Permeability of cracked hybrid fiber-reinforced mortar under load

John S. Lawler*, Davide Zampini, Surendra P Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Crack development in concrete is known to be profoundly altered by the presence of fiber reinforcement. The use of reinforcing fibers is shown to produce a significant reduction in water permeability through a modification of crack topography. This has direct implications for improving durability because many deterioration mechanisms of cement-based materials require the ingress of water. An innovative test configuration has been developed to evaluate water permeability in mortar subjected to a uniaxial tensile load. This test, which does not produce a preferential path for crack development, is used to simultaneously investigate the effect of a hybrid blend of fibers on mechanical performance and permeability of cracked mortar. Two different size classifications of fiber, micro- and macrofiber, are combined to modify the cracking mechanisms during the pre- andpostpeak response, respectively. Specifically, the combination of steel and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) microfibers (less than 12 mm in length and 22 ion in diameter) with a larger steel macrofiber in mortar significantly improved resistance to water permeation and displayed additive contributions to mechanical performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalACI Materials Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2002


  • Blended cement
  • Cracking
  • Fiber-reinforced concrete
  • Mortar
  • Permeability to water
  • Steel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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