International Journal of Fracture

, Volume 137, Issue 1–4, pp 231–249 | Cite as

On Fractals and Size Effects

  • V. E. SaoumaEmail author
  • G. Fava


Following an extensive and critical review of fractals and size effects models, this paper seeks to generalize Bažant’s size effect law to fractal cohesive cracks. This is achieved through a Newtonian approach in which the cohesive and far field stress intensity factors of fractal cracks (derived by Yavari) are set equal. It will be shown that the fractal size effect law is a generalization of the one of Bažant (derived in Euclidian space). In light of the derived equation, the multi-fractal model of Carpinteri and the size effect law of Bažant are revisited. Finally, the paper will conclude with some general considerations pertaining to the so-called “New Kind of Science” developed by Wolfram, and its applicability to fracture mechanics.


Cementitious material concrete fractals fracture mechanics size effect 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural EngineeringUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Department of Structural EngineeringPolitecnico di MilanoItaly

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