Materials and Structures

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 107–122

Characterization of mixed mode crack opening in concrete

Original Article

DOI: 10.1617/s11527-011-9754-5

Cite this article as:
Jacobsen, J.S., Poulsen, P.N. & Olesen, J.F. Mater Struct (2012) 45: 107. doi:10.1617/s11527-011-9754-5


In real concrete structures cracks often open in mixed mode after their initiation. To capture the direct material behavior of a mixed mode crack opening a stiff biaxial testing machine, capable of imposing both normal and shear loads on a given crack area, has been applied. The opening and sliding components of the mixed mode displacement are measured using a custom made orthogonal gauge, and the measurements are used directly as the closed loop control signals. A double notch, concrete specimen is used for the crack investigation. The tests are divided into two steps, a pure Mode I opening step, where a macro crack is initiated in the specimen followed by the mixed mode opening step. The high stiffness of the set-up together with the closed control loop ensures a stable crack initiation followed by a controllable mixed mode opening. The deep notches result in a plane crack, only influenced by material aspects such as the aggregate size and concrete strength. Despite the occurrence of a few, local, secondary cracks during the mixed mode crack opening, the results can be treated as the mixed mode material point behavior of a crack in concrete. Results are reported for a range of mixed mode angles and for varying initial Mode I openings of the crack.


Biaxial loadingConcreteMixed mode fractureConstitutive behavior

Copyright information

© RILEM 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Jacobsen
    • 1
  • P. N. Poulsen
    • 1
  • J. F. Olesen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringTechnical University of DenmarkKongens LyngbyDenmark