Interface and internal compatibility in a copper fibre cement composite
This paper presents the mechanical behaviour of a compacted composite formed by short ductile copper fibres randomly distributed in portland cement matrix. The samples, a half with fibres and the other without them, were subjected to compression fatigue. So, 1 hertz and the value of stress corresponding to the 1% of the probability of fracture by gradual load were used. Diagrams of cumulative probability of fracture against cycles are obtained for both types of samples. Scanning electron microscopy shows that the mechanisms of fracture are different in each case. Samples of compacted neat-cement paste finish their life with a catastrophic fracture whereas samples of composite behave like a pseudoductile material devoid of catastrophic failure. The results are discussed and compared with the ones obtained by thermal shock and by the interface brittleness theory, as well as with the statistical theory of time-dependent fracture for cementitious materials subjected to cyclic loading. So, in the thermal shock microcracks are generated in the interface matrix-fibre which simultaneously act as emmitings and sumps of cracks whereas this does not occur in mechanical fatigue.
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