Special Issue "Fibres in Construction: Mechanical Modelling and Characterisation"

A special issue of Fibers (ISSN 2079-6439).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Marco Francesco Funari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
ISISE, Institute of Science and Innovation for Bio-Sustainability (IB-S), University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal
Interests: composite materials; masonry structures; numerical modelling; earthquake engineering; built cultural heritage; finite element method; discrete element method; visual coding; fracture mechanics; genetic algorithms; structural dynamics; plasticity; parametric modelling; construction automation; experimental characterisation
Dr. Saverio Spadea
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Science and Engineering, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, UK
Interests: structural engineering; reinforced concrete; composite materials; structural dynamics; building and construction materials; structural stability; sustainable construction; concrete durability; waste materials; fibre reinforced polymers; mechanical modelling; parametric modelling; construction automation; experimental characterisation
Prof. Dr. Francesco Fabbrocino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, Telematic University Pegaso, Piazza Trieste e Trento, 48, 80132 Naples, Italy
Interests: composite materials; masonry structures; numerical modeling; mechanical engineering; bridge engineering; modal analysis; dynamics; civil engineering; materials engineering; experimental characterization; concrete durability
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fibre-based composite materials are widely utilised in several engineering fields due to their outstanding mechanical performance in terms of fibre orientation and properties of being lightweight and durable. Recent technology developments allow suitable sourcing of fibres from widely available raw materials and/or from up/re-cycling of natural/waste products. This has made fibre composites popular in the construction sector, where the supply of large quantities of materials at low energy and economic costs is required. On the other hand, fibre-reinforced materials’ performance can be affected by several phenomena, such as debonding and interlaminar cracks, affecting matrix, fibre, or fibre/matrix interfaces, which produce a relevant loss of toughness and can result in catastrophic collapse mechanisms of civil engineering structures. To this end, in the last decade, researchers in the field of civil engineering have been working on novel design methods and numerical strategies of analysis to ensure the optimal use of fibre-reinforced materials in constructions.

In this Special Issue, dedicated to “Fibres in Construction”, original research papers, as well as reviews, are welcome. The goal is to gather innovative contributions on the use of fibres in construction, with particular focus on innovative design, mechanical characterisation, and numerical modelling.

We, therefore, hope that this Special Issue will provide to the scientific community a thorough overview of the current frontiers of research on “Fibres in Construction”.

Dr. Marco Francesco Funari
Dr. Saverio Spadea
Prof. Dr. Francesco Fabbrocino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fibers is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Composite materials
  • Numerical modelling
  • Mechanical characterisation
  • Civil engineering
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Structural retrofitting

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Insight into the Effects of Solvent Treatment of Natural Fibers Prior to Structural Composite Casting: Chemical, Physical and Mechanical Evaluation
Fibers 2021, 9(9), 54; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9090054 - 01 Sep 2021
Viewed by 840
Abstract
This paper presents an optimized washing protocol for as-received natural fibers, prior to large-scale composite manufacturing, for the structural strengthening of historic masonry. The aim was to achieve a simple protocol for standard cleaning of fiber surfaces from low molecular weight constituents that [...] Read more.
This paper presents an optimized washing protocol for as-received natural fibers, prior to large-scale composite manufacturing, for the structural strengthening of historic masonry. The aim was to achieve a simple protocol for standard cleaning of fiber surfaces from low molecular weight constituents that may be detrimental towards interfacial strength without damaging the fibers. The proposed procedure employs the application of the solvent sequence: ethanol, acetone, hexane, with optimized incubation times and stirring conditions. Additionally, this procedure may change the surface of the fiber, thereby enhancing the durability of the fiber-matrix interface. The washing protocol resulted in an increase of tensile strength by 56%, 52% and 22% for flax, hemp and sisal fibers, respectively, as compared to the corresponding non-washed fibers, without loss of elongation. The static contact angle measurements confirmed exposure of a higher fraction of the hydrophilic crystalline cellulose, with a higher wettability observed after washing protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fibres in Construction: Mechanical Modelling and Characterisation)
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Article
ANN-Based Model for the Prediction of the Bond Strength between FRP and Concrete
Fibers 2021, 9(7), 46; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9070046 - 06 Jul 2021
Viewed by 854
Abstract
In the last decades, the uses of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites in the structural strengthening of reinforced concrete (RC) structures have become the state of the art, providing a valid alternative to the traditional use of steel plates. These relatively new materials [...] Read more.
In the last decades, the uses of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites in the structural strengthening of reinforced concrete (RC) structures have become the state of the art, providing a valid alternative to the traditional use of steel plates. These relatively new materials present, in fact, great advantages, including high corrosion resistance in aggressive environments, low specific weight, high strength-to-mass-density ratio, magnetic and electric neutrality, low axial coefficient of thermal expansion and sustainable costs of installation. In flexural and shear strengthening of RC members, the effectiveness of the epoxy bonded FRP strongly depends on the adhesion forces exchanged with the concrete substrate. When the flexural moment is present, the FRP strengthening is activated through the stress transfer on the tension side, which is guaranteed by the contact beam region to which the adhesive is bonded to the beam itself. Hence, the determination of the maximum forces that cause debonding of the FRP-plate becomes crucial for a proper design. Over the years, many different analytical models have been provided in the scientific literature. Most of them are based on the calibration of the narrow experimental database. Now, hundreds of experimental results are available. The main goal of the current study is to present and discuss an alternative theoretical formulation for predicting the debonding force in an FRP-plate, epoxy-bonded to the concrete substrate by using an artificial neural networks (ANNs) approach. For this purpose, an extensive study of the state of the art, reporting the results of single lap shear tests, is also reported and discussed. The robustness of the proposed analytical model was validated by performing a parametric analysis and a comparison with other existing models and international design codes, as shown herein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fibres in Construction: Mechanical Modelling and Characterisation)
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Article
Rammed Earth with Straw Fibers and Earth Mortar: Mix Design and Mechanical Characteristics Determination
Fibers 2021, 9(5), 30; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9050030 - 04 May 2021
Viewed by 713
Abstract
Raw earth is one of the oldest building materials, which is suitable for various uses: from the construction of load-bearing walls to use for plasters and finishes. The presence of straw fibers can give different behavior to this material. The present paper illustrates [...] Read more.
Raw earth is one of the oldest building materials, which is suitable for various uses: from the construction of load-bearing walls to use for plasters and finishes. The presence of straw fibers can give different behavior to this material. The present paper illustrates preliminary sensory and qualitative analyses, and subsequent laboratory tests that allow the characterization of the raw earth material with straw fibers for rammed earth constructions through mechanized compaction and the identification of a compatible earth mortar. The raw material considered in this study is mainly clayey; for this reason, a mix design usable with the pisé (or clay) technique has been developed. Cylindrical samples have been made through a press and subject to unconfined compression and indirect tensile tests. The results of the tests showed consistent tensile and compressive strength values in the context of earth materials. At the same time, a study for the realization of a mortar with the same base soil was carried out considering four mixtures, in order to investigate the best compromise between workability, shrinkage and compressive strengths. The purpose of the study was to investigate the mechanical characteristics of the local material through preliminary and laboratory tests, to classify it according to the Unified Soil Classification System (USCS) and to verify its suitability for a possible use in the construction field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fibres in Construction: Mechanical Modelling and Characterisation)
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