Performance of multi-scale fiber reinforced cement composites at high strain rate

Coppola, Luigi and Cadoni, Ezio and Forni, Daniele and Buoso, Alessandra (2011) Performance of multi-scale fiber reinforced cement composites at high strain rate. In: The new boundaries of structural concrete UNSPECIFIED, 15-16 Settembre 2011, Ancona.

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Advanced researches on concrete are directed toward investigating the behavior of rein-forced concrete structures in severe conditions such as those promoted by impact loads. Some particular structures (protective shelters, nuclear reactor containment, offshore structures, military structures, and chemical or energy production plant) may be subjected to loading at very high rate of stress or strain caused by impact of missiles or flying objects, also by vehicle collisions or impulses due to explosions and earthquakes. Resistance to impact loads is guaranteed by using cementitious materials having both high strength and ductility. In order to improve ductility, cementitious mortars with Glass Reinforced Plastics (GRP) replacing partially the natural sand were manufactured. Moreover, glass fiber (GF) rein-forced mortars were produced to enhance toughness. For this scope two types of glass fibers different in length and diameter were used. Since the use of GRP and GF doesn't produce any increase in strength of the mortars Carbon Nanotubes were added in the cement matrix to enhance tensile strength of the ce-mentitious composite. Flexural, compressive and Hopkinson bar tests were carried out to evaluate the role of the different materials used. Replacing partially the natural sand with Glass Reinforced Plastics (GRP), compressive and flexural strength decrease (about 20) with respect those of the reference mortar both on static and dynamic condition as a consequence of an anomalous air entrapment. Adding glass fibers (GF), GRP or/and Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) no substantial improvement in terms of mechanical proper-ties under static condition occurred. The Dynamic Increase Factor of the reference mortar was higher than that of the reinforced mixtures, but fracture energy was lower. In particular, combined addition of carbon nanotubes and GRP determines an increase in the energy fracture. The higher the carbon nanotubes con-tent, the higher both fracture energy and tensile strength because nanoparticles oppose to wave and crack propagation, increasing the high strain rate strength. GRP and CNTs reinforced mortars need more frac-ture energy to failure at 150 s-1 strain rate.

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