep behavior of steel fiber-reinforced cement com-
Bernard [276] studied the creep behaviors of posites. Melt extract (L = 22.5 mm and D = 0.4 mm)
cracked FRC specimens and round panels based on and hooked-end (L = 28.2 mm and D = 0.48 mm)
ASTM C1550. The effect of inclusion high-modulus steel fibers were used at the content ranged from 1 %
synthetic macro fiber, crimped low-modulus syn- and 3 % by volume of the mix. It was reported that
thetic macro fiber, and flat-end steel fiber on the long- the inclusion of steel fiber led to a significant reduc-
term creep behavior of cracked concrete specimens tion in the creep of concrete. Creep progressively
was investigated. It was reported that the concrete decreased as a results of increasing the fiber content.
with high-modulus synthetic macro fiber had creep It has been shown that the 90-day creep strain of the
deformation similar to that of the steel FRC, whereas control concrete under load was 940 microstrain,
introducing low modulus synthetic macro fiber led to whereas concretes with 1.5 and 3 % volume of melt
an increase in the creep strain. In another study extract fiber were attained 800 and 715 creep
Bywalski et al. [251] investigated the influence of steel microstrain, respectively. The reduction in the creep
straight fiber (L = 13 mm and D = 0.2 mm) on the strain for those specimens was 15 and 24 %, respec-
creep behavior of HSC. Steel fiber with three volume tively, compared to that of the plain concrete. It was
fractions of 1, 2, and 3 % was used as the reinforcing also reported that at a given fiber content, the dif-
material. To investigate the creep of HSC, the water– ference between the performances of hooked-end and
binder ratio of 0.26 was used. As can be seen in Fig. 9, melt-extract steel fibers in restraining the creep of
the presence of steel fiber had negligible or small concrete was marginal. This can be attributed to the
effect on the value of creep deformation of fiber-re- similar aspect ratios (l/d) of these fibers that ranged
inforced HSC. Also, the fiber content had no signifi- between 56 and 61.
cant influence on the creep deformation of concrete. It Garcı́a-Taengua et al. [278] assessed the effect of a
was reported that the value of creep deformation number of variables such as fiber geometry (aspect
depend on the concrete matrix, or to be more exact, ratio and length), fiber content, and concrete com-
its quality. The quality of the concrete matrix is pressive strength on the flexural creep of steel FRC in
its cracked state. Five different steel fibers with
length/aspect ratios of 35/80, 50/80, 40/65, 50/45,
and 30/50 were used at two fiber contents of 40 and
70 kg/m3. Two different base mix designs with the
compressive strength of 25 and 40 MPa were con-
sidered to cover the range of low- and mid-strength
concrete. It was pointed out that the fiber length did
not have a statistically significant effect on the creep
parameters analyzed. On the other hand, it has been
shown that the fiber content had a statistically
remarkable effect on the most creep parameters
considered in that study. Increasing the fiber content
led to an increase in the load-bearing capacity, and
Figure 9 Typical creep deformation of fiber-reinforced concrete higher loads can be applied without increasing creep
after 28 days (Note A, B, C, and D indicate plain concrete, fiber- strains. It was reported that an increase in the fiber
reinforced concretes containing 1, 2, and 3 % steel fibers, aspect ratio caused a reduction in the creep strain of
respectively). Reproduced from [251] with permission from concrete. It was also observed that fibers were not
Elsevier. required in a high dosage and fibers with larger
J Mater Sci

