Determination of fracture parameters of fiber-reinforced cementitious composites containing nano-silica using image processing

Document Type : Research Article


1 Civil Engineering Department, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University

2 Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University


Considering that fiber-reinforced cementitious composites have been developed in recent years, it ‎seems necessary to determine their fracture behavior, fix the possible defects of these materials, and ‎facilitate their use in the construction industry. In this study, a new cementitious composite with ‎strain-hardening behavior has been developed. Granulated blast furnace slag has been used as ‎supplementary cement material to reduce the side effects of excessive consumption of cement on the environment. Moreover, Nano silica has been used to increase hydration at early ‎ages due to the low rate of hydration of pozzolanic materials, which leads to low strength at an early age. ‎Therefore, in this study, the effect of adding nano-silica on the fracture behavior of cementitious ‎composites has been discovered. The double-k fracture method (DKFM) has been used to analyze ‎the fracture behavior at different stages of specimen failure, i.e., crack initiation and stable and ‎unstable crack propagation. In addition, the digital image correlation technique has been used to ‎find the initial crack load and the crack opening displacement at different loading stages. This ‎study's results revealed that adding nano-silica to the amount of 3 wt. % of cement improves the ‎mechanical behavior ‎‎(including compressive strength and bending strength), increases the cohesive ‎toughness, and reduces ‎the brittleness of the fiber-reinforced cementitious composite. Increasing ‎cohesive toughness could be ‎interpreted as an increase in embedded fibers' interfacial frictional ‎bond strength.‎


