Size Effect in Concrete Structures and Influence of Loading Rate

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

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Serviceability and Durability of Construction Materials


The size effect law models the influence of the dimensions of the structure or specimen on the failure stress. This model can be used to quantify the brittleness of failure, and determine material fracture parameters. Recent applications of the method are reviewed. Furthermore, results from an experimental investigation of the influence of loading rate on size effect and fracture behavior, in the static regime, are presented and discussed. The size effect on the fracture of concrete increases significantly with increasing time to failure. It also appears that as the loading rate decreases, the effective process zone length decreases, implying increase in the brittleness. The fracture toughness also decreases with increasing time to failure, explaining the usually observed decrease in strength.

Subject Headings: Size effect | Concrete | Concrete structures | Loading rates | Structural failures | Construction materials | Material failures | Failure loads

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