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STEEL FIBRE-REINFORCED CONCRETE


PART II
TEST METHOD USED TO DETERMINE THE EARLY CRACK STRENGTH
AND DUCTILITY INDEXES

1. SCOPE
This standard specifies a method for the determination of both the first crack strength
fIf (Part I, clause 3.3.1) and the ductility indexes D0 and D1 (Part I, clause 3.3.3) of
test specimens of Steel Fibre-Reinforced Concrete (SFRC).
2. STANDARD REFERENCES
prEN 12350-1:1999.Testing fresh concrete Part1: Sampling
prEN 12390-1:1999.Testing hardened concrete- Part 1: Shape, dimensions and other
requirements for specimens and moulds
prEN 12390-2:1999.Testing hardened concrete: Part2: Making and curing
specimens for strength tests

3. PRINCIPLE
Prismatic test specimens with a central notch are loaded in a four point flexure; the
test shall be carried out at prescribed CMOD1 rate.
The first crack strength (fIf ) and the ductility indexes D0 and D1 are calculated on the
basis of load - CTODnet2 curve.
4. TEST SPECIMENS
The test specimens3 can be obtained either from basic concrete 4 and/or SFRC; they
can be cast or cut out.
The test specimens are not intended for aggregate with maximum nominal size of 32
mm.
4.1 Cast specimens
Concerning the making and curing of test specimens by casting of basic concrete
and/or SFRC, prEN 12390-2 shall apply. In addition the procedure of filling the
mould with SFRC must comply with the following items (Figure 1):
1. cast portion 1 in the centre of the mould;
2. cast portion (2) and making sure that portions (1) and (2) are properly covered;
1

Part I, clause 3.2.1


Part I, clause 3.2.5
3
Damaged specimens or specimens which are badly honeycombed should not be tested.
4
Part I, clause 3.1.1
2

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3. the volume of portion (1) must be about twice that of portion (2).
The SFRC must be compacted on a vibrating table; compaction through internal
vibrator is not allowed.

Figure 1 Filling procedure with SFRC

The cast direction must be identified on the test specimen.

4.2 Cut out test specimens


The test specimens cut out from hardened SFRC can be tested only if they meet the
requirements listed in clause 4.4 after being suitably adjusted, if necessary.
4.3 Curing and transport
The test specimens shall be cured and transported according to EN 12390-2
(reference procedure).
If curing and/or transport procedures are:
q unknown;
q different from those specified in EN 12390-2;

the test can be carried out on condition that such lack of data concerning curing
and/or transport, i.e., any known deviation from the EN 12390-2, are recorded in the
test report.
4.4 Shape, dimensions and tolerances
The reference test specimens are square-base right prisms with nominal dimensions
150x150x600mm; test specimens with different dimensions can be used just for the
only purpose of having an indication, on condition that the following terms are met:

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the specimen length (l) must be at least 3.5 times the height (h); anyway it cannot
be lower than 350 mm;
the shorter side of the specimen cross section must be at least 3.5 times the
maximum size of the aggregate.
The size tolerance of the test specimens shall comply with the prEN12390-1
specifications.

4.5 Notch
A notch shall be made in the central line of a test specimen face adjacent to the
trowelled face by using a diamond saw down to a depth a0 so that a0/h = 0.3 0.01.
The notch width must range from 3 to 5 mm. The notch end must be V-shaped (Part
I; Figure 1).

5. EQUIPMENT
5.1 Test equipment
With reference to the points below, the test equipment must comply with EN 123904:
force measure;
accuracy of the force indication;
frequency of calibration;
safety.
The test equipment must be provided with a proper device which allows to carry out
the tests under displacement control.
5.1.1 Device for load application
The load application device (Figure 2) shall consist of:
two upper rollers;
an articulated cross member able to equally divide the load applied by the testing
machine between the two upper rollers;
two lower supporting rollers.

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1

1
h

3
h

h
l=3h
l3,5h

b(=h)

Figure 2. Arrangement of loading of test specimen


Key:

1
2
3

loading rollers (capable of rotating around their axis and of being


inclined ( 3));
supporting roller;
support cylinder (capable of rotating around their axis and of being
inclined ( 3)).

