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Utilization of Wood Fibers as Secondary Reinforcement in Conventional Concrete Construction

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 34392
Amount: $215,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 1997
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
2000 Turner Street
Lansing, MI 48906
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Dr. Jer-Wen Hsu
 Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution

Past applications of wood fibers in cement-based materials have been limited to the specialty market of thin cement panels. Synthetic fibers have recently gained tremendous popularity as secondary reinforcement in conventional concrete for shrinkage crack control. Concrete reinforcing fibers should provide high levels of slenderness ratio, elastic modulus, tensile and bond strengths, and fineness. Cellulose fibers either match or surpass synthetic fibers in all these attributes, and also cost less; however, they are difficult to disperse in concrete where processing involves limited mixing action and free water; cellulose fibers also damage the workability of fresh concrete. These processing problems can be attributed to the hydrogen bonding, high surface area and affinity for moisture of cellulose fibers. Out strategy is to adjust the hydrogen bonding potential, hydrophilic nature and surface roughness of pult fibers in order to resolve these processing problems while retaining the high reinforcement efficiency and cost-competitiveness of wood fibers. Phase I research assesses the viability of the approach through: 1) selection of effective means of enhancing pulp fiber dispersability and fresh mix workability; 2) refinement of fibers and optimization of the system to complement desirable processability with high reinforcement efficiency at competitive costs; and 3) competitive analysis of cellulose versus synthetic fibers as secondary reinforcement for concrete.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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