Comportement structural des bétons de fibres ultra performants en traction dans des éléments composés

Ultra high performance concretes (UHPFRC) are characterized by a dense matrix and a high fibre content. These materials exhibit exceptional mechanical and durability properties making them an ideal material for rehabilitating existing structures. The primary interest in UHPFRC focuses on their uniaxial tensile performance. When they applied in a cast in place overlay configuration, they provide increased rigidity to the global element and localized protection to the steel reinforcement embedded in the concrete core during the service by minimizing surface cracking and inhibiting the diffusion of aggressive agents. At the ultimate state, and under certain configurations UHPFRC significantly improves the element's carrying capacity. The overall goal of this research is to study the UHPFRC tensile behaviour (hardening and softening behaviours) of characteristic test specimen and to apply this knowledge in analyzing the structural response of various composite elements. The objectives related to this study are: To determine the factors influencing the UHPFRC uniaxial tensile test specimen behaviour To illustrate the importance of UHPFRC tensile hardening and softening responses in UHPFRC structural plates and UHPFRC-reinforced concrete composite beams. To determine the rupture mechanism and overall contribution a UHPFRC overlay offers to a composite UHPFRC-reinforced concrete slab loaded to failure in flexural/punching shear. To study the parameters influencing the UHPFRC uniaxial behaviour in tensile composite structural elements. The behaviour of specimen with different configurations and compositions were studied in uniaxial tensile tests. The variables significantly influencing the fibre orientation were isolated by studying the fibre orientation at localized cuts in the various specimen. These controlling variables include: mixture viscosity, casting method, casting direction, fibre aspect-ratio and element geometry. Furthermore, a meso-level model was developed to predict the uniaxial tensile behaviour and was validated against the experimental test results. With the help of this model, the influence of the main fibre characteristics (Vf, Lf, df) on the resultant fibre orientation and matrix quality were examined. This model has determined that the extent of hardening does not increase linearly with the quantity of fibres but rather follows an asymptotic curve converging to a maximum possible hardening. A second model was developed to randomly orient and place fibres. This model has helped to explain the uniaxial tensile response variability of different mixtures ranging from conventional Fibre Reinforced Concrete (FRC) to UHPFRC. A finite element program has been employed to study the influence the UHPFRC softening behaviour has on the composite structural beam and UHPFRC plate responses. For a flexural plate (length 500mm, width 200mm, height 30mm), the bearing capacity was significantly increased by the very pronounced UHPFRC softening behaviour. Additionally, the UHPFRC layer noticeably increased the rigidity of the composite beam and slab. For example the UHPFRC layer increased the slab bearing capacity by 40% in comparison to a purely reinforced concrete slab by bridging the punching shear mechanism with a UHPFRC membrane effect. The structural responses of the two element types were then further analyzed using a finite element analysis program. An inverse analysis methodology was employed to obtain the UHPFRC tensile material laws in respective composite elements. These findings documented that a similar materials exhibited significantly different responses when applied in different applications. This analysis documents that the UHPFRC layer in a slab closely follows the uniaxial tensile test specimen response, while the UHPFRC layer in a composite beam exhibits a significantly reduced performance. The primary reasons for these variances are: the relative fibre distribution, the interface rugosity, the internal residual stresses and the extent of the maximum stress zone. Recommendations are made concerning the implementation of UHPFRC and the influence the fibre aspect ratio and volume (Vf, Lf, df) imposes on the resulting fibre orientation in different applications. Finally, a method for determining the UHPFRC characteristic curve which is required to design a composite UHPFRC-reinforced concrete element is presented.

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