All rollers shall be manufactured from steel and shall have a circular cross-section
with a diameter of 20 mm to 40 mm; they shall be at least 10 mm longer than the
width of test specimen.
Each upper roller shall be free to rotate around its axis with a rotation ( 3) within
the plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the specimen.
The distance between the lower rollers (l) shall be equal to 3h and in any case it
cannot be shorter than 300 mm. The distance between the two upper rollers shall be
equal to h. The upper rollers shall be equally spaced between the lower rollers, as
shown in Figure 1. Each roller shall be positioned to the indicated location (Figure 2)
with an accuracy of 1 mm.
5.2 Force gauge
The load shall be measured with a load cell; the load shall be shown by a digital
and/or analogic display, with the required accuracy (Table 1). The system shall allow
the read value to be recorded by a special device (clause 5.4) with the metrologic
tolerance given in Table 1.

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Relative accuracy
Relative
Zero relative error Machine resolution 6
error
repeatability error
%5
(% of full scale) 5
%5
%5
1.0
0.2
0.5
1
Table 1. Metrologic tolerance allowed for load measurement

5.3 Displacement gauges


5.3.1 Gauges for CTOD and CMOD measurement
The displacement value at the notch tip shall be measured by a gauge with a range
5mm and a sensitivity which not lower 2.5 mV/mm. The use of a full bridge
resistive gauge is recommended.
Figure 3 shows an example of displacement gauge consisting of two metal thin plates
constrained at one end (clip-gauge) applied to the gauge holders (Figure 1, part I).

CMOD or CTOD
gauge

Gauge holders
d

d 10 mm
Figure 3. Example of full bridge resistive gauge for CMOD and CTOD measurement.

5.3.2 Gauges for the displacement measurement of the load application points
(optional)
The displacement of the load application points, if required, shall be measured by
means of a gauge having a measurement range 10 mm.
5.4 Recording system
The load and displacement values shall be measured by a suitable analogic or digital
data acquisition system. The data shall be recorded on a magnetic support

5
6

This percentage is the maximum admitted for the testing machine.


See the definition given in clause 5.3, EN 10002 2:1998.

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Taking into account the numeric computations required by the present standard, a
data acquisition system provided with an analogic/digital converter with resolution
12 bit is recommended. The indicated resolution must be guaranteed on an input
signal range equal to that of the amplified signal output of the load and displacement
gauges.
6. Procedure
The test specimens shall be checked before being tested and any anomaly be
recorded.

6.1 Test specimen instrumentation


6.1.1 Instrumentation for CTOD and CMOD measurement.
The gauge-holders relevant to the CTOD must be glued on the two opposite faces of
the test specimen at the height of notch tip (a0); they shall be symmetrical as to the
notch tip (Figure 4). The maximum width of the gauge-holder surface glued on the
test specimen must not be greater than 25 mm (clause 5.1.1, Figure 3). The two
gauge-holders for the CMOD measurement shall be glued along the lower edges of
the notch (Figure 4). The gauge-holders shall be glued with a stiff glue at hardened
state.
Figure 4 shows a layout for the application of gauge-holders and the relevant gauges.

A
l = 3h
L 3.5 h
b (=h)

Section
A-A

a0

CTOD gauges

CMOD gauges
Figure 4. Layout for the application of the gauge-holders and the relevant CTOD and CMOD gauges.

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6.1.2 Instrumentation for displacement measurement of the load application


points (optional).
The actual displacement of the load application points on the test specimen shall be
measured by excluding of any spurious displacements such as those caused by local
settlements near the supporting and loading rollers or due to rotations of the specimen
along its longitudinal axis.
The displacement is measured by four displacement gauges fixed to a reference bar
constrained to the test specimen as shown in Figure 5. These gauges are placed along
the load application direction with reference to the two side faces of the test
specimen. Suitable stiff metal plates shall be glued on the test specimen lower faces
in order to match the sensing probe of the gauges for the whole duration of the test.
Reference bar
Displacement
gauge

