The development of Sifcon for use in structural applications.
SIFCON was first reported in 1984 and showed excellent potential as a structural
material. Applications, however, have been slow to emerge. The aim of this
investigation was to simplify the production of SIFCON and to identify practical
applications. A direct infiltration test was developedt o assessth e effect of materials
and admixtures on the infiltration properties of cement based slurries. A slurry was
designed which could infiltrate fibre beds containing up to 16 percent by volume of
fibres without the aid of vibration. To achieve this, novel use was made of viscosity
modifying admixtures in conjunction with superplasticisers.
The mechanical properties of the SIFCON produced using the new slurry were
investigated in terms of compression and flexure. It was found that, while the
outstanding parameters, in terms of strength and ductility, associated with SIFCON
were apparent, the resulting material was strongly anisotropic. The compressive
modulus of elasticity was found to be significantly lower than would be expected for
conventional concrete of similar strength. Pull-out tests showed that the bond
performance was ductile for ribbed reinforcing bars embedded in SIFCON, however,
the dependenceo n fibre orientation was highlighted.
SIFCON sections were successfully incorporated into reinforced concrete
beams and the production of these beams demonstrated the benefits of the self
compacting technique. The results of third point loading tests highlighted problems
relating to the modulus of rupture of SIFCON, and the difficulties faced when
introducing it into reinforced concrete structures. It was also found that the use of
SIFCON in horizontally cast beams was inefficient in the compression zone.
It is expected that the advances made in the development of the production
process will lead to increased acceptance of SIFCON and that new applications will