Effect of nano and micro-silica on bond behaviour of steel and polypropylene fibres in high volume fly ash mortar
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This paper presents the effects of nano silica (NS), micro silica (MS) and combined NS and MS on bond behaviour of steel and polypropylene (PP) fibres in high volume fly ash (HVFA) mortar. Three types of bend configuration of hook-end steel fibre commercially available are considered, while the PP fibre was crimped shape. Three different fly ash contents of 40%, 50% and 60% (by wt) as partial replacement of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) are considered in HVFA mortar, while a control mortar containing 100% OPC was also considered. The NS and the MS was added as 2% and 10% (by wt), respectively as partial replacement of OPC in HVFA mortar containing 40% fly ash. In the case of combined NS and MS, 2% NS and 10% MS was used as partial replacement of OPC in HVFA mortar. However, in the case of HVFA mortars containing 40% fly ash and different NS and MS, total OPC content of 60% was kept constant in all HVFA mixes containing NS, MS and NS + MS. This was considered to compare these mixes with HVFA mortar containing 40% fly ash. Results indicate that maximum pull-out force of both steel and PP fibres decreases with increase in fly ash contents in HVFA mortars at both 7 and 28 days.The addition of 2% NS and 10% MS showed almost similar improvement in the maximum pull-out force of steel and PP fibres at both ages in HVFA mortar containing 40% fly ash. The combined use of 2%NS + 10%MS also improved the maximum pull-out force and higher than 2% NS and 10% MS. The reduction in large capillary pores in HVFA mortars containing nano and micro silica observed in Mercury Intrusion Porosity test improved the bond of steel and PP fibres in those mortar due to formation of additional calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) gel is believed to be the reason behind this improvement. The maximum pull-out force also increased with increase in number of bends in the hook-end of steel fibre in all mortars in this study at both 7 and 28 days. Extra energy absorbed by the higher number of bends is the reason of such improvement in maximum pull-out force. However, in the case of absorbed energy mixed results are observed in the case of different number of bends in steel fibre ends. Good correlations also exist between the maximum pull-out forces of all three types of steel fibres with compressive strength of mortars showing strong influence on the bond behaviour.
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