Silica fume is known to improve the pore system of cementitious pastes and their adhesion capacity to fibers and other mix inclusions. This study has been mainly concerned with the effect of silica fume on the pull-out strength of randomly oriented steel fibers from concrete. Silica fume effects on the fresh mix workability and the overall flexural and compressive behavior of steel fiber reinforced and plain concretes were also assessed. The only variable in different fibrous and plain mixes was the fraction of portland cement substituted with silica fume. This fraction ranged from 0% to 20%.
The workability of plain and fibrous mixes were obtained by slump and inverted slump cone tests, respectively. In both the flexure and compression tests on fiber concrete, the complete load-deformation relationship was obtained. The pull-out strength of randomly oriented fibers was assessed through analysis of the flexural test data.
All aspects of the fresh and hardened steel fiber reinforced concrete performance considered in this study, especially the pull-out strength of randomly oriented fibers from concrete, were observed to improve with the increase in silica fume-cementitious ratio up to a certain limit, after which the trends in silica fume effects were reversed.