To make concrete more powerful and more adaptable to extreme temperature, different types of fibers are blended with liquid cement to form the fiber-reinforced concrete structures. Another advantage of using fiber-reinforced concrete is that it is extremely water-tight. There are four different of fiber reinforcements, namely steel fiber, glass fiber, synthetic fiber and natural fiber.
Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete – It is an inexpensive and easily applicable form of concrete reinforcement. To enhance the longevity of concrete, steel bars are placed inside the liquid cement to give rebar reinforced concrete. It consists of thin steel wires combined with cement which gives superior structural strength to concrete along with safeguarding it against severe temperatures and diminishing the chances of cracking.
Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete – The reinforcement here is fiberglass. It increases the strength of the concrete and also insulates it. Just like steel reinforcement concrete, glass fiber reinforced concrete prevents cracking due to mechanical and thermal stresses. Glass fiber does not intervene with radio signals.
Synthetic Fiber Reinforced Concrete – Plastic and nylon fibers are combined to make robust reinforced concrete. Having an edge over the other fiber reinforcements, it disallows the cement to be stuck in the pipelines hence increasing the pump-ability of the cement. Synthetic fibers don’t expand or contract due to change in temperature and this helps to stop cracking. Concrete reinforced with synthetic fibers doesn’t break or collapse due to impact or fire.
Natural Fiber Reinforced Concrete – Natural fibers are hay or hair which are traditionally used to build natural fiber reinforced concrete. These fibers may provide strength for the time being, but does the reverse if used for long time projects. Natural fibers carry the risk of decaying which may result in concrete collapsing from inside. Hence, these fibers are not used nowadays.