Robert Hemmeter, a MSc student enrolled at the University of Stuttgart, decided to complete his master's project in the laboratories of the Unit for Construction Materials (UCM), Department of Civil Engineering, Stellenbosch University. He visited Stellenbosch from October 2016 until July 2017. The topic of his research project is the flexural fatigue behaviour of pre-cracked fibre reinforced concrete beams.
Work in this field is not available in literature and Robert will be the first to publish a research paper investigating the influence of different pre-crack damage on the fatigue behaviour and life of fibre reinforced concrete. He has shown that the level of pre-cracking plays a strong influence on the fatigue behaviour, with higher pre-cracking resulting in less cycles until fatigue failure. Using X-ray CT scanning techniques he has also determined that the failure mechanism of the fibres has changed when comparing static tests to cyclic/fatigue tests.
His research is the starting block for a number of post graduate students who are going to continue the investigation of the fatigue of cracked fibre reinforced concrete.
Photo: Robert Hemmeter, X-ray CT Scan of fibre reinforced concrete