3 Key Factors in the Performance of Fiber-Reinforced Concrete


Despite its superior durability and high compressive strength, concrete can still become damaged by excessive force or weight. Many contractors use fiber reinforced concrete to steer clear of this problem, a composite material consisting of fibrous material for enhanced structural integrity.

Fibers improve the fire resistance of concrete and help avoid different problems ranging from the formation of plastic shrinkage cracks and the tendency to crack under stress.

Are you planning to use fiber-reinforced concrete for your project? Before you get started, understand how key factors impact the performance of fiber-reinforced concrete.

Fiber Composition 

Concrete reinforcing fibers are made from steel or synthetic polymers, including nylon and polypropylene. Both steel and polypropylene offer unique benefits.

Steel fibers improve the durability and impact-resistance of concrete. Steel fiber-reinforced concrete usually does not need secondary forms of reinforcement.

However, there can be certain drawbacks to steel fibers. They can negatively impact the structural integrity of concrete in the event of a fire. Steel fiber-reinforced concrete can develop patches of spalling when exposed to high temperatures. Polymer fibers exhibit stable behavior in such conditions and are usually preferred over steel fibers for structures with constant exposure to high temperatures.

If you want to reduce your project cost, use polymer fibers since they can be made from recycled materials and are less expensive than steel fibers.

Steel Type 

There are five different types of steel fibers. Manufacturers use different techniques to create these fibers. Type-1 fibers comprise a cold-drawn wire, while type-2 fibers utilize cut-sheet metal, type-3 fibers consist of melt-extract fibers, type-4 fibers are mill cut, and type-5 fibers comprise modified cold-drawn wire.

The profile (in terms of tensile strength) and shape of the resulting fiber will depend on its technique. Fibers made from cold-drawn wire can be twisted to increase their surface area, which helps enhance the resulting fiber’s strength.

Fiber Quantity 

One of the most important factors that impact reinforced concrete’s strength is the number of fibers added.

Generally speaking, the higher the number of fibers, the greater the strength of the concrete. After a certain point, however, adding fibers can do more harm than good. An excessive amount of fibers can lead to unwanted segregation during the curing phase.

Adding more fibers than necessary will lead to insufficiently homogeneous concrete, undermining the benefits of adding them in the first place.

Bayshore Materials offers a top-notch concrete delivery service near you.  We offer a range of landscaping, plumbing, and concrete products. To get ready mix concrete delivered near you, call (707) 644-0859.