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Antico, F. C., Rojas, P., Briones, F., & Araya-Letelier, G. (2021). Animal fibers as water reservoirs for internal curing of mortars and their limits caused by fiber clustering. Constr. Build. Mater., 267, 120918.
Abstract: We present a bottom-up experimental research to address evidence of internal curing of mortars using randomly distributed pig-hair as water reservoirs. Plain and reinforced mortars with pig hair ranging from 0 to 8 kg of fibers per cubic meter of mortar were prepared. The microstructures of plain and reinforced mortars were scanned using electron microscopy and the microhardnesses were measured within
the bulk cement paste and cement paste near pig fibers. Electrical resistivity, surface absorption, and residual compressive strength of mortars after freeze-thaw cycles were used to test the effects of internal curing caused by pig hair. Natural fibers used to reinforce mortars increase their toughness and provide
part of the necessary water for internal curing, yet internal curing originated by the addition of natural fibers is not proportional to fiber dosage; where the potential to form fiber clusters increases as fiber dosage increases. Results show that there is an optimum fiber dosage that maximizes internal curing
caused by these fibers. This study contributes to the research on reinforced mortars with natural fibers to provide sustainable solutions for construction materials.
Keywords: Internal curing; Animal fiber; Reinforced mortar; Fiber clusters; Valorized waste; Macroscopic properties; Durability
Araya-Letelier, G., Antico, F. C., Carrasco, M., Rojas, P., & Garcia-Herrera, C. M. (2017). Effectiveness of new natural fibers on damage-mechanical performance of mortar. Constr. Build. Mater., 152, 672–682.
Abstract: Addition of fibers to cement-based materials improve tensile and flexural strength, fracture toughness, abrasion resistance, delay cracking, and reduce crack widths. Natural fibers have recently become more popular in the construction materials community. This investigation addresses the characterization of a new animal fiber (pig hair), a massive food-industry waste worldwide, and its use in mortars. Morphological, physical and mechanical properties of pig hair are determined in order to be used as reinforcement in mortars. A sensitivity analysis on the volumes of fiber in mortars is developed. The results from this investigation showed that reinforced mortars significantly improve impact strength, abrasion resistance, plastic shrinkage cracking, age at cracking, and crack widths as fiber volume increases. Other properties such as compressive and flexural strength, density, porosity and modulus of elasticity of reinforced mortars are not significantly affected by the addition of pig hair. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Araya-Letelier, G., Maturana, P., Carrasco, M., Antico, F. C., & Gomez, M. S. (2019). Mechanical-Damage Behavior of Mortars Reinforced with Recycled Polypropylene Fibers. Sustainability, 11(8), 17 pp.
Abstract: Commercial polypropylene fibers are incorporated as reinforcement of cement-based materials to improve their mechanical and damage performances related to properties such as tensile and flexural strength, toughness, spalling and impact resistance, delay formation of cracks and reducing crack widths. Yet, the production of these polypropylene fibers generates economic costs and environmental impacts and, therefore, the use of alternative and more sustainable fibers has become more popular in the research materials community. This paper addresses the characterization of recycled polypropylene fibers (RPFs) obtained from discarded domestic plastic sweeps, whose morphological, physical and mechanical properties are provided in order to assess their implementation as fiber-reinforcement in cement-based mortars. An experimental program addressing the incorporation of RPFs on the mechanical-damage performance of mortars, including a sensitivity analysis on the volumes and lengths of fiber, is developed. Using analysis of variance, this paper shows that RPFs statistically enhance flexural toughness and impact strength for high dosages and long fiber lengths. On the contrary, the latter properties are not statistically modified by the incorporation of low dosages and short lengths of RPFs, but still in these cases the incorporation of RPFs in mortars have the positive environmental impact of waste encapsulation. In the case of average compressive and flexural strength of mortars, these properties are not statistically modified when adding RPFs.
Keywords: recycled polypropylene fiber; fiber-reinforced mortar; mechanical performance; damage reduction; waste valorization