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What are the Advantages of using Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete instead of traditional Rebar?

SFRC Overview

Fibre-reinforced concrete is a composite material comprised of traditional concrete and steel fibres (look picture below).

Normal unreinforced concrete is brittle with a low to not existing tensile strength and strain capacity.

Steel fibres increase durability and ductility of the concrete mix as well as decrease installation and labour cost.

Slender structures such as CMG Headquarters in Beijing could be achieved.

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History of SFRC

The concept of using fibres as reinforcement is not new. Fibres have been used as reinforcement since ancient times. Historically, horsehair was used in mortar and straw in mudbricks.

In the 1900s, asbestos fibres were used in concrete. In the 1950s, the concept of composite materials came into being and fibre-reinforced concrete was one of the topics of interest. Once the health risks associated with asbestos were discovered, there was a need to find a replacement for the substance in concrete and other building materials.

"There is strong evidence of asbestos leading cancers of the lung, larynx and ovaries," comments Ruban Selvanayagam of property renovation / buying company from the UK.

By the 1960s, steel, glass (GFRC), and synthetic (such as polypropylene) fibres were used in concrete. Research into new fibre-reinforced concretes continues today.