About the research
Cracking of environmental engineering concrete structures due to various environmental and mechanical stressors has long been an issue of concern for those involved in the construction and maintenance of this important category of structures. The formation and propagation of cracks often lead to strength and durability problems, mainly because such cracks permit the ingress of water, chlorides, sulfates, and other potentially corrosive agents into the concrete. Over time, the number and size of cracks increase, embedded steel rebars start experiencing corrosion, and further structural deterioration occurs in the form spalling of concrete and loss of cross–sectional area of steel rebars. This requires frequent maintenance and repair activities, which not only put an extra demand on available resources, but also cause direct and indirect costs due to possible closures and interruptions in service. To prevent structural deterioration from the very beginning, concrete must not be allowed to crack (to the extent possible). Among various strategies to achieve this ultimate goal, the addition of fibers to concrete mix is proven to be a promising strategy. This has formulated the main objectives of the project, which offers a systematic investigation supported by laboratory and field tests. The outcome will be a set of recommendations on selecting appropriate type, geometry, and dosage of synthetic macrofibers for minimizing cracks in environmental engineering concrete structures.