top of page

History of Concrete Fibers

Introduction to Concrete Fibers


Fibers in concrete play a crucial role in enhancing the mechanical properties and durability of concrete. The addition of fibers to concrete is a relatively modern development, with advancements and innovations continuing to this day. Here's an overview of the history of fibers in concrete:             


Early History (Pre-20th Century)

While the concept of using fibers to reinforce materials dates back centuries, the use of fibers in concrete was not widespread until the 20th century. Early civilizations, such as the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, used natural fibers like straw and animal hair in their building materials to improve their strength and performance. These fibers helped prevent cracking and improve the overall resilience of structures.


Asbestos Fibers (Early to Mid-20th Century):


In the early to mid-20th century, asbestos fibers were occasionally used as reinforcement in concrete. Asbestos offered good fire resistance and tensile strength, but its use declined due to health concerns associated with asbestos exposure, which can lead to serious respiratory diseases.


Introduction of Synthetic Fibers (Late 20th Century):


The late 20th century saw the introduction and increased use of synthetic fibers as reinforcement in concrete. Synthetic fibers, such as polypropylene, nylon, acrylic and polyester, offered advantages over natural fibers and asbestos, such as corrosion resistance, improved impact resistance, and reduced crack formation. These fibers were particularly useful in improving the toughness and durability of concrete.


Steel Fibers (Late 20th Century - Present):

Steel fibers were introduced as a means of reinforcing concrete in the late 20th century. Steel fibers are typically made from low-carbon steel and are added to the concrete mix to provide enhanced structural integrity, ductility, and crack resistance. Steel fibers are commonly used in industrial flooring, tunnel linings, and shotcrete applications.


High-Performance Fibers (Late 20th Century - Present):

In recent decades, there has been a growing interest in using high-performance fibers in concrete. These fibers include materials like glass, carbon, aramid, and other advanced polymers. High-performance fibers offer exceptional strength, stiffness, and durability properties, making them suitable for applications where high loading, seismic resistance, and extreme conditions are expected.


Fiber-Reinforced Concrete (FRC) and Modern Applications:


Fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC) refers to concrete that contains a mix of various types of fibers to enhance its properties. FRC is used in a wide range of applications, including industrial flooring, pavement, precast products, shotcrete, and more. The addition of fibers helps control cracking, improve impact resistance, and enhance overall performance.


Continued Development of Concrete Fibers


Over the years, research and development in the field of fiber-reinforced concrete have led to the introduction of various types of fibers, improved concrete mix designs, and a better understanding of fiber-matrix interactions. The ongoing exploration of new fibers and innovative concrete composites continues to advance the field and expand the potential applications of fiber-reinforced concrete in modern construction and infrastructure projects.




bottom of page