Recycled nylon fibers as cement mortar reinforcement

Saverio Spadea, Ilenia Farina, Anna Carrafiello, Fernando Fraternali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate engineering applications of recycled nylon fibers obtained from waste fishing nets, focusing our attention on the use of recycled nylon fibers as tensile reinforcement of cementitious mortars. We begin by characterizing the tensile behavior of both unconditioned and alkali-cured recycled nylon fibers obtained through manual cutting of waste fishing net filaments, with the aim of assessing the resistance of such materials to chemical attacks. Special attention is also given to evaluating the workability of fresh mortar and the possible impacts of contaminants released by waste fishing nets into the environment. Next, we deal with compression and bending tests on cementitious mortars reinforced with recycled nylon fibers, and establish comparisons with the experimental behavior of the unreinforced material and with results given in existing literature. In our analysis of different weight fractions and aspect ratios of the reinforcing fibers, we observe marked increases in the tensile strength (up to +35%) and toughness (up to 13 times greater) of the nylon reinforced mortar, as compared with the unreinforced material. The presented results emphasize the high environmental and mechanical potential of recycled nylon fibers for the reinforcement of sustainable cement mortars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-209
Number of pages10
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Early online date11 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • Fiber reinforced mortar
  • Flexural strength
  • Recycled nylon
  • Toughness
  • Waste fishing nets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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