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What is ductility? What are the benefits of adding steel fibers to concrete?

A material is said to be ductile when, being subjected to a force, it is capable of deforming considerably before breaking.

This property is useful in engineering since it allows the design of safe structures.

The incorporation of fibers modifies the non-linear behavior of structural concrete, especially in tension, preventing the opening and propagation of fissures. Therefore, the application of non-linear analysis may be especially recommended in cases where the fibers constitute an important part of the concrete reinforcement.

Ductilidad en el hormigón

Source: University of Michigan.

Why is ductility in concrete important?
Concrete is a brittle material. In other words, when a concrete in service exceeds its load limit, it will break catastrophically without undergoing any deformation.
This feature means that concrete reinforcement must be used in many of its applications to change this behavior.

What are the benefits of using steel fibers in concrete?
An alternative to traditional reinforcement is the addition of steel fibers to concrete, which varies its breaking behavior considerably, giving it ductility. In addition, it also increases the flexural strength and durability of the concrete, this due to the control of cracking.

The use of fibers in concrete has a structural purpose when its contribution is used in calculations related to any of the limit, ultimate or service states. And its use may involve the partial or total replacement of armor in some applications.

What are the advantages of steel fibers instead of using mesh?
The application of steel fibers in the concrete avoids using the welded mesh or mesh. Steel fibers are the most effective and economical alternative, because:

– The entire volume of the concrete is reinforced.
– Faster and easier application.
– No qualified personnel are necessary for its application in concrete.
– Greater durability of concrete.
– Less weight.
– Increased resistance to impact and repetitive stress

What applications does fiber reinforced concrete have?
Steel fiber reinforced concrete has a wide variety of applications, including:

– Industrial or commercial flooring.
– Precast concrete.
– Road or mining tunnels
– Solar.
– Bridge structures.
– Refractory concrete. (Smelting furnaces, heat treatment furnaces, etc.).
– Special pavements (Underwater constructions, airport runways, etc.).
– Slopes.
– Security enclosures (Vaults, ATMs, etc.).
– Any concrete pavement such as ramps, parking lots and roads, etc.
– Repair of floors and breaks.

When using steel fibers with a structural function, it is not recommended to use dosages of less than 20 kg / m3 of concrete. *