Improving the Anchorage in Textile Reinforced Cement Composites by 3D Spacer Connections: Experimental Study of Flexural and Cracking Behaviors

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Textile-reinforced cement (TRC) composites can lead to significant material (and dimensional) savings compared to steel-reinforced concrete, particularly when applied in thin-walled structures such as façade panels, shells, etc. In conditions where the geometrical restrictions do not allow for sufficient anchorage, however, the exploitation of this reinforcement may be suboptimal and the TRC’s mechanical properties may decrease. As shown in the literature, the use of 3D textile reinforcement can lead to an improved anchorage in the reinforcement points and superior postcracking behavior in terms of bending. The question remains as to whether similar improvements can be achieved using 3D spacer connections, inserted post-manufacturing of the textiles. Therefore, this research experimentally investigated the effect of discretely inserted spacer connections on the flexural properties and cracking behavior of TRCs. Six different TRC beam configurations—varying in the placement of the spacer connections over the span—were investigated. Moreover, a comparison was made with two additional configurations: one equivalent 2D TRC system (using the same inplane textiles but without through-thickness connections) and one 3D TRC system using knitted 3D textiles (with spacer yarns uniformly distributed). The four-point bending tests were monitored via digital image correlation (DIC) to visualize the full-field cracking pattern. The experimental results showed that the spacer connections could strongly improve the post-cracking bending stiffness and the modulus of rupture (MOR) when placed close to the free
Original languageEnglish
Article number357
Number of pages13
Journal Journal of Composites Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors deeply acknowledge the financial support from FWO, as reported above as well as the input from all the material providers during this study.

Funding Information:
Financial support given by the Research Foundation–Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen) via project number G030721N is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • 3D textile
  • digital image correlation
  • spacer
  • textile-reinforced concrete (TRC)
  • transversal connection


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