aspect ratio exhibited the highest resistance to the Table 2 Relationship between concrete resistivity and rebar cor-
creep deformation. rosion rate [292]
Houde et al. [279] studied the creep of concrete Electrical resistivity (kX cm) Corrosion rate
containing silica fume and fibers. Silica fume was
used at 5, 10, and 15 % content of cement weight. [20 Low
Straight steel and polypropylene fibers were used at 10–20 Low to moderate
volume fractions of 1 and 0.3 %, respectively. It was 5–10 High
\5 Very high
pointed out that replacing cement weight with silica
fume up to 10 % led to a reduction by at least 20 % in
the creep of concrete with or without fiber. They Table 3 Relations between electrical resistivity of concrete and
indicated that introducing 15 % silica fume in con- probability of steel corrosion [293]
crete resulted in a significant change in the creep Electrical resistivity (kX cm) Probability of corrosion
behavior of concrete. It has been reported that a
reduction in the creep deformation of concrete with 120\ Not probable
silica fume over that of the concrete without silica 50–120 Probable
fume varied from 10 to 15 %. A similar pattern was \50 Inevitable
observed by Buil and Acker [280] at 25 % replace-
ment of cement weight by silica fume. They also content, admixtures, curing condition, moisture con-
demonstrated that the addition of polypropylene or tent and ambient humidity [294–296].
steel fibers caused a pronounced increase up to 40 %
in the creep of plain concrete and, to a lesser extent, Influence of mineral admixtures on the electrical resistivity
the creep of concrete containing 5–10 % silica fume.
Chern and Chang [281] also reported that from both Ahmad et al. [290] studied the electrical resistivity of
economic and engineering points of view, the best self-consolidating concrete containing different filler
performing mix was the one with 1 % steel fiber and materials such as silica fume, natural pozzolan,
10 % silica fume content. metakaolin, and limestone powder. It has been
shown that all blend mixes had a ‘‘low’’ likelihood of
Electrical resistivity steel rebar corrosion. Silica fume was the most
effective pozzolan compared to other fillers to
Concrete is a multiple-phased material, and its increase the electrical resistivity of concrete. It was
microstructure contains many interconnected micro- reported by Alsadat Sabet et al. [48] that incorpora-
pores, in which the applied external current can be tion of mineral admixtures caused a significant
transferred through the migrating ions. Hence, increase in the electrical resistivity of concrete mixes,
resistivity measurement is an effective way to explore specifically at later ages. They indicated that intro-
the microstructure and the features of ions in the ducing natural zeolite and FA in concrete mixes
micropores of concrete [282–285]. This technique is resulted in an increase in the electrical resistivity at
related to chloride ingress because chloride presence approximately the same level in all ages. The addi-
can increase electrical current and reduce the resis- tion of 10 % natural zeolite or 20 % FA in concrete
tivity of concrete [286, 287]. Therefore, it can be used mixes caused the 90-day electrical resistivities to
to provide information regarding the risk of steel increase from 8.4 kX cm for the control mix to 30 and
rebar corrosion in the concrete [288–291]. There are 50 kX cm, respectively. At this age, the resistivities of
some established relationships between the corrosion mixes containing 10 and 20 % silica fume were 54 and
rate and electrical resistivity of concrete that are 231 kX cm, respectively. The presence of silica fume
shown in Table 2 [292], and Table 3 [293]. It is sug- densifies the microstructure of concrete, while its
gested that an electrical resistivity of higher than pozzolanic reaction causes the formation of sec-
20 KX cm results in a low corrosion rate of steel ondary calcium silicate hydrate (C–S–H). The C–S–H
rebar, whereas an electrical resistivity of less than gel, which is known as a source of strength in con-
5 KX cm causes a very high corrosion rate. Resistivity crete, increases the volume of solid phases and
of concrete is influenced by many factors such as reduces the formation of capillary pore systems in
concrete composition, water–cement ratio, cement concrete. These phenomena result in an improvement
J Mater Sci

