The impact of a PEER funded research project, "How the Water/Binder Ratio and Voids Affect the Performances of Hardened Concrete Subjected to Fire" is highlighted below. The project Principal Investigator (PI) is Kamran M. Nemati, Associate Professor, University of Washington. The research team includes Alessandro P. Fantilli, Associate Professor, Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy and Nicholas A Dembsey, Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts.
In the past, most of the experimental campaigns were carried out to judge the strength of concrete, or, separately, the fire spalling resistance. Studies on both these properties, and on the fracture toughness in compression as well, are very scarce in the technical literatures. We believe that this detailed study, dealing with the effect produced by the water/binder ratio and by porosity on the mechanical performances in compression and fire spalling, was carried out for the first time and will be very useful to concrete technology. Indeed, the prediction of the fire spalling is possible by means of the sole uniaxial compression tests, and the amounts of artificial voids and polypropylene fibers can be optimized to prevent fire spalling (also in the case of the lower water/binder ratio).