2003 Volume 1 Issue 3 Pages 241-252
Although steel fibers have been used in cement and concrete composites for more than four decades, most of the steel fibers on the market today have been introduced prior to 1980. This is in sharp contract to the continuous progress and development in the cement matrix itself. Following a brief summary of the main properties and limitations of steel fibers used in cement based composites, this paper describes the rationale and technical background behind the development and design of a new generation of steel fibers for use in cement, ceramic and polymeric matrices. These fibers are engineered to achieve optimal properties in terms of shape, size, and mechanical properties, as well as compatibility with a given matrix. They are identified as Torex fibers. Typical tests results are provided and illustrate without any doubt the superior performance (2 to 3 times) of Torex fibers in comparison to other steel fibers on the market. The new fibers will advance the broader use of high performance fiber reinforced cement composites in structural applications such as in blast and seismic resistant structures, as well as in stand-alone applications such as in thin cement sheet products.