ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2023 - 26

Implementing Chopped Basalt
Fibres into Concrete Beams
and Cylinders
ACADEMIC INSTITUTION: LETHBRIDGE COLLEGE
ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY DISCIPLINE: CIVIL
TEAM MEMBERS: MACALLISTER CHAMBERS, KEVIN OROZO,
IAN OUELLET, PUSHAPDEEP SINGH
T
The objective of this research was to determine
the improvements or drawbacks in the
compressive and tensile strengths in concrete
samples by adding chopped basalt fibres (CBF)
at various percentages based on the amount of cement
within each sample. By doing this we could determine if
CBF alone would be a viable replacement for the standard
reinforcement steel bars, or a feasible additive. CBF offers
tremendous tensile strength, fire and oxidation resistance,
and no water absorption. We theorized that adding the CBF
within our concrete, without any other means of reinforcement,
could potentially produce adequate results similar to
traditional test beams with steel reinforcing bars.
Despite its universal utility, concrete lacks tensile strength,
which restricts it for structural applications. To ensure concrete
can bear loads in both tensile and compression, the
industry standard is reinforcing concrete with steel reinforcement
bars. The high tensile strength of CBFs and their
ability to interweave and fuse with the surrounding concrete
while curing could improve the overall compressive and
tensile strength of concrete. CBF is also easier to produce
than steel rebar, causing less environmental impact. Basalt
is globally found and will not corrode unlike steel, therefore
the longevity of CBF is not compromised by the exposure of
the elements.
For this project we conducted tests with our mix design's
water/cement ratio (w/c) at 0.39 and adding CBF at 0 per
cent (control), 2.5 per cent, and 5 per cent the weight of
cement within the mix design to see whether it would improve
the compressive and tensile stresses. In addition, we
conducted slump and air entrainment tests, and concluded
that when CBF percentage was increased, the slump would
decrease, causing less workability and an increase in air
entrainment, which would mean more air voids within the
concrete.
When CBF percentages increased, both the compressive
and tensile stresses decreased. The 2.5 per cent samples
when compared to the control were 19 Megapascals (MPa)
less in compressive strength, and 13.8 MPa less in tensile
strength. The 5 per cent cylinders were 19.8 MPa less than
the control in compressive strength, and the 5 per cent
beams were 14.6 MPa less in tensile strength. The failure
of the cylinders was slow and not abrupt, while the beams'
failure is due to bending and not due to shear.
We determined from these results that CBF fibre distributed
multidirectionally throughout sample beams and cylinders
does not effectively improve the compressive or tensile
strength. After reviewing the data, we also concluded that
the addition of CBF decreased the workability as well as increasing
the entrapped air within the samples causing more
fracture and cracking potential.
26 | FALL 2023 | TECHNOLOGY ALBERTA

ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2023

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ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2023 - Cover
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ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2023 - Cover2
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