Hinge

Displacement
gauge

Carriage

Sensing pin

Figure 5. Layout for the application of the gauge-holders and the relevant gauges
for the measurement of the displacement of the load application points

6.2 Load application


The four point flexural test shall be carried out by CMOD control.
The loading rollers shall be carefully approached to the test specimen and impacts
must be avoided. The CMOD must be constantly increased at a speed of
0.050.01mm/min. For CMOD values over 0.65 mm the displacement rate can be
progressively increased up to 0.50.02mm/min. with an acceleration 1 mm/min.2.
The load, the two CTOD values and the displacement of the load application points
(if required) shall be continuously recorded on a magnetic support.
If the beginning of the main crack 7 falls outside the V-shaped upper edge of the notch
in at least one of the side faces of the specimen, it shall be recorded in the test report
and the CTODm-CMOD diagram shall be also reported.
At the end of the test, the notch depth to the nearest 0.5 mm shall be taken as the
maximum value of three measures carried out in the centre and at the two ends of the
test specimen section.
7 Expression of results

Main crack stands for the trace of the cracking plane on a side face of the test specimen.

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7.1 CTOD0 detection


The CTOD0 can be detected either directly (reference method) on basic concrete test
specimens (Part I, clause 3.1.1) or indirectly.
7.1.1 CTOD0 detection direct method
Basic concrete specimens (3 at least are recommended) having the same dimensions
and notch depth as the SFRC specimens and instrumented as shown in clause 6.1.1,
are subjected to flexural test according to the provisions given in clause 6.2. The
CTOD0 value is detected for each test specimen undergoing the flexural test. This
value corresponds to the max load (Pmax)8 taken from the Load-CTOD curve (Figure
6).

Pmax

Load

Load-CTODm diagram for


basic concrete

CTOD0

CTODm

Figure 6. Direct detection of CTOD0


The mean of the CTOD0 values measured for each test specimen is used to calculate
the first crack strength (fIf; clause 7.2).
7.1.2 CTOD0 detection indirect method
If basic concrete test specimens are not available, it is possible to take the
conventional value 25 m9 for the CTOD0.
7.2 Calculation of SFRC first crack strength (fIf)
The first crack strength (fIf; Part I, clause 3.3.1) is calculated on the basis of the load
maximum value (P If) resulting from the Load - CTODm diagram for CTODm values
falling between 0 and CTOD0 (Figure 7).
8

The maximum load value P max cannot be taken into consideration for the calculation of the flexural strength.

CTOD0 mean value measured on a set of 45 samples of basic concrete whose compressive strength
ranges from 20 to 90 MPa.

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PIf shall be calculated by linear interpolation between two recorded couples of


experimental contiguous points having abscissas CTODm1 and CTODm2 such as:
CTODm1 CTOD0 CTODm2

PIf

PIf

Load

Load

If the CTODm value corresponding to the maximum load point in the Load-CTODm
diagram is lower than 10 m, it shall be reported in the test report.

CTOD0

CTODm

CTOD0

CTODm

Figure 7. Examples of first crack load PIf detection


The first crack strength (fIf) is given by the following formula

f If =

PIf l
b(h a 0 )

[MPa]

where:
PIf = first crack load [N];
l = interaxial distance between the axis of the lower rollers [mm];
b = specimen width [mm];
h = specimen height [mm];
a0 = measured notch depth [mm].
7.3 Calculation of the ductility indexes D0 and D1.
The ductility indexes D0 and D1 are calculated according to the following formulas:
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D0 =
D1 =

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feq , (0 0 ,6 )
fI f
feq , (0.6 3)
f eq,
( 0 0, 6)

where:
feq(0-0.6)= equivalent strength [MPa] in the CTODnet range 0-0.6mm (Part I, clause
3.3.2.1);
feq(0.6-3)= equivalent strength [MPa] in the CTODnet 0.6-3mm (Part I, clause3.3.2.2)
The equivalent strengths are calculated through the following formulas:
f

eq, (0 0.6)

U1
b(h a0 )2 0.6

eq, (0.6 3)

