Conference paper

Thin UHPFRC slabs without conventional reinforcement as light-weight structural elements

Ultra-High Performance Fibre-Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC) is a material characterised by significantly improved mechanical and durability properties compared to other concretes. In recent years, an important research effort has been made to identify appropriate structural forms and to provide practical design rules allowing efficient UHPFRC structures to be conceived. This paper presents the results of an experimental and theoretical study on the structural behaviour of thin UHPFRC slabs without conventional reinforcement. It is shown that these elements can provide high bending resistance, and, applied in an appropriate structural arrangement, lead to strong and light-weight structures that cannot be built with ordinary reinforced concrete. The favourable behaviour of thin UHPFRC members results from material mechanical properties: high compressive strength and significant ductility in tension of thin UHPFRC members lead to a ductile bending response, even when conventional reinforcement is not provided. It is demonstrated that the theory of plasticity can be safely used to assess the bending failure load for thin UHPFRC slabs. A practical expression is proposed to define the resistant plastic moment, allowing an easy estimation of the bending load-bearing capacity of thin statically indeterminate UHPFRC elements. The results are compared with experimental data on slabs of various thicknesses, showing good agreement.

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