Fracture Mechanics in Concrete: How Much Do We Know?

by Sándor Popovics,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1969, Vol. 95, Issue 3, Pg. 531-544

Document Type: Journal Paper


Experimental evidence is reviewed which shows that the failure of concrete takes place through progressive internal cracking under various loading conditions. The cracking starts at the interface between coarse aggregate and mortar under loads much less than the ultimate. The strain energy of a concrete specimen under load is transformed to surface energy by the creation and propagation of internal cracks. This concept is applicable not only to the usual static compressive, tensile, etc., loadings, but also to repeated and sustained loadings. However, the numerical application of the Griffith hypothesis for concrete is not reliable enough. Certain statistical aspects of the weakest link theory are considered along with the utilization of this concept, such as the demonstration of the effect of the specimen size on the measured strength. The statistical results are again only qualitatively supported by experimental results.

Subject Headings: Load factors | Ultimate strength | Cracking | Concrete | Repeated loads | Statistics | Material failures | Failure analysis

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