The effect of fibers on the loss of water by evaporation and shrinkage of concrete
Revista IBRACON de Estruturas e Materiais
Shrinkage is one of the least desirable attributes in concrete. Large areas of exposed concrete surfaces , such as in shotcrete tunnel linings, where it is practically impossible to make a moist cure, are highly susceptible to plastic shrinkage at early ages. The autogenous and drying shrinkage can lead to states of greater than threshold strength, causing fracture, mechanical damage and lack of durability of concrete structures. The addition of fibers can greatly reduce plastic shrinkage, but
... tic shrinkage, but has limited effect in mitigating autogenous and drying shrinkage. To evaluate the performance of polypropylene and steel fibers to understand their effect on shrinkage of concrete, a study was carried out to relate the loss of water from the paste and the shrinkage during the first 28 days of age, and compare it with a control mix without fiber. The loss of water was obtained by the weight loss of the specimens at different ages, since the only component that could contribute for the loss of weight was the water lost by the paste of the concrete. And the paste itself is the only source of shrinkage. Uniaxial compressive tests from very early ages enabled the determination of time when plastic shrinkage ended. It was observed that the control concrete mix lost three times more water and developed plastic and drying shrinkage 60 % higher than the fiber reinforced concrete mixes. It was possible to demonstrate that the reduced loss of water caused by the incorporation of fibers is related to the mitigation of plastic shrinkage. It was observed that the fibers are effective to restrain the movement of water through the cement paste in the plastic state, however such effect is limited after concrete starts the hardening state.