The effect of carbon nanotubes and polypropylene fibers on bond of reinforcing bars in strain resilient cementitious composites
Stress transfer between reinforcing bars and concrete is engaged through rib translation relative to concrete, and comprises longitudinal bond stresses and radial pressure. The radial pressure is equilibrated by hoop tension undertaken by the concrete cover. Owing to concrete’s poor tensile properties in terms of strength and deformability, the equilibrium is instantly released upon radial cracking of the cover along the anchorage with commensurate abrupt loss of the bond strength. Any improvement of the matrix tensile properties is expected to favorably affect bond in terms of strength, resilience to pullout slip, residual resistance and controlled slippage.The aim of this paper is to investigate the local bond of steel bars developed in adverse tensile stress conditions in the concrete cover. In the tests, the matrix comprises a novel, strain resilient cementitious composite (SRCC) reinforced with polypropylene fibers (PP) with the synergistic action of carbon nano-tubes (CNT). Local bond is developed over a short anchorage length occurring in the constant moment region of a four-point bending short beam. Parameters of investigation were the material structure (comprising a basic control mix, reinforced with CNTs and/or PP fibers) and the age of testing. Accompanying tests used to characterize the cementitious material were also conducted. The test results illustrate that all the benefits gained due to the synergy between PP fibers and CNTs in the matrix, namely the maintenance of the multi-cracking effect with time, the increased strength and deformability as well as the highly increased material toughness, were imparted in the recorded bond response. The local bond response curves thus obtained were marked by a resilient appearance exhibiting sustained strength up to large levels of controlled bar-slip; the elasto-plastic bond response envelope was a result of the confining synergistic effect of CNTs and the PP fibers, and it occurred even without bar yielding.
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