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Fiber-Reinforced Concrete for Pavement Applications

  • Date: 4-24-2020
  • By: Michael Mahoney

Over the past several years, there has been a renewed interest in the use of fiber reinforcement in concrete pavements for parking lots, white toppings, bridge decks and roadways. Various technical organizations such as the American Concrete Institute, American Concrete Pavement Association and the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center have developed new guidance and recommendations on how to properly select and use fiber types in concrete.

From the CP Tech Center, a national hub for disseminating pavement research and technology transfer, “Fiber-Reinforced Concrete can offer a cost-effective, sustainable solution for resurfacing and rehabilitating existing pavements. Either as overlays or full depth replacement pavements, State DOTs and other engineering groups are rapidly adopting macro-synthetic fibers into their designs, specifications and experimental projects for road and airfield pavements."

With the current challenges in today’s construction environment, and with limitations on available manpower and cost uncertainties, fiber-reinforced concrete can offer a safer and more cost effective working environment that can actually speed up construction while reducing the environmental impact at a project site.

During a recent conversation with a municipal engineer looking to continue a concrete pavement placement program in his municipality, but affected by governmental restrictions on social distancing and material supply due to the COVID-19 health emergency, the use of fiber-reinforced concrete was proposed to allow for the substitution of conventional steel reinforcement - by removing the distributed steel, a reduced workforce to place, chair and work during the pre-placement of concrete portion for the construction site would be needed. Also, city inspection would not be required to check the steel placement further reducing the time of construction and personnel on site. Concrete would then be placed with fiber reinforcing supplied by the concrete producer and “installed” in the concrete prior to placement. Ready-mix trucks could then drive directly onto the subgrade sections and quickly and efficiently place the concrete with only minimal finishing practices needed. – From the perspective of safety, less personnel on site and reduced trip hazards would provide a significant benefit and the method of construction would also allow for increased speed of placement. The engineer was very interested in this proposal and will be discussing this with their public-works department in the coming days. 

Euclid Chemical recommends the use of its TUF-STRAND SF macro-synthetic fiber for the reinforcement of concrete pavements to replace steel and can provide engineered calculations to demonstrate equivalency with many project references available. Supported by a strong technical and marketing package with various industry approvals such as the International Code Council (ESR-4072) and Underwriters Laboratories UL/ULC, Euclid Chemical can also provide testing services through our laboratories to support customer needs and optimize concrete mixture designs to ensure project specifications are not only met but exceeded to create a longer-lasting, more durable and sustainable pavement systems.

To learn more about using fibers in concrete pavements, check out our sell sheet: FRC Pavement Applications

 

ABOUT MICHAEL MAHONEY

Michael Mahoney, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., is the Director of Marketing and Technology for Fiber Reinforced Concrete at Euclid Chemical. Michael is a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute and a member of the National Pre-Cast Concrete Association and American Society for Testing and Materials. He is also a Past President for the Fiber Reinforced Concrete Association and has been with Euclid Chemical for 17 years. Prior to this, he worked as a research professional for 7 years studying fiber reinforced concrete at the Technical University of Nova Scotia in Halifax, Canada.


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