Behavioural comparison between fibre reinforced and unreinforced paving

Topics Covered

Background
Diagrammatic comparison of behaviour under stress
Comparative benefits

Background

Marshalls have developed their STRUXTM 90/40 concrete fibre reinforced pimple paving slabs to withstand aggressive and repeated loading from vehicle overrun in areas which are prone to this particular hazard. As part of this development, Marshalls have studied and compared the behavioural response of paving reinforced with evenly distributed fibres, such as occur in the STRUXTM 90/40 paving slabs, to that of unreinforced paving which is used in many areas subject to vehicular overrun and other instances of impact loading.

Diagrammatic comparison of behaviour under stress

The following diagrams show in further detail how the response of the fibre reinforced paving differs from that of the unreinforced paving.

 

When vehicle overrun occurs, the weight of the vehicle is passed to the flag through a very small contact area between the tyre and the surface.

Due to the weight of the vehicle and the relatively small contact areas of the tyres, the vehicle weights are actually being passed through as point loads over a very short period of time.

Fibre reinforced paving

 

Unreinforced paving

Due to the excessive load, cracking starts to form on the bottom face of the flag, at the point where the concrete is under tension.

Due to the excessive load, cracking starts to form on the bottom face of the flag, at the point where the concrete is under tension.

As further loading occurs, the growth and spread of the crack is significantly delayed by the fibres which reduce the stress at the crack tip, as well as bridging the crack, holding the pieces together.

As further overloading occurs,  the growth and spread of the crack quickly takes place, passing through the flag to the top face.  Movement and abrasion failure at the face continue to open up the crack.

When the crack eventually passes through the flag to the top face, fibres continue to bridge the failure, having sufficient strength and pull out resistance to continue holding the pieces closely together, critically maintaining the alignment of the failed pieces.  These then continue to perform as a complete flag unit as if no failure has taken place.

As the two, now separate pieces continue to move relative to each other, abrasion and crumbling continue to open up the crack face.  Subsequent loading leads to further, separate movement of each piece, eventually leading to total pavement failure, unit failure, further misalignment and the presence of dangerous trip hazards.

Comparative benefits

Non-reinforced paving slab after vehicle overrun tests

Fibre reinforcement is shown to have the following benefits when compared with non reinforced paving:

          Improved Transverse Strength of 63mm product
- 6.0 MPa (Fibre) v 3.7MPa (Std Grey Dimple)
… not ‘exclusively’ due to fibre – engineered mix design to give characteristics of 75mm steel paving

          Abrasion resistance
- 20.7mm (Fibre) v 23mm (Std Grey Dimple) for wide wheel test
… the product will wear better

          Skid Resistance
- 76 (Fibre) v 45 (Std Grey Dimple) Mean wet unpolished (UPV)
- 70 (Fibre) v 45 (Std Grey Dimple) Mean wet polished (PPV)
… the product has close to ‘Yorkstone’ skid and slip properties

 

Fibre reinforced paving after same tests

Source: Marshalls

            April 2004

            

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