Partner: A.P. Fantilli

Politecnico di Torino (IT)

Conference papers
1.Fantilli A.P., Jóźwiak-Niedźwiedzka D., Gibas K., Dulnik J., The compability between wool fibers and cementitious mortars, ICBBM & EcoGRAFI, Second International RILEM Conference on Bio-based Building Materials 1st Conference on ECOlogical valorisation of GRAnular and FIbrous materials, 2017-06-21/06-23, Clermont-Ferrand (FR), pp.42-47, 2017

The addition of natural fibers residue in cement based materials can be a sustainable technological alternative for traditional dispersed reinforcement, and can improve the performance of brittle matrix materials. The presence of a wool reinforcement can increase the fracture toughness and, at the same time, can reduce the environmental impact of cementitious mortars. The beneficial effects are similarly to those observed in presence of vegetal fibers (e.g., hemp), which have been largely investigated in the literature. However, there are some limits in the use of wool fibers due to their chemical compatibility with the cement matrix, as they can dissolve in alkaline environments. In the present paper, to investigate the compatibility between wool fibers and cementitious mortars, laboratory prototypes have been taken into consideration. Three series of wool-reinforced mortar beams have been cast and cured in water (20°C) or in dry conditions (temp. 20 °C, 50% R.H.) for some days. Portland-limestone cement CEM II has been used, whereas the content of fibers has been limited to about 1% in volume to maintain the workability of the mortars. To investigate the chemical compatibility, and the subsequent effects on the mechanical performances, prototypes have been tested in three point bending. After the mechanical test, the mortars microstructure was evaluated through SEM images and by thin section in transmitted light, in order to individuate a possible relationship between the dissolution of wool and curing conditions. The microstructure observation revealed the capability of wool fibers to bridge the cracks, and to reduce the brittleness of plain mortars. The differences in the mortars microstructure due to alternative curing conditions were also observed and described in the paper. Accordingly, wool could be effectively used to reduce the plastic shrinkage of cementbased composites, like the industrially manufactured polypropylene fibers.


Wool fibers, Plain cement-based mortar, Fiber-reinforced mortar, Polypropylene fibers, Three point bending tests, SEM analyses

Fantilli A.P.-Politecnico di Torino (IT)
Jóźwiak-Niedźwiedzka D.-IPPT PAN
Dulnik J.-IPPT PAN