International Journal of Fracture

, Volume 102, Issue 1, pp 1–24

Size effects in concrete fracture: Part I, experimental setup and observations

  • Mohsen A. Issa
  • Mahmoud A. Issa
  • Mohammad S. Islam
  • Alexander Chudnovsky
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007533218153

Cite this article as:
Issa, M.A., Issa, M.A., Islam, M.S. et al. International Journal of Fracture (2000) 102: 1. doi:10.1023/A:1007533218153

Abstract

This paper presents an experimental investigation on the influence of microstructural parameters, such as aggregate size, and macroscopic parameters, such as specimen dimensions, on brittle fracture. Maximum aggregate size was used as a representative parameter of aggregate distribution in agreement with ASTM C 136 standards. Six groups of geometrically similar concrete specimens with various dimensions and aggregate sizes were prepared. Similarity of the specimens was strictly maintained by scaling the specimen dimensions from one group to another by a factor of two starting from a specimen size of (width × total depth × thickness) 105×105×12.5 mm to 1680×1680×200 mm. Two separate sets of removable pre-cast notches were designed to determine the effect of initial notch size. A considerable effort was devoted to the design of the loading fixture to have a reproducible crack initiation and controlled crack growth. Several loading fixtures were evaluated prior to selection of the one used in the experimental program. Quasi-static splitting cyclic loading in edge cleavage configuration was applied. A servo-hydraulic Instron machine was used for testing. The fracture process was monitored by optical and acoustic imaging techniques. Three forms of comparisons of the test results with respect to the specimen and aggregate sizes were adopted. The first corresponded to the various specimen sizes cast with the same maximum aggregate size. The second comparison was based on the geometrically identical specimens cast with various maximum aggregate sizes. The third form of comparison dealt with complete geometrical similarity, i.e., all dimensionless geometrical characteristics including specimen thickness to maximum aggregate size ratio were identical. Results from this study indicated that as the specimen size decreases, the envelope becomes larger within the first and third forms of comparison. In the second form of comparison, i.e., geometrically identical specimens cast with various maximum aggregate sizes, the area under the envelope was greater as the maximum aggregate size increased. The existence of a trend in dimensionless critical load-CMOD envelopes despite the apparent geometrical and physical similarity of the test conditions is the direct indication of a scale effect, i.e., the modified fracture energy, \(\overline {G_F } \) indicates the existence of a strong scale effect: \(\overline {G_F } \) increases with the specimen dimensions as well as maximum aggregate size.

Maximum aggregate sizespecimen sizeconcretenotchcrack lengthloading fixturewedgeenergy release ratesplitting loadcrack opening displacementfracture energy.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohsen A. Issa
    • 1
  • Mahmoud A. Issa
    • 1
  • Mohammad S. Islam
    • 1
  • Alexander Chudnovsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Materials EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoU.S.A.