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Non-Destructive Multi-Method Assessment of Steel Fiber Orientation in Concrete

Kruschwitz, Sabine; Oesch, Tyler; Mielentz, Frank; Meinel, Dietmar; Spyridis, Panagiotis

Integration of fiber reinforcement in high-performance cementitious materials has become widely applied in many fields of construction. One of the most investigated advantages of steel fiber reinforced concrete (SFRC) is the deceleration of crack growth and hence its improved sustainability. Additional benefits are associated with its structural properties, as fibers can significantly increase the ductility and the tensile strength of concrete. In some applications it is even possible to entirely replace the conventional reinforcement, leading to significant logistical and environmental benefits. Fiber reinforcement can, however, have critical disadvantages and even hinder the performance of concrete, since it can induce an anisotropic material behavior of the mixture if the fibers are not appropriately oriented. For a safe use of SFRC in the future, reliable non-destructive testing (NDT) methods need to be identified to assess the fibers’ orientation in hardened concrete. In this study, ultrasonic material testing, electrical impedance testing, and X-ray computed tomography have been investigated for this purpose using specially produced samples with biased or random fiber orientations. We demonstrate the capabilities of each of these NDT techniques for fiber orientation measurements and draw conclusions based on these results about the most promising areas for future research and development.
Published in: Applied Sciences, 10.3390/app12020697, MDPI