The effect of hydraulic cements on the flexural behavior of wool reinforced mortars
It is known that natural wool is a good thermal insulating material, but recent results suggest another application: the use of wool as a fiber-reinforcement in mortars and concretes. Indeed, the mechanical properties of wool filaments are comparable to those of some synthetic polymeric fibers (e.g., made with polypropylene). However, wool can dissolve in alkaline environments and, therefore, the performances of reinforced cement-based matrixes cannot be guaranteed for a long time. Accordingly, three series of reinforced mortar beams have been made with low alkali, high alkali, and sulfoaluminate cements. To investigate the chemical compatibility, and the subsequent effects on the mechanical performances, the beams have been tested in three point bending. As a result, the lower the alkalinity of the cement paste, the better the post-cracking capability of wool fibers to arrest the growth of cracks.