in durability properties of concrete, such as concrete Table 4 Typical electrical resistivity (kX cm) of fiber-reinforced
resistivity. The positive impact of supplementary concretes with various fiber types
cementitious materials on the electrical resistivity of CC SFC PFC GFC
concrete has been proven by other researchers [283,
297–299]. w/c = 0.65 21.3 11.3 18.1 17.6
w/c = 0.45 24.4 9.8 21.6 21.9
Steel FRC Note CC indicates control concrete, SFC, PFC, and GFC indicate
concrete reinforced with steel fiber, polypropylene fiber, and glass
The electrical resistance of concrete is strongly influ- fiber, respectively [303]
enced by the electrolytes in the pores structure of
composite, and in the case of fiber-reinforced speci- current. The reduction in the resistivity was due to
mens, by the presence of the conductive elements the presence of chloride in the coral aggregate.
such as steel fibers [127, 202]. Nili and Afroughsabet However, Nili and Afroughsabet [35] reported that
[300] assessed the effect of steel fiber on the proper- the addition of PP fiber caused a reduction in the
ties of concrete made with silica fume. Steel fiber was electrical resistance of concrete. It has been shown
used at 0.5 and 1.0 % by volume of concrete. Silica that a slight decrease in the electrical resistance was
fume was introduced at 8 % by weight of cement into observed as the fiber volume fraction increased from
concrete mixtures that were manufactured with 0.2 to 0.5 %. This was explained by the fact that the
water–binder ratios of 0.46 and 0.36. It was reported inclusion of PP fiber in concrete caused an increase in
that the addition of steel fiber into specimens led to a the porosity of the mixture. The connectivity and size
considerable decrease in the electrical resistance. It of pores have a significant influence on transport
was also pointed out that the higher fiber content properties in concrete. Hence, in concrete with a
caused a more significant reduction in the electrical higher porosity it is much easier for electrical current
resistivity of concrete. Typically, an addition of 1 % to be carried by ions through concrete’s pore net-
steel fiber into 0.46 and 0.36 water–binder ratios work, which consequently leads to a lower electrical
specimens led to a reduction up to 79 and 78 % in the resistance. As can be seen in Table 4 [303], the elec-
28-day electrical resistance of concrete, respectively. trical resistivity of FRCs is lower than that of the
In another report [301] it has been shown that the control concrete at both water–cement ratios. This can
presence of 60 kg/m3 steel fiber (L = 35 mm and be explained by the fact that the addition of fibers led
D = 0.5 mm) in concrete resulted in a reduction in to an increase in the porosity of concrete, and sub-
the electrical resistivity of self-consolidating concrete sequently reduced the electrical resistivity of
up to 65, 63, and 60 % at 7, 28, and 91 days, respec- concrete.
tively, compared to that of the plain concrete.
Carbon FRC
Polypropylene FRC
The electrical behavior of CF-reinforced cement is
Kakooei et al. [302] studied the effect of polypropy- relevant to the use of this material for strain sensing
lene fiber on the electrical resistance of FRC. PP fiber and damage assessment, which is important for
(L = 19 mm and D = 0.02 mm) was used at the smart structures, highway traffic monitoring, weigh-
content of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 kg/m3. In addition, the ing of vehicles in motion, and structural vibration
influences of coral and siliceous aggregates on the control [304]. The addition of short CF to cement
behavior of concrete was considered. It was pointed caused a reduction in the electrical resistivity, due to
out that the sample fabricated with 1.5 kg/m3 the high conductivity of the CF compared to that of
polypropylene fiber showed better results in com- the cement [305]. Baeza et al. [306] reported that the
parison with other fiber contents. This resulted in an electrical resistivity of concrete with CF was reduced
increase up to 26 % in the electrical resistivity of compared to that of the plain concrete. In this study,
concrete compared to that of the control concrete. the concrete was reinforced with CF with 7.2 lm
They also indicated that the sample made using coral diameter and three different lengths of 3, 6 and
aggregate had the least electrical resistivity, which 12.5 mm. It was pointed out that the electrical resis-
indicated the lower resistivity of concrete against the tivity of CF-reinforced cement paste was affected by
J Mater Sci

the fiber content and aspect ratio. For a given fiber Table 6 Typical resistance to chloride penetration of various
aspect ratio, an increase in the CF content resulted in types of concrete based on the 28-day chloride diffusivity [322]
a reduction in the resistivity of concrete. Further- Chloride diffusivity, Classification of resistance
more, in the same fiber content, an increase in the D28 9 10-12 m2/s to chloride penetration
fiber length caused a higher conductivity [306]. This
was in agreement with the findings of Chiarello and [15 Low
Zinno [307], and Wang et al. [308]. Other researchers 10–15 Moderate
5–10 High
assessed the strain sensing of composites reinforced
2.5–5 Very high
with short CFs through electrical resistivity mea-
\2.5 Extremely high
surements [309–311]. It was reported that the com-
pressive strain resulted in a reduced resistivity,
whereas the tensile strain led to an increase in the durability properties of concrete [323, 324], by
resistivity. This can be attributed to the fiber push-in increasing the chloride binding [325], decreasing the
and push-out during compression and tension, chloride permeability [326], elevating the threshold of
respectively. chloride content [327], and improving the distribu-
tion of pore size and shape of the concrete matrix
Chloride penetration resistance [328]. Furthermore, reductions in the chloride per-
meability of concrete have been reported up to 50 %
Durability is one of the most important aspects of the with the addition of 5 % silica fume [329], 60 % with
concrete due to its fundamental incidence on the ser- the addition of 20 % FA [48], 90 % with the inclusion
viceability working conditions of concrete structures of 60 % GGBS [330], and 23 % by introducing SRA
[312]. For the durability of concrete, permeability is [331].
believed to be the most important characteristic [313,
314], which is related to its microstructural properties Steel FRC
such as the size, distribution, and interconnection of
pores and microcracks [315–318]. The rapid chloride- The corrosion resistance of SFRC is governed by the
ion test indicated that a reduction in the water–binder same factors that influence the corrosion resistance of
ratio led to a reduction in the connectivity of the pore the conventionally reinforced concrete. Processes
system, which consequently makes the migration of such as carbonation, penetration of chloride ions, and
aggressive ions more difficult in HPC than that of the sulfate attack are related to the permeability of the
conventional concrete [319, 320]. There are some clas- cement matrix. As long as the matrix retains its
sifications of concrete based on the chloride perme- inherent alkalinity and remains uncracked, deterio-
ability and chloride diffusivity results that are shown ration of SFRC is not likely to occur [301]. The
in Table 5 [321] and Table 6 [322], respectively. Vari- transport of chloride in concrete by means of per-
ous factors influencing chloride ingress and the cor- meation may occur in concretes with a large number
rosion processes in the reinforced concrete include of cracks and defects [332, 333]. Meanwhile, engi-
water–binder ratio, admixtures, cement composition, neers attempt to increase the design load by using the
construction process, and environmental conditions strain-hardening property of HPSFRC, as it allows
[289]. the appearance of multiple fine cracking and pre-
In general, it was reported that the addition of vents the occurrence of large cracks [334, 335].
mineral admixtures in concrete led to an increase in However, due to the increased danger of corrosion in

