Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp 1863–1868

The role of aggregate in the fracture of concrete


  • P. C. Strange
    • Harris and Sutherland
  • A. H. Bryant
    • Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of Auckland

DOI: 10.1007/BF00551025

Cite this article as:
Strange, P.C. & Bryant, A.H. J Mater Sci (1979) 14: 1863. doi:10.1007/BF00551025


The fracture of concrete is reviewed. Tests on notched and unnotched beams made from concretes containing aggregates of different sizes and types are described. A simple model is proposed to elucidate and formalize the role of the aggregate particles in a brittle matrix. It is concluded that aggregate particles cause cracks to form in a concrete matrix at a lower stress than that at which the matrix would crack if it contained no aggregate. It is also concluded that aggregate particles impede the extension of matrix cracks.

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© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1979