Experimental Investigation of Shear Strength for Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete Beams

Constantinos B. Demakos1, Constantinos C. Repapis1, *, Dimitros P. Drivas1
1 Department of Civil Engineering, Laboratory of Civil Engineering Structures, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece

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© 2021 Demakos et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Civil Engineering, University of West Attica, 250 Thivon and Petrou Ralli Str., Egaleo 122 44, Athens, Greece; E-mail:



The aim of this paper is to investigate the influence of the volume fraction of fibres, the depth of the beam and the shear span-to-depth ratio on the shear strength of steel fibre reinforced concrete beams.


Concrete is a material widely used in structures, as it has high compressive strength and stiffness with low cost manufacturing. However, it presents low tensile strength and ductility. Therefore, through years various materials have been embedded inside it to improve its properties, one of which is steel fibres. Steel fibre reinforced concrete presents improved flexural, tensile, shear and torsional strength and post-cracking ductility.


A better understanding of the shear performance of SFRC could lead to improved behaviour and higher safety of structures subject to high shear forces. Therefore, the influence of steel fibres on shear strength of reinforced concrete beams without transverse reinforcement is experimentally investigated.


Eighteen concrete beams were constructed for this purpose and tested under monotonic four-point bending, six of which were made of plain concrete and twelve of SFRC. Two different aspect ratios of beams, steel fibres volume fractions and shear span-to-depth ratios were selected.


During the experimental tests, the ultimate loading, deformation at the mid-span, propagation of cracks and failure mode were detected. From the tests, it was shown that SFRC beams with high volume fractions of fibres exhibited an increased shear capacity.


The addition of steel fibres resulted in a slight increase of the compressive strength and a significant increase in the tensile strength of concrete and shear resistance capacity of the beam. Moreover, these beams exhibit a more ductile behaviour. Empirical relations predicting the shear strength capacity of fibre reinforced concrete beams were revised and applied successfully to verify the experimental results obtained in this study.

Keywords: Steel fibre, Fibre reinforced concrete, Test, Shear strength, Empirical equations, Crack pattern.