Main Subjects

[1] E.Yang, V.C. Li, Strain-hardening fiber cement optimization and component tailoring by means of a micromechanical model, Construction and Building Materials, 24, (2010),130–9.
[2] M. Wu, M. B. Johannesson, and M. Geiker, A review: Self-healing in cementitious materials and engineered cementitious composite as a self-healing material, Construction and Building Materials 28, (2012) 571-583.
[3] A. D‌e‌h‌g‌h‌a‌n‌i, F. N‌a‌t‌e‌g‌h‌i E‌l‌a‌h‌i, E‌x‌p‌e‌r‌i‌m‌e‌n‌t‌a‌l A‌n‌d A‌n‌a‌l‌y‌t‌i‌c‌a‌l E‌s‌t‌i‌m‌a‌t‌i‌o‌n O‌f M‌e‌c‌h‌a‌n‌i‌c‌a‌l P‌r‌o‌p‌e‌r‌t‌i‌e‌s O‌f E‌n‌ g‌i‌n‌e‌e‌r‌e‌d C‌e‌m‌e‌n‌t‌i‌t‌i‌o‌u‌s C‌o‌m‌p‌o‌s‌i‌t‌e‌s (E‌c‌c) W‌i‌t‌h P‌o‌l‌y‌v‌i‌n‌y‌l A‌l‌c‌o‌h‌o‌l F‌i‌b‌e‌r‌s, Sharif Journal of Civil Engineering, 30-2(1.1), (2014), 45-57.
[4] V.C. Li, T. J. J. o. M. i. C. E. Kanda, Innovations forum: engineered cementitious composites for structural applications, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 10(2), (1998), 66-69. 
[5] M. Mazloom, and S. Mirzamohammadi, Fracture of fibre-reinforced cementitious composites after exposure to elevated temperatures, Magazine of Concrete Research, 73(14), (2021), 701-713.
[6] H. Karimpour, and M. Mazloom, Pseudo-strain hardening and mechanical properties of green Cementitious composites containing polypropylene fibers. Structural Engineering and Mechanics, 81(5), (2022), 575.
[7] M. Mazloom, and S. Mirzamohammadi, Computing the fracture energy of fiber reinforced cementitious composites using response surface methodology, Advances in Computational Design, 6(3), (2021), 225-239. 
[8] Q. Zhang, V. C. Li, Development of durable spray-applied fire-resistive engineered cementitious composites (SFR-ECC), Cement and Concrete Composites, 60, (2015), 10-16.
[9] S. Tsivilis, G. Batis, E. Chaniotakis, G. Grigoriadis, and D. Theodossis, Properties and behavior of limestone cement concrete and mortar, Cement Concrete Research, 30(10), (2000), 1679-1683.
[10] Swaddiwudhipong, S., Lu, H.-R., & Wee, T.-H, Direct tension test and tensile strain ‎capacity of concrete at early age. Cement and Concrete Research, 33(12), .(2003), 2077–2084. ‎
[11] Li, V. C. (2019). Engineered cementitious composites (ECC): bendable concrete for sustainable and resilient ‎infrastructure. Springer.‎
[12] Zhou, J., Qian, S., Sierra Beltran, M. G., Ye, G., van Breugel, K., & Li, V. C., Development of engineered ‎cementitious composites with limestone powder and blast furnace slag. Materials and structures, 43(6), (2010), 803-814.‎
[13] J.K. Kim, J.S. Kim, G.J. Ha, and Y.Y. Kim, Tensile and fiber dispersion performance of ECC (engineered cementitious composites) produced with ground granulated blast furnace slag, Cement Concrete Research, 37(7), (2007), 1096-1105.
[14] I. Lim, J.C. Chern, T. Liu, and Y.W. Chan, Effect of ground granulated blast furnace slag on mechanical behavior of PVA-ECC, Journal of Marine Science and Technology, 20(3), (2012), 319-324.
[15] A. Adesina, and S. Das, Mechanical performance of engineered cementitious composite incorporating glass as aggregates, Journal of Cleaner Production, 260, (2020), 121113.
[16] P.Hosseini, A. Booshehrian, and S. Farshchi, Influence of nano-SiO2 addition on microstructure and mechanical properties of cement mortars for ferrocement, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2141, (2010), 15-20.
[17] A. Abna, and M. Mazloom, Flexural properties of fiber-reinforced concrete containing silica fume and nano-silica., Materials Letters, 316, (2022), 132003
[18] V. Broujerdian, H. Karimpour, and S. Alavikia, Predicting the shear behavior of reinforced concrete beams using non-linear fracture mechanics, International Journal of Civil Engineering, 17(5), (2019), 597-605.
[19] Xu, S., & Reinhardt, H. W. (1999). Determination of double-K criterion for crack propagation in quasi- Brittle fracture, Part I: Experimental investigation of crack propagation, International Journal of Fracture, 98(2), 111-149.
[20] S. Kumar, and S. V. Barai, Concrete fracture models and applications, Springer Science and Business Media, (2011). 
[21] J. Zhou, S. Qian,  G. Ye, O. Copuroglu,  K. van Breugel, and V. C. Li, Improved fiber distribution and mechanical properties of engineered cementitious composites by adjusting the mixing sequence, Cement and Concrete Composites, 34(3), (2012), 342-348.
[22] S. P. Shah, M. S. Konsta-Gdoutos, Z. S. Metaxa, and P. Mondal, Nanoscale modification of cementitious materials. In Nanotechnology in construction 3, Springer, (2009), 125-130.
[23] Y. Al-Najjar, S. Yeşilmen, A. M. Al-Dahawi, M. Şahmaran, G. Yıldırım, M. Lachemi, and L. Amleh, Physical and Chemical Actions of Nano-Mineral Additives on Properties of High-Volume Fly Ash Engineered Cementitious Composites, ACI Materials Journal, 113(6), (2016).
[24] ASTM C1609/C1609M-05, Standard Test Method for Flexural Performance of Fiber-Reinforced Concrete (Using Beam With Third-Point Loading), American Society for Testing and Materials, (2005).
[25] L. Senff, J. A. Labrincha, V. M. Ferreira, D. Hotza, and W. L. Repette, Effect of nano-silica on rheology and fresh properties of cement pastes and mortars, Construction and Building Materials, 23(7), (2009), 2487–2491.
[26] P. Mehta and P. Monteiro, Concrete: microstructure, properties and materials, McGraw-Hill Education (2017).
[27] A. M. Neville, Properties of Concrete, ELBS with Addison Wesley Longman Limited. England, (1996).
[28] M. Mazloom, and S. Mirzamohammadi, Thermal effects on the mechanical properties of cement mortars reinforced with aramid, glass, basalt and polypropylene fibers, Advances in materials research, 8(2), (2019), 137-154. 
[29] J. Björnström, A. Martinelli, A. Matic, L. Börjesson, and I. Panas, Accelerating effects of colloidal nano-silica for beneficial calcium–silicate–hydrate formation in cement, Chemical physics letters, 392(1-3), (2004), 242–248.
[30] G. Li, Properties of high-volume fly ash concrete incorporating nano-SiO2, Cement and Concrete Research, 34(6), (2004), 1043–1049.
[31] Fu, C., Guo, R., Lin, Z., Xia, H., Yang, Y., & Ma, Q., Effect of nanosilica and silica fume on the mechanical properties and microstructure of lightweight engineered cementitious composites. Construction and Building Materials, 298, (2021), 123788.
[32] D. J. Kim, S. H. Park, G. S. Ryu, and K. T. Koh, Comparative flexural behavior of hybrid ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete with different macro fibers, Construction and Building Materials, 25(11), (2011), 4144-4155.