Bamboo-reinforced high performance concrete for defense structures

H. Soto
University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico

Keywords: Bamboo fibers, nanotechnology, high performance concrete

The environmental predicament of the cement fabrication has driven scientists to create innovative alternatives to partially replace cement in construction concrete and incorporate new materials to raise their performance so as to reduce its consumption. As it is well known, concrete reinforcement is needed to increase its compressive strength at least 10%, help sustain tensile stresses, and prevent or limit crack propagation. Some researchers used bamboo as a reinforcement but as entire pieces or bamboo chunks. We developed a new high performance concrete containing nanosilica and fly ash, as cement replacements to better the concrete’s performance. The novel material contains Guadua angustifolia bamboo fiber reinforcements. This natural fiber bears better bond strength with concrete and minimal degradation. The addition of the bamboo fibers to concrete heighten its compressive (13%) and split tensile strengths (22%). This enhancement is attributed to the fibers bridging, which hampers the crack propagation in the hardened cement matrix. This positive effect of the bamboo fibers is more manifest in mixtures with initial lower mechanical properties. Because strength is attained at shorter curing times, the material is particularly apt for fast construction, repair, and rehabilitation of structures.