ASTM International (Americal Society for Testing and Materials) has recently posted that it is working towards the implementation of a new standard to evaluate the performance of fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC). This standard introduces a double-punch test on cylindrical specimens as a method for FRC characterization. Along the same line, UNE 83515 standardized the double-punch test known as Barcelona test  (developed at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) as a test to determine the toughness and residual strength of FRC.

ASTM’s concrete and concrete aggregates committee C09 is in charge of developing this standard. The organization itself emphasizes that the double-punch test allows the FRC characterization based on a method with less variability and more efficiency than beam-type testing. It is an indirect tensile test that only requires regular compression testing equipment and small specimens.

Thus, the standardization of the double-punch test by ASTM International will represent an important boost for the implementation of Barcelona test as a characterization method of the post-cracking behaviour and energy absorption of FRC. Barcelona test offers important advantages over other types of essays. On the one hand, it can be straightforwardly carried out in regular compressive testing equipment and it uses light and easy to handle specimens. On the other hand, its use reduces the dispersion of results, which is a substantial advantage in its application as a quality control system of the FRC.

For all this, the use of Barcelona test as a quality control system for FRC provides a more reliable and robust characterization and allows a reduction in the cost and time associated with other testing types. In this field, Smart Engineering has already successfully employed Barcelona test, along with the inductive method, for addressing the optimization of the quality control system for FRC in projects such as the Follo Line tunnel (Norway), developed by the Joint Venture AGJV, or the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade (UK). Furthermore, Barcelona test will be introduced by the Joint Venture SCS as a control method for one of the sections of a great European project, HS2 “High Speed Two” (UK).