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Various durability aspects of slurry infiltrated fiber concrete

Gilani, Adel Mohamed
Slurry infiltrated fiber concrete (SIFCON) was first produced in 1979 in the USA, by incorporating large amounts of steel fiber in molds to form very dense network of fibers. The network is then infiltrated by a fine liquid cement-based slurry or mortar. The steel fiber content can be as high as 30 % by volume. This percentage usually does not exceed 2 % in normal fiber reinforced concrete (FRC) for reasons related to mixing and workability. Due to its high fiber content, SIFCON demonstrates unique and superior mechanical properties in the areas of both strength and ductility. Most of previous research work on SIFCON has focused mainly on investigating the mechanical properties of this material. On the other hand, the studies carried out in the field of durability of SIFCON are quite limited. v Therefore, it seemed that it would be worth to study the various durability aspects of SIFCON. In view of the above, the objectives of this study are to investigate and provide information about durability of SIFCON, mainly permeability, resistance to chloride penetration, freezing and thawing and drying shrinkage. This information will help in providing the necessary database and knowledge about the ability of SIFCON to withstand the conditions for which it has been designed without deterioration, especially when it is intended to be used in aggressive environments The investigations included studying the effects of the following on durability of SIFCON: (i) matrix type (slurry or mortar), (ii) fiber contents (7%, 9.5%, and 12% by volume), and (iii) steel fiber geometry (hooked or crimped). The results obtained indicated that SIFCON, especially when prepared using mortar not slurry, has shown good durability characteristics in spite of its apparent high water absorption. The SIFCON made with the highest possible fiber volume fractions showed the best results. However, it was concluded that SIFCON needs to be protected with suitable low permeability overlays to ensure ideal improved performance by protecting the steel fibers exposed on the surfaces especially against chloride attack.