Brittleness of High Strength Concrete

by Ravindra Gettu, Northwestern Univ, United States,
Zdeněk P. Bažant, Northwestern Univ, United States,
Martha E. Karr, Northwestern Univ, United States,

Abstract: Fracture mechanics approaches are needed to determine material parameters which are related to the brittleness of concrete and its structural response. The size effect method is used to determine these fracture parameters for typical high strength silica fume concrete. The method requires only the peak loads of geometrically similar fracture specimens that are significantly different in size. Three-point bending tests of notched specimens are used. Comparison with data of normal strength concrete shows that for an increase in compressive strength of about 160%, the fracture energy and fracture toughness increase by only 12% and 25%, respectively. The brittleness more than doubles, and the effective fracture process zone length decreases by about 60%.

Subject Headings: Cracking | High-strength concrete | Brittleness | Compressive strength | Parameters (statistics) | Size effect | Silica

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