Towards the Development of Pavement-Specific Structural Synthetic Fibers

Principal Investigator(s):

Manik Barman, Associate Professor, UMD-Civil Engineering

Project summary:

The application of synthetic fibers can reduce the fatigue cracking and faulting of thin concrete pavements and overlays. Currently available synthetic fibers used in concrete pavements are mainly polyolefin-based. Previous studies suggest that any fibers can plastically elongate and pull out from the concrete when crack widths are wide enough, thus becoming ineffective in transferring wheel load across adjacent sawn or cracked slabs. The purpose and effectiveness of reinforcement is holding concrete across differing crack widths. The goal of this project is to better understand existing polyolefin fiber performance against the abovementioned plastic elongation and pullout to eventually further increase the life of concrete pavements and overlays. This study will be conducted in two phases. The first phase has the two following objectives: (i) determining the forces induced on the fibers because of vehicular and environmental loads when used in concrete pavements; (ii) identifying those characteristics that can most easily be changed in both or either the concrete and fibers for the purpose of improved performance of thin concrete pavements and overlays. Once the first phase is completed, the next phase will deal with the designing and testing of the pavement-specific concrete mixture and fibers.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2021035
  • Start date: 03/2021
  • Project status: Active
  • Research area: Infrastructure
  • Topics: Concrete, Maintenance