BASF macrofiber equal to pipe standard allowing synthetic alternatives to steel reinforcement

Sources: BASF Admixture Systems, Cleveland; CP staff

MasterFiber MAC Matrix, a 2.1-in. long polypropylene macrofiber BASF Admixture Systems developed for secondary reinforcement of precast and cast-in-place structures, meets the performance requirements of a new ASTM C13 Committee on Concrete Pipe standard: C1818 Specification for Rigid Synthetic Fiber Reinforced Concrete Culvert, Storm Drain, and Sewer Pipe.

The standard follows an industry-wide research study BASF spotlighted at World of Concrete 2016 in Las Vegas. Aimed at advancing concrete pipe competitiveness against less robust drainage alternatives, the study centered on 100 ASTM C76 concrete pipe specimens, up to 48-in. diameter; fabricated on packerhead or vibration and compaction machinery; and, bearing conventional steel wire mesh or MasterFiber MAC Matrix at 12- and 24-lb./yd. dosages. Load test results supported development of ASTM C1818, which allows use of synthetic fibers with a serviceability factor of 0.90 or higher in place of traditional steel reinforcement.

BASF teamed on the study with the American Concrete Pipe Association; ACPA members and specimen suppliers Forterra Building Products, Texas, and Northern Concrete Pipe, Michigan; and, University of Texas, Arlington. MasterFiber MAC Matrix was the sole synthetic fiber used, BASF officials note, and is currently the only product to successfully undergo the long-term field and laboratory testing ASTM C1818 requires.

“Fibers like MasterFiber MAC Matrix allow the concrete pipe to be lighter, safer, and easier to install than concrete pipe made with traditional steel reinforcement,” says BASF Industry Manager Kenneth Kruse. “The use of fibers can also improve long-term durability, and provide operational benefits to a producer when compared to producing pipe using traditional steel cages. In turn, this makes concrete pipe more competitive with pipe made from plastic and other materials.” —

Related article
ASTM prepares synthetic fiber for pipe, slab smoothness standards