Effect of fibers on durability of concrete: A practical review

Suvash Chandra Paul, Gideon P.A.G. van Zijl, Branko Šavija

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


This article reviews the literature related to the performance of fiber reinforced concrete (FRC) in the context of the durability of concrete infrastructures. The durability of a concrete infrastructure is defined by its ability to sustain reliable levels of serviceability and structural integrity in environmental exposure which may be harsh without any major need for repair intervention throughout the design service life. Conventional concrete has relatively low tensile capacity and ductility, and thus is susceptible to cracking. Cracks are considered to be pathways for gases, liquids, and deleterious solutes entering the concrete, which lead to the early onset of deterioration processes in the concrete or reinforcing steel. Chloride aqueous solution may reach the embedded steel quickly after cracked regions are exposed to de-icing salt or spray in coastal regions, which de-passivates the protective film, whereby corrosion initiation occurs decades earlier than when chlorides would have to gradually ingress uncracked concrete covering the steel in the absence of cracks. Appropriate inclusion of steel or non-metallic fibers has been proven to increase both the tensile capacity and ductility of FRC. Many researchers have investigated durability enhancement by use of FRC. This paper reviews substantial evidence that the improved tensile characteristics of FRC used to construct infrastructure, improve its durability through mainly the fiber bridging and control of cracks. The evidence is based on both reported laboratory investigations under controlled conditions and the monitored performance of actual infrastructure constructed of FRC. The paper aims to help design engineers towards considering the use of FRC in real-life concrete infrastructures appropriately and more confidently.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4562
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Case studies
  • Durability
  • Fiber reinforced concrete (FRC)
  • FRC applications


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