U2
b(h a0 )2 2.4

where:
l = distance between the axis of the lower cylinders [mm];
b = specimen width [mm];
h = specimen height [mm];
a0 = measured notch height [mm];
U1, U2 = areas [10-3 joule] subtended to the Load-CTODm curve (Figure 8)10 in the
CTODnet (Part I, clause 3.2.5) 0 to 0.6mm and 0.6 to 3mm 11 respectively; the
U1 and U2 values are obtained with the following formulas:
U1 =

U1 =

0, 6

0,6

P (CTOD )d (CTOD )

P(CTOD )d (CTOD )

10

The equivalent strength in the CTODnet range between 0 and 3 mm is given by:
f eq, ( 0 3) = 0 ,2 f eq, ( 0 0, 6) + 0,8 f eq, ( 0, 6 3)

11

The U1 and U2 values are approximately proportional to the energy dissipated in the CTODnet ranges taken
into consideration.

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LOAD

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PIf

U1

U2

CTOD0 CTOD0 + 0.6 mm

CTOD0 + 3 mm

CTODm

Figure 8. Example of Load-CTODm curve in which are highlighted the areas corresponding
to crack openings (CTODnet ) up to 0.6 and 3 mm.
8. Test report

The test report must mention the following:


a) reference to this standard;
b) identification of the SFRC test specimen and of any basic concrete test specimens;
c) CTOD0 detection method (direct or indirect);
d) if the direct method is used:
d1) number of basic concrete test specimens tested;
d2) mean value of the maximum load obtained from the Load-CTODm curve;
d3) CTOD0 value to the nearest 1 m;
e) if the indirect method is used:
CTODm value corresponding to the maximum load if lower than10 m;
f) test specimen making method (cast or cut out);
g) first crack strength to the nearest 0.1 MPa;
h) ductility indexes D0 and D1 to the nearest 0.01;
i) indication of the main crack starting point when found outside the V-shaped upper
edge of the notch (in this case the CTODm-CMOD diagram referred to in clause
5.4 shall be attached);
j) detected notch depth (clause 6.2);
k) any deviation from this standard;
l) concrete aspect, if unusual;
m) test date.

The test report can also include:


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n) specimen age at the test time (if known);


o) curing and/or transport conditions (if known);
p) magnetic support where test data are recorded.

9. Precision
Tables 2a and 2b contain the precision data for the first crack strength fIf and the
ductility indexes D0 and D1 in terms of repeatability standard deviation (sr) and
repeatability limit (r) (ISO 5725-1:1994, clause 3.15 e clause 3.16) for the SFRC and
basic concrete respectively.
Tables 3a and 3b give the precision data for the first crack strength fIf and the
ductility indexes D0 and D1 in terms of repeatability standard deviation (sr) and
repeatability limit (r) referred to the mean values.

Absolute values

fIf [MPa]
D0
D1
Prospect 2
Absolute values

Repeatability Conditions for SFRC


r
sr
( r = 2 2 s r2 )
Direct
Indirect
Direct
Indirect
method
method
method
method
0.3
0.3
0.8
0.8
0.08
0.09
0.23
0.25
0.04
0.04
0.11
0.11

Repeatability conditions for basic concrete


r

fmax [MPa]
Absolute values

sr

( r = 2 2 s r2 )

0.1

0.3

Repeatability conditions for basic concrete


according to prEN 12390-5
r

fmax [MPa]

sr

( r = 2 2 s r2 )

0.3

0.8

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Relative values

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Repeatability conditions for SFRC


r [%]
sr
[%]

fIf
D0
D1

Relative values

Direct
method
6
6.0
5.0

Indirect
method
6
6.6
5.0

( r = 2 2 s r2 )
Direct
Indirect
method
method
17
17
17.0
18.7
14.1
14.1

Repeatability conditions for basic concrete


r [%]

fmax [MPa]

Relative values

sr [%]

( r = 2 2 s r2 )

2.6

7.3

Repeatability conditions for basic concrete


according to prEN 12390-5
r [%]

fmax [MPa]

sr [%]

( r = 2 2 s r2 )

6.5

18.4

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