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Title: Effects of moisture gradient of concrete on fracture process in restrained concrete rings: Experimental and numerical
Authors: Dong, W
Zhao, X
Zhou, X
Yuan, W
Keywords: Concrete cracking;Crack propagation;Elliptical ring test;Moisture gradient;Shrinkage cracking
Issue Date: 14-Jan-2019
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 2019
Abstract: Thenon-uniformshrinkagecausedbymoisturegradientinconcreteprovidesself-restraint,which has a significant effect on the assessment of cracking potential of concrete through the restrained shrinkage ring test. Furthermore, moisture gradient in concrete would be also affected by concrete strength because concretes designed for different strength grades usually have different water to cement ratio. In this paper, three series of circular and elliptical concrete rings with a 37.5mm thick wall and three distinguished concrete strength grades of C30, C50 and C80 were tested to investigate the effect of the moisture gradient on crack initiation and propagation in restrained concrete rings. An integrative model based on the nonlinear diffusion theory is introduced to calculate the moisture distributions in concrete rings, and the fictitious temperature fields are derived for the simulation of the shrinkage effect in concrete. Meanwhile, a fracture mechanics-based numerical method is proposed to analyze the crack initiation and propagation in a concrete ring in the restrained ring test. The effects of ring geometry, concrete strength and uniform/non-uniform shrinkage assumption on the cracking initiation and propagation process are elaborated. The results indicate that the non-uniform shrinkage in concrete provides driving energy for concrete cracking, which is approximately 40% of the total driving energy. Accordingly, it significantly affects the crack initiation position and propagation direction, occurring at the outer surface and propagating toward the inner surface of the concrete ring. With the increase of concrete strength, the cracking potential of restrained concrete ring increases and the proportion of the self-restraint caused by the non-uniform shrinkage in the total restraint decreases because of the reduced moisture distribution.
ISSN: 0013-7944
Appears in Collections:Dept of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering Research Papers

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