Journal of Building Engineering, vol.68, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
This study examines the impact of fiber configuration and specimen size on the flexural performance and thus the energy absorption capacity of moderate and high-performance fiber reinforced concrete (FRC). A total of 180 specimens were produced using hooked-end steel fibers in lengths of 30-mm and 60-mm, and 54-mm long macro synthetic fibers. The specimens, in the form of small beams (75 × 75 × 320 mm3), large beams (150 × 150 × 750 mm3), and square panel specimens (600 × 600 × 100 mm3), were tested in accordance with EN14488-5 and ASTM C1609 standards. The results showed that as the amount of fibers increased, the flexural performance of FRC improved significantly, provided that precautions were taken to avoid mixing and placement issues when using higher amounts of fibers. 60-mm hooked-end steel fibers had the best performance among all the fibers tested with higher ultimate and post-cracking flexural strengths. 54-mm synthetic fibers seemed to be a cost-effective alternative with comparable energy absorption performance when compared to 30-mm hooked-end steel fibers. Small beams had a slightly higher ultimate (∼15% more) and post-cracking (∼35% more) flexural strengths than large beams, but the equivalent flexural strength ratio was not significantly affected by the specimen size. No clear relationship between fiber dosage and ultimate flexural strength was observed, but a relationship was observed between the fiber dosage and the equivalent flexural strength ratio, with R2 values ranging from 65% to 93% depending on the concrete matrix and the fiber type. The study also showed strong correlations (R2>91%) between the energy absorption capacity of plate specimens and beam specimens, suggesting that plate specimens can be used to reduce the time and effort required in testing during trial batches and product development. Finally, the use of high-performance concrete does not seem to be necessary, when the target is to improve the energy absorption capacity of FRC, particularly at low fiber volumes.