Since ancient times something or other has been used in the basic construction material for extra strength. Like earlier, when houses were made from mud, mud was mixed with some ratio of straws for more strength. Today the same technique of mixing two different elements for strengthening construction material is used. Concrete nowadays is the fundamental construction material and to make it more strong, steel fibre and mica are used in it. This increases the structural ability of the concrete. So wherever additional tensile strength and durability is required, steel fibre reinforced concrete, SFRC is used.
Steel fibres are the small and circular steel wires having length between 30mm to 100 mm. It comes in three varieties viz: straight steel fibre, indention steel fibre and hooked ends steel fibre. Further concrete is made strong with hydrate-cement, 0.25 - 2 volume % of steel fiber and fine-aggregate. For better result these fibres are dispersed randomly in concrete.
Also by adding steel fibre to concrete, its durability, flexural and tensile strength increases. But other mechanical properties of the concrete vary with the volume, shape, percentage, size and distribution of fibre. Such as fibres in a plain, round or straight shape do not develop strong bond and thus the flexural strength remains quiet low. Improved strength, toughness, post-cracking load resistance of plain cement concrete is greatly improved by adding steel fibre. This increased ability has also been proved by extensive research work on this.
Today almost all the buildings and constructions made use of SFRC and because of the huge development of airport, roads, dams, earthquake-resistant buildings in the last two decads this material has gained further popularity.
Steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) is used in places where very heavy wear and tear is expected. And generally these are:
- Steel fibres are used in mining and embankment stabilization. Also it is used for making dam and water course lining.
- This is also used in the making of erosion control structures.
- Factory and warehouse floors, roundabouts, residential developments and spillways are made of steel fibre reinforced concrete.
- Tunnel segment liners, sound barriers, pontoons are also made from this kind of steel fibre and concrete.
Apart from this precast elements that are manufactured at places other than the construction site and transported to these sites contain steel fibres for extra performance. These are used in almost all kinds of bridges, building and roads pavements.
Most of the industrial ground slabs are made from this material that includes airport runways etc. Cracking is highly reduced in these structures and these get additional durability with SFRC.
At present huge construction of buildings, roads and bridges is happening in Pondicherry thus Pondicherry tenders for construction and building material are in boom. This gives new business opportunities to may new as well as existing businesses. Along with this there are steel fibre tenders in the construction souk. In such tenders, repair and fencing of roads, reconstruction of buildings along with new construction is included.