Large volume, high-performance applications of fibers in civil engineering



This article presents an overview of fiber applications in cementitious composites. The socio-economic considerations surrounding materials development in civil engineering in general, and fiber reinforced cementitious materials in particular, are described. Current FRC appliations are summarized, and the where, how, and why fibers are used in these applications, are documented. An attempt is made to extract common denominators among the widely varied applications. The R&D and industrial trends of applying fibers in enhancing structural performance are depicted. An actual case study involving a tunnel lining constructed in Japan is given to illustrate how a newly proposed structural design guideline takes into account the load carrying contribution of fibers. Composite properties related to structural performance are described for a number of FRCs targeted for use in load carrying structural members. Structural applications of FRCs are currently under rapid development. In coming years, it is envisioned that the ultra-high performance FRC, with ductility matching that of metals, will be commercially exploited in various applications. Highlights of such a material are presented in this article. Finally, conclusions on market trends are drawn, and favorable fiber characteristics for structural applications are provided. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 83: 660–686, 2002