Numerical approach for modeling steel fiber reinforced concrete
ColaboratorMolins i Borrell, Climent; Díez, Pedro; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Escola Tècnica Superior d'Enginyers de Camins, Canals i Ports de Barcelona
Document typeDoctoral thesis
PublisherUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Rights accessOpen Access
One alternative to overcome the main drawbacks of plain concrete in tension (its brittleness and weakness) is Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete (SFRC), a technique introduced in the 70's, which consists of adding steel fibers into the concrete matrix. Due to the presence of the steel fibers into the concrete matrix, the residual strength and the energy dissipation of the material increase. Moreover, once a crack appears in the concrete, the steel fibers sew this fissure. The shape, the length and the slenderness of the fibers influence on the SFRC behavior. Moreover, the distribution and the orientation of the fibers into the concrete domain must be taken into account for characterizing the material. In order to characterize the behavior of SFRC, a numerical tool is needed. The aim is to simulate the most standard and common tests (direct and indirect tension tests, flexural test, double punch tes,¿) and more complex setups. This thesis proposes a numerical tool for modeling SFRC avoiding homogenized models (not accurate enough) and conformal meshes (too expensive). Therefore, the numerical tool accounts for the actual geometry of the fibers, discretized as 1D bars nonconformal with the concrete bulk mesh (2D or 3D domains). The two materials, corresponding to the concrete bulk and the fiber cloud, are defined independently, but coupled by imposing displacement compatibility. This compatibility is enforced following the ideas of the Immersed Boundary methods. Two different models are considered for modeling the concrete bulk (a continuous one and a discontinuous one). The parametric study of each model is done for only plain concrete, before the addition of the steel fibers. A phenomenological mesomodel is defined for modeling steel fibers, on the basis of the analytical expressions describing the pullout tests. This phenomenological mesomodel not only describes the behavior of the steel fibers, but also accounts for the concrete-fiber interaction behavior. For each fiber, its constitutive equation is defined depending on its shape (straight or hooked) and the angle between the fiber and the normal direction of the failure pattern. Both 2D and 3D examples are reproduced with the proposed numerical tool. The obtained results illustrate the presence of the steel fibers into the concrete matrix. The shape of the fiber influences of the SFRC behavior: the residual strength is higher for hooked fibers than for straight ones. Moreover, increasing the quantity of fibers means increasing the residual strength of the material. The obtained numerical results are compared to the experimental ones (under the same hypothesis). Therefore, the proposed numerical approach of SFRC is validated experimentally.
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