University of Vermont, Burlington; USDOT
Durability, Fiber reinforced concrete, High performance concrete, Mechanical properties, Polymer fibers, Posttensioning
This research improves upon the technique of reinforcing concrete with dispersed fibers by having the fibers axially shrink after curing to produce a dispersed multi-axial post-tensioned state. Such reinforcing has the potential to increase the crack resistance and durability of the concrete. Preliminary benchtop testing with natural chitosan polymer fibers have confirmed the viability of the technique, where certain configurations show significant strengthening with the shrinking fibers. The proposed research would expand the knowledge base by examining larger scale chitosan samples, exploring steel and nitinol shape memory fibers that produce a similar effect, studying the underlying mechanical principles and exploring direct applicability to transportation structures.