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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.