Materiales de Construcción, Vol 50, No 259 (2000)

Behaviour of alkaline cement mortars reinforced with acrylic and polypropylene fibres

F. Puertas
Instituto de Ciencias de la Construcción Eduardo Torroja(CSIC), Spain

T. Amat
Instituto de Ciencias de la Construcción Eduardo Torroja(CSIC), Spain

T. Vázquez
Instituto de Ciencias de la Construcción Eduardo Torroja(CSIC), Spain


In the present work, the behaviour of alkaline cement mortars reinforced with fibres of different nature (acrylic and polypropylene fibres) is studied. Also the chemical stability of those fibres in strong alkaline medium has been investigated. Three different matrixes have been used: glass blast furnace slag activated with NaOH 2M (room temperature, 22 ºC); fly ash activated with NaOH 8M, cured at 85ºC during 24 hours and 50% fly ash / 50% slag activated with NaOH 8M, room temperature. The fibre content was 0,2 and 1% in mortar volume. The tests carried out were: tenacity and tenacity index, impact resistance and drying shrinkage. On the specimens tested, a microstructural study by SEM/EDX was carried out.
The results obtained have demonstrated the following: a) The acrylic and polypropylene fibres are stable in strong basic media, although the first undergo hydrolysis/ hydration processes showed by the alteration of the surface texture, b) with low fibre contents (0,2%) in volume), tenacity and tenacity index of these mortars remain unaffected. With higher contents (1%), an increase of the corresponding values is produced. This increment is higher in mortars with alkaline activated slag, c) For the three matrixes studied, the polypropylene fibres increase the impact strength in higher degree than the acrylic ones. The reinforcement effect is more significative in matrix A and when the fibre content is 1% in volume, d) the shrinkage of these mortars is modified depending on the matrix and fibre type. In mortars of activated slag, fibres do not reduce the shrinkage. In mortars of activated fly ash reinforced with acrylic fibres, shrinkage is lower than those containing polypropylene fibres are. Finally, in mortars of fly ash/ activated slag, the two fibres decrease the drying shrinkage.

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