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15 December, 2015

Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete (SFRC)

Quality CE

Every year in Australasia over 600,000m3 of concrete is reinforced with steel fibres. These are supplied into a wide range of exciting applications such as ground slabs, precast, shotcrete, water retaining structures to name a few. Ensuring the steel fibres are manufactured in a quality controlled environment should be seen as a minimum requirement for any steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) specification.

EN14889-1 steel fibres. Definitions, specifications and conformity or, as it’s commonly referred to as ‘CE certification’, is a performance based manufacturing standard used by steel fibre producers. It sets out the level of quality control required for all the fibre characteristics that influence performance; length, diameter, aspect ratio, E modulus and tensile strength.

There are two types of classification; system 1 for structural use and system 3 for non-structural use. Structural use is where the post crack residual strength values are used in design, this applies to almost all SFRC applications. Another useful aspect to this standard is that producers also need to declare the minimum fibre dosage required to reach a prescribed level of performance. This is great because it provides an independent means to compare the expected performance of different fibre types.

What documents should be requested to ensure compliance?

The fibre supplier should provide a current CE label (example shown below) and Declaration of Performance. This label is attached to every pallet of Dramix supplied to the market and can be used as a QC check at the batching plant to ensure the specified fibre is being used.

Updated CE image

ISO13270 steel fibres for concrete

This is similar to the EN standard but takes it one step further through introducing a higher level of QC on the fibres. There are two classifications, Class A and Class B. Class B manufacturing tolerances are the same as System 1 in the EN standard. Class A have tighter tolerances, all Dramix fibres are manufactured to this specification. This is why all things remaining equal, Dramix® consistently outperforms fibres that may look the same but are produced by other manufacturers, even if they comply with EN14889. This ISO Standard has been cited in the draft AUS standard on SFRC.

How to specify

  1. Fibres should be manufactured in accordance with EN14889-1, system 1 for structural use or ISO13270 Class A. Current CE label and Declaration of Performance to be provided to project engineer.