Investigation of mechanical properties of expanded polystyrene low-density fibre-reinforced concrete made with different fibre types

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University of New Brunswick
Fibre reinforced and low-density concrete have become popular in the construction industry today. In order for a combination of both materials to be widely accepted for use in design, a good understanding of their behaviour is needed. This study presents an experimental investigation to determine the effects of polypropylene and hooked-end steel fibres on the behaviour of low-density concrete made with expanded polystyrene beads. Digital image correlation (DIC) was used to measure displacements and strains as opposed to conventional methods of using LVDT and strain gauges and was validated as a better alternative. Crack initiation and propagation were also monitored using the DIC technique. To further understand the behaviour of both fibre types, cross-sectional analysis was carried out on a cracked section and results show steel fibres provide better resistance to cracking and improved mechanical properties than polypropylene fibres. An existing model was used to further show the behaviour of the specimens in tension.