Development of self-compacting SIFCON
Slurry Infiltrated Fibre Concrete (SIFCON) is produced by a process in which fibres are
put into an empty mould, after which the fibres are infiltrated by a cement slurry.
Generally, the infiltration of the slurry into the layer of fibres is carried out under
intensive vibration. This research has investigated the development of cement slurries
which do not require to be vibrated when SIFCON is produced. A new test was
developed to assess the effect of materials and admixtures on the infiltration properties
of cement based slurries. Two slurries with different strengths were developed and
applied for production of SIFCON elements with fibre contents of up to 11 percent.
Samples of self-compacting SIFCON were produced and tested for compressive and
flexural strength. The effect of strength of slurry used was compared and as expected
the high strength of SIFCON was obtained by samples produced from 'high' strength
slurry. A significant anisotropy of SIFCON was underlined by samples with different
orientation of fibres. An 'edge effect' was investigated on 'cut' and 'cast' samples and a
decrease in flexural strength of 'cut' samples was found. A new behaviour was observed
on SIFCON in compression in large deformations. In these deformations SIFCON
increased its strength. This behaviour is usually typical for a metal.
Full scale frames were successfully produced using self-compacting concrete and selfcompacting
SIFCON for comer parts of the frames. The results highlighted problems
relating to the anisotropy of SIFCON. The addition of SIFCON parts in frames did not
show any significant improvement of strength of the frames. Moreover, unsuitable
placement of fibres caused a significant decrease in strength in a structure.
The focus of this project was to improve knowledge about self-compacting SIFCON
and so increase acceptance of SIFCON for application in structures.