Confinement effects on fiber pullout forces for ultra-high-performance concrete

Arden C. McSwain, Keith A. Berube, Gianluca Cusatis, Eric N. Landis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Fiber reinforcement of ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) is necessary for adding toughness and ductility to an otherwise very brittle matrix. The action of fibers pulling out of the concrete matrix is one of the primary mechanisms of energy dissipation. Of interest in this work is the effect of a compressive stress in the concrete matrix on the fiber pullout behavior. An experimental fixture was developed to apply confining forces to the UHPC matrix while a fiber is pulled out of the matrix. Approximately 90 pullout tests were conducted with specimens subjected to confinements of 2, 38, and 76 MPa. Complete force-pullout length data were recorded and analyzed. The results showed that confinement stresses had a positive correlation with both peak force and work of the pullout force, but the latter was only valid for the first few millimeters of pullout. When the entire response was considered, the correlation with work of pullout disappeared. An analytical pullout model was employed to isolate the effects of bond fracture energy and friction. Fitting the model to the data showed that bond fracture energy was not affected, but friction stress increased up to 60% for high confining stresses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • Fiber pullout
  • Fiber reinforced concrete
  • Ultra-high-performance concrete

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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