Reinforcing efficiency of micro and macro continuous polypropylene fibers in cementitious composites

Barzin Mobasher, Vikram Dey, Jacob Bauchmoyer, Himai Mehere, Steve Schaef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The effect of the microstructure of hydrophilic polypropylene (PP) fibers in the distribution of cracking associated with the strengthening and toughening mechanism of cement-based composites under tensile loading was studied. Using a filament winding system, continuous cement-based PP fiber composites were manufactured. The automated manufacturing system allows alignment of the fiber yarns in the longitudinal direction at various fiber contents. Composites with surface-modified hydrophilic macro-synthetic continuous polypropylene fibers and monofilament yarns with different diameters and surface structures were used. Samples were characterized using the tensile first cracking strength, post-crack stiffness, ultimate strength, and strain capacity. A range of volume fractions of 1-4% by volume of fibers was used, resulting in tensile first cracking strength in the range of 1-7 MPa, an ultimate strength of up to 22 MPa, and a strain capacity of 6%. The reinforcing efficiency based on crack spacing and width was documented as a function of the applied strain using digital image correlation (DIC). Quantitative analysis of crack width and spacing showed the sequential formation and gradual intermittent opening of several active and passive cracks as the key parameters in the toughening mechanism. Results are correlated with the tensile response and stiffness degradation. The mechanical properties, as well as crack spacing and composite stiffness, were significantly affected by the microstructure and dosage of continuous fibers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2189
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Crack spacing
  • Fiber
  • Fiber-reinforced concrete
  • Micro-fiber
  • Tensile strength
  • Toughness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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