Table 5 Classification of the concrete based on the chloride permeability [321]

Charge passed (Coulombs) Chloride permeability Typical of concrete

[4000 High High w/c ratio ([0.60) conventional PCC.

2000–4000 Moderate Moderate w/c ratio (0.40–0.50) conventional PCC.
1000–2000 Low Low w/c ratio (\0.40) conventional PCC.
100–1000 Very low Latex-modified concrete or internally sealed concrete.
\100 Negligible Polymer-impregnated concrete, polymer concrete.
J Mater Sci

the cracked area, the crack width should be limited at and growth of plastic and drying shrinkage cracks,
the Serviceability Limit State [336]. According to the and subsequently reducing the penetrability of con-
different codes and guidelines [337–340], the maxi- crete [350, 351]. These results were in agreement with
mum allowable crack width at the tensile face of the findings of other researchers that showed UHPC
reinforced concrete structures for severe environ- containing steel fibers is more resistant to the chloride
ments vary from 0.1 to 0.33 mm, with the strictest penetration compared to that of the plain concrete
requirement specified by ACI 224 [337]. It was also [352, 353].
noted that crack widths larger than 500 lm have a Behfarnia and Behravan [354] also investigated the
significant effect on the chloride diffusion of steel effect of steel fiber (L = 32 mm and L/D = 53) on the
FRC, while crack widths less than 200 lm have chloride penetration resistance of concrete. Steel fiber
almost no influence on the chloride intrusion [341, was used at volume fraction of 0.4, 0.6, and 0.8 %. It
342]. It is widely reported that in case of SFRC, steel was reported that the penetration depth reduced by
fiber corrosion is much less severe than compared 15 % in SFRC samples compared to that of the control
with steel rebar reinforcement of concrete structures sample. It can be attributed to the blockage of cement
[343–348]. Abbas et al. [349] assessed the effect of pores with inclusion of fibers, which caused a
steel fiber on the rapid chloride penetration test reduction in the chloride ion penetration depth of
(RCPT) of ultra-HPC (UHPC). Steel fibers with a SFRC. On the other hand, an increase in the chloride
constant diameter of 0.2 mm and different lengths of penetration of concrete by introducing steel fibers
8, 12 , and 16 mm were used at the fiber contents of 1, was observed by other researchers [301, 355]. Frazão
3, and 6 % by volume of concrete. It was reported et al. [301] studied the chloride diffusivity of the steel
that all UHPC specimens showed a very high resis- fiber-reinforced self-consolidating concrete (SFRSCC)
tance to chloride transport and exhibited coulomb by using rapid migration test. Hooked-end steel fiber
values less than 100, indicating negligible chloride- (L = 35 mm and D = 0.5 mm) was used at the con-
ion penetrability based on the classification of con- tent of 60 kg/m3. It has been reported that the resis-
crete in ASTM C1202 [321]. It has been shown that the tance to chloride penetration was slightly higher in
fiber length had no significant effects on the RCPT SFRSCC (11.61 9 10-12 m2/s) compared to that of the
results. However, the steel fiber dosage had a SCC (10.27 9 10-12 m2/s). As shown in Fig. 10, the
remarkable effect on the passed coulomb values. For steel fiber was corroded in the cathode solution of the
instance, the UHPC mixtures with 3 and 6 % of steel test of SFRSCC and it was increased with the dura-
fibers with the length of 8 mm exhibited 27 and 35 tion of the test. According to Granju and Balouch
lower coulomb values, respectively, compared to that [356], there was no corrosion in the part of the spec-
of the plain specimen. This can be attributed to the imen with cracks thinner than approximately
role of steel fibers, which can restrict the formation 0.1 mm. It was also reported that only the steel fibers

