Performance of the steel fibre reinforced rigid concrete pavement in fatigue
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Four-point bending fatigue experimental work was conducted on specimens that were cut from slabs to examine the fatigue life of concrete pavements. The variables considered were the volume fraction of fibres added in plain or steel bar reinforced concrete. It was found that the strain-based approach to fatigue testing on scaled-down concrete pavements is suitable to investigate the fatigue performance of scaled-down thin rigid pavements. The addition of fibres at 0.5% volume fraction in concrete improved the fatigue life by at least 135% and reduced the energy dissipated per cycle by 74%. As the volume fraction of fibres increased, it was found that the fatigue life of rigid pavements improved; total energy dissipation also increased but the energy dissipated per cycle was reduced in concrete pavements. This is due to the crack bridging effect of fibres that reduces the microcracking of concrete. The energy dissipation per cycle from fracture energy does not remain constant for rigid pavements under fatigue testing as it was found that the type of reinforcements influences the quantity of energy dissipated. Finally, hybrid reinforced pavements with both steel bars and fibres yielded the best performance in fatigue, with the highest number of fatigue cycles and lowest energy dissipated per cycle.
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