This paper deals with the effects of steel fibre additions on the comparative static and fatigue properties of cement mortar, tested in both tension and compression. In compression there is little beneficial effect other than the significant influence on post ultimate strength load-bearing capacity, as has been widely reported. In fact, the fibres act to initiate cracking at lower stress levels; in fatigue some improvement is observed only at longer lives (in excess of ∼104cycles). In tension, increases in static strength and 'toughness' are observed; the onset of micro-crack initiation is also delayed, in contrast to the results in compression. Under fatigue loading, the addition of steel fibres results in substantial improvements in load-bearing capacity and resistance to crack growth. The observed effects in both compression and tension can be interpreted in terms of a dual role for the fibres, i.e. one of crack initiation and the other of crack arrest. © 1981.
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