Figure 10 Typical rapid chloride migration test: a Schematic of test set-up, b cathode solution of SFRSCC after test, c surface of
SFRSCC specimens sprayed by silver nitrate. Reproduced from [301] with permission from Elsevier.
J Mater Sci

Figure 12 Typical charge passed versus fiber content in RCPT

Figure 11 Typical photograph of corroded steel fiber in the crack. for polypropylene fiber-reinforced concrete at 28 days. Repro-
Reproduced from [356] with permission from Elsevier. duced from [357] with permission from Elsevier.

crossing the crack within a 2–3-mm rim from the Hybrid FRC
external faces of the specimens exhibited extensive
corrosion, as shown in Fig. 11. The crack geometry, particularly the crack width
significantly affect the permeability of the concrete
Polypropylene FRC [364]. It has been reported that the threshold crack
width is 200 lm for chloride permeability [365].
Among the several types of nonmetallic fibers, the Hence, a specimen with several smaller cracks will be
effect of PP fiber on the chloride penetration resis- less permeable than that of with a single large crack
tance of the concrete has been investigated by many [366]. The choice of hybrid FRC can be very effective
researchers. The test results of some researchers [357– in reducing chloride permeability, whereby instead
362] have shown that the addition of PP fiber in of the appearance of a few large cracks, a multitude
concrete led to an increase in the chloride penetration of closely spaced microcracks form in the concrete
resistance of concrete, whereas other researchers [37, [367]. Blunt et al. [368] pointed out that hybrid fiber-
207, 303, 363] reported contradicting results, which a reinforced composites are effective in delaying the
reduction in the chloride penetration resistance of corrosion initiation and in reducing the corrosion rate
concrete was obtained. For instance, Ramezanian- due to their higher resistance to cracking. The hybrid
pour et al. [357] studied the behavior of concrete specimen was manufactured with 1.5 % total fiber
reinforced with polypropylene fiber by using RCPT. content that included 0.2 % PVA fiber, 0.5 % hooked-
Polypropylene fiber was used at the content of 0.5, end steel fiber with a length of 30-mm and 0.8 %
0.7, 0.9, 1.5, 2 and 4 kg/m3. All of these mixes were hooked-end steel fiber with a length of 60-mm. As
manufactured with a water–cement ratio of 0.32. It shown in Fig. 13, the control specimens exhibited a
was reported that the total charge passed through the higher corrosion rate after being subjected to the salt
specimen for all FRCs was significantly lower than solution ponding and same cyclic flexural loading,
that of the plain concrete. Based on their scanning due to the formation of flexural and splitting cracks
electron microscopy (SEM) test results, it can be in concrete.
attributed to the reduced inner conductivity of pores
and lower capillary porosity, which can make the
steel bars in concrete more secluded from the corro- Summary and conclusions
sion attacks. As shown in Fig. 12, the value of the
charge passed into specimens increased with addi- A comprehensive review that was aimed at con-
tion of higher amount of PP fiber that was likely due tributing significantly toward improving the under-
to the increased porosity of the concrete. standing on the behavior of HPFRC has been
J Mater Sci

