What Is Fiber Reinforced Concrete? Here’s a Look at Its Benefits

Fiber reinforced concrete is a type of concrete composed of aggregates, cement and various types and amounts of fibers. The fibers are used in the concrete to reduce the formation of cracks, as well as to cut down on bleeding and permeability.

There are several types of fiber reinforced concrete, which fall primarily under two categories: steel fiber reinforced concrete and glass fiber reinforced concrete.

The former features fibers cut from low carbon steel wires, which are used to increase the concrete’s strength.

The latter are made from filaments that get bonded together to create strands, which are then sheared into different lengths. Adding 10 percent fiberglass into the concrete can significantly increase tensile strength and impact resistance.

Here’s a closer look at some of the advantages of fiber reinforced concrete for construction jobs:

  • Strength: depending on the type and amount of fiber implemented in the concrete, the tensile strength and impact resistance of the concrete could see some significant increases, even doubling or more. This makes it highly beneficial to use fiber reinforced concrete in high-stress settings.
  • Minimal weathering: One of the other benefits of having a stronger and more durable form of concrete is that it holds up much better to the elements. Weathering becomes a much smaller concern when you have the extra strength and durability afforded by the fiber reinforced construction.
  • Reduced cracking and permeability: A common problem with standard concrete is that moisture can permeate the concrete and cause a wide range of problems, including bleeding and cracking. The tighter, stronger construction of fiber reinforced concrete prevents this from becoming an issue, which allows the concrete to last much longer without replacement and with less maintenance.
  • Minimal corrosion: Fiber reinforced construction results in a much lower amount of corrosion that affects the concrete, another way in which it provides a longer overall lifespan.

There are, of course, some potential drawbacks one should be aware of before deciding to rely heavily on fiber reinforced concrete in a construction project.

The first is cost. Fibers are expensive, and when widely used throughout a project, it can add a much greater expense than if one used standard concrete. However, one must balance that initial expense with the long-term savings made possible through the fiber reinforced concrete’s durability. Because there is less maintenance required and a much lower chance of premature replacement, the larger expense will be more than covered in the long run.

The process of working with fiber reinforced concrete can also be more challenging or tedious to construction teams, especially when using fibers in large volumes. Workers must make sure the fibers are distributed as uniformly as possible to prevent lumps from forming.

This challenge just shows the necessity of working with a team of professionals that have training and experience in using fiber reinforced concrete in large-scale work.

For more information about the various advantages associated with using fiber reinforced concrete, get in touch with the team at EMC2, Inc. today. We look forward to assisting you.