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Title: Aspects of the behaviour of engineered cement composites
Author: Boughanem, Souhad
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 9566
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2015
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Engineered Cement Composite (ECC) materials have the potential to be used in civil engineering applications where a level of pseudo-ductility is required. Of particular interest is the possibility of eliminating the steel from reinforced cementitious structures ensuring that no long-term corrosion exists, which is especially relevant for hydraulic tunnels. Uncertainties remain, however, with regard to the mechanical performance, physical properties, durability and shrinkage of these materials, especially when they are used in thick sections for large scale engineering structures. The current work has studied ECCs in this light. The physical properties such as density, porosity and fibre dispersion and orientation are also of interest: this forms the classic materials engineering triangle of the links between material composition and manufacturing process, the microstructure and mechanical properties. A cementitious matrix, reinforced with polymeric fibres, has been manufactured using two different processes and fibre types. Specimens have been tested in tension and flexure, and multiple matrix cracking has been observed, which leads to a pseudo-ductile behaviour. Enhanced mechanical performance in tension is in line with a greater fibre alignment and higher levels of porosity do not necessarily lead to a loss of pseudo-ductility. Flexure testing shows a pseudo-ductile behaviour maintained for over three years. The fibre surface coating and the interfacial properties are relatively stable, which is in line with the maintaining of the pseudo-ductility. Theoretical models suggest that the results are in line with the ACK model, particularly for a fibre volume fraction which considers fibre orientation and fibre pull-out is likely to be responsible for the pseudo-ductile behaviour of the material. ECC materials tend to exhibit a high shrinkage on cure; this could result in cracking, which could compromise the longevity of structures. Methods for controlling shrinkage include the controlling of the environment and use of additives such as powder micro-silica.
Supervisor: Smith, P. A. ; Jesson, D. A. ; Mulheron, M. J. Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available