The slope of the descending part decreases as the

fiber content increased, which leads to an
improvement in the toughness of concrete. An
increase in the aspect ratio of fibers results in an
increase in the energy absorption of the FRC.
Furthermore, the combined use of steel fibers
with nonmetallic fibers leads to a slight increase
Figure 13 Typical high-resolution scans of the corrosion-dam- in the toughness compared to the discrete use of
aged region of rebar (Note C2 and H2 denote plain specimens and steel fibers. However, considering the cost and
hybrid fiber-reinforced specimens, respectively. Moreover, some
effects on workability, adding steel fibers alone
amount of section reduction present in C2 is from plastic
appears to be a better choice.
deformation following corrosion testing; all rebars were only
deformed elastically prior to salt solution ponding). Reproduced
4. The influence of steel fibers in enhancing of the
from [368] with permission from Elsevier. splitting tensile strength and flexural strength is
significantly higher than that in the improvement
of the compressive strength. For a given fiber
content, strength improves with an increase in the
presented. Based on the findings from this review,
fiber aspect ratio. Increases of up to 143 and
the following conclusions can be drawn:
167 %, respectively, are reported in the splitting
1. In general the addition of fibers, and particularly TS and flexural strength of concrete containing
that of steel fibers in HPC, results in a higher 2.0 % steel fiber. Among different types of steel
compressive strengths. However, the addition of fibers, hooked-end steel fiber is the most effective
more than 2 % steel fiber is likely to cause a in increasing the strength compared to other ones.
reduction in the strength due to reduced work- Higher fiber content is required for corrugated,
ability and increased porosity. In addition, the crimped, and deformed-end steel fibers to obtain
use of steel fiber with higher aspect ratio leads to similar results to those of hooked-end fibers.
a further improvement of the compressive Furthermore, the use of mineral admixtures with
strength. It is observed that the shape of fiber hooked-end steel fibers leads to a better bond
has no significant influence on the improvement strength in the mixture that consequently causes a
to the compressive strength. The effectiveness of further improvement in the strength. The influ-
short steel fibers in improving the compressive ences of the additions of synthetic fibers such as
strength is remarkably higher than that of the PP, PE, and PVA to the concrete are more in the
longer fibers. nature of energy absorption and crack control
2. No significant improvement in the modulus of than in increasing the maximum load-bearing
elasticity of the concrete is observed with the capacity. However, their influences on the
addition of fibers, particularly at a low volume enhancement of the strength cannot be ignored.
fraction. It is observed that the addition of fibers Similarly, longer synthetic fibers show better
with higher aspect ratios leads to a higher performance than the shorter ones.
modulus of elasticity compared to the one with 5. Shrinkage of HPFRC is affected by various
lower aspect ratio. Inclusion of synthetic fibers parameters such as composition of the concrete,
does not have any significant effect on the method of curing, ambient temperature, and
modulus of elasticity, and in some cases, this humidity conditions. Additions of SRAs and
results in a slight reduction in the modulus of SAC in FRC are very effective in reducing the
elasticity. However, hybridization of a high-stiff- shrinkage. Combination of SRA and SAC can
ness steel fiber and nonmetallic fibers can lead to lead to a reduction of up to 80 % in the shrinkage
a higher modulus of elasticity than that resulting of concrete. In addition, incorporation of fibers is
from the use of these fibers individually. another effective way to reduce the shrinkage of
3. In general, the addition of steel fibers to concrete concrete. However, the effectiveness of fibers
has a slight effect on the ascending part of stress– is dependent on the elastic modulus of fibers
strain curve of FRC, although it is quite effective in addition to their size and content. It is
in changing the descending branch of the curve. observed that increasing the fiber content is not
J Mater Sci

a promising way to reduce the shrinkage. The use content results in a higher penetration of chloride
of shorter fibers result in a larger decrease in the ions. However, it is well documented that the
shrinkage compared to the results from the use of addition of mineral admixtures and reduction of
longer fibers. Furthermore, introducing non- water–binder ratio can significantly reduce the
metallic fibers and particularly nylon fibers is permeability of concrete. The inclusion of
very helpful in reducing the shrinkage of con- polypropylene fiber leads to a reduction in the
crete. It is shown that hybridization of steel fibers ion penetration that can be attributed to the
with different sizes or that with nonmetallic fibers reduction of inner conductivity of pores and lower
can noticeably reduce the drying shrinkage of capillary porosity. The crack width is an important
concrete. parameter that affects the permeability of concrete,
6. Elastic modulus of fibers is an important factor with a threshold crack width of 200 lm having
affecting the creep properties of concrete. Results been reported for chloride permeability. There-
show that the concrete with high-modulus syn- fore, hybridization of fibers can be very effective in
thetic macro fibers exhibits a creep behavior that is replacing a few large cracks with numerous
similar to that of the concrete reinforced with steel microcracks and consequently reducing the chlo-
fibers. It has been also shown that among different ride permeability of concrete.
parameters such as fiber content, fiber length, fiber
shape, and aspect ratio, the aspect ratio has the Compliance with ethical standards
largest effect on the creep behavior of FRC. It is
observed that fibers with high aspect ratio exhibit Conflict of interest The authors of this paper certify
the best performance regardless of the fiber con- that they have NO affiliations with or involvement in
tent. It has been reported that from both economic any organization or entity with any financial interest,
and engineering points of view, combination of or non-financial interest in the subject matter or
1.0 % steel fiber and 10 % silica fume provides an materials discussed in this manuscript.
effective means of decreasing the creep of concrete.
7. The presence of conductive element such as steel
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