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Characteristics of steel and polymer based fibre concrete

Synthetic vs steel fibre reinforcement

B. De Rivaz
Bekaert Maccaferri Underground Solutions, Erembodegem, Belgium


This paper discusses various material characteristics of steel and polymer fibres, with special regards to the long-term performance.
Fibres for concrete, they appear in all colours, shapes, sizes and materials. Today the majority of the fibre used in concrete can basically be classified into 3 families:

  1. 1. Steel fibres
  2. 2. Micro synthethic fibres
  3. 3. Macro synthetic fibres

Specific technical strengths and weakness of the different fibres, are often less well known and lead to confusion. There are no good and bad product but the right product for the right used. So it is also important to specify and test the right performance according to the project requirement. Which testing method for which information and why? Which type of fibre for which application.
The behaviour of fibre reinforced concrete is more than a simple superposition of the characteristics of the concrete matrix and the fibres; to analyse the behaviour of this composite material, also the interaction between both has to be taken into account, i.e. the transfer of loads from the concrete matrix to the fibre system