Development of hybrid steel-basalt fiber reinforced concrete – in aspects of flexure, fracture and microstructure
The conventional concrete is considered to be critical in various constructional applications due to its setbacks such as service load failures, brittle property, low ductility and low tensile capacity. Apart from the natural bridging mechanism (aggregate bridging), an additional bridging mechanism is necessary to overcome the existing setbacks in plain cement concrete. Thus concrete with one or more types of fibers in suitable combinations can augment the mechanical performance of concrete causing a positive synergy effect. Along with the two control mixes with and without copper slag as partial replacement of fine aggregate, two different groups of hybrid combination of fibers such as steel and basalt were cast with 3 different groups of coarse aggregate proportions of sizes 20 mm and 12.5 mm. The hybridization of fibers is assessed in this study under compression, tension, flexure and fracture. Stress-strain data were recorded under compression to validate the strain capacity of the mixtures. The mechanical properties were analyzed for the positive hybrid effect and the influencing factors were copper slag, hybrid fiber combination and coarse aggregate proportions. The optimum volume fraction of fibers and mix proportions were highlighted based on various behaviors of concrete. Steel as macro fibers and basalt as microfibers were examined under microstructural studies (SEM and EDX). The results from the flexural toughness showcased the potential of hybrid fibers with greater energy absorption capacity ensuring the ductile property of the proposed hybrid fiber reinforced concrete.
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